I was passing by on Saturday night and decided to pay the newly opened Highline a visit. The friendly door person, Zach was happily perched on his stool outside the door. He boasted of the new place and its vegan menu. I had to run an errand, but now I wanted to come back and get some food. I hopped down the stairs and met the owner, the affable Howie Clark (who was proprietor of Georgetown’s now defunct vegan restaurant Squid and Ink). He said he was excited to replace a former venue that was so hostile to the neighborhood.
Word is the Lamborghini is a shell of what it used to be. It sat high atop the building where the notorious Club Lagoon once sat. That club’s failure to connect to the Capitol Hill community caused its downfall. They only had six people patronize them during Pride weekend one year. This was when other restaurants, bars, and clubs were packed to the brim with neighbors, visitors, and tourists. The hostile clientele did not help, either. Well now sitting on the second floor of this building at 210 Broadway East is the Highline, above Castle Super Store. Yeah, now you know where it’s at.
I came back a bit later with a friend, a vegan who is looking for a place that serves more than just one or two things on their menu. We ordered our drinks and were eager to eat something. To our delight, the menu is completely vegan. It has sides, sandwiches, and appetizers. It serves late until midnight. Our sandwiches were delicious. I’ve had some bad experiences at vegetarian/vegan restaurants back in the days when I was madly vegetarian. I had three bad meals at a place on Roosevelt. Those experiences made me never return to that place. First impressions mean something (and I gave that other place two more chances). Highline did not let us down. I ordered the Howie sandwich. It’s a scrumptious bacon inspired club sandwich, only the bacon and ham here are vegan. Our pleasant server, Lance, reminded us that they also serve brunch.
Clark’s ambition to replace the negative place that was once there seems to have come true. He wants to serve vegan food to the community, but mostly he wants the Highline to be a Capitol Hill bar to hang out and have a good time. It opened on Thursday and the crowd tonight is exuberant and lively. A group of about twenty people celebrated their friend’s birthday. You would never know this bar had only been open a few days.
The space is roomy. Inside the bar, there is one of those photo booths where sweeties can take pictures of themselves smooching. I could hear the classic sounds of air hockey playing in another section. There is seating on the balcony that overlooks Broadway with sliding doors that will allow for pleasant summer breezes. However, on this cool evening they are shut.
As for the Lamborghini, well that is gone. Clark cut it down and dismantled some of it. He gave it to a friend who plans to use the frame for a bike-art project. Maybe we will see it soon at Fremont Solstice. The memory of the tilting Lamborghini will fade fast as crowds visit a new spot high above Broadway, the Highline.
The Highline is located at 210 Broadway E. Yes, above the Castle Super Store.