TAPE 1/SIDE 1
ROSENFELD: November 2nd, we are at his apartment at 410 15th Street NE. It's a little after ten in the morning and I'm going to begin by asking you to tell me when and where you were born.
LONG: I was born in Columbus, Ohio, right after the beginning of WW II. And my father was getting his masters degree at Ohio State.
ROSENFELD: What was your father's name?
LONG: Adelbert . . . and my mother was an Irish immigrant and he was transferred to the Pentagon, and we moved here to Greenbelt, Maryland, a federal town that the military had taken over, so it's basically like a military base, on my first birthday, so I basically consider myself a Washingtonian, I never even tell people I wasn't born here. Washington DC is all I have ever known.
ROSENFELD: Are you the oldest of your siblings?
LONG: No, I am in the middle of eight.
LONG: Yeah my parents had children in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, and I'm the only one who knows everybody because I'm the youngest of the first four and the oldest of the last four.
ROSENFELD: Are they all in this area?
LONG: Three of them have passed away. Two of my sisters married military guys, so my oldest sister is here and my younger brother is here. My parents died . . . relatively young, and I had just opened the Hawk and Dove, and they left me to raise a freshman at Gonzaga, a sophomore at Immaculata, and I think a senior at Stone Ridge.
ROSENFELD: Wow -- and you were 23 or 25?
LONG: 25. So they moved . . . one of them went off to school right away and the other two lived with me at 649 East Capitol Street.
ROSENFELD: 649.What was that building like then?
LONG: It had seven units in it. One big first floor unit and two small units in the -- efficiency units in the basement. So that worked out that I gave one to my younger brother and one to my younger sister. So . . .
ROSENFELD: But this was what, 1960?
LONG: This was . . . my father died in 1969, my mother died in 1965. Same time of day, same day of the year.
LONG: January 8th.
ROSENFELD: What was your mother's name?
LONG: Patricia Mary. She was supposed to be baptized Kathleen Ann, and in Ireland the priest refused to baptize her as anything but Patricia Mary because she was born on St. Patrick's Day. Priests could do things in those days.
ROSENFELD: Yes. I gather your mother was involved in real estate on Capitol Hill -- how did that happen?
LONG: My father was a government worker . . .
ROSENFELD: What did he do?
LONG: He was a social worker. He was . . . got up to be almost the Undersecretary of Health and Human Services. Before that he was with the Labor Department -- so, he established the Office of Aging -- he created it and now it's a real big thing. Back then it wasn't even mentioned. So we had a lot of kids, so we were always looking for a second income. So she had read about Capitol Hill, and came up here. She used to buy a smaller house, not too small, but she used to pay $7,000 for a house and then put seven in it and then sell it for 30 and equal my father's GS 15 salary.
ROSENFELD: And how . . . what years are we talking about? This is 40s?
LONG: No, this is mid-50s.
ROSENFELD: What was -- do you remember anything about Capitol Hill during that time? Was it considered a -- ?
LONG: No one would buy anything past Third Street. When my mother bought 649 East Capitol and Mrs. Arline Roback, who worked for Barbara Held, she bought 647, and they thought they'd lost their heads. So no one bought -- a lot of the houses -- she did some on Second Street and some on the street that runs through where the Madison Library is. I'm chemo brain so . . . I can't think of anything . . .
ROSENFELD: . . . through Second.
LONG: There was a street that went through the middle . . .
ROSENFELD: Oh, that used to be there.
LONG: Yes, I'll think of it in a minute. And . . . but no one bought anything past Third Street, or, at most, maybe Fourth Street.
LONG: Because it wasn't Capitol Hill, it wasn't a good neighborhood, anything past there, in the 50s. I mean when I opened the Hawk and Dove in '67, it was an iffy proposition.
ROSENFELD: Well, Duncan remembers, I guess he bought our house on East Capitol Street in '73 and he remembers there being plywood on the windows of the house next door . . . which he could have gotten for 50,000 dollars.
LONG: Yeah, I think we paid 37 [thousand] for 649 East Capitol.
ROSENFELD: And . . . it was still a lot of rooming houses at that point in that area?
LONG: At least a third of the houses were rooming houses . . . a term that people don't even understand anymore.
ROSENFELD: I know.
LONG: The FBI ran an academy that police officers used to have to come and go to, and so that was the main business at the end of most of those rooming houses.
ROSENFELD: Do you -- what was your first job?
LONG: My very first job? At 16 I carried a hod, which people don't even know the term anymore. [phone rings]
ROSENFELD: So we were talking about carrying a hod, which has to do with bricklaying?
LONG: Yeah, brickwork. Now they have all these lifts and all those things but . . . in the old days you loaded this thing up and put it on your shoulder and carried it to the bricklayers.
ROSENFELD: And you did that where?
LONG: I did that on a project out in Greenbelt. I was 16, 15 or 16, it was a dollar an hour. I remember becoming a union laborer in 1960, and that was $2.50. That was big money. I did that all the way through college and all the way through law school.
ROSENFELD: And over the summer?
LONG: Yes. It was very profitable for me.
ROSENFELD: Is that a skill you retain?
LONG: Yeah. You know I saw a lot of construction and I saw how things were done. So when I did 649 East Capitol over in 1964 -- by that time my mother had gotten ill and she couldn't do any work. And I sort of finished the buildings that she did have, and then she died in '65 and I kept doing them through law school. But then I would go back during the summer and do heavy construction because it was just more profitable for me.
ROSENFELD: When you were in college what was your plan? What did you expect to be doing? You graduated in '64. Right?
LONG: I graduated from Holy Cross in '64 with a pre-med degree and was on my way to Maryland Medical School and Mother got sick, and I knew I couldn't help my father out being in medical school so I went GWU Law School.
ROSENFELD: What was her ailment?
LONG: You know, both my parents died from things they wouldn't have died from today -- they'd be dead today but -- she died from a benign brain tumor and my father died from high blood pressure with a stroke. So both easily treatable today but not easily treatable in the 60s.
ROSENFELD: So you put off med school and then?
LONG: I put off med school but I hurried over to GWU to talk to the dean to let me into law school. Telling him that if he didn't I was going over to Vietnam and I was coming home in a body bag and he was going to have to live with that for the rest of his life.
ROSENFELD: That's kind of a heavy sales pitch . . .
LONG: Well, I had never applied so I was you know . . . and he said be here Monday.
