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You know I was feeling pretty sick in recent days if I couldn't even summon the energy to post the news that Open Road Bar and Grill will be coming to the currently under construction 99 M Street office building, in the space next to its already announced sibling Circa on the southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE.
Those who read the JDLand comments got a sense a few weeks ago that something along these lines was coming when I posted this 99 M floor plan showing "new bar concept by Circa," but good to now have Open Road officially named.
According to WBJ, it's expected that the building will be finished in late 2017 (though it better start coming out of the ground pretty soon to meet that) and that the restaurants would open in mid-2018.
Open Road's Merrifield location has a pretty standard American Bar Food menu, plus lots of beer options.
And the 99 M location already has a placeholder web site!
This is the third restaurant announcement in recent days, joining news of Chix coming to Half Street this summer and The Salt Line coming to Dock 79 in 2017, and it occurred to me that people might be starting to lose track of what's in the pipeline. So, of course, I built a map.
And while it's neat to see 11 food options in the pipeline (and I didn't even include Nicoletta, because, well, they will need to re-earn my trust), it's also time to start thinking about the incredible amount of retail space in the pipeline.
Arris has about 17,000 square feet of space left to lease, Insignia on M has 11,000 sf, ORE 82 has 5,800 sf, 909 Half has "significant" ground-floor retail space, Homewood Suites has 4,800 sf, F1rst has about 21,000 sf left in not only its ground floor but the cute little two-story building it's planning at 1st and N, Dock 79 has about 12,000 sf remaining, and 1244 South Capitol will have about 26,000 sf. And even 99 M still has another 2,300 sf of space remaining.
That's well over 100,000 square feet of as-yet-unspoken-for space that will be available just within the next two years, in addition to the smattering of space still available in existing buildings.
And adding in just the JBG and Lynch Half Street projects north of Nats Park would double that number by, say, 2019, as each are billing about 60,000 sf of retail and could be getting underway late this year or early next year. Which is why I left a lot of room on my Future Food map--and I bet it'll become a Future Food and Retail map before long.
One would think there is a whole lot of competition behind the scenes for all of this space. It will be interesting to watch.
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JES says: (4/12/16 2:14 PM)
Is it odd to anyone else that there are leases signed and announcements for restaurants that won't open until 2018, despite there being so much available space right now? Is it THAT important to Circa to be on that corner that they wouldn't have wanted to open 2 years earlier in Arris instead? Just seems weird.


JD says: (4/12/16 2:17 PM)
When it comes to that corner? No, I don't think it's odd at all.

That corner is one of the most visible in the entire neighborhood, and one of the most central. And if you are looking for prime baseball-related space, it's still going to be ready before any other truly prime baseball-related space (i.e., Half Street).

Location, location, location, JES.


conngs0 says: (4/12/16 3:41 PM)
JD, I fully support keeping Nicoletta off of any maps until they've actually opened for business. What's the holdup?!

On the same topic, I'm absolutely ready for Nicoletta to arrive! I actually think that Il Parco is off to a decent start with their venture (they've managed to clear the infinitesimally small hurdle of outperforming Park Tavern in terms of quality of food and service), but there's still a significant niche in the neighborhood for a good and relatively inexpensive takeaway pizza place.


G Street says: (4/13/16 9:32 AM)
Nice map, JD!


arlancas says: (4/13/16 10:32 AM)
Conngs0: I find Justin's to be way better (and cheaper) than Il Parco, but another choice would be welcome.



JES says: (4/13/16 11:36 AM)
Justin's is definitely cheaper, but I don't think it's any better than il Parco, personally. They're just different. Justin's is a place where we'll typically get takeout, while il Parco's more of a restaurant-like experience where we'll typically dine in. They're both pizza, sure, but they're both different in taste and atmosphere.


DCmapnerd says: (4/14/16 9:48 AM)
Maybe Eataly will sign with JBG or the Lynch Half St project since it looks like they're a no-go at Capitol Crossing. That would be awesome!


walt says: (4/14/16 1:05 PM)
Why can't someone just make pizza by the slice? Also, Benny's Pizza in Hoboken NJ is and always has been the best pizza-by-the-slice in the world. Ever.


Sophia Monster says: (4/15/16 9:25 AM)
Stop complaining and eat your chicken. :P


JNM says: (4/17/16 7:44 AM)
The owners of HITT Contracting also own the MHG Group behind Circa and Open Road, so of course they'd open in their own building if possible.

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02/22/21 
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