Monday, August 7, 2017

Himitsu, Timber Pizza on Bon Appetit's 50 Best New Restaurants list; Himitsu also on Eater's Top 12


Wow, our area is getting some more love from critics. Bon Appetit, which named Bad Saint the #2 best new restaurant in the country last year, has given some plaudits to two spots on Upshur this year: Timber Pizza Co. and Himitsu. They put both among the 50 best new restaurants in the country, along with other DC spot Pineapple and Pearls on Barracks Row.

Himistu also made Eater.com's 12 Best New Restaurants list, along with spots in San Francisco, Knoxville, TN and more.

Himitsu is a Japanese spot where Cappy's Crabs and Crane & Turtle were before at 828 Upshur Street NW, and Timber Pizza Co. is a former food truck with a wood-fired oven at 809 Upshur, which was formerly a small church.

Pretty awesome to see this kind of praise for more local spots. In a few weeks Bon Appetit will announce what the top restaurants are from the list.

Any favorite dishes at either spot?


Photos from their Facebook pages

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bar and restaurant maybe in the works at 3124 Georgia




The other day I walked past 3124 Georgia Ave NW, just south of Kenyon, and it looks like a bar/resturant is going in. This place was originally planned to be Hush Restaurant and Lounge, but their liquor license was denied when the ANC thought it sounded more like a club.

There's a new permit on the window extending an earlier permit to enlarge the windows and doors for a restaurant/bar on the first floor with an office upstairs. The building is owned by the same LLC as applied for Hush's permit, so it may be the same thing.

The building is two doors down from Colony Club and the space itself is pretty big and open (though without a back door) and there looks to be a bar built.

I talked with someone who works nearby and they said the building has been under construction for some time, so maybe that work was done a while ago, but the new permit may mean progress has restarted.

This building, if you recall is a two-story building that previously had a banner on it asking people to rent it for a restaurant or bar. (See below from Google.)





First Friday on Georgia Avenue, this Friday: check out local businesses, get free wine!


First Friday on Georgia Avenue is right around the corner, this Friday, August 4. The event, organized by Georgia Avenue Thrive, features all kinds of deals at local businesses, including my favorite, a free glass of wine plus BOGO books at Walls of Books. And it's beach themed -- I like it. Here's the Facebook invite, and read on for more!
It's hot out there! Enjoy another great First Friday on Georgia Avenue, #Beachinthecity edition! We will again have almost 20 businesses (see list below) Georgia Avenue NW in Park View & Petworth. Drink, food and retail specials, live music, art and more. Mark those calendars, get into a relaxed brach mindset and stay tuned for the specials and special events for the August one. And, as always, we are partnering with our friends in Petworth Petworth Arts Collaborative. Happy Friday! 
Add your favorite "summer strut" songs to our First Friday summer playlist on Spotify by "following" the playlist and then adding them: bit.ly/2uAtLiB 
Participating businesses: ♣ Bravo Bar: TBD♣ Colony Club: Screening and ping pong tournament with a professional ping pong player, and a filmmaker who's making a documentary about him
♣ Heat Da Spot Coffee Lounge: TBD
♣ District Dogs: Water bowls along Georgia Avenue, 15% off retail
♣ Union Drinkery & SmallFry DC: $5 Painkiller (coconut & dark rum cocktail)
♣ Ana's Restaurante: TBD
♣ Walls of Books - Washington, DC: A complimentary glass of wine and + Buy 1, Get 1 on all books +buy any T-shirt (crew, v-neck, racerback, kids) and get a book free PLUS: Featuring art on display
♣ The Midlands: BoGo coupon for Monday
♣ Esencias PanameƱas Restaurant & Catering
♣ Yoga Heights: Rooftop Yoga @ The Swift (3828 Georgia Ave) @6:15pm. (Sign up via App or on website)
♣ Mom 'N Pop Antiques [NEW]: 20% off & live piano music
♣ The Looking Glass Lounge: TBD
♣ DC Reynolds: BoGo
♣ Walters Sports Bar: 50% off all drinks
♣ Reliable Tavern: $6 First Friday Beach Punch
♣ Ten Tigers Parlour [NEW]: $5 Classic Daiquiri
♣ The Hilltop Bar & Restaurant (Sherman Ave): Sex On the Beach Cocktail
♣ Heat Da Spot Coffee Lounge: TBD♣ District Dogs: Water bowls along Georgia Avenue, 15% off retail♣ Union Drinkery & SmallFry DC: $5 Painkiller (coconut & dark rum cocktail)♣ Ana's Restaurante: TBD ♣ Walls of Books - Washington, DC: A complimentary glass of wine and + Buy 1, Get 1 on all books +buy any T-shirt (crew, v-neck, racerback, kids) and get a book free PLUS: Featuring art on display ♣ The Midlands: BoGo coupon for Monday♣ Esencias PanameƱas Restaurant & Catering♣ Yoga Heights: Rooftop Yoga @ The Swift (3828 Georgia Ave) @6:15pm. (Sign up via App or on website) ♣ Mom 'N Pop Antiques [NEW]: 20% off & live piano music♣ The Looking Glass Lounge: TBD ♣ DC Reynolds: BoGo♣ Walters Sports Bar: 50% off all drinks♣ Reliable Tavern: $6 First Friday Beach Punch♣ Ten Tigers Parlour [NEW]: $5 Classic Daiquiri ♣ The Hilltop Bar & Restaurant (Sherman Ave): Sex On the Beach Cocktail 
Beach "activities" on The old Murry's parking lot

