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Hill Community Rushes to Frager’s Rescue

The venerable Capitol Hill store is now only a shell of its former self.

Frager's Hardware was damaged by a four-alarm fire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.)
Frager’s Hardware was damaged by a four-alarm fire Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

But the can-do spirit at the heart of Frager’s Hardware is not only alive and well, it’s rapidly spreading to concerned neighbors hoping to provide displaced workers with immediate relief.

Restaurateurs Spike Mendelsohn, the chef/owner of Good Stuff Eatery, We, the Pizza and the forthcoming Bearnaise, and Fred Herrmann, co-owner of the burgeoning Matchbox Food Group, have both vowed to find any interested Frager’s staff appropriate positions within their dining empires.

“Frager’s people have hospitality and that’s what I need,” Herrmann told HOH. “It’s a natural fit.”

Herrmann stressed that the retail vets would still need to go through a standard hiring process. But with three properties right on Barracks Row, and a new Ted’s Bulletin just weeks away from opening on 14th Street Northwest, Herrmann seemed confident there would be plenty of work to go around.

A Mendelsohn aide declined to specify exactly how many temporary positions they planned to carve out but suggested the goal was to help get everyone back on their feet.

“With a very busy season beginning, we only have room to grow,” Mendelsohn’s spokeswoman Jordyn Lazar told HOH. “Frager’s is a Capitol Hill institution, and we all need to rally together while they recover and rebuild.”

Local residents, meanwhile, have launched an online fundraiser (goal: $100,000) designed to speed recovery efforts. As of Thursday afternoon, the donations had topped $22,000, with two weeks still to go.

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