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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: the Big Stick
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9 Blog Posts Since 2003

How's that Metro Shutdown Day working for you? At least it was a beautiful morning for a walk/ride/telecommute to your sofa, for those lucky enough to have those options.
Here's a few things, some of which could be their own posts, but, well, my walk wore me out.
MOVIE THEATER EXTENSION: On Monday night the Zoning Commission granted Forest City's request for a two-year extension to the PUD governing the plans for the Showplace Icon movie theater on the current DC Water site, which has continued to see delays because of DC Water's issues with moving some of its operations off of the site as planned. And, probably in response to a WBJ story a few days ago headlined "Big trouble for proposed multiplex at The Yards? Site 'may be in limbo for many years'," Forest City issued a press release quoting its president, Deborah Ratner Salzberg, as saying that "We look forward to beginning construction on the Showplace Icon Theater at The Yards by the end of this year," and that "DC Water, the District and Forest City meet weekly on this project to ensure that this first-ever theater complex for Southeast DC opens on time." There is also a quote from the CEO of Kerasotes Showplace Theaters, Tony Kerasotes, saying that "We realize this is a complicated site and remain fully engaged in seeing it through and moving forward with construction."
HISTORIC DESIGNATION: The little Lincoln Playground Field House at 555 L Street SE, now nestled between Van Ness Elementary School and the Bixby, has been designated a DC historic landmark. It was built in 1934, and you can read more about its significance here. As for getting it rehabilitated, ANC commissioner Meredith Fascett says there will be a community meeting upcoming on both the field house and a redesign of the adjacent Joy Evans Park.
POLLING PLACE MOVE: The DC Board of Elections has announced that the polling place for Near Southeast's Precinct 131 will be moving from Van Ness Elementary School to the gym at the new Capper Community Center one block to the north, starting with the June 14 primary. However, DCBOEE might want to double-check the address they are using for the community center, since in the past it's always been 1000 5th St., SE, and "1005" would be one of the townhouses across the street.
DOCK 79 LEASING: Pre-leasing of the apartment building on the Florida Rock site just south of Nats Park starts on April 7, the day of the Nats home opener.
BIG STICK HOURS: The beer and brats place at Half and M SE has applied for a "substantial change" to its liquor license, looking to extend its allowed beverage sales/service/consumption hours to 1 am Sunday-Thursday and 2 am Friday and Saturday.
Comments (2)
More posts: the Big Stick, Florida Rock, lincoln, The Yards at DC Water
 

Just some things that didn't make it to the blog during the outage:
* MORE GROUND BROKEN: I had posted a photo last week of the new fence at not-Ballpark Square but wasn't quite ready to say that construction had started. However, the pile driver has arrived, and steel beams are already sticking out of the ground, so I think it's now safe to add the residential/hotel portion of the project to the ludicrous lineup of developments currently underway. (The office component at 99 M is expected to get started before long as well.) It's also the fourth to break ground just within the past month or so, joining residential projects 909 Half and 82 I and the Homewood Suites hotel at 50 M. And I think that's probably it for major projects getting started until the end of this year or early next year.
* BONCHON GETTING CLOSER: The paper is off the windows, so I was able to see where things stand at Bonchon--and it's looking well along. (Not pictured are the five or so boxes containing large flat-panel TVs.)
* DEMO PERMIT APPS: Applications have been submitted to demolish two buildings on the DC Water site--a 50,000-square-foot brick building and a 1,980-square-foot wood shed. Whether these are on the footprint of the planned movie theater/accompanying residential, I cannot tell you.
* SPRING! SPRING! There's now quite the inventory of outdoor tables at Willie's Brew & Que, and work is underway for a patio at the Big Stick (photo by Mr. JDLand):
* MORE ABOUT FOOD: I mentioned it in passing before, but there's been enough tweets sent my way to mention again that work has now started at the Scarlet Oak space at 909 New Jersey. And there's purty window ads now, to both get their name out there and to THWART my PEEKING. And closer to the river, at the Lumber Shed, both Due South and the Navy Yard Oyster Company have gotten their building permits.
With all that cleared out of the hopper, I now may be a bit scarce for the rest of the week. Hopefully the site will behave, though.
 

