Charlie’s — the legendary Broadway restaurant space poised to transcend ownership and continue a new lease on life — will have a few more weeks to enjoy its rest following longtime owner Ken Bauer’s June retirement after one last Pride weekend. The new owners tell CHS the new Charlie’s won’t make its planned Friday-after-Thanksgiving opening.
The new ownership from the Lodge Sports Grille family of restaurants says it will need around two more weeks to get the rehabilitation and upgrades of the old Capitol Hill restaurant complete and make sure service is up to the necessary Charlie’s standards. Don’t chuckle, old timers.
When it reopens in December, the space will have all the same old stuff but cleaned-up, we’re told. The menu will be pared back and overhauled, however — new co-owner Kelli Kreiter said part of the reason for the changes is they couldn’t get some of the old recipes. Bauer and management did have an agreement over continuing the Charlie’s name but Kreiter said she couldn’t discuss if there was any financial implications to the deal. Bauer helped open Charlie’s in 1976, taking it over in 2000 after the restaurant’s namesake owner passed away. As an end to his lease agreement approached five years ago, Bauer told CHS he started looking to sell but found no buyers. The Lodge Sports Grille deal to lease the space followed.
Kreiter said the new ownership loved the quirkiness of the longtime Broadway watering hole and wanted to bring “new light” to the space without changing the nature of the restaurant. She also said she is aware of concerns about higher prices and that she and the new owners hope to keep Charlie’s an affordable, “fair” place to hang out and enjoy a meal or a drink.
You can stay tuned to charliesonbroadway.com for updates on a new opening date.