Scripps Howard News Service is now carrying a story about the closing of Fran's that sheds some light on the possible points of conflict between Fran's and Hilton:
"For strictly business reasons related solely to the inability to reach a new lease arrangement, the Capital Hilton has elected to terminate the lease," hotel general manager Brian Kelleher said in an e-mailed statement.[Background on the Fran O'Brien's story here.]
Fran's _which is co-owned by Marty O'Brien, a son of the famed Washington Redskin for whom the upscale establishment is named, and Hal Koster, a veteran of three Vietnam tours _ sees things differently.
They say Hilton balked at their request to install an elevator that would make it easier for the vets on crutches and in wheelchairs to reach the restaurant, now accessible only by as many as 20 steps. Some allies of Fran's suspect that Hilton also soured on the arrangement because of the added liability the hotel might face by having so many disabled people on premises.