Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Alfie's lease has ended, workers there the other day; owner McCoy also opening Upshur Street, Adams Morgan spots


I wrote a while ago about the impending move of Alfie's/Tchoup's at 3301 Georgia, and now I hear from owner Alex McCoy that the lease has ended. I pinged him the other day because I saw a bunch of guys in business casual and hardhats milling around the other day checking it out, and was wondering if McCoy had some plans. The "Po' Boys" sign is also down. 

McCoy confirmed the lease is up but wasn't sure what was happening there next. 

Given the business casual hardhat guys, it sounds like the owners, ZG 3301 LLC, which is short for Zuckerman Gravely, are looking at what might come next. I hope it's something cool. The Zuckerman family owns a number of properties in the area, including Colony Club, the old Murry's location that was a mushroom farm, and I believe the shopping center where Walls of Books and the Midlands is.

McCoy is busy lately -- he's also working on two other places: a British pub and sandwich shop at 845 Upshur Street NW, the old China American Inn (see above), and a brick and mortar location in Adams Morgan for Lucky Buns, the burger popup they ran for a time at Tchoup's. He said it should be September for Lucky Buns. (See a photo below. I've heard good things.) 

Petworth News has a preview of the British spot, which is still under construction. There's a massive backyard area too.


The 845 Upshur space was originally planned to be the new Alfie's location, but the space didn't fit, so he's looking for another maybe downtown. 

I'm looking into what might be coming next to 3301 Georgia. Best of luck to McCoy, we will miss his spot in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

NPR writes about Howard U.: the changing neighborhood and connecting with neighbors


NPR has an interesting article today about Howard University about the changing neighborhood and the university's relations with the community. The article, "When A Historically Black University's Neighborhood Turns White" talks about rising property values in the area, the increase in white residents, the decrease in crime, and more.

It also talks about the university re-connecting with the neighborhood -- for many years it was more inward-focused, but lately they've been trying to engage the community more with events and others. They're also interested in connecting with Georgia Avenue from a planning and development side as well -- physically being part of the street.

Last year, for example, I attended the Georgia Avenue Community Review, where officials from Howard talked about how they wanted to make Georgia Avenue more of a focus for the university. Currently, the university has a lot of blank walls on the street and is separated from it. Howard officials mention this in the NPR article too, saying they were more insular. The officials at the community review event talked about making it more of a main street for campus, especially as more shops and restaurants have gone in. Did you know there's a Barnes and Noble there, as well as Potbelly and lots of other food?

The NPR article also talks about Howard's land holdings in the area, a number of which were bought in the 1970s and 1980s, and many of which are vacant. A number of residents have complained about this, and at the community review, a number of locals said something similar (as did I.) In many cases though, Howard is working on redeveloping them, such as the vacant and burned apartment building on Georgia near Fairmont. That building is currently going through a request for proposals. 

Another example is the large vacant warehouse complex on the west side of Georgia across from the hospital. Last I heard redevelopment was held up by a dispute with the purported developers. 

They also discuss the increasing land values, but not in depth. 

One thing I've had a tough time with is finding out about events at Howard -- I'm sure there are talks, performances and such at the campus that would be of interest to local residents, but the calendar page isn't too detailed. (Then again, it's the summer.) If anybody is reading from Howard, I'd be happy to write about events there! Let me know!

Photo by Ted Eytan

Friday, July 14, 2017

Metro now testing homes near Petworth Metro for damage from shaking caused by new trains


Many residents near the Petworth Metro are worried about their homes shaking due to the new, heavier 7000-series Metro trains. A number of reports have talked about it over the past few months, with Metro first saying it wasn't related, but now they're hiring contractors to study the issue.

I've written before about the issue, and WUSA-9 recently did a story where they measured shaking in a house near the station and found that each shake was exactly timed when a new train arrived at the station. Now they're reporting that Metro has hired a contractor for at least one person's house to see if the shaking might cause structural damage.

Let's hope there won't be damage -- I know I'd be worried if I lived near the station. Anyone else notice this?

Photo: a 7000 series car at PG Plaza, from Wikipedia

Hear from MPD's Third District commander on Saturday


If you're interested in learning more about safety in our area or sharing your opinion, MPD's Third District Commander, Stuart Emerman, will be speaking at the Luray-Warder Neighborhood Association meeting on Saturday. It's at the Park View Rec Center, 693 Otis Pl NW, at 11 am.

The Third District covers Columbia Heights up to Monroe Street, plus Park View, U Street, Howard University and parts of Ledroit Park, Adams Morgan and Logan Circle and part of 16th Street. Click the map for a bigger version. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Possibly unpopular opinion: I don't think Sundevich is that great


A few months ago, folks in the neighborhood were thrilled when Small Fry at 3212 Georgia started serving Sundevich sandwiches along with their usual barbecue. The same folks own both spots, as well as the awesome Union Drinkery next door plus A&D in Shaw.

And after trying a lot of the sandwiches there, I've come to a conclusion -- I don't think they're that great. By my count I've probably had 10 different sandwiches in order to give them a chance with a full sample size and most have been... fine. Not great, not bad, but just kind of bland.

The ingredients are decent quality, the bread is ok and they're made as they're described, but just fall flat for me. Nothing extraordinary. And I like Small Fry pretty well; they have solid BBQ, good mac and cheese and a great fried chicken sandwiches. (Just avoid the smoked vegetables.)