ROSENFELD: And did you really think you were going to Vietnam?
LONG: Oh yeah. Everyone was going to Vietnam in those days. I came from a military family, I basically was a military brat. I ended up in Washington DC and so, but I never could understand Vietnam so I wasn't . . .
ROSENFELD: How did you get out of going?
LONG: You know every draft board has its allotment that they have to give. And so being a Greenbelt resident, I had registered in Hyattsville, the Juvenile Court was in the same building that the Draft Board was, so a lot of juvenile hearings were in the morning. But if the kid was in the Army by the afternoon, there was going to be no action. So, don't know if Hyattsville ever . . . drafted, had to send anybody in. They all joined. Not like my friends who registered in Bethesda and they all got drafted or got out of the draft. I never -- I just went along and I escaped. I would have gone had I been drafted, but I wasn't looking forward to it.
ROSENFELD: You were happy not to be?
LONG: I was happy not to be. I was the dove of the Hawk and Dove.
ROSENFELD: Who was the hawk?
LONG: My partner Michael Lange . . . he never saw a war he didn't like.
ROSENFELD: Did he go to Vietnam?
LONG: No. [laughs] Most hawks don't go to Vietnam and they don't send their kids either.
ROSENFELD: When you were in law school, did you think you would get into the restaurant business, the real estate business, or were you planning to be a particular type of lawyer?
LONG: Law school allowed me time to do some house over during the school year, even though I did heavy construction during the summer but . . .
ROSENFELD: When you say do houses over -- tell me more specifically what . . . You are talking about the Hill; you are talking about houses that are in what age range, 1890s?
LONG: Yeah, you know 1890s to the early 20s. There were a lot of small ones I could do over. It's funny when -- the first thing people tore out of houses when they wanted to let the neighbors know that they were more middle class than the others, was they tore out the fireplaces. Because that showed that they had central heat, and they took out a lot of stained glass transoms over of the windows -- God knows why -- and so when houses got rehabbed the first thing rehabbers did was put fireplaces back in the place where they had been taken out. And put in a lot of the other details.
ROSENFELD: Where did you get fireplaces?
LONG: We would build them . . . we would build them from scratch. But you could always see where they had been, but you didn't need a fireplace if you had central heat. Because these early houses were heated a lot by fireplaces in each big rooms.
ROSENFELD: But they had indoor plumbing and stuff like that?
LONG: Yes they had indoor plumbing -- but I did a house over that you could see where it had been gas lighting and then it had been electrified. So, it was built before houses . . . had electricity.
ROSENFELD: And these houses . . . you would buy the house for how much?
LONG: Well I mean as the years went on you had to pay more. I had a Greek partner who I met when I was doing East Capitol Street in '64, John Pagonis. And . . . so I mean we would find them in the range 50-75 thousand. We didn't have a lot of money then so we -- I mean now you have to pay two to three hundred [thousand] to find the same house to be able to do over . . .
ROSENFELD: At least.
LONG: I still rehab houses.
ROSENFELD: So you have like a corps of workers that . . . ?
LONG: Yeah, I have another Greek partner who came to us years ago as a painter and now he's my partner. Chris Kalivas. [they check spelling]
ROSENFELD: How do you spell Kalivas?
ROSENFELD: But these are -- when you talking about rehabbing you are basically, you are talking about painting, plastering, not changing the interior architecture or are you?
LONG: Some you do. We have done one over here on Kramer Street . . . it was a small house that we ended up -- it was in such bad shape that it's basically a brand new house.
ROSENFELD: Now the definition of the Hill has expanded since you started.
ROSENFELD: And definitely since your mother started.
LONG: It used to be Third or Fourth Street.
ROSENFELD: How did you . . . you must have seen that happen? Were you aware of it as it happened?
LONG: You know, I took a friend of mine who was one of my original waiters at the Hawk and Dove in '67 when he was a law student at Georgetown just a few weeks ago, and I drove him all through Capitol Hill and out to the stadium and down H Street and he was blown away. He lived on the Hill for years while he went to law school and started work, and he lived at Sixth and A SE. He just couldn't believe the Hill . . . I guess now the boundaries of the Hill are probably the river. I have two young ladies who have houses on the other side of H Street NE. Which no one ever would venture into -- nice houses, nice neighborhoods.
ROSENFELD: How do you feel about it? Is it . . . Do you miss the old days, do think it's great or . . . ?
LONG: When I was closing the Hawk, Marion Barry came by to see me, and he was telling me a story about he used to live in the 1200 block of E Street, and he said when he lived there, they were all family owned -- black families -- and he said now there's only one black family on that whole street. And I was kidding him, and I said, "Marion, you are the one who did it -- you are the one who got the city straightened out in the beginning and got it back rolling again. And I tell people it's all because of you."
ROSENFELD: How does he like that?
LONG: He says, "Man, don't be telling them that stuff!"
ROSENFELD: He also lived on A Street with his first wife?
ROSENFELD: Mary Treadwell?
LONG: He had a few places on the Hill where he lived, and then he lived in Ward 7 with Effie.
ROSENFELD: But you hadn't lived on the Hill until fairly recently?
LONG: No -- that's not true. I lived in 649 East Capitol -- 1964 -- and I lived over on 222 Third Street, and I stayed on the Hill. I got married and had two kids, and I sold the house on the Hill that changed American History.
ROSENFELD: Oh yes, what was that?
LONG: I sold it to Gary Hart, and he would have been elected President if he hadn't have gotten in trouble and the Vietnam War wouldn't have been as big as it was and the whole -- everything would have been different, all but for that house. It's on the Notorious Tour. They have a tour, they go around.
ROSENFELD: G Street, is that right?
LONG: It's a . . . Sixth Street -- 417 Sixth Street. Below the park there by the police station is -- but it's on the Notorious Tour. They showed the Tidal basin where --
ROSENFELD: Wilbur Mills -- I covered that.
LONG: Yes. It showed the Watergate and they show this house and they show a few other places.
ROSENFELD: Who owns that house now? Do you know?
LONG: No I don't -- I drive by it. Someday I'd like to knock on the door and buy it back. I think I sold it for like 225 and I think today it's like a million dollar house.
ROSENFELD: After you married your second wife, you moved to . . . ?
LONG: I stayed in the city and I moved up to Northwest -- basically for schools, and my kids went to DC public school for pre-k through sixth grade and then that elementary school ended at sixth grade . . . and they were going to go to Visitation and Gonzaga no matter what, so that was always in their legacy.
