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4 Blog Posts Since 2003

Foodie news is the main focus in this roundup:
* CIRCA OPEN, EL BEBE SOON: The neighborhood's newest restaurant opened on Monday, with Circa finally arriving on the southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE, not quite 3 1/2 years after it was first announced. As for now, it's open daily at 4 pm. And its sibling El Bebe is coming Any Minute Now.
* MEYER TO THOMPSON: The Thompson Hotel at 3rd and Tingey is still under construction, but the Post's Tom Sietsema reported in his chat last week that uber restaurateur Danny Meyer (he of Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern, and more) will be opening a "full-service restaurant and rooftop bar" in the hotel sometime in 2020. There aren't many details (not even a chef), but this will be a project that will garner a lot of interest.
* ALBI POPUP: If you are looking forward to Albi, which is bringing a "contemporary vision of Middle Eastern cooking as soon through the lens of Modern American techniques and Mid-Atlantic ingredients" to the Bower at 4th and Tingey in "early summer" 2019, there is a two-day "pop up" of "preview dinners" on March 3 and 4. Reservations now available, with prices set at $85 per person, plus optional wine pairings for $35.
And in non-food news:
* CAPPER SENIORS GONE: The first building I watched be built is now the first building I've watched be both built and demolished, though the concrete stairwells and elevator shafts remain and await the building that will replace the structure destroyed by fire last year. This makes for a sad entry #182 in my Demolished Buildings gallery.
* VOTE FOR MOVIES: Time once again to make your preferences known in the Capitol Riverfront BID's 2019 Outdoor Movie Series poll. Voting ends March 4.
* PILE DRIVING: That pounding you heard in your head on Saturday morning wasn't your hangover, it's the start of Saturday pile driving as part of the new Douglass Bridge construction. The approved hours are from 9 am to 7 pm. (And, while I'm speaking of it, a shout-out to the NFDMB folks, who are doing a nice job of outreach with a very complete web site and social media offerings.)
* LOWER 8TH STREET STUFF: ANC 6B commission Kirsten Oldenburg reported in her latest newsletter about some changes to traffic flow near 8th and Virginia, now that the tunnel is completed: "The 800 block of Virginia Avenue and the 900 block of 9th Street SE are now two-way streets and the 1000 block of 9th Street SE between L and M Streets will join them as a two-way street but awaits adjustments to the traffic signal at 9th and M SE. The 800 block of L Street is to become two-way (instead of one way westbound). Pedestrian crossings markings will be added to the 9th & Potomac Avenue SE and 10th & Potomac Avenue SE intersections. " She also says she is in the process of asking DDOT for a traffic calming study of the 8th and L intersection (i.e., where the Brig is).
 

Rounding up some recent small items, for those who don't wander by the site frequently enough to keep up with the Tidbits To Tide You Over offerings:
* SHOTS FIRED: Apparently gunshots were heard on Half Street SE near the Big Stick on Sunday night, and MPD reports that a suspect was arrested for the unlawful discharge of a firearm.
* SOUTH CAP OVAL DETAILS: If you really want to go into the weeds (or grass, or trees, or paving stones, or pedestrian flow) of the two traffic ovals coming to either side of the new Douglass Bridge, these two documents supporting final approval for the designs from the National Capital Planning Commission are for you. Also, WashCycle has a detailed look at the final proposed designs, from a bicycling point of view.
* PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL: From Twitter: New ABRA license app for Punch Bowl Social (1250 Half St SE; ANC 6D); "food made from scratch"; food with "social activities"; 250 seats; 40-seat sidewalk cafe; 20-seat summer garden; live entertainment
* BUILDING A WALL? (no, not that one): The Navy wants to build a flood wall around the Navy Yard that could "increase the flood risk to neighboring properties." (Bloomberg)
* CIRCA COMING SOON: Signage is up, training has begun, and Circa says on its Facebook page that its opening date announcement is "coming soon."
* CAPPER SENIORS COMING DOWN: Demolition began last week on the remnants of the Capper Seniors building at 5th and Virginia, SE. DCist has a summary of a report on the fire and its aftermath by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The official cause remains classified as undetermined, but there are theories--and ATF also faulted DC Fire officials for being too cautious about letting search crews and "other agents" into the building after the blaze. UPDATE: Here is the report itself.
 

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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More posts: 99m, circa, Restaurants/Nightlife, openroad
 

Skanska has announced today that restaurant Circa will open a new location in the ground floor of 99 M Street, the office building just now getting underway on the southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE.
The restaurant will take 5,000 square feet in the building's corner space (seen in the rendering) and will have both indoor and outdoor seating.
Circa also currently has locations in Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle, and Clarendon, and is part of the Metropolitan Hospitality Group, which also operates three restaurants in Merrifield.
This is the first announcement of any tenants for 99 M (either retail or office space), though Skanska's Rob Ward is quoted by WBJ as saying that they are in talks with a "handful" of prospective office anchors.
Circa serves a full menu (including lunch and brunch) at its other locations, "offering American style cuisine with international flair."
This building is on the north end of the stretch of 1st Street between M and N just north of Nats Park, a strip where the Hampton Inn is wrapping up construction and where Grosvenor's Residence Inn and F1rst residential buildings are getting their vertical construction started.
It's not expected that 99 M will open before late 2017.
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More posts: 99m, circa, Restaurants/Nightlife
 




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