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Is Kitty O’Shea’s Being Forced Out?

by ARLnow.com January 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm 4,832 93 Comments

A new restaurant called “Wilson Tavern” is coming to 2403 Wilson Boulevard in Courthouse, according to a state liquor license application filed earlier this week.

That’s news to Danny McFadden, owner of Kitty O’Shea’s, which is the current occupant of 2403 Wilson Boulevard.

“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” a befuddled McFadden said when reached by phone this afternoon. McFadden said his lease is up in 2015 and he has no plans to leave. The pub was named D.C.’s Best Irish Bar last year by the Washington City Paper.

The application for Wilson Tavern was filed by a company called 2403 Wilson Blvd LLC. According to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the registered agent for the company is Raymond Schupp, the building’s landlord. Schupp’s development company lists the building in its list of commercial properties.

So far, Schupp has not responded to requests for comment. McFadden says he’s worried that Kitty O’Shea’s may be getting the boot.

“I’ve gone through crap [with the landlord] for three years,” he said. “He’s got a track record of rolling over small guys.”

“I’ve got to call my attorney,” McFadden said, before ending the brief conversation.

  • rachel

    oh my word! hopefully this gets resolved with Kitty’s intact.

    • Truthi

      Nope hes gone.

      • Maria

        Did you try to shut him down because he played a Tupac song?

    • SoCo Resident

      Schuppcompanies.com has a picture of Kitty O’Shea’s with a great big “FOR LEASE” sign on it! Did Danny McFadden not notice this sign? “That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” a befuddled McFadden said. Well, look at the side of your establishment. Is this the same Danny McFadden of “Murphy’s Law” on Wisc Ave?

      • SeaView

        The for lease sign relates to 2401 Wilson and basement space, not Kitty’s which is located at 2403 Wilson. Fact!

        • Regular

          Same owner as Murphy’s Law.

  • FREDTERP

    McFadden didn’t offer a “thank you” for alerting him of this predicament? FREDTERP

    • He did, in so many words.

      • MB

        Let us know if Schupp does the same 🙂

  • Clarendude

    This is the landowner and lot that had the failed hotel proposal a year or so ago. Maybe the address is not correct for the license? The LLC mentioned is registered to RAYMOND C SCHUPP…

    I haven’t been to Kitty’s in a while but I remember that they had great bloody mary’s.

  • Katie

    Yikes!

  • arlingfling

    There has to be more to the story than this.

    The story seems a bit sensationalized: “forced out”? C’mon, this isn’t China, laws are in place here to keep small guys from being “rolled over”. Besides, this RAYMOND C SCHUPP guy is also a small guy. Check out the google hits. How does a small guy “roll over” another small guy?

    Something is missing here.

    • Novanglus

      Yes, he’s a small guy, but he does tend to favor corporate chains over community tenants (e.g., putting Staples in that ridiculous location instead of renewing the leases of three small businesses). He has that right, but if Kitty’s lease is supposed to go until 2015, then “forced out” is exactly the right term to use.

      • bred

        Isn’t the Staple’s location on Wilson Blvd. just temporary until they can move back to a new building on Glebe Rd.? At least that I thought that was the deal.

        • cj

          Correct. They’re supposed to move into the new office project at Wilson and Glebe (former Bob Peck lot, next door to former Staples site on Glebe).

    • Skeptic

      I’m with you, arlingfling. I have a hard time believing this is the first he’d heard of it, which is the real “little guy” heartstrings part of this article.

      He’d have to be evicted before a new ABC license would do anyone any good, right? And evictions in Virginia aren’t done at the point of a shotgun, or by changing the locks in the dead of night anymore. Wouldn’t he get due process, and his day in court, and all that? Isn’t there some website where you can look up Arlington County court cases?

  • MB

    AWWWW 🙁 I love Kittys
    I think this classic needs to stay, the number of “divey” bars is decreasing. (Not a dive bar by outside world standards)

    • Dave

      A post about the “dive” bars of Arlington would be great! hint hint ARLnow.com 🙂

      • JamesE

        They are all dead to me after Dremos was torn down god rest its soul.

        • Zack

          RIP Dremo’s. Coolest, most unique bar in Arlington for years.

          • JamesE

            At least the silo lives on in Galaxy hut

          • BardotheBarfo

            Hey I peed in that thing.