ROSENFELD: You have been a very active Gonzaga alum -- how has that area changed?
LONG: Oh my God.
ROSENFELD: What do you remember when you were a schoolboy, what did you do after school, how did you get there in the first place?
LONG: You know, immigrants came in . . . down here from New York and got out at Union Station with all their baggage with everything they owned, and they basically were Italian and Irish and, and Capitol Hill was divided up that way. St. Peter's was an Irish church, St. Joseph's was Italian. North Carolina was an Italian street, South Carolina was an Irish street. East Capitol was Irish, Constitution was Italian, so it was block by block. And Gonzaga was a rough neighborhood even when it was Irish and Italian.
ROSENFELD: What do you mean by rough?
LONG: It was a . . . you had to be very careful when you went to Gonzaga in the 50s and in the 40s to --
ROSENFELD: Do you mean in the sense of the other students or when you left the school grounds? You would get picked on?
LONG: We used to hitchhike in those days. We would walk up to New York Avenue and hitchhike out to . . . so when we'd see some hooligans coming, we used to hide behind a tree and circle around the tree as they went by.
ROSENFELD: And the hooligans were? Older boys? Black kids?
LONG: Back then they had become African American . . . back then Gonzaga was always a rough neighborhood even when it was basically an all white neighborhood. But today -- oh my God -- people come back for reunions at Gonzaga, and not only are they lost within the buildings of Gonzaga -- which I have had a lot to do with, renovating -- but the neighborhood is just . . . unbelievable. I mean early in the . . . There are 13 houses on K Street offered to us when I was on the board at Gonzaga, in the early 70s -- all 13 for 72 thousand. But we didn't have money to pay our oil bill. And now we are trying to buy a few of them and I think we paid 250-350 [thousand] a house. But the land across the street which was basically . . .
ROSENFELD: Across the street from K? Or from North Capitol?
LONG: North Capitol on the northeast side -- I mean you could have bought that land years ago for 10 cents a foot, it was owned by the railroads and, you know, people like that.
ROSENFELD: What was there when you were going to school? Were there buildings or was it . . .
LONG: There were some buildings -- Bell Telephone had a building now that I think is where NPR is rehabbing that building. And there was the pool hall and a few liquor stores and . . .
ROSENFELD: Where was the pool hall?
LONG: The pool hall was in the unit block of H Street. And there was the Mail and Rail.
ROSENFELD: What's that?
LONG: It was a bar, a small little bar.
ROSENFELD: Mail and Rail?
LONG: Yeah, a combination of the train station and post office . . .
ROSENFELD: Great name.
LONG: LONG: And there was the P.O. Lunch. And a . . .
ROSENFELD: Did you bring your lunch to school?
LONG: Yes, but as seniors we could go across the street and eat, and we were 18 years old so we could go and have a few beers with lunch.
ROSENFELD: You are kidding?
LONG: No -- so Friday we would probably have a few too many and we would sleep the last period. But we all survived.
ROSENFELD: I guess.
LONG: You could get a fried egg sandwich for a quarter and a short draft for 15 cents. [laughs]
ROSENFELD: But I guess in the proportion to the amount of money you had it was . . .
LONG: Absolutely -- if you have two dollars in your pocket in those days, you were all right for the weekend.
ROSENFELD: Now, sometimes I read you would take a streetcar and meet your mother?
LONG: Yeah, when I was a freshman at Gonzaga I was sort of my . . . I called it my mother's slave. In all these houses used to have wallpaper on them, and the only way to get it off was with a steamer and scrape it off. And you had glue all over you. And so I used to take the streetcar from Gonzaga and it went up North Capitol Street to the Capitol and then went around the base and then up the Hill and for some reason as it went up Independence, the two streetcar tracks were together but one of them was on the wrong side of the street, so traffic had to be careful. Because . . . until it got you to where the median strip is now [ed: Second Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE] and then it had its own space and then it went out to Barney Circle and then you had to get off if you were going out that way and then get on another streetcar that was went over the bridge into Anacostia.
ROSENFELD: So you would get off?
LONG: I would get off at First and . . . First Street as it turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue as it came up the hill.
ROSENFELD: And go scrape wallpaper?
ROSENFELD: Now skipping back to getting out of law school -- you were very young when you got into real estate on the Hill; you were what, 25?
LONG: I did my first building over at the age of 22. Seven unit building -- and then I did a house over on Seventh Street right after that . . . I did one on . . . and after that..
ROSENFELD: Was this work you enjoyed or was it . . . ?
LONG: I have always enjoyed building and that's sort of what got me in the restaurant business. Because I was young and I was a lawyer . . . at that time I was a lawyer at the Library of Congress.
ROSENFELD: What did you do there?
LONG: I worked for the American Law Division, sometimes you did kids' term papers that the Congressman sent over to you . . . I would always try to screw that up so the kid got a bad grade.. But you did what they sent you. But I wasn't going to stay there, I was supposed to go back to the National Labor Relations Board . . . But I used to eat across the street at this little one-man restaurant call Alex's. It was one of these great places where if he was lucky the dishwasher showed up, if not he did everything. So he went up and down the counter and waited on everybody . . .
ROSENFELD: What street was he on?
LONG: He was one of the buildings that the Hawk and Dove was in. He was at 327 [Pennsylvania Avenue SE].
LONG: So I had a chance to buy him out for not much money, he wanted to retire and he was happy to get anything. The next building was Libby's Antiques. Libby Sangster. She said it was the best thing I ever did for her because when she moved out of there she bought her own building.
END OF TAPE 1/SIDE 1
TAPE 1/SIDE 2
LONG: She took her original signs down from the building on Pennsylvania Avenue and I think that sign's still hanging up there.
ROSENFELD: Which building was that? The original?
LONG: She was in the big building at the Hawk and Dove -- where the main bar was, 329. So we started with just those two buildings.
ROSENFELD: And then what?
LONG: And then my partner Michael Lange, his father was . . . he had the third building. He had a little real estate office there, and when he saw how busy we were he said we might as well take that building too. Then we did a patio in the back and later on enclosed that and made the alley bar and then we built a club up above that.
ROSENFELD: So it was sort of . . .
LONG: Yeah, we had to separate our younger kids from our older customers.
