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Dr Harry with Wife Teresa
and the twins in the early years.

New Dad
!


New Mom!

The Twins and Michael


The Twins 1954

Donna Fulchino


Mike, Teresa,Steve, Gina and
John Fulchino at his restaurant.

Seated L-R: Aunt Eva Fulchino, wife of Victor Fulchino, Pam Fulchino, wife of Michael Fulchino
(brother and sister in law
ar her wedding shower)
Back R to L is Michael, Donna and Ann Ansello
(wife of cousin Larry, son of Mary (Sis)


Diane (Fulchino)Hull, Gerry Hull
with son Justin and daughter Rachel

c.2002


 

Aunt Teresa, Donna and Aunt Margie
c. 1978


Justin Hull
2008 Graduation

 

Donna Fulchino
1979




Gerry and Diane Hull

 

Teresa Fulchino
in front of Johnny's Half Shell
Sept 2006


A Great Fathers Day
Gerry and Rachel talking on Brookings Beach
Oregon, 2008


Diane And Rachel
at Rachel's Graduation
2008


Dr Harry Fulchino

Where Everybody Knows Your Name



Johnny’s Half Shell is the kind of establishment
where a suited man bellies
up to the marble countertop and the
bartender shakes the customer’s hand
(“Hey, friend”) and, Cheers-style, pours
his order without prompting. And so
it goes with another customer. And
another. Soon you realize the greetings
are sincere. Relaxed banter ensues
over pints and chowders, between
guests planted on wicker stools and
the jovial staff.

This is also the kind of eatery where
co-owner John Fulchino brings his family
to celebrate his mom’s 81st birthday.
But he sneaks away to animatedly discuss
(in a thick Boston accent) two of
the 110 team members who help him run
the show, colleagues he passionately
describes as “the salt of the earth.” The
trio (or “dream team”)—Fulchino, partner
and James Beard Award–winning
chef Ann Cashion and beverage director/
manager Bill Dickett—have worked
together for more than 15 years. Of his
20-plus-year alliance with Cashion,
Fulchino says, “There are two things we
haven’t stopped doing: working hard
and laughing.”

Their diligence and good humor
seem to be paying off. Opened in Dupont
Circle in 1999, Johnny’s moved to its
roomier location on Capitol Hill in September
2006 (the old space seated 50;
the new one seats 315). Though loyal patrons
“moaned when the
restaurant relocated”
just a few blocks from
Union Station, “slowly,
they’ve begun to follow.”
Food lovers appreciate
Cashion’s menu,
based on organic and
sustainable ingredients, which ranges
from the obvious (oysters, clams, crab
cakes and Maine lobster) to the more
surprising (Johnny’s pancake with
applesauce, tequila-cured gravlax,
Baltimore dogs with blue cheese or
sauerkraut, and fritto misto of shrimp,
calamari and fish filet).
“I don’t know anyone else who can
prepare food for 315 people and make it
taste this good,” Fulchino gushes.
And then, of course, there are
what they call the “strong drinks.”
Beverage director Dickett calls the
cocktail-making process “a labor of
love” (no margarita mixes here) as he
swiftly combines 100 percent agave
nectar, tequila and freshly squeezed
lime. Johnny’s also exists as D.C.’s only
absinthe bar, featuring eight varieties
of the green fairy and a do-it-yourself
station where patrons mingle around a
late-18th-century absinthe fountain.
Fulchino admits that this Capitol Hill
neighborhood “was not accustomed
to a restaurant full of soul that serves
organic food; it took a while to break
through.” But Hill staffers lining the
stools during the three happy hours
seem sufficient evidence that Johnny’s
has been officially welcomed. The new
venue boasts four private rooms (the
aptly named Capitol Room gives bigname
politicos a spectacular view of
that majestic dome) and bonuses like
an outdoor terrace where crab shells
and mallets fly on Friday nights. Other
draws include a lunchtime piano player
and three-piece band (average musician
age: 80) that entertains on Friday and
Saturday evenings.
Though popular for its tasty dishes
and “honest pours,” it’s Johnny’s Half
Shell’s inviting ambience and homespun
feel that make
its owners most
proud. Despite the
eatery’s proximity to
the Capitol Building,
Fulchino observes,
“Here, it’s OK to wear
jeans or suits, to be a
Republican or a Democrat. Politics are
irrelevant. Anything goes.”
On that note, Fulchino apologetically
hops off his stool and returns to the bustling
terrace. A spread of fresh seafood
awaits him. And, more importantly, so
does an 81-year-old birthday girl.
Where Everybody
Knows Your Name …
Johnny’s Half Shell
400 N. Capitol St. N W. #175
Washington, D.C.
202-737-0400
johnnyshalfshell.net