Heard on the Hill

Cups is back in session!
We can all return to our regularly scheduled programming

Cups & Company reopens in the Russell Senate Office Building on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Our long caffeine-less nightmare has ended: Cups is finally open again.

After several weeks of staffers being without their favorite cup of joe in the Russell Senate Office Building basement, Cups & Company overflowed Friday morning with coffee and prepped food refugees from around the Capitol. 

Rep. Ann Wagner’s ‘Big House Brew’ wins big at annual beer competition
Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s One Eye-PA won the popularity contest

Rep. Ann Wagner won Anheuser Busch's annual Brew Across America competition. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The results are in: Brews are definitely beer-partisan

The big winner at Wednesday’s second annual Brew Across America was Missouri Republican Rep. Ann Wagner with her “Big House Brew,” which might have had a home-state advantage.

If you want to get to the GOP retreat, you have to get through Kathryn Lyons first
The road to Baltimore goes through Heard on the Hill

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole shows off his reading materials for Thursday’s bus ride to the House Republicans’ retreat in Baltimore. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Eastern Market can haz ‘Eat Brgz’
Concept burger shop stretches boundaries with custom menu

Eat Brgz owner Brandon Gaynor discusses with Heard on the Hill his take on burgers and milkshakes. (Nathan Ouellette/CQ Roll Call)

Brandon Gaynor didn’t completely know the “how” behind opening a restaurant, but he had a good feeling about the “when.”

The launch of his Eastern Market burger shop during August recess “allowed us a little bit of a ramp-up period,” the former investment analyst-turned-restaurateur told me as we sat down in his new joint at 250 7th Street SE.

Have it your way: Eat Brgz makes patties personal

Brandon Gaynor, owner of Eat Brgz, plates a burger for CQ Roll Call's Heard on the Hill Reporter, Kathryn Lyons. (Nathan Ouellette/CQ Roll Call)

Veganism – a touchy Hill subject
We talk to an expert about it

Bruce, Sen. Roy Blunt’s bearded dragon, poses for a picture in Russell Building last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Photos go out every Tuesday on Sen. Roy Blunt’s Instagram account with the hashtag #TuesdayBruceDay.

Ugly Gerry wants you to know the ‘ugly’ truth about gerrymandering
Two guys in Chicago are drawing their weapons in D.C. politics

Gerrymandering activists gather on the steps of the Supreme Court as the court prepares to hear the Benisek v. Lamone case on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ben Doessel is “not a huge picture guy,” he told me when I asked if he had any photos with his creative partner — and the other guy behind Ugly Gerry — James Lee.

But pictures of oddly-shaped congressional districts? He has twenty-six of those.

Tearing up the rules with puppets and Hendrix: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 29, 2019

Chairman Lindsey Graham waits for the start of a Senate Judiciary Committee markup of the Secure and Protect Act of 2019 on August 1, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators made their exit from D.C. for the August recess this week, but not before tearing up the Senate Judiciary Committee rulebook, making carpe diem puns and dressing up in matching outfits.

Watch: Staffers leap from the Hill to the improv stage
Heard on the Hill crashes improv rehearsal with a few staffers

Sam Schifrin and Geoff Corey, center, dive into an improv scene on Monday. Washington Improv Theater Executive Director Mark Chalfant is seen at right. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Why D.C. isn’t too uptight for improv
From the Capitol to K Street, staffers are saying ‘yes, and…’

Sam Schifrin and Geoff Corey, center, dive into an improv scene on Monday. Washington Improv Theater Executive Director Mark Chalfant is seen at right. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Inside a bare room with concrete walls, they walk toward each other and lock eyes. “Johnny!” one shouts. “Stacy — did it happen?” the other responds.

Neither has any idea what they’re talking about, but that’s OK. This is improv, where uncertainty is a feature, not a bug.