LONG: Because they didn't mix -- the music didn't mix, the loudness didn't mix, the TVs didn't mix.
ROSENFELD: Why is that called Ptomaine Row?
LONG: Ptomaine Row was not the 300 block, that was the 200 block. And in the 200 block, where the Madison Library is, and after World War II, I think there were 28 buildings there, and 22 of them were restaurants or some kind of eatery. And that was called Ptomaine Row. [ed: the Library of Congress Madison Building is in the 100 block of Independence.]
ROSENFELD: They were all what we call a greasy spoon?
LONG: Yes -- but they weren't though. You know, back in those days everyone started the day with a big breakfast, so they were all open breakfast and then lunch, and . . . I bought the Neptune Grill in the 200 block but originally they had been in the 100 block. Mike Palm's had been in the 100 block, some of them were able to relocate but most of them went out of business.
ROSENFELD: Any particular reason?
LONG: Well, they condemned that block -- Sam Rayburn could see how Capitol Hill was growing and how it was getting more expensive and he knew that if he didn't take that block then for expansion they would never be able to afford that block. And with Carroll Street -- that was the one that went between -- see my chemo brain kicks in now and then -- so we did a few houses over on Carroll Street too. Which is a nice little block. It ran down the middle between South Capitol and First, no Second Street. First Street. [ed: Carroll Street ran from First Street to Second Street, parallel to and between Independence Avenue and C Streets, all SE]
ROSENFELD: So, you opened the Hawk in December '67, right? Who were your neighbors?
LONG: Ryan Funeral Home. Jimmy Ryan -- he would come in for a few quick shots every day. Parker Jewelry -- the liquor store was there. The place next . . . the Tune Inn was there. And there was a little place next to the gas station called Julie's -- it was just a beer and wine license.
ROSENFELD: Julie's? J-E-W-E-L?
LONG: Julie's. It was the roughest bar . . . ever seen.
ROSENFELD: Really? What was it like?
LONG: Oh my God, it was so dark in there no one really knew what it was like, even the policemen. So I had a chance to buy the building so I bought the building and put them out. That's one way to get rid of a bad neighbor, and then sold the building back. By that time -- Roland's was originally called Penn Deli -- and Roland Pelletier, he married into that family and they originally had a candy store around the corner. A building I did over in 1972 for Mr. Cox, Cox Realty and now it's being done over again, extremely slowly, but extremely with care.
ROSENFELD: Very slowly.
LONG: Very slowly. But the guy who owns it does other work so he just goes over there to work when he doesn't have anything -- but he's done a nice job.
ROSENFELD: But when they put the windows in I thought they were really moving along.
LONG: You know you've been on the Hill for a long time when you see buildings being restored that you had rehabbed.
LONG: I feel that way at Gonzaga -- I built Gonzaga's gym in '76-'77, and then a few years ago I put in a new floor and bleachers and everything, and then this next year I'm going to knock out the back wall and put an extension on it. So, I know I been around there too long.
ROSENFELD: What tied you to Gonzaga so strongly?
LONG: Well I went there -- and I . . .
ROSENFELD: Not everybody gets -- feels so strongly for their high school.
LONG: I think at Gonzaga they do -- I think most Gonzaga graduates have a greater feeling for their high school than for the college or university school they went to. I always tell people it's not for every kid, and it's not for every family, but those that fit will go to the grave loving that institution. But I was . . . I lived on the Hill, I lived on East Capitol Street then, so, and I had my younger brother who was a student there. So I used to go to the PTA meeting and people would say, "My God, how old was that kid when he . . . ?" you know. I would be in line talking to his teachers like everyone else.
ROSENFELD: I bet that gave you a kick.
LONG: Yes -- and that's what got me back into -- and they were in dire need. All the Jesuit colleges and high schools, they realized that times were changing and they needed to have laymen on their board. They always had it all clergy, Board of Trustees. So for some reason I was put on their board in 1970. That was their first lay . . . they had one more vote on the clergy side. But other than that it was an even split. I am the only living member left of that Board. Pat Buchanan's father was on that Board. And he shared a birthday with my father, so they were born in 1905. And so, that got me even more involved. You know the riots were in '68.
LONG: In Gonzaga it was . . . just had a hard time. They just held on by a thread but today they're --
ROSENFELD: It's booming.
LONG: Probably one of the hottest schools in the whole area. They turn away way, way too many kids that have every right to go there. It's hard the other way. It's hard when we didn't have any students, and it's just as hard that we have too many good students who want to go there.
ROSENFELD: When you bought the Hawk and Dove, that was your first restaurant?
LONG: We built it ourselves though.
ROSENFELD: What was nightlife like in . . . on Capitol Hill and in DC at that time?
LONG: We usually closed a half hour earlier than the Tune Inn because, if I sent all my preppy kids out on the sidewalk the time that the Tune Inn ended with all their construction people. (laughter) Speaker McCormack's nephew got beat up one time out there.
ROSENFELD: What about the Marines from the Marine Barracks, they still hung on Eighth Street?
LONG: They had only become a recent problem. Back then I did a lot of Marine business. But they would stay mostly down on Eighth Street. Eighth Street was an assortment of . . . If you told me today that Eighth Street would be the biggest competition to the Hawk and Dove I would be on the floor laughing because it was an assortment of transgender bars, gay bars, I mean there was everything under the world but an ordinary, straight bar. So I never worried about it. [interviewer laughs] But I go down there now and it has a lot of nightlife, a lot of sidewalk traffic down there now. And the other thing is H Street over here by me.
ROSENFELD: H Street, it's amazing.
LONG: I see these girls walking down when I come walking home at night. You know going down there, I mean . . . I'm like . . . maybe I'm getting too old, I don't know. You know. I had the same job all my life for 44 years and so the only thing I judge my getting older are my kids. But my lifestyle and how I live and everything has always been pretty constant. It hadn't varied a lot.
ROSENFELD: Were there other bars that you hung out in on the Hill before you had your own?
LONG: Well I was allowed to go into the Tune Inn, because Joe knew that I was a construction worker but also didn't know that I was a law student. If he had known that I was a law student he would have thrown me out. He didn't allow any . . . any college educated people in there.
ROSENFELD: Well now how did that actually happen, the throwing out part?
LONG: He just wouldn't serve you.
LONG: I mean that . . . it's his granddaughter now. You know they had a big fire recently and . . . opened up this Friday and she did a beautiful job. She is going to have quite the place.
