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Preview: New Columbia Heights

New Columbia Heights

A blog about what's new and what's going on in and around the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington, DC : new bars, restaurants and retail spots, plus events, music, arts, news, history and more

Updated: 2018-02-23T13:12:18.465-05:00


Good local news: NPR station WAMU buying and restarting


Good news for local news: the local NPR station WAMU is buying and relaunching, the sadly defunct local news site. The parent company of DCist, Gothamist, was bought last year and and suddenly shut down shortly after the staff voted to unionize. WAMU plans to relaunch it in spring.

DCist, which was around since 2004, was a great source of local news, arts, entertainment, food and a lot more.

The sale is part of a bigger effort by local public radio stations to buy the local outposts of Gothamist: WNYC in New York City and KPCC in Los Angeles bought Gothamist and LAist, respectively. Former DCist editor Martin Austermuhle works at WAMU.

WAMU had a few good quotes about the site:
"WAMU connects Washingtonians with each other and the world, and DCist will enhance our coverage of the region and expand our digital reach," said JJ Yore, general manager, WAMU. "At a time when local journalism is declining everywhere, we are excited to revive this important news source for our region."

"The audience who turned to DCist did so to feel more connected to their neighbors and community," said Andi McDaniel, senior director of content and news, WAMU. "The WAMU audience wants to do the same, and the addition of the DCist platform helps us bring the quality journalism we’ve been producing for decades to the neighborhood level."
(Full disclosure: I wrote for DCist too, doing music reviews, maps, Overheard in DC and other random things.) 

Another real estate company fake neighborhood name: this time Pleasant Plains and Howard U. are "North Shaw"


Longtime readers of this blog might know that I hate newly invented neighborhood names. 

A few years ago, real estate developers JBG tried to rename the 14th and U Street area "14th and Shaw" in all their advertisements for their buildings and in D/CITY Style, a free newspaper they put out around the area. Thankfully the name didn't catch on, but a few months later they were calling the area "North End Shaw." That also didn't catch on.

But now another bunch of developer doofuses have coined yet another name: the Bozzutto Group is saying their new building, Trellis House, is in the "heart of North Shaw," going on about all the great stuff in North Shaw. They've also mentioned about something similar on the building's Instagram page. Basically they're trying to make "fetch" happen, but for a neighborhood.

This stuff always makes me mad. People have lived in this area for more than 100 years, and all of a sudden a real estate company thinks they can come along and rename it to try to sell some corny apartments.

And the dumbest part about this is that they have a map on their site showing where their buildings are, and the dot for Trellis House is literally next to the words "Pleasant Plains." Because that's the name of the area. And presumably, that also means Howard University is in North Shaw. News to them, I'm sure.

Pleasant Plains isn't the best known neighborhood name, but it is on the Metro. And anyway, just because a neighborhood name wasn't known throughout the city it doesn't mean you should just throw it out. Here's more on the history of Pleasant Plains.

Let's not use this dumb new name.

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There's a Dan's Cafe Twitter, and it's hilarious


This is a little out of my jurisdiction, but I figure a lot of folks in our area have journeyed over to Dan's Cafe in Adams Morgan, the legendary (or infamous) dive bar.

The spot, with yellowed walls, super cheap drinks (some of which come in squirt bottles) and a unique aroma, has been entertaining drunk people, or making sober people drunk, for more than 50 years.

And recently I discovered that there's a Dan's Cafe Twitter. And while I'm pretty sure it's not an official Twitter, especially considering this is Dan's Cafe, where the newest thing in it is probably a sign for a beer that is no longer made, it's pretty great.

The Twitter account matches the bar's vibe -- grumpy and amusing with lots of squirt bottle jokes. For example, their pinned tweet:
FYI- We got a special tomorrow night. Come in and show your #TailUpGoat receipt and pay the same fuckin price as everybody else
Other recent gems include "Plenty of buildings don't have windows" and "Our TV has been on the fritz since Clinton's #SOTU in '95."

It's pretty funny stuff, check it out.

Diner with huge menu, Flip It LJ Diner, open next to Pollo Sabroso on Park Road


Park Road's strip of places to eat has another addition: Flip It LJ Diner at 1432 Park Rd NW, just down from Pho 14 and El Pollo Sabroso. A reader went by the other day and got a shot of their huge menu (below.) The spot has pretty good reviews on Yelp too, 5 stars from 39 reviews.

