A moment of silence for the closing of a happy hour legend

Beloved reader(s), the Mayflower Hotel’s Town and Country bar is closing. This is the saddest of news. The Mayflower Hotel, nicknamed the “Grand Dame” of DC hotels, is a local legend. Truman stayed there during the White House renovations, FDR  wrote his inaugural address there, Lewinsky stayed there during the Clinton scandal, and, most recently, Spitzer was caught with a hooker there. It is the spirit and the scandal of Washington, and the Town and Country is nothing less.

The buck stops at the Mayflower

I have been to the Town and Country countless times and it is exactly what you picture a DC politico bar to be: dark wood, big comfy leather chairs and couches, low light, and huge glasses of wine. You can spend your time chatting with friends or simply people-watching for someone famous in a shadowy corner. They also give you a complementary bowls of nuts and fancy pretzels to snack on, which for a poor SPY with a low alcohol tolerance, is a necessity. It is an ideal post-work relaxation spot, attended by all ages.

The Town and Country

Town and Country’s bartender, Sam Lek, has also achieved local fame. According to USA Today, he was  profiled by Esquire in October, his cocktail recipes featured in the New York Times, was named a Washington Post bartender of the month, and runs a charity, Sam Relief, for his home country of Cambodia. He has worked at Town and Country for 35 years and in the wake of its closing, he has said the bar was his life.

Sam Lek courtesy of City's Best

Apparently, Sam will still work for the Mayflower but at a different place. The Town and Country will be replaced by Thomas Pink, a clothing retailer, and maybe something else. It is part of a huge Mayflower renovation plan. I don’t have any comment on the merits of this plan, but T&C, you will be missed.

The bar reportedly closes on January 15, 2011.

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