ROSENFELD: Not too beautiful, is it?
LONG: You know, I . . . it almost is. (both laugh) It's very clean.
ROSENFELD: Now you opened in December of '67. April of '68, the riots.
ROSENFELD: How was your block affected?
LONG: We stayed in the building there.
ROSENFELD: First of all, tell me how you knew what was going on? Did you get a phone call, did you hear it on the radio? Do you remember how you . . .
LONG: Yeah, I was at the . . . I was at a restaurant downtown with my first wife . . . it was called the Swiss Chalet, where they had the cheese fondue and that. And we were the only ones there and everybody was scurrying around waiting for us to leave. I didn't know what was going on. And that was down by Seventh Street and New York Avenue. Where the police have . . . one of their buildings there. It used to be one of the old . . .
ROSENFELD: Traffic, I think.
LONG: But in the old days when they had 15 different precincts. Different than they have now, they consolidated them. And that was . . . I forget what number it was. The one on the Hill was number 5. And the one over here in Northeast was number 9. You always said Ninth precinct, Fifth precinct, you know that was like I think Seventh precinct. And I got out of there and I could smell something. You know I thought someone . . . you can smell that there was a fire. Seventh Street was one of the streets that was pretty much destroyed, and I drove back up and Hawk and Dove. I must have been the last person in city to know. The Hawk and Dove was packed. Everybody was watching TV. And I said what's going on here. They said where in the hell have you been? I said I have been out to dinner. They said man don't you listen to the news or anything. I said . . . I had to be the last person in DC to know that there was a riot going on. I still laugh about that. I was in a class . . . taking a class at Holy Cross when President Kennedy was assassinated. And I finished test and went back to my dorm room. The whole campus was empty. I thought I must be missing something.
ROSENFELD: You were.
LONG: Then . . . I did. Then, I walked by the TV room which no one ever used. It was mobbed. What is going on? They said where have you been. I said, taking my exam. They said the President was assassinated. I said, What? And you know, being in New England, and being in Massachusetts, that was a big thing. I was the last one to know about that. So sometimes I come late to history.
ROSENFELD: But you . . . so you went back to the Hawk and it was packed -- weren't you surprised or why were they there?
LONG: Yeah, I mean we were starting to do some business, that was right after . . . we had a very successful St. Patrick's Day in March. So this followed right after. We had painted the sidewalks green and put some shamrocks there and we put . . . there is a poster around here I found in the attic. I will show it to you before I leave. And you can have it for the archive. And . . . Pete Walter of all people. So he put Erin Go Bragh on one part and on the other part he put frig the queen. And so my Italian neighbor at the Tune Inn was furious when he got in. So he called the police. Probably the only time he has ever called the police in his life. Because he never let cops in his bar.
LONG: No, no, and they didn't try to go in either. He was a bookmaker and everything so he was . . . Anyway, they came and got me and brought me downtown and I paid $62.50 for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.
ROSENFELD: For painting the sidewalks?
LONG: Yeah, yeah. And then the next day on the bottom section, across the whole bottom part of the Metro section of the Washington Post it says . . . I'll get out the picture . . . it says something like "DC cops see red in Irish green". And somebody told me that was probably $100,000 worth of advertising. All for $62.50.
ROSENFELD: Pretty good deal.
LONG: That was the start, that was our big . . . but you know back then . . . I celebrate St. Patrick's Day because I told you my mother was born on that day. So, it was a big day in our house. But we were only the second bar in DC to celebrate it. Matt Kane's Little Bit of Ireland, which was across the street from the old Washington Daily News, the lunch tabloid, afternoon tabloid. And Matt was a good friend of mine. He celebrated it but with Clyde's and places like that they thought it was gauche. I mean that would . . . I mean Chinese restaurants celebrate St. Patrick's Day. But anyway . . . I was in a trial one time for a barroom fight.
ROSENFELD: As a witness or a participant?
LONG: As the one being sued. And a question came up, why did I have so much security on this one night when I . . . I testified that I didn't really need it. "Well that was St. Patrick's Day," and Jewish lawyer said to me, "Well what is St. Patrick's Day?" "That is the patron saint of all bar owners. That's the day we get even and compare our bills." And there was priest on the jury panel and he almost fell over laughing. So it goes back . . . don't ever . . . a lawyer should never ask a question he doesn't know the answer. And I won the lawsuit pretty much right off that . . . but no that . . . St. Patrick's Day even today, it still brings a lot of . . .
ROSENFELD: Was . . . were the buildings around you damaged during the riots?
LONG: You know, we stayed there and like I told you, Jimmy Ryan's funeral home was there and use to have a little standard out there, he used to chain to . . . so he could have a funeral . . . he could put it out on the curb so nobody would park there. And so some youths came by and they were breaking that thing loose and they were going to put it through the window of Mr. Parker's Jewelry Store, next door. And we were up in the top of . . . basically we were over the building which at that time was Henry Lange's real estate office. And he had some shotguns in there. We wouldn't . . . so he said let me take care of this. And so he started rattling the guns between the iron bars on the windows and these kids looked up and they saw these three shotguns and they said, Ah ha, ha we won't be back. We are out of here, we're out of here. And so from the Capitol . . . from the Capitol to the Maryland line the two and three hundred block were the only two blocks on Pennsylvania Avenue that didn't suffer some kind of damage. It was amazing. So we slept there that night and by the next morning there was a National Guardsmen fully armed and everything about every ten feet all the way down. Of course by this time a lot of businesses had been hurt.
ROSENFELD: Yeah. When did you meet Marion?
LONG: You know . . . I got involved with them a little when O. Roy Chalk owned the bus company here in the city. Raised the bus prices, I think, a nickel, without asking anybody. And somehow Marion got involved in some . . . but I had gone down to Barbados on a vacation and came back with a Barbadian shirt, a dashiki . . . I was wearing it out in front of the Hawk and Dove and he came by and he said, "What is a white guy wearing a dashiki?" I said, "Because I like the colors and it's comfortable." And he came in for a drink. And that had to have been '68 or '69. And I supported him for the school board.
ROSENFELD: What was your . . . what did you know about DC politics at that point? We had no self-governance. The school board was first thing we were allowed to vote for.
LONG: Well when we started we had yeah . . . when we started we had the three commissioners.