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Two meetings on 16th Street bus lanes today: 16th and U, 16th and Irving



If you're a frequent bus rider, you may be excited to hear that DDOT is looking into adding bus lanes to 16th Street. They're holding two events today from 4:30-7pm at 16th and Irving and 16th and U to present the project and get feedback. The events are drop-in, so no need to be there at the start.

There's also an online "open house" where you can submit feedback at 16thStreetNWBus.com.

Here's more from DDOT:
Public Events Today! 
16th Street Bus Lanes Project - Design Phase 
Upcoming Events
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will kick-off a series of public events for the Design Phase of the 16th Street NW Bus Lanes Project. The purpose of the project is to improve bus service and reliability on the 16th Street NW corridor. At the events, DDOT will provide an overview of the project, present roadway layouts, and gather public feedback. 
Engagement Events 
Tuesday, August 1st
4:30 pm - 7:00 pm 
Two Locations:
16th and Irving Street NW
16th and U Street NW 
Online Open House
July 27 - September 1
16thStreetNWBus.com  
In April 2016, DDOT released the 16th Street NW Transit Priority Planning Study, which resulted in a set of recommendations to be advanced to the design phase. The recommendations included peak-hour, peak direction bus lanes, bus service changes, bus stop improvements, and transit priority infrastructure. The design phase of the 16th Street NW Bus Lanes Project will use this set of recommendations to begin environmental documentation and develop preliminary engineering designs. 
The public has three opportunities to give input on this phase of the project: a public meeting, an on-site engagement event at two locations, and an online open house. All events will cover the same material and provide an opportunity for public feedback. The public meeting will be open-house style with an opportunity for participants to listen to a presentation, review the roadway layouts, and provide feedback. The engagement events will be held at two high ridership bus stops: 16th and Irving Street NW and 16th and U Street NW. The online open house will include a narrated presentation. The comment period for this phase will end on September 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm. All comments can be submitted on the website, by mail, or email. 
If you have any other questions or comments, please contact Spring Worth at spring.worth@dc.gov or 202-673-1736.
Visit the Website

Monday, July 31, 2017

New marijuana smoke shop open on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan, Grass&Co.


Maybe a little out of our area, but is close enough that it applies to Columbia Heights residents: this past weekend I spotted a new marijuana dispensary at 1730 Columbia Road NW called Grass&Co.

I can't really find much out about the place from their Facebook but they seem to sell various strands of marijuana and apparently other things too -- I would assume pipes and maybe hemp or marijuana themed items.

They previously operated as a pop-up shop with various marijuana tastings and the like.

Here's more from their Facebook:
Greetings all! Its been a long time since you guys have heard from Grass&Co. We were humbled by the outpouring of warm messages and new friends we've made at each event. But we're back! In fact, our official Grass&Co. community smoke shop opens this Saturday the 29th (tomorrow) and we're having a huge grand opening party. No tickets, no payment. Just a whole lot of fun and 25% off most products. The Adams Morgan community has shown us a lot of love and we're hoping to extend that love to the rest of DC. Stop by and say hello! 
Where: 1730 Columbia Rd. NW, DC 20009 
When: We open at 9AM and the grand opening party is from 5-8PM.

Here's the flyer from their grand opening on the 29th.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Free yoga classes every Monday at Georgia and Morton, and fitness coach this Saturday


Want to get in shape? Local yoga studio Yoga Heights and Georgia Avenue Thrive, the local nonprofit that does a lot around the avenue, has organized free workout classes every Monday in the parking lot at the former Murry's store on the corner of Georgia and Morton (where the Park View mural is.)

The Monday events are at 6:30pm with free yoga, and this coming Saturday there are two sessions with a fitness coach and free food samples. See more below:
You still have a chance to get your fitness groove on! Join Coach G. for a blockbuster fitness work out 10-12 pm, Saturday, July 29th! At 3400 Georgia Avenue (old Murry’s Parking Lot). You'll have not one, but two opportunities!

Work Out 1: 10:15 am
Work Out 2: 11:15 am

Come and get fit with a live DJ, food samples from Sweetgreen, and more!

For more info, go to: SWEATDC.com

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