Fire at Delhi Club, Hard Times Cafe

by ARLnow.com June 30, 2011 at 11:52 am 7,555 27 Comments

(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) A fire broke out this morning in the Clarendon building that houses Hard Times Cafe and Delhi Club.

Smoke could be seen rising from the roof and billowing out of the entrance to Hard Times as firefighters attacked the blaze. Workers on their lunch break gathered to watch as fire trucks surrounded the building.

The fire broke out in the kitchen of Delhli Club and spread into the duct work, according to fire department spokesperson Lt. Ed Hughes. Only smoke — not fire — spread to Hard Times, he said. No injuries were reported.

The original report of fire was called in by an assistant fire marshal who happened to be driving in the area, Hughes noted.

Roads were closed in the area of Clarendon Metro as emergency responders and county health department inspectors remained on the scene. Dehli Club manager Mir Hussain said the damage is “not too bad.” He hopes to clean up the mess and get health department approval to reopen in a week or so.

Hard Times Cafe owner Doug Welsh said there was some smoke damage inside the restaurant, but no structural damage. He expects the restaurant to reopen at 5:00 tonight.

  • Mattie

    Dehli Club, I think you mean. Dehli Dhaba is a couple of blocks away from Hard Times.

    • atown

      Nope… Dehli Dhaba is almost to Courthouse and it’s building hosts the Subway and Rooftop… The place they’re talking about is right across the stree from the Clarendon Metro (you can see the metro escalators in the picture).

      • atown

        Oh I understand now, sorry… didn’t realize you were correcting what had been written early and it’s been fixed since. Sorry!

  • dnak17

    You mean Delhi Club not Delhi Dhaba.

  • Tabby

    I think you mean Delhi Club, not Delhi Dhaba.

  • E-Ross

    No!!!!!!! Delhi Club is one of my all time favorites! I hope everyone is okay, and they’re not impacted!

  • Ryan

    Hard Times ahead at…


  • JamesE

    Why do all the good places catch on fire? Why can’t someplace like the ballroom burn down instead.

    • metro


      • Arrrrrlington

        All the collar popping, BMW d-bags will have no where to go then! Won’t someone please think of the d-bagz???!!!!!

        • Snooki

          they can all go back to Jersey Shore and look for me, the ultimate Guidette.

        • Snooki

          The fire department had the area blocked off , and I couldn’t even drive to Whole Foods! This is ridiculous, I’m moving to Manassas.

    • BH

      taking all the Arlington transients with it.

  • Tabby

    Why so many fires lately? Tackle Box yesterday.

    • Greg

      Tune Inn before that.

      • BrownFlipFlops

        I4C’s before that.

        • charlie

          papajohns on Glebe Road before that.

  • Flesh Tuxedo

    As long as trivia still exists on Wednesdays at Hard Times, we’re all OK.

    • LoxyBrown

      Heh, Flesh–I was thinking the exact same thing.

  • JS

    C’Mon Hard Times… awesome promo opportunity… half off all smoked items!

    • CrystalMikey


  • ArlForester

    I prefer my vindaloo and chili extra hot so this is great news.

  • CW

    Sorry guys, I farted.

  • 1234

    Talk about your “3 alarm chili” . . .

    • One ironic sight: a Hard Times employee wearing a “Hard Times Cafe Fire Department” shirt

  • i was also there and got video and pics of the cleanup, check them out here:


  • Clarendon Resident

    Personally, I would have preferred if the place had burned to the ground. I have not nor will I ever eat food at this restaurant. Any good will I had towards the place evaporated years ago in the face of its seeming inaction in dealing with the rat problem. Walking by each morning on the way to the metro, it was easy to see that rodents were living/burrowing into the restaurant’s planters and feeding at the dumpsters. (to be fair, part of the blame falls upon Arlington County, which let the vacant building across the street sit idle for so long that it became a rodent harborage.) But I never saw any evidence that Delhi Club tried to ameliorate the problem. At least Hard Times stepped up and made an effort – I once came across one of their employees who was filling up burrow holes near the alley with cement.


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