David Stephens spent six years as a nuclear electronics technician in the Navy before getting into professional poker. In the World Series of Poker last year, he placed 45th, earning him more than $185,000. Now, he’s using some of that money to open a bar tentatively called Saloon 45 at 1821 18th St. NW, next door to Bar Charley. The name, as you might guess, is a nod to his poker ranking. “Lots of Navy poker games, lots of training,” he says.
The bar, located in a former flower shop, will be a low-key kind of place that focuses on craft beer, plus a small selection of wines and cocktails. Because the place is so small, Stephens won’t have a kitchen. But there will still be some food, like prosciutto, olives, or other small snacks. He also plans to convert the back parking lot into a patio, giving the bar around 40 seats outside and another 40 inside.
“It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do,” Stephens says. “I’ve been planning this since I was in the Navy.”
He anticipates the bar will open late this year or early next.