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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Restaurants/Nightlife

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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.
Comments (10)
More posts: 99m, circa, Restaurants/Nightlife, openroad
 

As first reported by Eat DC and then press-release'ed today by PoPVille, DC restaurant Chix has announced it will be opening on Half Street this summer, in the space between Buffalo Wild Wings and the entrance to the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station, in the block north of Nats Park.
It's the restaurant's third location, and will be serving the same chicken and vegetarian dishes as at the other spots. Chix describes itself as "a green eatery that is committed to providing natural, healthy, delicious, affordable, quick, Latin-flavored meals in a casual environment." The press release says that all of Chix's chicken is "naturally raised, certified antibiotic free, hormone free, halal and locally sourced from Shenandoah Valley Organic Farms in Harrisonburg, Virginia." And their motto is "Eat Responsibly."
It will be open seven days a week, with dine-in, takeout, and delivery service for lunch and dinner.
The neighborhood is becoming quite the poultry destination, with Chix joining B-Dubs next door, Bonchon up the street, and Nando's Peri-Peri a few blocks away.
Comments (8)
More posts: 55 M St., chix, Restaurants/Nightlife
 

While their web site says that a "grand opening" is still a few weeks away, the rooftop lounge at the Hampton Inn dubbed "Top of the Yard" * is apparently open for business, starting at 5 pm every day and with extended hours on days where games at the ballpark start earlier.
With its location immediately north of Nats Park, and with a view of (most of) the field, it will probably be a destination of interest--and a few occupants were caught on camera during MASN's broadcasts this weekend, and I captured MASN capturing them on camera, as you see above.
The menu (scroll down on the official site) features burgers and hot dog-type offerings along with "snacks and shareables." According to the Post's Going Out Guide, the beer lineup is Budweiser-ish, with Bud, Shock Top, and Goose Island. The space will also be available to rent for private events.
I took some photos up on the roof back in December, right when the hotel opened, so the area wasn't quite finished yet, and the low winter sun made for less-than-optimal peeking into the ballpark, but here are some of those images, until I get up there to replace them. (Note that there are also lovely views of the rest of the neighborhood--see more photos here.)
I also hear tell that the Hampton is looking to open a sidewalk cafe where alcohol would be served.
I've now added this to my What's New Outside the Ballpark page (if you need to catch up) and also my Food Map.
* The logo on the official web site is "Top of the Yard," but all of the site's copy says "Top of the Yards." Looks like someone needs a copy editor.
Comments (11)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, hamptoninn, Square 701, topoftheyard
 

The first news of a retail tenant at Dock 79 arrives today, with the news that "The Salt Line," a seafood restaurant from the group behind Sixth Engine, Town Hall, and the Dubliner, will open in the Spring of 2017.
Featuring a "New England-inspired menu in a casual and relaxed 3,500-square-foot space with ample outdoor dining and an outdoor riverfront bar," the menu from Chef Kyle Bailey will have seafood and a raw bar at its heart, with "a selection of straightforward New England classics, along with Bailey's own intepretations on the regional fare, and a few Chesapeake Bay-influenced specials."
The restaurant will also have a lineup of regional craft beers and a "creative cocktail program."
The Salt Line will join Whaley's, coming this spring, up river at the Lumber Shed, as seafood restaurants along the west bank of the Anacostia River. The name "Salt Line" apparently "pays homage to the delicate nature of DC's waterways, referring to the point in an estuary in which the water salinity transitions from salt to fresh water."
Dock 79 will have 305 rental units, and is expected to be finished later this year. It's on the site known in these parts as "Florida Rock," the old concrete plant footprint on the river just south of Nationals Park. It has 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space overall, facing both the Anacostia and the new plaza that is being built between it and Diamond Teague Park.
Comments (11)
More posts: Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife
 

Here's a good object lesson in reading the fabulous JDLand comment threads on a regular basis--because if you did, you would already know that on Friday, in the midst of the spirited discussion about the Bardo Big River liquor license, a comment appeared from the owner of the Brig, the long (long long) in-process beer garden at 8th and L Streets, SE:
"the brig is on track to open in 30-60 days.
"Pavers are going in as are the 40 taps.
"More info and probably a big story after JD reads this.
"Bring your well behaved dogs here too.
"1007 8th Street SE at the corner of 8th and L."
And lo and behold, as my pictures from mere minutes ago attest, pavers are indeed going in, and temporary signage has appeared, and a new iron fence (currently still behind the existing cyclone fence).
There is still work to be done on the inside of the building, and then certificates of occupancy and health department approval, so I wouldn't carve any date in stone just yet, but the homestretch does appear to be in view.
The road to this point began all the way back in late 2010 with plans for a combination restaurant/beer garden in a new building right on the corner. It spent most of 2011 in historic preservation review, then returned in 2013 with a simplified design that eventually was approved, and a building permit was issued in November 2014, with construction getting underway in early 2015. The work proceeded, shall we say, slowly, with the service building's exterior looking complete in November, but by then it was, well, winter.
When it does open, perhaps it will be a good spot for the next JDLand Happy Hour.
Comments (28)
More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife
 