          • bred

            I actually saw Crystal Koons there on the last night of operation.

          • DudeGuy

            Tell her that she needs to up the quality of her commercials with all the money she makes off of people at Koons Falls Church Ford.

        • TGEoA

          Bardo’s beer always got skunky. Was Dremos any better?

      • Lalaland

        Jay’s, L.A. Bar, Kitty O’Sheas. Yeah. Sounds about right.

        • Westover Connection

          Don’t forget about the Black Forest Inn in the Westover Shopping Center.

          • Lalaland

            How could I have forgotten? Isn’t it just Forest Inn, though? One beer on tap – Bud Heavy.

          • BEDAZZLER

            The Black Forest is without a shadow of a doubt the best “worst” bar ever.

        • Cowboy Cafe on Lee Hwy near Glebe.

  • sad

    I met a guy at a party who talked about his company proposing a hotel there in the near future. Can’t remember the name, but it sounded something like that LLC name. It would be a shame to lose another old Arlington place.

    • Lou

      How old is this place?

      • charlie

        kitty’s is no more than five years old. prior to that a courthouse-area-lawyers only place was there for years.

  • Steve

    Where did the info come for the article? Where did you get wind of this?

    • TGEoA

      Scott is probably checking out the liquor license applications. This is how he probably finds out about most restaraunt openings.

  • Jim

    Whoever is behind this needs to be a little more sensitive to the history of Wilson Tavern. I’m probably the only commenter here who remembers it in the early to mid 1970s (recall is shaky, though) just beyond Clarendon Circle on Wilson Blvd, a few blocks from Clarendon Bank & Trust and the original location of Hurt Cleaners – maybe about Lincon or Nelson. Anyone else have any recollection of it?

    • charlie

      nope. never heard of it.
      the “original” Hurt Cleaners is now Northside Social. In between (1970’s) it was Motorhead Auto.
      I can’t think of any building that would have housed a tavern down that way. Sure you aren’t thinking of KeyHole?

    • charlie

      I have verified.
      Wilson Tavern was located at Wilson & Monroe Street across from the Art ARlington Centers.

  • DT

    If this is true and it happens as expected, I hope people know not to support the new bar. This clown probably figures he can run a bar since there is already a successful one there.

  • Where will all the coke-heads go if Kitty goes away?

  • anon
    • Dave

      I like Kitty’s a lot. Danny knows the bar business and because of it he’s developed a lot of regulars, and a lot of sports bar enthusiasts. He has a lease, and he has a lot of issues with the landlord. Meanwhile since Schupp purchased the building a couple of years ago, most of the tenants have turned over, his most recent tenant, a friendly computer reseller moved in and moved out, and Schupp is obviously dancing with the property waiting and hoping for redevelopment.

      In my mind, the craziest idea is the owner setting up his own bar. It makes me think of Danny Snyder, a guy who knows how to run a business but doesn’t know how to run a football team…and has shown us that for over a decade.

      Keep the bar in the place. Proceed with your efforts to redevelop. See what happens, Mr. Schupp. For the time being, in a iffy economy you have a solid tenant, something you should be pleased about. If you get a development opportunity between now and 2015 you can always work to pay off the tenant….that is what normally occurs and the landlord ONLY does it if he is going to make a lot on the development.

      Meanwhile, Kitty’s is a friendly, well run addition to the area that is:

      A) A success
      B) A friendly neighborhood amenity
      C) A quality addition to the eclectic character of the neighborhood
      D) A solid rent payer in a terrible economy.

      I’d suggest the landlord put his time elsewhere.

  • Dude Where’s My Car

    First Marshal Dillon tells Miss Kitty to get the hell out of Dodge, and take her saloon with her… and now this! I remember the happier days when it was the Long Branch….

  • MC

    The proposed hotel seems much more appropriate for the block than the dingy 1950s era one story buildings currently occupying it. Hopefully the tourists will support eating establishments more tasteful than the sports-bar mix currently dominating Court House. Wilson Blvd has too many Irish bars as it is with bad fried food and dull beer.

    • Dude Where’s My Car

      Can one have too many Irish bars, really? I thought it was a recipe for success. Phase 1: name your place “P.J. O’Vomity’s,” or something similarly ethnic. Phase 2: serve pitchers of cheap beer and fried chunks of things. Phase 3: ??? Phase 4: Profit!

