Not Just Any Restaurant Closing
For the past 2 1/2 years, O'Brien and business partner Hal Koster have made their thick steak dinners and a night of bottomless drinks one of the rites of passage for the [severely injured] soldiers [from Walter Reed hospital] who are steeling themselves for their postwar lives in wheelchairs or with prosthetic limbs.
They come to the subterranean restaurant, at the corner of 16th and L streets NW in the basement of the Capital Hilton, in volunteer's vans and trucks. They're carefully wheeled down the stairs or slowly negotiate the steps on crutches. It has become a tradition so beloved among veterans that Garry Trudeau featured the dinners in his Doonesbury comic strip.
Tags: Fran O'Briens, Veterans, Walter Reed