They have seemingly everything too: lots of breakfast options, tacos, nachos and other Mexican dishes, deli sandwiches, pasta and paninis, plus Salvadoran dishes.

They open early and are open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday; on Sunday and Monday, just breakfast and lunch. They're closed Tuesday.

Anybody stop by yet?

11th and Park dog park with a new petition to the city; "Mardi Paws" dog costume contest Feb. 27


If you like the 11th and Park dog park, there are a few updates. Folks from 11th and Bark, the nonprofit that manages the park, recently held a cleanup, and have also released a new petition asking the city to buy the property and designate it an official dog park.

If you recall, WMATA, which owns the land, recently announced they would like to sell it. They said they would prefer to sell it to the city, and city officials have said they'd like to buy it. However, that hasn't happened yet. Local dog owners are concerned the land will be sold and converted to another use.

Maggie Garrett of 11th and Bark has this to say about the petition: 
The Mayor is currently crafting her budget and should present it to the Council in March. Ward One Councilmember Brianne Nadeau already requested that Mayor Muriel Bowser include money in her budget to buy the property for the purpose of a dog park. Now, it's our turn to tell the Mayor to include money in her budget to buy the park and Councilmembers to support it.
They also have published a list of action items that you can do to help advocate for the park.

And finally, they're organizing a "Mardi Paws" event at the park on Feb. 21st from 11am-1pm, with a dog costume contest as well as prizes and giveaways. Sounds like fun. I hope there's King Cake.

Rock Hard Sundays at The House strip club has come to an end


A few years ago, I wrote about a new promotion at the House, the strip club at 3530 Georgia Avenue NW. Former Councilmember Jim Graham realized there weren't many strip nights in the city that catered to gay men, so he suggested the idea to the House. They liked it, and Rock Hard Sundays was born.

For some time, the dancers wore Jim Graham's signature bowties. It was a pretty clever idea and I hear was quite popular. They also advertised on this blog for a while (image above.)

Sadly, Graham, who was an LGBT advocate, member of the WMATA Board and also ran the Whitman Walker Clinic for a long time, passed away in June 2017, but the event continued on. The House even had a message remembering Graham on their facade for a while.

However, the Blade reports that the event has come to an end as patrons reported that the event dropped in popularity after Graham's passing. Too bad, but hopefully there are other options in the city.

Package thefts in the neighborhood and what to do about them



Package thefts in our area are nothing new. However, lately I've seen a lot of videos of thefts from people's doorbell cameras on local Facebook groups, and I've also heard about a few instances of crooks jimmying open doors to buildings. It's not fun to lose something you're expecting, and it's difficult to catch the perpetrators (but video does help!)

However, there are a few solutions:

For one, try to get the packages delivered somewhere else, like your office. There are also a few places in our neighborhood that will accept packages, like the UPS Store on Monroe near 14th, FedEx Kinko's on 14th near Kenyon, and Walls of Books on Georgia Avenue, which is a UPS Access Point. You can talk to any of them to get more info on how delivery and pickup works. Amazon also has a network of Amazon Lockers for things you order from there.

For buildings, you can also buy package lockers that you install outside, basically mailboxes where the postal carrier can drop your packages that only you and other building residents have the keys They range in price, design and security level, you can find a bunch available online. Petworth News has one example.

And if you've had packages stolen from inside your building, there may be an easy fix. If your building doesn't have a deadbolt on the door, it can be pretty easy to pry it open with some simple tools. This happened at my building and at a friend's, someone made off with a bike and some packages. One way to prevent it is pretty simple, add a metal strip called a latch protector covering the gap where the lock is that makes it impossible to stick something in there and open it. They're usually pretty inexpensive and easy to install (here are some examples), and after we added ours we had no more problems with thefts from inside the building.

You can add a security camera or doorbell camera too. Ring is a popular brand and many brands will turn on at any sign of movement. They don't necessarily deter people, but you might be able to give the video to police.

And you should also alert the police -- you can even file a police report online. Even if they can't find the person who did it, they'll have a record of where and how often the thefts occur, which might suggest patterns. And that might help them bust the crooks next time. Help our your neighbors.

Or, you can do what these folks tried: putting poop in a box.

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Jimmy John's on the Civic Plaza has closed


Sad news for fans of sandwiches and free smells: Jimmy John's on the Civic Plaza has closed. I always liked the spot, but it never seemed too crowded. That space, next to Fro Zen Yo, was previously Julia's Empanadas.

