Patrons to take home pub mementos

Before Froggy Bottom Pub relocates in April, owner Hien Bui said she will hand off pieces of its history – signs for pho and pizza, cricket scoreboards and postcards – to the patrons she’s grown close to over the last 13 years.

Before the campus landmark moves to 2021 K St. Bui will auction off more than 100 pictures and signs that hang on the pub’s walls. Cash from the sales will raise money for local veterans and the homeless.

“I love them so much. I appreciate their service,” said Bui, who holds an open house for former soldiers every year on Veteran’s Day. “I appreciate them. I don’t make them feel like they’re different from anybody else. I make them feel like they’re glad that they’re home. I respect them.”

Bui said she will bring just a few pots and pans, and maybe a few photos of her favorite customers, to the new address. She will sell some items, like signs for beer and posters of the menu, on eBay for about $2 each. The pub will also sell $10 glasses that typically serve house beer, allowing customers to keep the mugs with the signature green Froggy logo.

Bui will hold the invite-only auction and gathering on April 28, a few days before the move. All proceeds will go to Joseph’s house, a hospice home for the homeless, and VietNow, an organization for veterans and their families.

“The people who are going to come that day are the people who have been engaged with the pub for the last at least four or five years,” Bui said. “It will be very intimate. We should be able to talk – be able to share some memories before we leave the place.”

The University owns seven properties along the 2100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue that will be torn down to make way for a new office building over the next year or two. The D.C. Zoning Commission greenlighted the project Monday.

Bui was born in Vietnam and lived in France for several years before coming to the U.S. in 1982. She and her husband, Hoang Bui, took out a loan on their home and borrowed money from friends to buy the decades-old college bar in 1999. At the time, they had less than $10,000 in their savings account.

Bui said she wanted to send the money along to a veterans organization because the U.S. has given her family “so much.”

Class of 2011 graduate Jason Lifton called the pub his “first kitchen” as an undergraduate. Now a graduate student at GW, he said he still frequents Froggy twice a week.

He said Bui often works with the University’s Office of Veterans Services and veteran student organizations.

“Everyone likes to have that home away from home, and she’s really become that comfortable place for veterans,” he said. “She’s always going out of her way to support student veterans and the veteran community as a whole.”

The Buis originally planned for the pub to leave its Pennsylvania Avenue home on Feb. 1, but reservations with tour groups put off the move to late April, she said.

The new location, which will feature the bar and restaurant in one spot, with about 30 seats outside under a veranda. Bui said many locals have shared their excitement about the new place – which will offer the same menu and cheap beer prices.

“They know we’ll be there, and no matter what – new place, old place – we’ll still be there. It’s still the same. We still welcome the veterans every year. It won’t be any different,” Bui said.

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