Before Cafe Toulouse was Cafe Toulouse, it was Cafe Lautrec. And then a few other iterations in between. However, it's been closed for the last eight(?) years. Only the colorful approximation of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's poster painting of Aristide Bruant on the building front has kept it from looking like any other abandoned property.
This weekend, work began to convert the old bar/club into a new restaurant by the owners of nearby Sakuramen. Apparently the owners of Sakuramen would rather paint over the mural, which seems like a terribly shortsighted idea. Luckily, it looks as if the artwork will remain for now. And I'm stoked on Sakuramen's food, so I trust whatever the owners have up their culinary sleeves. I'll provide updates as they come.
The new restaurant will be located at 2431 18th Street NW.