It seems kind of odd that two beloved chains would close in the same space: maybe the rent is too high or something. I hope something else good comes there.

And it's more bad news for 14th Street, as we also recently learned that Jenkins Capital BBQ has closed. On the other hand, it looks like Karibbean Kitchen in the old Getaway/Social space is maybe opening.

Any JJ's fans in the comments?

Jenkins Capital BBQ at 14th and Monroe is apparently closed for good


It looks like Jenkins Capital BBQ in the big former Ruby Tuesday space at 14th and Monroe has closed for good.

In November I thought it might be closed, as it seemed to be shuttered on Friday and Saturday nights (which is odd for a restaurant) but they told me via Facebook they were still open.

But I've since gotten more tips that they haven't been open in a while, and their website and Facebook page are both gone, as is the Facebook account that I messaged with a while ago. Yelp also says they're closed and the last review was from November, so maybe they've been closed or only sporadically open since then.

Too bad for them, as I was hoping something popular would come to the space.

It was Ruby Tuesday for a couple of years, which was closed as part of a nationwide store-closing, and the space was empty for some time before that. It was always a bit of a mysterious place, I had a hard time finding any info about them when they were in the planning phases.

To be honest I was kind of surprised it wasn't another big chain since it's such a big space -- I feel like a Red Lobster would do well there. I wonder what other kinds of things might be good for it -- maybe something like a Yes! Organic Market or some other big retail store? Anything else you'd like to see there?

Karibbean Kitchen sign now up at old Getaway/Social space on 14th, maybe finally closer to opening


Well, this is some good news. Nearly two years ago I wrote that there was a Jamaican place coming to 1400 Meridian Place NW, the old Getaway and Social space. A couple of tipsters had spotted work and spoken to people inside.  However, the next two years came and went without anything happening.

But now, there's a sign up on the building for Karibbean Kitchen, and a permit from the city for that new sign. I can't find any other permits or news about the spot like construction or occupancy, but they are in the White Pages now, so maybe that means they're moving along. It's not my favorite sign, kind of looks like one of the generic Chinese takeout or dry cleaner signs.

I guess we'll see. I hope it's good, I like Jamaican food a lot.

The space used to be the 60s racing themed The Getaway, with a bar on the basement floor and a restaurant upstairs. I thought it was decent, pretty good food but a bit of a weird vibe upstairs. That place replaced Social, a weirder and kind of generic place with a similar layout that closed mysteriously. We'll see what Karibbean Kitchen does with the space.

(Sorry for my blurry rainy photos.)

Whoa! Axe throwing bar Kraken Axes now open on Georgia Avenue!


Holy smokes -- today I noticed a sign for Kraken Axes, which is an axe-throwing pop up bar at 3400 Georgia Avenue NW. That building is the former Murry's supermarket and the Perch, an indoor mushroom farm that I think never got going. It has a big Park View mural on the Morton Street side.The place apparently opened in December, according to Park View DC, and it looks pretty amazing. The sport is popular in Canada, and it's basically like darts, but with axes. If you've been to a renaissance fair you've probably seen it.They have a lengthy FAQ on their website, which is helpful since it's quite different from most spots around town. It's mostly by reservation, but there are walk-in sessions on Thursday and Sunday. They show you how it's done and you get tossing. It's not cheap, though:We charge by the person to reserve an arena for your group. Arenas have 2 targets and hold between 6-12 people for a 2.5 hour session ($39.99/pp). Groups of between 12-24 people will play on 2 arenas for a 2.5 session ($35.99/pp). Or, join us on a Thursday or Sunday for walk-in sessions ($19.99/pp/hour) and have no minimum number of guests.There is food from a catering menu as well as a full bar. Right now it's 21+ and they're also planning to start a league.Has anybody been? Pretty wild.Here's a video and a shot I took through the window.When you need to hit the green dot on your last turn to pull out the W...and you do it!! What an incredible feeling! 🍻💪🏼🎉 #krakenaxesA post shared by KRAKEN AXES (@krakenaxes) on Jan 7, 2018 at 8:52am PST [...]

Free meal program for seniors: know someone who could use a meal? Let them know


Here's an interesting reader tip: the city has a few different meal programs for seniors that many people don't know about.

