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Exploring the Lost History of Warwick’s Saloon at 13th and Penn

Join us as we explore the lost history of Warwick's Saloon, formerly located at 13th and Penn in Washington, DC. We'll take a look at the bar, the billiard room, and the interesting story of a Secret Service raid.
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Let’s do a little lost history again and dig into the old saloon history of our city. We found a great photo of an old saloon called Warwick’s, formerly located at 13th and Penn. Take a look at it below.

At the bar at Warwick's Cafe, 13th St., NW near Pennsylvania Ave., 1894
At the bar at Warwick’s Cafe, 13th St., NW near Pennsylvania Ave., 1894

Randolph T. Warwick owned an eponymously monikered establishment at 415 13th St. NW. The saloon has a bar, as shown above, and the second floor of the building held a billiard room. The bar opened after a partnership agreement was entered into on November 14th, 1892 to carry on a “saloon and liquor business” on 13th St. As a side note, the lease for the property cost a whopping $175 a month, which wasn’t cheap.

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An interesting story we dug up on the establishment was from an article in The Washington Post from March 7th, 1897, detailing a raid by the Secret Service who seized an oil painting due to it closely resembling existing currency. According to the article, around 5 o’clock, two detectives entered the saloon and began questioning Mr. Warwick. Randolph. Initially he wasn’t clear who the men were and began joking around with them, until they identified themselves. At that point, Warwick decided it was best to acquiesce to their request to seize the painting, or risk being arrested.

Take a look below at the 1903 map of where Warwick’s was located. You can see it near the top left of the image, marked as lot 17 in square 291.

1903 map of 13th and Pennsylvania Ave.
1903 map of 13th and Pennsylvania Ave.
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