      • Rick

        Which irish bar serves cheap pitchers? I didn’t know those existed anymore

      • Cyrus

        If memory serves, phase 3 was “collect underpants”

    • Mkt Common

      That dingy 1 story building houses a fantastic jiu-jitsu, mma & crossfit gym. Sorry it’s not pretty enough for you.

  • Teyo

    This company owned my apartment building for a few months about 2 years ago. They were terrible and never responded to requests for maintenance but did manage to increase the cost for laundry. I contemplated calling the county because one of the two washers in the basement had clogged and was full of standing water for about 2 or 3 months, which I considered a bit of a health hazard. Anyway, they ended up selling the building before they repaired the washer and the guy that bought it from them told me that they hadn’t done residential before and didn’t know what to expect and so they were overwhelmed and decided to sell. This was before Schupp had a website, but I see now that they have quite a few residential buildings. Hopefully they’ve learned how to be better landlords in the time that has passed.

    • mehoo

      You want to get a landlord’s attention for lack of maintenance or whatever, just withhold your rent payment.

  • J

    I was under the impression that Lyon VIllage put the kibosh on this proposed hotel which is good news as the last thing the Courthouse area needs is another hotel, let alone a boutique one. Kitty’s is a good spot. I find it interesting that he sucked up a number of properties around Wilson Center (where Kitty’s is) to build the big hotel on AND owns those apartments on Oakland and WIlson right next to that dingy Staples he has too. If I was into conspiracy theories I’d say he’s eager to build large structures everywhere, not such a small fish…

  • DarkHeart

    I had many fun times there with my future wife when it was Joe’s Bar, not to be confused with Jay’s Saloon on 10th street. The last remnants of “weird” Clarendon are: Galaxy Hut, Iota, Whitlow’s, Faccia Luna and The Java Shack. The impetus to maximize the dollar per square foot has sucked the life out of the community I found and loved 14 years ago. Columbia Pike is next to go down.

    • Captain Obvious

      It was called “Joseph’s,” and it was wonderful. They didn’t serve liquor, just beer, and it was fabulously devoid of brown flip flops.

      • Joe M.

        Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Not all people in brown flip flops are bad.

    • Kurt

      Whitlow’s and Faccia Luna are “weird?” We have different definitions of weird, my friend.

      • Clarendweirdo

        I think he is referring more to the era with the keeping it Weird meme. It’s the people that make it weIrd. I think the weiRdness and us wEirdos are still around but heavily diluted and maybe partially in hiding. Mark my words, we’ll be back, weirDer than ever.

    • Snookie

      Was C.Pike ever “up”?

    • BEDAZZLER

      Ditto on that. Columbia Pike…across from Bob and Edith’s…WTF? Is that a mini-city being built ther?

  • Brad

    Godammit I hope this isn’t true. Kittys is one of the few tolerable bars remaining in that neighborhood.

  • Doc

    I’m thinking that I might have to call in a few favors. This landlord is starting to irk me. Let’s see how he plays with the big boys.

  • Katie
  • Kitty

    Soooo….now where am I going to go?

  • Arlingtron

    There has been a redevelopment proposal on this property for years. Why the big fuss now Arlnow? Are you losing your watering hole dude. Give it up – they’re a dime a dozen in the RB Corrdior. Frankly we need King Arthurs Court back – bring on the naked dancers.

  • Wallstreet

    Kitty’s is one of the last great Bars in the DC area – would be a shame to watch it become yuppified with the rest of Arlington by some shi shi bar. Danny’s got a great thing going and I’m confident if this doesn’t go his way we’ll follow him where ever he goes…..

  • mesogrumpy

    I am disgusted to see this strong-arm technique being applied to this small, successful business. i can’t decide if this is a case of agregious greed or a good old boy network, but either way, i’m disappointed. i will be the first to take my business elsewhere if kitty’s is forced out.

  • naughtykarate

    Oh the fall of the little guy as a result of corporate america. god bless america and the pile of money smothering it.

    • Joe M.

      Shhhh! Don’t say that too loud. The stormtroopers might come and snatch you up in the middle of the night.