LONG: Then we had an appointed Mayor. They did away with three commissioners but came down to one commissioner, and titled him the mayor. But he was appointed.
ROSENFELD: Walter Washington.
ROSENFELD: Did you have any opinions about this? I mean were you involved in . . . ?
LONG: Well, I mean . . . when I started, our first New Year's Eve was a Saturday night, and we could only serve to midnight on Saturdays. So our very first New Year's Eve everyone was out on the street. We were closed. And then on Sunday we could only serve beer and wine, also to midnight. So I got involved with this restaurant lawyer, Jim O'Donnell. And we went up on the Hill and I think . . . there were two Mississippi guys that were head of District . . . Senate committee and House committee. I think it was Senator Eastland and maybe it was a South Carolina guy who was a head of . . . at the time, it goes way back.
ROSENFELD: It wasn't Broyhill, was it?
LONG: No it wasn't Broyhill. But I will tell you a Broyhill story in a minute. But we went up there and got them to ease the regulations on Saturday night and on Sunday with liquor, because brunch was becoming a big thing. But we didn't want to look like this was all about us. And so we threw in the thing that allowed these mom and pop grocery stores to sell beer on Sunday. Which saved a lot of them. And that was our first big thing and since then we got the weekend hours changed from two to three. We lost our 18 year old drinking, but you know when all places were going to 18 year old, all alcohol, we didn't go for that. I could not see an 18 year old come in order a double martini with an extra olive. I just, you know. And I am the most liberal guy in the world. But beer and wine was fine till you were 21. So . . . but
ROSENFELD: So you were going at it more as a business man.
LONG: Yeah. Yeah, I mean it always amazed me that you have a city of this size which is equal to any congressional district of population and that, you know, you have no one to complain to.
LONG: It really does get frustrating but how they ever let it happen. It just amazes me. I don't think they . . . thought anybody was ever going to live here.
ROSENFELD: That's one of the things that is . . . interesting about your business is that generally speaking the political part of the Hill is separate from the village part of the Hill. The people who live here. There's is not much inter-pollination. But at the bar --
LONG: But you do in the bar business. I mean we do see a lot of Congressmen, some Senators. Even we, though we are on the House side. We see a lot of staffers. But you see a lot of Congressmen and Senators who live on the Hill now. Back then it was very rare. It was very rare that they lived in the city.
ROSENFELD: Sometimes did you have staffers living on the Hill?
LONG: We'd staffers living on the Hill. But I would say, maybe I'm wrong but I would think 50 percent of today's . . . maybe too high a figure. But I would think, I would almost say 50 percent of today's existing Congressmen are one-time staffers. They go back and run for the seat that their boss had.
ROSENFELD: But did they have any . . . they don't think of us as a neighborhood, correct?
LONG: I think more today than they used to. You know, those that choose to live on the Hill they think of us as a neighborhood. But I think . . . I remember the first powerful guy, I can think of that lived on the Hill was Bob Michel.
ROSENFELD: Oh, yeah.
LONG: And he was the minority leader of the Republican Party.
ROSENFELD: Right, I remember him.
LONG: But he was a guy who understood you had to compromise to get things done. So he was. He wouldn't fit into today's crowd.
LONG: But he was a good man. And they used to . . . to share a house with Dan Rostenkowski. And Marty Russo. And the three of them would drive back. They would drop Bob Michel off in Indiana and the other two would go on to Chicago. And they were going to run a . . . they were going to try to defeat him, the Democrats were. And Rostenkowski and Russo went in to see Tip O'Neill and said Bob Michel is our friend. We need him. So Tip withdrew the money for Democratic challenger. Bob Michel was re-elected. Now, you wouldn't hear that today.
ROSENFELD: No, you would not hear that today.
What were you going to tell me about Broyhill? [ed: Joel T. Broyhill was an 11-term (1953–1974) Republican congressman from Arlington, VA. An influential member of the House District Committee, he opposed DC home rule and other measures to increase the authority of city residents to manage their own affairs.]
LONG: Oh, Broyhill. So you were talking about Marion Barry. So later on I supported Marion for Mayor against Walter Washington because Julian Dugas was a one-man person as head of the ABC [Alcoholic Beverage Control] Board. And he had become just unbearable. And corrupt. And so the only way I was going to get him out of there was to get Walter out of there. And Sterling Tucker's AA was a very good friend of mine. So I didn't have to worry. I could mend fences here, and thought it would be fun going with Marion. So, anyway, Marion got elected in very close race . . . 33% against 32% against 31%. Landslides. And I was a big fundraiser. I probably raised -- he told me one time for all donations over $100, I raised 80% of them. Because I convinced the restaurant businesses that he would be good for -- he would be good . . . Walter was not, not with Julian Dugas.
So I got the plum appointment as head of what they called the Armory Board back then -- DC Armory Board, which ran the DC Armory and the [RFK] stadium, and all the things that went on in the stadium. So, it was an inside parking lot there that had all these things and I looked down at the list and all these people you know, all these Republicans were there. So Broyhill was one of them . . .
ROSENFELD: This is the parking lot at the Armory?
LONG: At the stadium.
ROSENFELD: At the stadium.
LONG: It was two inside lots. Three, no not three . . . five . . . four or five.
ROSENFELD: This when the Redskins were still there.
LONG: Right, right. And I saw Broyhill's name on there. So, I took away his parking tickets. He called me up.
ROSENFELD: You mean his parking place.
LONG: Yeah, right, right. His reserved parking. He called me up and said, "Do you know who I am?" I said, "Absolutely," I said, "that's why I am taking away your parking." I said, "You have been dumping on the city for years, and now we are going to dump on you." I was a little young and a little . . .
ROSENFELD: Did he laugh?
ROSENFELD: He did?
LONG: To the victor goes the spoils.
ROSENFELD: Did anything bad happen after that?
LONG: No, no, he . . . he wasn't in there too much longer.
ROSENFELD: Yeah, he got defeated. Ultimately.
ROSENFELD: So tell me why the Hawk closed.
LONG: Well the Hawk closed because. I mean my former business partner.
ROSENFELD: This is Michael Lange.
LONG: He became my landlord with his sister and brother-in-law, they inherited the building.
ROSENFELD: You didn't own the . . .
LONG: I didn't own the building.
ROSENFELD: You never owned the building.
LONG: I had a deal, Mike and I had a deal with his father. To buy the buildings early on, and he died. So . . . Michael's thing was, well if I'm going to inherit half, why shouldn't I just buy half.