The City Paper has the article about it: one program is called the congregate meal program, where seniors can come and get a healthy meal with other seniors. That way they can get out of the house, meet and socialize with others, and also get some good food. The program is free and available to anyone over 60, and there are numerous sites in our area: here's the full list. It includes spots on Georgia Avenue, 14th and 15th Street in Ward 1, plus others around the city. Feel free to share it with seniors you know or organizations who help seniors.

The city also has a meal delivery program, and there are other options like Food and Friends, which delivers meals to people with life challenging illnesses. There's also options like SNAP and other programs that provide supplemental food or vouchers. The article has more details.

It also talks about the difficulty of the city and community groups connecting with seniors, many of whom may not have internet or be living alone. If you have a neighbor or friend who is a senior, please let me them know.

It's a pretty interesting article, here it is again.

First Friday on Georgia Ave is coming up: 14 participating businesses with lots of deals and freebies


First Friday is here again: the monthly event on Georgia Avenue where local small businesses offer deals, specials and freebies. It's a lot of fun and a neat way to learn more about local spots. My favorite is the free wine at Walls of Books. There's also a new addition, Taste of Jamaica, which just opened at 3308 Georgia.Here's more from organizers Georgia Avenue Thrive. Their Facebook event is here and there's a map here.Continue to celebrate First Fridays in 2018 with the neighborhood's small businesses on Georgia Ave NW in Park View & Petworth. Drink, food and retail specials, live music, art and more. Mark those calendars and stay tuned for specials and special events! And as always we are partnering with our friends from Petworth Arts Collaborative.A map of all the businesses for easy reference: businesses: ♣ Bravo Bar: BoGo♣ Colony Club: TBD♣ Heat Da Spot Coffee Lounge: TBD♣ District Dogs: 15% off all red or pink retail items and check out that Valentine's Day display♣ Union Drinkery & SUNdeVICH: TBD♣ A Taste of Jamaica (3308 Georgia Ave NW): TBD♣ Ana's Restaurante: TBD♣ Walls of Books - Washington, DC - Washington, DC: Buy-one-get-one on all books, literary game night and complimentary wine♣ Story District: TBD♣ The Midlands: BoGo coupon for Monday♣ Esencias Panameñas Restaurant & Catering: Salsa dancing♣ Yoga Heights: 15% off retail; Bring a (new) friend to class for free♣ Mom N' Pop Antiques (3534 Georgia Ave NW): 20% off♣ The Looking Glass Lounge: $2 off drinks♣ DC Reynolds: BoGo♣ Reliable Tavern: $6 First Friday punch♣ Ten Tigers Parlour: $5 First Friday cocktail♣ The Hilltop Bar & Restaurant (Sherman Ave): TBD[...]

Crazy "plywood brutalism" building going up at Sherman and Lamont


This is something you don't see everyday: there's what looks like a small condo building going in at Sherman and Lamont that is... unusual. It kind of looks like a bunch of blocks stacked on top of each other, or like some kind of strange modern architecture. Martin Austermuhle of WAMU jokingly called it "plywood brutalism."

What's also odd is there aren't any windows, and it's just plywood. Presumably they'll cut them out soon. The city's permit system says "New 3 floor + cellar and mezzanine - 2 unit flat on vacant lot in an R4 zoning district." Looks like 4 stories to me. Here's a Park View DC article about the lot from a few years ago.

It's also two stories higher than the surrounding buildings. It's something.

Michelle Obama visits Maydan, new restaurant at Florida and 14th


The Obamas are back! The First Family, who have visited our neighborhood many times, apparently haven't forgotten about our area after the election (and their move to Kalorama.) On Tuesday, Michelle Obama was spotted at Maydan, the new Middle Eastern/Central Asian spot on Florida Avenue behind La Colombe.

The restaurant, from the folks behind Compass Rose, serves food from the spice road, i.e. Lebanon through to Central Asian -- think food from North Africa, Georgia, Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia and more, with lots of wood grilled dishes over their central fire pit. (I stopped by a few days before, it was excellent. A review to come.)

Washingtonian reports that the First Lady and former White House nutrition advisor Sam Kass were seated in the first floor bar area, and a tipster who was there tells me she ordered a cocktail.

Pretty neat to see an Obama back in our area. After numerous blog posts, I suggested that Columbia Heights was the Obamas' favorite neighborhood. The President has eaten at a lot of spots in our area, like the Coupe and Busboys and Poets. The First Family also visited Upshur Street Books and both the President and First Lady gave talks in our area (FLOTUS jump roped too), and they even signed a bill here.

