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Pretty much everything at Shaw bar Lost & Found is literally lost and found. Rusty license plates, a random collection of vinyl, old street signs, and forgotten black and white photos have all been recycled to help decorate the place. “It was either going to be Lost & Found or Bulk Trash,” says co-owner Geoff Dawson, who also operates Buffalo Billiards, Iron Horse Taproom, Nanny O’Brien’s, and other bars.
But Dawson and co-owner Brian Leonard don’t just want their junk; they want your junk. So when the bar opens later this week (if final inspections go as planned), patrons will be able to bring in things like bar stools, yard sticks, records, or old class photos from Woodrow Wilson High School (Dawson’s alma mater) and trade them for free drink tickets.
“We’re going to have sort of a call to action board,” Dawson says. “We’re going to look for things as we decide we need them and put it up on the board. And if you’re sitting here and you go, ‘I’ve got one of those,’ bring it in and trade, and we’ll have an established price for it.”
The bar has a whole set of brand new bar stools right now, but eventually, Dawson would like to move them to another bar and completely replace them with bartered seats. “We’d like to have a night where we have a guy like the Antiques Roadshow guy be like, ‘Your bar stool is worth seven drink tickets!'” he says. “And then you can come in and say, ‘That’s my seat.'”
Lost & Found also plans to have an “analog blog”—a typewriter and a bulletin board. Dawson has amassed nearly a dozen ancient typing machines and plans to leave a couple of them out for bargoers to use. “You come in and type your blog post, and we’ll put it up on the board,” Dawson says. “Like all blogs, it will just get covered up with other blog posts.” Another idea: Dawson would like to leave out stationery and put up a sign that says “write a letter to your mom.”
The drink menu will include 24 beers (at least half of them local), six classic cocktails, and a limited wine selection. Hungry? The bar will have an “extensive snack collection” plus pre-made sandwiches, hummus, and veggie platters brought in from Carving Room. Guests can also bring their own food. (Sundevich is just around the corner!)
Happy hour will go Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. with $2 off beer and wine. There will also be a “bring your own vinyl” happy hour so patrons can play their own music. And if you’re lucky, you might be able to trade your collection for beers at the end of the night.
Lost & Found, 1240 9th St. NW
Photos by Jessica Sidman