Word has arrived today (h/t Barred in DC) that the city's Alcohol Beverage Control Board has denied the application for a liquor license submitted by Bardo for its proposed outdoor beer garden and "neighborhood-oriented park" on the west end of the Florida Rock site, just across Potomac Avenue from Nats Park.
This was Bardo's second attempt at a license for this site (having withdrawn the original application before a ruling was made), and a previous similar notion for the site was denied a liquor license for similar reasons back in 2013.
You can read the entire ruling here, but the gist of it is on page 2:
"While Bardo has presented a modified Application, the Board is not convinced that this new business plan alleviates the problems previously identified at this site. Specifically, the Board is still not convinced that an open air tavern has the capability to prevent unreasonable noise disturbances; that the neighborhood has a sufficient amount of parking; that Bardo can coexist or be included in the neighborhood's official traffic plan; that encouraging stadium attendees to cross Potomac Avenue, S.E., is safe; and that Bardo can exist without delaying or interfering with people and vehicles attempting to the leave Nationals Park after games or other events. Consequently, Board finds itself compelled to once again deny an application at this location."
Bardo optimistically started construction on the site more than a month ago, plus started advertising for staff, and was telling outlets that it "might start serving customers as early as April." As recently as this morning Bardo tweeted a photo of the "freshly milled wood going into the construction of our riverfront brewgarden."
However, this afternoon, there was this tweet:
In the meantime, construction continues on the Dock 79 apartment building just to the east of the Bardo footprint, with leasing about to start and move-ins coming later in 2016.
Is the writing now perhaps on the wall/bulkhead for the notion of an outdoor drinking/congregation establishment on this site?
PS: It's probably worth emphasizing for people wandering through who don't read this stuff religiously that this is not the Fairgrounds site north of the ballpark.
UPDATE: The full transcript of the Feb. 10, 2016 hearing may be illuminating, as might be the first Bardo hearing in April of 2015, and perhaps the ruling rejecting the pre-Bardo venture back in 2013.
Comments (24)
More posts: Alcohol/Liquor Licenses, bardo, Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife, riverwalk
 

On Feb. 18 the Zoning Commission unanimously approved the submitted plans for a new-construction building at the Yards on the southwest corner of 4th and Water Streets, SE, that is to be home to District Winery, DC's first-ever winery (at least, as far as the owners can tell).
Brian Leventhal, one of the owners of both Brooklyn Winery and the coming DC venture, told the commission that this will be a full commercial winery, processing fresh grapes brought in from various US locations (including Virginia).
And since "you can't have wine without food," there will also be a 90-seat interior restaurant open seven days a week, which will also have outdoor seating.
In addition, the 2nd floor will be an events space, which the winery hopes will become a "very coveted wedding space," as well as a location for corporate and political events. There will also be tours of the winery, and bottles will be available for purchase (with "Bottled in the District of Columbia" on the labels).
Leventhal also showed some slides of Brooklyn Winery's operations to the commission, which you can see here.
Forest City's Jonathan Gertman testified that the company is targeting June 1 for the start of construction, and Leventhal said that they are hoping to be open by September of 2017. A liquor license is already in hand.
I posted a few weeks ago the early designs for the building, which will be a sibling of sorts for the Lumber Shed (and eventually there will be a third retail pavilion nestled between the two). The image at the top of this post is a slightly more realized version, though note that the red dots and lines aren't actually part of the design (I grabbed it from the zoning filings). The entrances will be on the wall facing west toward the Lumber Shed, and the restaurant will be on the south end of the building, where outdoor seating will look toward the Anacostia River.
Other than concerns about whether a winery would be a permitted use or an associated use under the zoning overlay, and some small frustrations about not being exactly sure what the differences were between the original approvals back in 2009 and the new case, all the zoning commissioners were enthusiastic about the project and the design. Michael Turnbull said that "I think this is going to be such a cute little building, and I think it'll be a fun place to go," while Robert Miller called it a "very exciting project, a very attractive building, a unique activating use in this Yards area," and that he looks forward to sampling it.
The commissioners felt no need to request additional information or changes, and with the Office of Planning recommending approval, and with ANC 6D's unanimous vote in support earlier this month, the commission took final action and approved the case 5-0-0.
Comments (9)
More posts: Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, winery, The Yards, Yards Park, zoning
 