Not to be outdone, Joe Biden ate at Pete's Apizza. Considering all the Onion articles, I'm surprised he didn't stop by Wonderland or the Derb.

I miss the days when the President and family went places, and we were actually happy to see them.

WMATA wants to sell 11th and Park dog park, petition to save it started


UPDATE: Councilmember Brianne Nadeau says she spoke to the chairman of the WMATA board and they don't have any immediate plans about the dog park. They've made a list of parcels they don't need anymore, which includes this one, and sent it to the city in case the city wants to buy it -- so that's maybe a good sign. Here's more from her:Neighbors – I’ve gotten some calls from neighbors concerned about the 11th and Park dog park and I wanted to make sure folks had all the info. I just got off the phone with the Chairman of the Metro Board and he has assured me there is no immediate action being taken on the parcel which is owned by WMATA. WMATA has made a list of all the parcels they no longer need and would like to sell and this is one of them. They’ve submitted the list to the District government for review to see if we’d like to acquire the parcels ourselves. The District will have all the time we need to consider that opportunity. Initially WMATA indicated to some community members that it might be considering this issue at a public meeting early this week, but I have been told that’s not the case. Over the past three years I’ve been working with the 11th and Bark community group to help them position themselves as the primary operators of the parcel and to keep the park open. I will continue to work with them and all the residents who are interested to ensure we can preserve this space for community use. The stewards of the park have put in countless hours of dedicated volunteer time to maintain the space and it’s a beloved spot in the community, and I know it’s important for our residents and their furry friends that it continue. If you have any additional questions or comments, my inbox is always open at or you can call my office at 202-724-8181.Original post below:------If you have a dog, this may be big news: 11th and Bark, the nonprofit that helps run the the friends of the dog park at 11th and Park Rd, report that WMATA, which owns the land where the park is, is interested in selling it. They've created a petition to oppose the sale, directed at WMATA, Councilmembers Jack Evans and Brianne Nadeau, and WMATA board member Corbett Price.Newly elected ANC 1A06 commissioner Angelica Castañon put out a flyer about the events: last year, 11th and Bark were in talks with WMATA to lease the land, until suddenly the talks stopped. After some research, 11th and Bark learned that WMATA had an interested buyer and were going to talk about "next steps" for the dog park at their Jan. 23 meeting. That doesn't sound good for dog park supporters.If you'd like to keep the park, sign the petition (and better yet, call or email the people listed on it.And so far, so good for the dog park defenders: WMATA board member Price says on Twitter he'll be trying to save the dog park.The lot, on the southeast corner across from Red Rocks and Meridian Pint, has been an unofficial dog park since 2010 if not earlier, and later WMATA gave the OK for it to be a more official, maintained park.[...]

Angelica Castañon wins ANC 1A06 special election


If you live around the Civic Plaza, you have a new ANC rep: Angelica Castañon, who works in education policy and advocacy. There was a three way race with Castañon, Jordan Pearlstein and Charles Greene III after the previous commissioner for the area resigned.

The ANC meets monthly to talk about local issues, advise the city council on planning and development in the area, and also make changes or block alcohol license requests. If you're interested in going, and it's worth it to get a good sense of what's happening in your area, meetings are listed here. If you live in southern Columbia Heights (see map) you're represented by ANC1B, which is here -- however, their site is giving me a malware warning.

Trump ends temporary protected status for 200,000 Salvadorans; they may be forced to go home


