Proud Boys' D.C. Plans Scuppered as Hotel Harrington Closes Before Rally

Washington D.C.'s oldest hotel that has become popular with the far-right Proud Boys group says it will close its doors for three days in early January, when thousands of pro-Trump supporters are set to visit the capital for a last-ditch MAGA rally.

President Donald Trump has encouraged "wild" protests in Washington D.C. on January 6, the day Congress is set to certify Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.

But some of his supporters may have lost their hotel reservations after Hotel Harrington, located just a few blocks from the White House, issued a statement on Monday saying it would be closed on January 4, 5 and 6.

The hotel's move came after The Washington Post reported that the Proud Boys, a white supremacist group known for inciting violent clashes with opponents at rallies, had made the Harrington their "unofficial headquarters" in the capital.

Several hundred Proud Boys stayed at the hotel while in town for a December 12 protest against the election results, according to the Post. Many of them spent that afternoon drinking and chanting in front of the hotel, while other members drank on the outdoor patio of the hotel's bar, Harry's.

The bar has been cited three times in the past three months for violating social distancing and mask requirements. According to The Post, those all occurred on weekends when Proud Boys and other Trump supporters were in the bar.

Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the Proud Boys, told the newspaper that the group's members have stayed at the hotel and patronized Harry's because the businesses are in close proximity to the White House and the Trump hotel.

Tarrio said the intersection outside the hotel is still a gathering point for the group, but Harry's is too small to accommodate their large numbers.

The Post reported that the "repeated and growing presence" of Proud Boys at the hotel and bar had unnerved some workers (many are Black or Hispanic) and guests. "It's sad that they feel so comfortable here because obviously nobody who works here supports this stuff," one longtime employee told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Tarrio said members would not stay at the hotel or drink at Harry's if they were not welcome.

The bar will reportedly be closed on January 6. And the hotel's statement on Monday appears to indicate that keeping Proud Boys away is the reason for the closure.

"Washington, D.C. has been our home for 106 years and we join with all of our guests, visitors, staff and neighbors in our concern and desire for everyone's health and safety," it said.

"We greatly appreciate the trust our guests have placed in Hotel Harrington over the years and we wish to continue to earn that trust. While we cannot control what happens outside of the hotel, we are taking additional steps to protect the safety of our visitors, guests and employees."

The hotel said refunds would be issued for all pre-paid reservations.

Hotel Harrington have been contacted for additional comment. Tarrio could not immediately be reached for additional comment.

Proud boys
Members of the Proud Boys gather outside of Harry's bar during a protest on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images