  • Captain Obvious

    This article is ridiculous. Either he’s in violation of his lease, in which case he’s not being “forced out,” or he’s not, in which case, he CAN’T be “forced out.”

    There’s no pending eviction suit in Arlington involving Schupp, but that doesn’t mean that Kitty O’Shea’s isn’t in default and a suit isn’t on the horizon.

    • mehoo

      Exactly! He has a lease to 2015, apparently. Unless something is going wrong, he’s got a lock on the place until then.

  • Reg

    Kitty’s is one of the few bars left in the area that has personality. If Danny is forced out, it seems very unethical business on the part of the new owner.

  • This is some mob boss type stuff that this proprietor is putting up with from this landlord. I hope that not only does he get a lawyer. but that he wins in court and the landlord gets a nice healthy fine. This is America for God’s sake!

  • Doc

    This is ridiculous. Enjoy the pain Mr. S. I WILL NOT GO AWAY.

  • Reg

    If this is a real issue, and Kitty’s is in danger of getting forced out, what can we do do to help to save our bar?

  • Turbo

    People.. this isn’t Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo. I agree with Captain Obvious… their lease has most likely ended and the landlord is taking back the space… period.

    • Captain Obvious

      +1

  • Cliff

    This is unfortunate, and hopefully not accurate. If Kitty’s has a lease, it has a lease. Kitty’s is a great place with a great clientele, myself included. This is an example of corporate greed and the ebbing of character and life quality in the area. I hope the city is not trying to oust the tenants in an effort to get a higher tax base.

  • Doc

    Here goes the media. Mr S bad move…

    • Reg

      what does this mean / referencing?

  • Doc

    I am still pissed off at this awful abusive ploy against a decent establishment.

    • Jobo

      Are you drunk? Maybe letting Kitty O’Shea’s go out of business would be a good thing for you. Your posts sound nonsensical and full of empty threats.

  • Kitty’s may be a great dive bar with plenty of personality, not to mention the only good jukebox in town, but let’s get one thing straight: It’s Not The Best Irish Bar in D.C. It’s not even the best Irish Bar in NoVa. That distinction is reserved for 4 Courts, down the street, where the taps are clean, the food is good, and the owner doesn’t have his hand up every skirt behind the bar.

    • Clover Leaf

      Ever been to a Pub in Ireland? Kitty’s is far closer to the real thing than Four Courts. Four Courts might be nicer to bring the kiddies, being clean and polite and all, but it is not very authentic. Sort of like they say how a real BBQ place could never pass a health inspection.

  • Thamer

    Schupp is also known for trying to get out of even the smallest parking fines. This guy thinks he owns Arlington. Fight on, Danny M! Arlington doesn’t need another Hotel or another steryl peach-brick communist era high rise…let’s keep Kitty’s and bulldoze the old Blockbuster! Schupp should stick to his bridge game

  • Jorge

    Kitty’s is the closest to an authentic Irish Pub in the area. Four courts and that corporate mess across from Cinema drafthouse are fake.
    I’ve gone there for my football matches, always had a good time there. Shame.

    • Katie

      I once saw a piece of feces on the floor of the girls’ bathroom at Four Courts. Just sayin.

      • BEDAZZLER

        Only one? Must have been a tuesday.

  • Black Flag

    You always have a $2.2 million dollar fake Irish Pub in Shirlington.

    http://www.samuelbecketts.com/gallery/category/samuel-beckets

    I’m thinking about opening a $2.2 million dollar Pupuseria, when they knock down every family own Salvadorian place on Colombia Pike.

  • jen
  • BEDAZZLER

    If….anything does happen to Kitty’s….does Doc’s barstool go into the American History Smithsonian building on the 1st ballot?

  • Black Flag

    Hotel! WTF!

  • dave

    I saw where the landlord got an ABC license from the state and posted it. Its plain and simple landlord harassment. For all we know he created a fake lease, gave it to the state in order to get the ABC license.

    Its simple harassment. The county should stand up to this landlord. Does the county want to offend its citizens, its businesses just because some jerk landlord wants to throw his weight around and get whatever he wants when he wants it. I get the picture of a selfish brat of a landlord.

  • Steve

    Move to a larger place and have a smoking section.

  • DudeGuy

    Closes this Saturday

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