There was big immigration news today that may affect our community: Trump has decided to end what's called temporary protected status (TPS) for 200,000 Salvadorans out of the roughly 1 million in the country, which means they may be forced to return home. As you know, our area has many Salvadorans and other Central Americans.They'll have until Sept. 2019 to either get a green card or leave the country. There are also roughly 190,000 children born to TPS parents, so families will have to decide to break up the family or take their American-born children back to El Salvador. The country has the highest murder rate in the world.Ward 1 councilmember Brianne Nadeau put out a statement after the news broke, asking other council members to pass a bill she's written to start a legal defense fund for the immigrants, which is called the Access to Justice for Immigrants Act. Here's more from Councilmember Nadeau:Nadeau Statement on Trump Decision to End Temporary Protected Status for 200,000 Salvadorans Living in the U.S.***Versión en Español disponible abajo***Washington – Today, Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau released the following statement after the Trump administration announced that it would terminate Temporary Protected Status for approximately 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States, including many in the District of Columbia:“Today’s decision by the Trump administration will tear apart families and uproot long-time members of our community. America and the District are stronger when we welcome immigrants and recognize that we have a responsibility to stand up for our neighbors who are vulnerable. As Councilmember, I authored the Access to Justice for Immigrants Act which will create a permanent legal fund to assist the District’s documented and undocumented immigrant residents. The Council should pass it. I also call on Congress to end the uncertainty for our Salvadoran residents and create a permanent fix that allows them to stay in the communities that they call home.”“La decisión de hoy por la administración del Presidente Trump separará a las familias y destruirá muchas vidas de los miembros establecidos de nuestra comunidad. Los Estados Unidos y el Distrito son más fuertes cuando damos la bienvenida a los inmigrantes y reconocemos que tenemos la responsabilidad de defender a nuestros vecinos que son vulnerables. Como Concejal, yo escribí elAccess to Justice for Immigrants Act (Acceso a la Justicia para Inmigrantes) que creará  un fondo legal permanente para asistir a los residentes documentados e indocumentados del Distrito. El Concejo del Distrito debería aprobarlo. También le hago un llamado al Congreso que ponga fin a la incertidumbre para nuestros residentes Salvadoreños y crear una solución permanente que les permita quedarse en sus comunidades que llaman hogar.”[...]

ANC 1A06 special election on Wednesday: vote for Jordan Pearlstein


If you live in Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A06 (see map above) then there's a special election for you this Wednesday. The seat for that area is currently vacant after the previous commissioner resigned. The special election for the seat is at the next ANC meeting, which will take place this Wednesday, January 10th and 7 pm at Tubman Elementary School, in the gym. The entrance for the meeting is on Kenyon.There are three candidates: community development expert Jordan Pearlstein, corporate speaker and magician Charles Greene III and senior education policy analyst Angelica Castañon. From reading about them they all seem like they'd be good for the position, but I'm recommending that you vote for my friend Jordan.You may have seen Ms. Pearlstein around, she's been very active with local nonprofits and co-founded Georgia Avenue Thrive, which does a lot of great work in the area, like the First Friday events. She's also an expert in community development, community building and fair housing (full disclosure, we worked together for a few years at USAID.)The ANC, if you're not familiar, has three main areas of responsibility: advise the city council and other government offices about local concerns and issues; to deal with liquor licenses, where the ANC can effectively change or alter the provisions of liquor licenses, such as hours of operation and what establishments can do (for example, live music or outdoor seating); and they also have a budget to fund community projects. The ANC is often the first place to go if you have a question or issue with city services or development issues.If you live and are registered to vote in ANC 1A06, I hope you can make it to the election and hear from Jordan and the other candidates. Read on for more from Jordan: her platform and more info about her.I'm excited to represent the SMD and ANC1A. I've dedicated both my personal and professional life to building inclusive, connected, equitable, and vibrant communities. And I want to make sure you and the larger community have the information you need and the representation you deserve to be informed and engaged advocates on the issues you care most about. The values and vision we build our community on are important. It's also vital that your representative understands how to navigate government bureaucracy and build trusting relationships to get things done. After years of working with the federal government, with cities around the country, and with communities here in ANC1A, I'm ready to do that for you. Come out on Wednesday to learn more and vote! A little more about me: I've been involved in the ANC1A community for several years. I co-founded and serve as Vice President for Georgia Avenue Thrive, an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to building an inclusive, connected, and vibrant community. Georgia Avenue Thrive is also an implementing partner with District Bridges of the Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street, a national program, which is funded locally by DC's Department of Small and Local Business Development. I've consulted for District Bridges in support of its Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant Main Street and serve on the board of another ANC1A-based nonprofit, Words, Beats & Life. I'm a participant in and volunteer with NeighborUp, an inclusive network of DC residents and leaders who are committed to improving communities in ways that help our neighbors live and thrive, together. I am also the Democratic Party Precinct Captain for Precinct 39. And, finally, I have a full-time, day job at a nationwide nonprofit focused o[...]

