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Stoney’s Bar and Grill celebrates its 45th anniversary today, just as it’s getting ready to open a second, more modern location in the West End.

Fun fact: Stoney’s is a combination of the first names of original owners Steve Papageorge and Tony Harris. The restaurant first opened on May 1, 1968 at 1307 L St. NW and moved to its Logan Circle address in 2006. Harris is still a partner in the business; Papageorge departed decades ago to Florida. Opening in the wake of the D.C. riots, the place was known as a hub for Secret Service, lobbyists, hookers, bureaucrats, and newspaper reporters. “I always thought Stoney’s was a reality TV show before reality TV,” Harris says.

But the restaurant’s new digs in an office building at 2101 L St. NW (previously home to Litestars) may not have the same gritty character. “It will be modern decor,” Harris says. “It won’t be as divey, let’s put it that way.” He’s hoping to have the restaurant open by Oct. 1.

Expect a similar menu with a few additions. And most importantly, the famous super grilled cheese isn’t going anywhere.

In the meantime, celebrate the 45th anniversary today at the Logan Circle locale with free grilled cheese samples all day and night plus trivia (with a special round about cheese) at 8 p.m. at the upstairs bar.

Photo of Tony Harris by Darrow Montgomery