LONG: I probably paid for the building three or four times in the 44 years of rent.
ROSENFELD: So, you were in effect paying your partner rent, but he wasn't your partner . . . did he stop being your partner? So you owned the business, but he owned the building?
LONG: Right. Then he wasn't going to give me a long-term lease because then he knew I could sell it.
END OF TAPE 1/SIDE 2
TAPE 2/SIDE 1
ROSENFELD: So, for a couple of years you had the sense that he wanted you to go away?
LONG: Ah, yeah, probably. But I wasn't interested in leaving. But a . . .
ROSENFELD: Where is he?
LONG: He lives down in, either north Florida or Atlanta. I really don't have anything to do with him.
ROSENFELD: Uh-huh. And so the last deal was . . .. he was going to raise the rent.
LONG: Yeah, well, they did raise the rent and I paid it for a year, but we couldn't afford to keep it at . . . so we lowered it then . . .
ROSENFELD: What was the rent?
LONG: Money wise? At one point $15,000 a month.
ROSENFELD: $15,000 a month?
ROSENFELD: That's a lot.
LONG: Yeah, and we are a neighborhood place. We charge neighborhood prices. We just couldn't, you know . . .
ROSENFELD: And you had roughly how many employees? 12?
LONG: No, no. In the 30s.
LONG: That's how many I had . . . six people had been with me over 35 years and six have been with me over 25 years. So I had 12 people, really a long term. In an industry where two years at a place would be considered the norm. The norm.
ROSENFELD: Yeah, you almost got to the Sherrill's bakery vintage.
LONG: Yeah, my three daytime waitresses have been with me forever. Linda, Trisha and Denise, yeah.
ROSENFELD: What are their last names?
LONG: It's funny because Trisha's mother was one of the Sherrill's Bakery waitresses.
ROSENFELD: Oh really.
LONG: Trish Vonseca, Denise Morose, and
ROSENFELD: How do you spell Morose
LONG: M-O-R-O-S-E. And Linda . . . oh I'll think of it now. She . . . I forgot her last name. She would shoot me. But anyway. I think Linda is going to go over to the Tune Inn.
LONG: Trisha is working on some health problems. Denise's husband retired, so she lives way down in Deale. So . . .
ROSENFELD: So she going to retire? How about your night bartender?
LONG: Edgar . . . Edgar is working down in Southwest. I might get him a job with Clyde's.
ROSENFELD: What about the cooks?
LONG: The chef is going to the Tune Inn for a while, to see what happens. He lives in this building. I got him -- I arranged . . . he bought a condo here. The first time he has ever owned anything. He's loving it.
LONG: So . . .
ROSENFELD: So, how many buildings do you own right now?
LONG: I own . . . three commercial buildings in the 200 block. 209, 211 and 213 so. They have Gandel's in them and the Recess Café and all that office space up above. I sort of bought them as a protection in case I ever wanted to reopen, to move. Which, I have some health problems too so if I am able to overcome them I might have enough energy. The oldest tavern that I could think of on Capitol Hill was a tavern where the Supreme Court used to meet when they only had five members and they would come to the city by horse or carriage.
ROSENFELD: Where was that?
LONG: It was over on . . . I got to find out the exact location of it. But they would stay in rooms above the pub and they would hold sessions in the pub. This is . . . 1778 or thereabouts. And the name of the pub was called the Long's Tavern.
LONG: Yes. So If I do, do a place I am going to put since 1778. That way I get all the tourists from Iowa and Nebraska, they will come in.
ROSENFELD: Do you want them?
LONG: Oh, yeah, because tours come in at 2 o'clock they know better than to come in at lunch time.
LONG: They come in the off hours.
ROSENFELD: So they get . . .
LONG: They know . . ..whatever. Three generations and . . . old Paul [Meagher] used to love it. You know, he would always talk to them. Somehow we got into some French travel book, this summer. And some days everyone . . . no one in the whole restaurant spoke English. I had a few people that spoke French, but they would just point the things on the menu. They loved it.
ROSENFELD: (laughter) I didn't know that.
LONG: (laughter) No, they loved the place. So, there are a lot of things that happened in the Hawk and Dove. I mean there was a Russian drop off place one time and, you know . . .
ROSENFELD: What do you mean a Russian drop off . . . do you mean like . . . ?
LONG: Was being used for a spy thing, they would drop things off at the Hawk and they would . . .
ROSENFELD: How did you know that?
LONG: Oh, the guy got arrested, you know, yeah . . . we had a lot of stuff to go on in there, I mean . . . Justice Douglas was a regular customer of ours because we had this beautiful waitress who was working for us and he had a liking to her, you know . . .
ROSENFELD: She didn't . . . one of his wives did she?
LONG: Now he was still married at the time, but that didn't ever bother him. He was a very interesting guy. I would sit down and have lunch with him. So I asked him for a signed autograph one time. He said no problem. He said I would love to do it for you Stuart. He said I give them out at seven o'clock Monday morning. Needless to say I never got one. But that was his way of saying, if you really want it, come see me at seven, Monday. He was a very interesting person.
ROSENFELD: Did he pay in cash, I guess everybody paid in cash. In the beginning, right?
ROSENFELD: When did the shift to credit cards begin?
LONG: Well when we opened with credit cards. But, you know, back then it was only American Express and . . .
ROSENFELD: Diners Club?
LONG: No, Carte Blanche, there were cards that don't even exist anymore.
LONG: I mean then it got to a point where, all the business was credit card. I . . . saved cash to be able to pay my service people their tips.
ROSENFELD: How were your relations with the local police?
LONG: Oh, they have always been very good. Always. In one of my jobs as . . . one of my political jobs was chairman of the police and fireman meritorious committee. So, I use to give out the gold and silver medals -- unlike the Tune Inn. Of course now the granddaughter who's running the Tune Inn, Lisa. She is married to a homicide detective. So she has very good . . . there are more cops that are in there on some days than there are anybody. But I am sure the grandfather is spinning in his grave for all those cops at the bar. But, no I've always have had . . . you know, I've always had good luck with city services. Police department, fire department, trash pickup, you know people complain about municipal services and now with this BID [Business Improvement District] thing. I was the only one that cleaned the Avenue. I was the only one that swept the gutter and the tree boxes and mulched them and the 200 block and the 300 block. When they started that BID thing, man, I was the first one to sign up. I took a whole big bunch of junk and I threw it in the door way of what is now the Pour House. And the guy came down and said, "What is this all about?" I said, "Well, this is your trash. And you don't pick it up and I'm helping you by putting it all in one spot. Now you can have somebody come up and put it in a . . .". He said, "Are you telling me I should do a better job?" "I am tired of picking up your trash because you know, it doesn't matter if the front of the Hawk and Dove is clean and the rest of the block is so . . .". That's a huge improvement.