For some reason, visiting the neighborhood's newest eatery wasn't all that high on my list, but a mere month or so after it opened I did finally get to the new Subway Café in 20 M Street, and garnered the appropriate photographic evidence of its interior.
Then I popped in next door at the Big Stick to get some shots when the place wasn't packed, and when natural lighting could take the place of my flash.
With that, the historical record is up-to-date on these two places. Now, to tell my brain it can stop guilting me about this particular task....
Comments (0)
More posts: 20 M, subway, thebigstick
 

Word has filtered my way that Justin Ross's new venture The Big Stick is opening for business at 5 pm today, Dec. 18, in the ground floor of 20 M Street on the northwest corner of Half and M, SE.
Justin tells me that it will be a limited menu for the first few days, and of course there's always some kinks to be worked out, but open is open. As we've found out, the menu will be centered around a beer-and-sausages lineup, with other European-type offerings as well.
Believe it or not, this is the first new (non-temporary) retail establishment to open on Half Street, SE since the revival of Near Southeast began in the late 1990s. If you had told me when the announcement of the site choice for Nats Park was made in September 2004 that it would take a decade to see the opening of just one restaurant on Half Street, well, it's fair to say I would not have believed you.
If you go, give a report in the comments.
Comments (7)
More posts: 20 M, the Big Stick, Restaurants/Nightlife
 

Surveying a few pending tidbits that share a common theme:
* BIG STICK: I figured I'd better finally provide own photo of the restaurant's new signage, at right (click to enlarge). Is it open? Not quite yet, though there are apparently private soft-opening events coming before long.
* 1333 M: I'm pretty sure I don't get paid enough to watch all 3 1/2 hours of Monday night's zoning hearing on Cohen/Siegel's planned three-building 673-unit project on the east end of M Street, though I did survey a few moments here or there. Was it approved? Not quite yet: the commission had a series of items it wants more details and tweaks on, and the project will be back before the board in January. HillNow wrote about the list of community benefits the developer agreed to in its Memorandum of Understanding with ANC 6B.
* DC WATER: There had been some talk last week of Ward 5 councilmember Kenyan McDuffie wanting to use eminent domain to get rid of a trash transfer station on W Street NE and then moving there a portion of the DC Water operations currently at 1st and O SE--which would help allow Forest City to move forward on its movie theater and residential plans. Does this mean that the movie theater is coming soon? Not quite yet: during Tuesday's marathon council meeting, McDuffie withdrew the measure because of a lack of support.
* SOCCER: There's a gonna be a new stadium across the way. It appears. But not quite yet. So, while you're waiting, check out the Walking Tour photos I took of the site last fall.
And one that I couldn't figure out how to shoehorn into the motif:
* YARDS PARK SURVEY: The Yards Park folks would love it if you would take a moment to fill out their 2014 Perception Survey.
 

It's been a long time coming, but it appears that Justin Ross's second neighborhood venture, The Big Stick, is getting close to opening on the northwest corner of Half and M, in the 20 M office building.
The sign is now up (as captured by @CapCityChewy), and yesterday Eater DC had a peek at the designs for the space, saying that the restaurant "will aim to open in the first or second week of December" because Ross "wants things to be up and running smoothly before the Washington Capitals play the Winter Classic at the stadium January 1." Though, as always, let's all repeat the mantra that it will open when it opens.
As for the menu, Eater says that in addition to the sausage-based menu we already knew about, The Big Stick will "also offer some more hard-to-find dishes like raclette, the cheesy European dish," and that the beer menu will "emphasize European lagers and pilsners over hoppy American brews (though they'll still have some of those available)."
There's also some rough sketches of the interior design, which has hints of inspiration from ski lodges (tied in with the raclette, I guess), but "baseball also works its way into the design theme." It will be "bar-centric" as well, with plenty of TVs. So I guess there won't be 8,000 Teddy Roosevelts on the wall?
UPDATED 12/2 to add my own lousy photo of the signage.
Comments (5)
More posts: 20 M, the Big Stick, Restaurants/Nightlife
 

