The Proud Boys will need a new DC gathering spot if they come to town on January 6, as Donald Trump has urged his supporters to do. The Hotel Harrington will be closed on January 4, 5, and 6. Harry’s, the bar on its first floor, will be closed on the 5th and 6th.
The hotel did not say why it’s closing for those days, but the Proud Boys and other Trump supporters instigated a chaotic, violent scene downtown during the last pro-Trump protest in December. “While we cannot control what happens outside of the hotel,” the Harrington wrote in a statement, “we are taking additional steps to protect the safety of our visitors, guests and employees.”
In the past, the hotel and bar (which are separately owned and operated) haven’t had much to say about their growing associations with the Proud Boys. Before the December 12 violence, the hotel’s managing director, Ann Terry, distanced her business from Harry’s, which, in addition to being a hub for the Proud Boys, has repeatedly violated Covid safety restrictions. “It’s Harry’s responsibility,” she told Washingtonian. “I really don’t keep up with it a lot. We don’t play any part in running things.” As for the potential impact on the hotel’s reputation: “It’s not something we can control, really.” Terry referred further questions to Harry’s owner John Boyle, who didn’t reply to emails or calls.
Boyle recently told DCist that large crowds have made it hard to adhere to the Covid rules. The bar closed early during the last Trump protests. Boyle said that Harry’s has always served “all groups,” adding that “we don’t ask people who they voted for or what kind of hat they’re wearing. They walk in the door, we smile, and we seat them and serve them. We don’t discriminate against anybody.”
The announcement of the decision to close during the Trump protest came just a day after the Washington Post published an article about the hotel and bar’s increasing reputation as a favorite of violent right-wing extremists.
DC's Hotel Harrington, a popular spot for Proud Boys, says it'll be closed on Jan 6 — the same day as a last-ditch MAGA rally to stop Congress from counting electoral votes. Angry Trump supporters who lost room reservations are fuming on The Donald. pic.twitter.com/Q2rEMlVsjY
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) December 29, 2020