Awesome! Jewish-style deli coming to Alfie's space: wood-fired bagels, sandwiches etc. by Timber Pizza folks


This is great news: the folks from Timber Pizza Co. on Upshur are taking over the old Alfie's/Tchoup's/Mothership space at 3301 Georgia Avenue, turning it into a Jewish-inspired deli named Call Your Mother. They jokingly call it a "Jew-ish" deli as it's not super traditional, with bagels made in a wood-fired oven that are a cross between New York and the denser, smaller and sweeter Montreal-style bagels. They're calling them "New Montreal" bagels.

They'll have Jewish-inspired food like latke fries and seared Matzoh ball soup. Bagel sandwiches may include egg, smoked salmon or smoked whitefish, plus rye, wheat and challah and occasionally donuts, croissants and pastries, according to the Post.

Interestingly, they also plan to have a supper club four nights a week with various themed dinners, like Salvadoran, fried chicken, Peking duck and others. I guess to appeal to the dinner crowd.

They're aiming at April, but need to renovate the space. No word on liquor yet, I'm trying to find out more. Pretty pumped for this.

Images from Google Street View and HapstakDemetriou+

New Vietnamese restaurant, Bún DC, coming to 2905 Sherman Ave


This is neat: a reader sent me this photo of 2905 Sherman Avenue NW, where it looks like a new Vietnamese place is going in. The sign reads "BÚN DC Vietnamese 'Soc Trang' Homestyle Cuisine." Bún is a type of Vietnamese noodle bowl. Soc Trang is a coastal area so maybe that means more seafood dishes.

The reader who sent me the photo thinks it may be connected with Pho Viet, the tasty little spot on 14th Street near Otis. Here's what they had to say:
This house has been abandoned for at least three years and all of sudden in the last 2 months a lot of work has been done. I am not 100% sure, but I could’ve sworn I saw a couple people leave the house one evening with “Pho Viet” shirts. Now today this sign popped up on the house. I hope the pho viet crew are opening a new restaurant.
If that's true, it's a good sign. The Post, for example, says Pho Viet has the best pho in town. I can't find anything more about this spot, but will update as I hear more. 

Walters Sports Bar on Georgia has closed permanently


Well, this stinks: Walters, the sports bar at 3622 Georgia Ave NW, has closed for good, according to PoP. The spot opened in 2015 as a joint venture between DC Reynolds and Looking Glass Lounge, which are on either side of it. At some point the Looking Glass folks sold their share to DC Reynolds.The location has had some bad luck in the past, as it's previously been the Blue Banana, also a sports bar, and Park View Patio, a kind of odd spot with a big patio (part of which was later taken over by DC Reynolds.) The Walters folks cited the lack of a proper kitchen as part of the problem.I thought it was definitely better than the previous two spots there, but there often wasn't much of a crowd. Park View Patio also had pop-ups during the day, like the Milk Cult coffee and breakfast taco pop-up, but Walters didn't do that. I also saw reviews about it having kind of a split personality between sports bar and dance club -- and people watching sports want to listen to sports, not dance music.That leaves only Lou's City Bar on Irving and The Pitch up on Georgia as the only sports bar type spots in our area. Anybody have recommendations for other sports watching locales? The basement at Meridian Pint is also pretty good for that, as are the Airedale on 14th and Bravo Bar on Georgia.Hopefully something else successful can come into the space. PoP posted Walters final note, which maybe jokingly suggested it could be a "neighborhood bakery, salami shop, tofu factory, hydroponic store, gluten free distillery, EDM dancehall, or any other idea you think Georgia Ave is desperately in need of.""Walters Sports Bar closing 12/31. The team behind Walters would like to thank everyone over the last 2+ years for your support. While we would like to stick around for another Caps and Wizards playoffs run we can’t in good conscience be apart of a potential Eagles Super Bowl win (Kidding….maybe). With that said Walters will be closing 12/31 and we encourage everyone to visit Looking Glass and DC Reynolds for all your future sports watching needs. When we took over the space we new it would be an uphill battle with lack of a proper kitchen. With such a short term lease the cost to install a hood system wasn’t feasible and thus the food wouldn’t be equal to what can be found elsewhere in the neighborhood. For anyone with a great idea for a neighborhood bakery, salami shop, tofu factory, hydroponic store, gluten free distillery, EDM dancehall, or any other idea you think Georgia Ave is desperately in need of please feel free to contact us and we can hook you up with the landlord."What do you think might work there? Maybe a cookie and donut shop for the patrons of the History of Cannabis Museum next door? [...]