ROSENFELD: When did the sidewalk café go in?
LONG: I got the very first sidewalk café but I was turned down and Marion was the mayor. I've got to think back. Linda Small was one of my waitress's name. And I was turned down the first time and showed Marion the decision of public space committee. They said there would not be room for the illegal street vendors. Illegal, the used the . . . they used to have the perfume thing out there. They used to have a fruit stand out there.
ROSENFELD: Yep, yep.
LONG: And they sold umbrellas, so I couldn't do a legal sidewalk café because they would not have room for illegal. And Marion said how could anybody be dumb enough to even write that. So he said, put in another application you will get it this time. So when I finally got it, my waitress, Linda Small called -- named it "Stu's Folly".
LONG: Because she . . . because we had a lot of homeless people and she said, no one . . . this won't last a season. Now if you start around the corner on Second Street with Pete's Café and that little place, there is two there. And the Recess Café is three or four, I mean, there is 20 of them. Fifteen to 20. And it brings life to . . . it brings life to the Avenue. You know when tourists come by and they see that the patio is full they -- I have 26 seats out there and I guarantee that sometimes I would do as much business in 26 seats as I would do in the 200 inside.
LONG: Because it was busy all day, all afternoon, all night.
ROSENFELD: Well of course, it's weather dependent.
LONG: It's always weather dependent. I know, but boy. No . . . I pulled out that article when it was the anniversary of the very first. It was Bassin's downtown.
ROSENFELD: Oh, yeah.
LONG: And the arguments made against it, you know from the health department. It would be unhealthy. You would have food outside in the air. I mean . . . you would just read them now and it is almost laughable. But a . . .
ROSENFELD: Well a lot has changed?
LONG: Yes. But I think sidewalk cafés are just the best change, best material change I can think of that, you know . . . and the whole city.
ROSENFELD: Isn't there a business on that block, the . . . a wig store?
ROSENFELD: We have always wondered how does a wig store stay in business?
LONG: It used to be where the old Italian shoemaker was. And he owned that very little building, it's a very narrow building.
LONG: Tony and his wife used to live upstairs. God, that was funny.
LONG: I had a chance to buy that building but by the time you put the stairwell in, there is very little left of the building. I should of bought it but I didn't. But, oh my God, that wig store, I got to wonder how purple and pink and chartreuse . . . somehow she pays the rent. I don't know how.
ROSENFELD: It's a . . . it's become a landmark. I have never, ever been in there.
LONG: No, it a . . .
ROSENFELD: I've been to the notary public quite a lot.
LONG: Yeah, Mary.
ROSENFELD: She's a character.
LONG: She owns the building and she's getting ready to sell it.
ROSENFELD: Is she?
LONG: Yeah, yeah. So . . .
ROSENFELD: Is she going to retire?
ROSENFELD: Oh no.
LONG: She wrote an article about Gonzaga in the paper one time. She got hold of them, she wanted to do something for them. I don't know whatever followed through on it. But . . .
ROSENFELD: Well, she has a picture of Kennedy on her wall.
LONG: Really? Yeah. She is very funny.
ROSENFELD: I don't know what I will do when she . . . if she is not there.
LONG: You have to go to the bank. See Margaret.
ROSENFELD: Which bank?
LONG: National Capitol. Margaret started as a teller at the Eastern Building Association, that was the original. She's been in one of those two buildings for over 40 years.
ROSENFELD: Wow. Are there any buildings you wish you had bought?
LONG: Yeah, I should have bought Jimmy Ryan's Funeral Home. We got beat out on the building that the Donohoes had their Ford agency in the 200 block. That was an automobile distributorship. Ralph Nader and his brother bought it, they were two meanest people in the world.
LONG: Oh, yeah.
ROSENFELD: When was this ?
LONG: Oh, that must have been about ten years ago. How time flies. But that's the big building that Firehook is in.
ROSENFELD: Oh, yeah.
LONG: And the Chinese restaurant. And if you look at the building the very top is a "D". And that's where Donohoe . . . they used to have a . . . in the side thing was a . . . elevator drove the cars to the roof. The FBI used that building for years for storing evidence.
LONG: Uh-huh. . . . we added nothing to the block. The building that I thought that I did buy was a corner buildings on the 200 block where Bank of America is now.
LONG: And the building next to that. And Tommy Owen of Perpetual put it up for bid and I bid like . . . $1.9 million and Madison Bank, they bid a million three and called me up and wanted to know if we were bidding on the same building, I was so far out of line. So I called up Tommy and asked when we were going to settle and he said you didn't even get it. And I had a master lease on the buildings next door, where Bubbles is and I had a master lease on that. And then I did that building over and put all those tenants in there. So, when that expired . . . this old man his name is Mr. Zlotnic, he weighed about as much as he was old. Both in the 80's. And he went back to my tenants and he figured out how much I could . . . the highest bid that I could . . . he got a hold of all their rents. I don't how he got it out of them. But he beat me out on that. I would have loved to have . . . because that would have given me the whole corner. That would have given me the corner, down to Gandel's.
LONG: The building that I did own, the five buildings that I did own, I wish I had never sold. The Presidential across the street, 400 Seward Square, 404, 408 and 220, and 222 Fourth Street.
ROSENFELD: You owned all of those buildings.
LONG: Yeah. I owned them with Pegonis. He used to drive me crazy about them. When the furnace went down, and this and that, so I finally just got out and gave them to . . . he makes, they make a fortune off those buildings.
ROSENFELD: So you sold them all. You sold your interest to him?
LONG: What was really hurting me is when my office above the Hawk and Dove, I would look out at them, all those buildings all the time I . . . oh God.
ROSENFELD: Well, that's show biz, right?
LONG: You can't look back.
ROSENFELD: No, you can't look back. Well, I think we should end now.
|END OF INTERVIEW|
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This interview transcript is the property of the Ruth Ann Overbeck