It's a lot of building to knock down, but a milestone of sorts was reached late last week at Building 213 when the demolition punched through from the west to the east, splitting the remnants in two and giving a peek at the vistas to come once it all comes tumbling down.
So I've added a bunch of new photos of the destruction to my Yards Parcel A page, and I also think the destruction is now far enough along to add the 171st entry to my Demolished Buildings Gallery.
In addition, I've scoured the archives and have come up with more than more than 40 vantage points where Spooky Central has been visible from and will be for just a bit longer.
But if you want a few more moments of the building not looking torn apart, go stand about halfway between M and N on first and look eastward above the "Event Parking" sign, as I did above. (I didn't even notice this quirk until I got home and looked at the photo.)
A few blocks away another man-made creation that won't be much lamented is being dismantled, as seen here in its before-and-after, with the Park Chelsea now looming:
Then there's some signage I have needed to officially record, that of the Subway Café and the Big Stick at 20 M (which got its tenant layout building permit approved recently), and the new Homewood Suites banner at 50 M. Plus there's now a tower crane at the Hampton Inn site.
To bring some green to the page, I'll close with this lovely photo of the increasingly lush Monument Valley just north of the ballpark.
And I'll have an even more interesting batch of photos coming soon.
(Click on any of these to launch a mini-slideshow of all of them.)
 

The title of this post says it all (in other words, I am not in full blogging mode this week).
* PUMP IT UP: City Paper reports that DC Water is soliciting bids for the design of a new headquarters, which would move from Blue Plains to a new building atop the existing O Street Pumping Station. (NOT the beautiful Main Pumping Station just to the north!)
And, if one looks at the renderings that Forest City released during its quest for zoning approval to develop three blocks around the station, you can deduce that this idea did not crop up in the last few days. The rendering above shows the O Street station in the right foreground, and you can see how it does look similar to the description reported by City Paper: "[It] will have five stories of offices perched above the pumping station. The offices will be supported by columns; there may or may not be a small gap between them and the pumping station."
(Note that this is a separate issue from the stalled drive to move some of DC Water's operations before Forest City can start work on the proposed movie theater there.)
* THUMBS UP: The Zoning Commission has issued the final orders to allow veterinary hospitals in the Southeast Federal Center Overlay and for the Trapeze School to move to New Jersey and Tingey.
* BOTTOMS UP (OR NOT): An application for a Class C liquor license is now in the pipeline for the The Big Stick, the new restaurant coming later this year to 20 M Street, The application describes the venture thusly: "A sports bar featuring an alpine lodge theme and décor serving casual foods such as bratwursts, sausages and kielbasas, salads, sandwiches, wraps and crispy oven-baked macaroni and cheese. Occasional DJ. No nude performances."
That's all that's up with me. What's up with you?
 

The WBJ Top Shelf blog is reporting that Justin Ross, who took a gamble on the neighborhood when he opened Justin's Cafe in 2010, will be opening a beer-and-sausage restaurant called "The Big Stick" this summer at 20 M Street, within spitting distance of the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station's Half Street entrance, one block north of Nationals Park.
Quoting: "The Big Stick -- named for baseball bats as well as a reference to Nationals' running president Teddy Roosevelt -- will feature house-made bratwurst and other sausages. The beer list will vary from Justin's domestic, craft-heavy offering to some European selections and mass market American beers, Ross said."
(I had *just* seen a building permit application for a new tenant layout at 20 M about an hour ago, and wondered what it might be. Presto!)
The new restaurant will be 20 M's second retail tenant since it opened in 2007, joining a Wells Fargo branch. And this will be the first food offering (other than the Fairgrounds and food trucks) on Half Street.
Comments (10)
More posts: 20 M, the Big Stick, Restaurants/Nightlife, Justin's Cafe
 




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