So I don't quite get it -- am I missing something about Sundevich? I've never been, so was I jaded by the universally positive reviews for the original Shaw location and expecting something awesome -- or is the original location just better?

Image from the Sundevich Twitter.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Jenkins Capital BBQ opening July 4th, soft opening today; check out the menu


It's BBQ time! Jenkins Capital BBQ at the old Ruby Tuesday spot (14th and Monroe) is opening officially on July 4th with a soft opening today, July 3rd, according to a tipster.

The tipster also sent along the full menu, which seems a bit smaller than we saw before, but still very large. Might be worth a shot for your 4th of July party. (Click the image above for a bigger view.)

Nice to see something come to this space, which has been empty for a few years, and I wish them luck! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Here's where you can buy fireworks in DC! Two stands in our area

The 4th of July is upon us, and that means cookouts, hot weather, and fireworks -- fireworks everywhere, not just on the Mall.

It's my opinion that a rooftop in Columbia Heights is the best place in the world to see 4th of July fireworks, because you can see the main display, displays at towns around the area, and a ton of DIY displays all around our neighborhood. Anywhere you look you'll see something going on -- it's fun, it's communal, and it's explosive.

You can buy some fireworks in DC, though not the ones that shoot in the area and explode, and I contacted DCRA to get the list of where they are -- see below.

In our area that's 3700 New Hampshire (corner of Georgia, at the Petworth Metro) and 4140 Georgia (at Upshur). Here's the full list below:

UPDATE: there are two stands not listed: 14th and Otis and Georgia and Newton.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Save $15 from Ecoverde Maids, a green, local small business

 

This is a sponsored post for our advertiser Ecoverde Maids, a great small local business that's been a longtime supporter of the site. Check them out!

This year Ecoverde Maids is turning 5 years old! Through competitive pricing, attractive service plans and friendly customer service, Ecoverde has created a strong residential client base serving Columbia Heights and Petworth. Today we'd like to introduce you to Carolina Rodriguez, the owner. Since they receive all lot of bookings from the surrounding area, they have decided to sponsor this blog. They have created a $15 off promo code that you can use by clicking on their banner on the top of the blog.

Ecoverde founder Carolina Rodriguez moved from Spain to Washington DC in 2005 to work for the Spanish government. In her free time after work she took a course from the Latino Economic Development Center on how to start a small business—more specifically, how to start a cleaning business. The training lasted for six weeks on Tuesday nights and she learned everything about starting a business, from how to do taxes, to becoming an LLC, to all the legal and administrative aspects. In 2012 she launched Ecoverde Maids in the Washington, DC Metro area and is currently working on launching another branch in Boston. 

While she is focused on running a successful business, she does find time for other activities. “Honestly, I am so passionate about so many things in life!” she said. She’s raising a two year old daughter, studying for a Masters in Secondary Education at George Washington University (she’ll graduate this summer), does morning meditation, goes to yoga class, Facetimes with family in Spain, enjoys watching movies, catches up with friends over coffee… and is running a highly successful cleaning business as well.
Carolina originally studied social work in Spain, but has come to love running her own business. “I like handling the online marketing and entrepreneurship,” she said. While Ecoverde Maids focuses on eco-friendly cleaning, the service offers both green cleaning and conventional cleaning depending on the client’s request. “Green cleaning is very important. We need to be aware of the environment and how we relate to it with the products we consume,” Carolina said. Seventh Generation products are a favorite brand that the team uses to clean without toxic chemicals.

When she first started out, Carolina was out in the field doing cleaning with her staff, but now she focuses solely on the administrative aspects and on growing the business. She felt it was important to get exposure to the actual cleaning process, in order to know exactly what her customers were experiencing. “When you’re selling a product, you need to know what you’re selling,” she said. She doesn’t miss being out in the field, though, and feels that her main focus should be on taking Ecoverde Maids to the next level. To that end, she has a staff of ten people who are helping to handle the day-to-day cleaning services.

Despite the challenges, she finds the work to be fulfilling. “I started the business four years ago and it’s been evolving. I like trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. I alter my systems accordingly. The best part is to see something that I created with my own hands grow and become a success.”

One of the secrets to her success is the personal touch she has the team leave after each client’s home is cleaned. “We want the client to have a feeling of coming home to a clean and fresh house, so we leave mints on top of our company business card.” Another critical component is soliciting feedback from her customers frequently. “The same day of the cleaning our clients get an email asking them to rate the team. Their response goes to us and to the cleaning teams. This is how we do quality control and to make sure clients are happy with this team. Customer satisfaction is very important.” 

From her many years of success, she offers some words of advice for someone looking to start their own cleaning business. “You’ve got to have patience most of all. There’s a lot of work out there, many people who are busy and who need their homes cleaned. In the beginning it will be slow going but put yourself out there and advertise. An online presence is one of the most important pieces. You have to keep a good online reputation with good views and a positive image of your brand and business. That will bring long term success.” 

If you’re in the Washington DC or Boston area, you can book Ecoverde Maids for a high-quality green cleaning service today.

Cool "Resist" landscaping on Sherman Avenue house


The other day I was walking down Sherman and spotted this house, with RESIST spelled in rocks in their garden as well as a sign with a lot of progressive values. Pretty neat way to show your opinions. The house also had some pride flags and others. I like living in an area with lots of political sentiment.

Anyone else notice political houses? I'm reminded of the house on 13th that has the alien in the window with various political signs.