The Washington Post's Tim Carman is reporting today that the owners of DGS Delicatessen are planning to open Whaley's, a "small raw bar and restaurant" in the final ground-floor space of the Lumber Shed at the Yards, facing the Anacostia River between Osteria Morini and Agua 301.
It will have a 40-seat dining room and a 20-seat bar, and "will offer shellfish towers, crudos and seafood dishes," but won't focus exclusively on Mid-Atlantic seafood--but "will serve only sustainable seafood, wherever it may be found."
The timeline sounds surprisingly fast--"this spring"--and there's already a placeholder web site at whaleysdc.com.
This is not the first seafood raw bar attempted in this space--it was announced in the summer of 2014 that the Navy Yard Oyster Company would be opening there, but by July 2015 that venture fell by the wayside.
In the WaPo article, Whaley's owner Nick Wiseman speaks of Crisfield's in Silver Spring and its "personal neighborhood feel" as a model for Whaley's--but also is "not naive" about the "seasonal nature" of the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood:
"'It's a place that, in the summer, it's booming, and we have to be special enough that people want to come in the winter,' he says. 'We're trying to design a restaurant that can do that.'"
And, just as I hit the button to post this, I received the press release from Forest City confirming the lease. It adds that the name "honors the Revolutionary War hero Zedechiah Whaley, commander of the tiny Maryland Navy. History holds that Commander Whaley was a casualty during a storied Chesapeake Bay battle while single-handedly confronting a small squadron of British ships in an effort to protect the local watermen."
The Forest City press release also has these details on other Yards projects, for those itching to know:
* Arris is to "welcome its first residents in early March";
* Philz Coffee is still planning to open in Arris's northwest corner, on Tingey, "this spring";
* The Yards Park marina is also scheduled to open in spring 2016;
* The Showplace Icon movie theater construction is expected to start "later this year with completion anticipated for 2018."
* District Winery construction is expected to start this year, with opening expected in late 2017.
* The combo 191-unit Forest City apt bldg/138-unit PN Hoffman condo bldg at 4th and Tingey on "Parcel O" to start in 2016 as well, but doesn't say when.
Comments (7)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, whaleys, The Yards
 

Recent zoning filings are giving interested observers (i.e., me, and most likely you) a watercolor'ed early rendering of the new Yards Park "pavilion" expected to be home to District Winery, a "boutique" winery/restaurant/event space on the southwest corner of 4th and Water Streets, SE.
As described in the filings, the winery "will produce premium small batch wines served on the premises and occasionally sold in bottles for patrons to consume elsewhere. Guests will be able to tour the winery, taste wines at the wine bar, have dinner at the restaurant and reserve the second floor venue for a private event, such as a wedding receptions, corporate event or private function." It will have a capacity of 750 persons, with 450 seats.
The filing goes on to say that the winery, the "first of its kind" in DC, is expected to open in the fall of 2017.
The drawing above is the view as seen from the Yards Park, on the southwest side of the building (so, as if you are walking east from Osteria Morini). Here are slightly less impressionistic but still early drawings of the elevations from all four sides (click to enlarge):
There will eventually be a third pavilion positioned between the winery and the Lumber Shed--the filing says that Forest City is "working on securing a retail tenant(s)" and that it will "most likely be a restaurant."
The zoning hearing for the winery is scheduled for February 18. This plan was supported by ANC 6D in a 7-0-0 vote on Jan. 11, "contingent upon the execution of a mutually agreed construction management plan."
Comments (22)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, winery, The Yards, Yards Park, zoning
 

If you are wandering by Canal Park tonight (Saturday) and see the lights on in the former Park Tavern space, it's a soft opening for Il Parco, the new Neapolitan-style pizza/Italian restaurant.
The doors are opening around 5:30 pm, with a limited menu being served for just a few hours (or until the pizza dough runs out).
A passerby last night snuck a peek at the newly installed pizza oven, which apparently weighs 7,000 lbs.
Further details on additional "soft" hours, and when the "real" opening will be, etc., to come. (I don't have my own shot of the real sign yet, but here's one.)
Comments (5)
More posts: Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, ilparco
 
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