Wow, Ancient Rivers in Mulebone/Eatonville space closes after three months


This must be some kind of record: Ancient Rivers, a Middle Eastern spot from Andy Shallal, has closed after about three months. They opened in September in the Mulebone/Eatonville space at 14th and V and I heard nothing about them since then.

I stopped by once soon after it switched concepts, not even knowing it had changed from Mulebone, because they used to do a sort of coworking space: you could sit in the dining area and have coffee or lunch and work with your laptop. It was pretty clever.

The food was pretty tasty, but they didn’t seem to have their stuff together: it didn’t seem like it was actually open, but it was, and throughout the day other folks came in with laptops and asked the same question: “uhh... are you open?”

That seems to have extended to the restaurant, as I never heard about it and kind of forgot it existed.

Kind of odd too, as it’s run by Andy Shallal of Busboys and Poets and the previous tenants of this space, Eatonville and Mulebone. You’d think he’d know what he’s doing. We’ll see if something else can go in and succeed — otherwise it’ll be the fourth place to close in this space.

Here's how to recycle your Christmas trees for free


If you put up a live tree for the holidays, the city has some recycling options for you. Here's the info from the city's Department of Public Works: you can drop off your tree at two of the city's trash transfer stations, and they'll also be picking them up on your regularly scheduled recycling days. Make sure to take off all ornaments and tinsel and don't bag the trees.If you aren't served by the city's pickup (such as you're in a condo or apartment building) you'll need to either drop them off or contact your building management or the trash company.The city also gives our free compost at the Fort Totten station: read on.How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree in DCDPW Provides Residents with 2 Convenient Options for Recycling Their Holiday Trees and Greenery(WASHINGTON, DC) With the holiday season coming to a close over the next several weeks, thousands of DC residents will be looking for an environmentally friendly way to dispose of their holiday trees and greenery. The DC Department of Public Works (DPW) is pleased to provide District residents with two easy options for having their cut holiday trees and greenery recycled (no artificial trees).“The District is committed to waste reduction year-round, including the holiday season,” said DPW Director Christopher Shorter. “These two options ensure residents can dispose of their holiday trees and greenery in an environmentally friendly and convenient way.”The first option is for residents to bring their trees and greenery, free of charge, to either of the District’s transfer stations. The Fort Totten Transfer Station is located at 4900 John F. McCormack Drive, NE, and the Benning Road Transfer Station is located at 3200 Benning Road, NE.The second option, also free of charge, is for residents to put their trees and greenery out where their trash and recycling is collected between January 13 and February 2. These items will be collected on residents’ regularly scheduled recycling days during this period. This collection service is only available to residents who are serviced by DPW. DPW collects trash and recyclables from single-family homes and apartment/condo buildings with three or fewer living units.Regardless of which option residents choose, all ornaments and lights should be removed from the tree. Residents are also asked not to bag their trees or greenery. In fiscal year 2017, 327.25 tons of holiday trees were collected and composted by DPW in the District. As a reminder, DPW provides DC residents with up to five 32-gallon bags (bring your own bags) of free compost weekdays, 1 pm to 5 pm, and Saturdays 8 am to 3 pm, at the Fort Totten Transfer Station.DPW provides essential city services in two distinct program areas: environmental services/solid waste management and parking enforcement. Both contribute to making District streets and public spaces clean, safe, attractive and accessible for all residents, businesses, commuters and visitors.[...]

New Italian deli Capo at 715 Florida is awesome; go there


The other day I was running errands and noticed a new deli called Capo at 715 Florida Ave NW. I was hungry so I stopped in, and I'm glad I did -- it's awesome. They have lots of traditional Italian sandwiches plus pre-made things like ziti and lasagna, various kinds of pasta salad, as well as sweets like canolis and containers of cookie butter and ambrosia, plus cheese, bread and meat for sale.I got the sandwich called the Capo with sopressata, mortadella and provolone -- big piles of the meat, which was delicious, plus the usual lettuce, tomato, onion and oil. The "small" is $8.95, but it was massive, while the large is $13. It must be enormous. The bread is good too, hard and crunchy (in a good way) with sesame seeds. I bought a loaf and took it home too. Here's the full menu, and there are daily specials, which I think the Capo was.There's also a backroom bar and lounge area but I haven't checked that out.They don't have coffee but have other drinks and such too. I definitely recommend it.[...]