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!