It's the last call for a Northeast D.C. landmark. After 32 years in business, Colonel Brooks' Tavern in Brookland is shutting down to make way for new development.
Dozens of people packed the rustic tavern with hugs, laughter and tears flowing.
For decades, the Northeast staple on the corner of 9th and Monroe Streets has been the unofficial center of the neighborhood. It's a laid back place where an eclectic mix of people gathered for a good time.
Tom Hanson, a long-time customer says, "I was in the medical profession, and you had lawyers, garbage collectors and all sorts of people, and everybody felt the same."
Hanson came from his new home in the Dominican Republic to say goodbye. He's not alone. Vernelle Nelson came back from Florida. Five generations of her family have been coming to the tavern since it opened.
"It's like that TV show ‘Cheers.' Everybody knows your name," says Nelson.
The owner of Colonel Brooks' Tavern is shutting down the business to make way for a $50 million development. It will have more than 200 apartments and some retail space. It's part of a building boom in the community.
Gary Stanton is a manager at Colonel Brooks' Tavern. He says the change is inevitable.
"You look all around us and all the developments are going on around us," says Stanton. "I'm sad it's getting ready to go because I'm going to miss it."
Stanton has been working at the tavern for 13 years. He says another restaurant will take the tavern's place, but he's not sure if he'll be part of the new business.
Felipe Jose has lived in Brookland his whole life. He remembers when Colonel Brooks' Tavern opened and was one of its original customers. He says a new tavern won't be the same.
"The only thing we can hope is that it comes around, and it becomes in another couple of years another good place," Jose says.
Some say they aren't surprised by the closure. Colonel Brooks' Tavern had struggled to return to normal since a brutal triple murder nine years ago. In April 2003, a robbery ended with three employees being shot execution style in a walk-in freezer. The dark chapter of the murders is one customers say they would like to wipe away from the tavern's history.
On this last night, they are celebrating the business that defined the community, the lasting friendships forged and the beautiful memories that will live on.