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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 (17)
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 (2)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, ilparco
 

I am briefly emerging from the JDLand Weather Monitoring Bunker to pass along these items--feel free to talk all things snow (or anything else) in the comments. (The photo is from Feb. 2010, between the two big snow storms, just one of many I took that day. And no, I'm not going to call it #snowmageddon.)
* IL PARCO: A reader reports this morning that a sign is being hoisted on the Park Tavern building at Canal Park for "Il Parco," with a pizza slice-type icon. I haven't heard anything about how close it is to opening, but the sign should be a good, um, sign. (I expect to have a photo as soon as the official JDLand stringer gets moving.)
UPDATE: And now the stringer has come through!
* WEEKEND HOURS: According to Twitter, Scarlet Oak will be open all weekend, while TaKorean will be open today (Friday) from 11 to 2 and then closed Saturday. Osteria Morini is closing tonight at 8 pm, then will be closed Saturday but is expecting to reopen on Sunday. The Big Stick is closing its kitchen at 5 pm tonight until Monday, but expects the bar to operate on normal hours. Justin's will be offering an "extremely limited menu" from tonight at 5 pm through Sunday. Ice Cream Jubilee is closed today and Saturday but expects to be open on Sunday. I will update if other restaurants announce hours.
UPDATES: Bluejacket is "currently open with a limited menu". Due South is open all weekend (see down in the comments for the list of their Snow Daze Drink Specials). Aura Spa is closed for the weekend.
ANOTHER: Nando's is closing all its DC locations at 8 pm tonight, reopening Sunday at noon.
MORE: Everyone will be crushed to hear that the Virginia Avenue Tunnel demolition will be on hold until Monday morning at 5:30 am. Weekend work will be limited to snow removal and "maintenance of traffic controls."
AND: Agua 301 is open tonight, with happy hour drink specials from 3:30 to close. Hugh & Crye is closed until Monday morning.
* BRIDGE PARK DEEP DIVE: WaPo's Jonathan O'Connell takes a long look at the 11th Street Bridge Park and what it might mean for neighborhoods east of the river should it ever be built.
* BILLY JOEL: The Piano Man is going to be "the first artist ever to play Nationals Park three times," with this week's news of a show scheduled for Saturday, July 30.
* RESIDENT SNOW INFO: ANC commissioner Meredith Fascett has this lineup of tidbits about city storm preparations and items residents need to know. And snow.dc.gov is another good resource.
SATURDAY UPDATE: Keep an eye on my Twitter account for retweets of openings and closings. So far, Bluejacket and TaKorean have said they are closed today, while Willie's and Due South are open. I'll keep updating when I can tear my eyes away from my window.
SUNDAY UPDATE:
Bluejacket is open at 1:30, and Morini is open at 2 pm, both with limited menus.
Agua 301 is opening at 3pm.
Due South and Scarlet Oak are open.
Justin's and the Big Stick are open for libations, but the kitchens are closed.
Ice Yards has been moved to Jan. 30.
TaKorean and Ice Cream Jubilee are closed.
The Canal Park Ice Rink is closed, too.
Comments (11)
More posts: bridgepark, Restaurants/Nightlife, ilparco, parktavern, Stadium Events
 

With a few hours to spare before the year ends, I present to you a Pics-and-Clicks summary of the big moments in Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard/Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards (#NeCaBaRY) in 2015.
New Restaurants
I think the pictures speak for themselves in this section.
New Retail
Tingey Street saw the opening of Pacers Running, Hugh & Crye Menswear, and Banfield Pet Hospital.
Completions
The Hampton Inn at 1st and N and the new Trapeze School space at New Jersey and Tingey snuck in under the wire for 2015. (This section will be considerably larger next year.)
At the Ballpark
Nats Park saw the NHL Winter Classic, new food offerings, and the Taylor Swift invasion. (But not the October games many had been expecting.) Plus, there was the announcement that the 2018 MLB All-Star Game will come to Half Street.
Farewell
The "new neighborhood" is now old enough that some establishments are exiting. We said goodbye to Sizzlin' Express and Buzz Bakery, and await the Italian-themed retooling of the Park Tavern. Plus the Hill Country gameday BBQ pop-up at South Capitol and N will be no more, with development now underway in that spot.
Underway
A mere seven development projects (four residential, two hotel, one office) broke ground in 2015, to go with the mere seven development projects already under construction. (Need a map to keep them all straight? You're in luck!)
Coming soon, an equally speedy summary of what's on tap for 2016.
Comments (5)
More posts: Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail
 

Reports have come to me from a very trusted source (aka Mr. JDLand) that Las Placitas is now open at its new home on the southeast corner of 8th and L, SE.
The Barracks Row mainstay restaurant left its longtime home further north on 8th Street a few months ago, opting to relocate in the former Chicken Tortilla space at 1100 8th St., SE.
It's open for lunch from 11 am to 2 pm, then opens again for dinner at 5 pm. (At least, that's what they told me on the phone, though the maybe it's just open straight through from 11 am to 10 pm, as the sign says.)
(The photo also shows that what appears to be its original blue-and-white sign made the trip down 8th Street as well.)
This makes two restaurants that have opened in this spot recently, with the Ziaafat Grill having arrived next door back in September.
Comments (3)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, lasplacitas
 

With the enticement of coupons for a free order of wings each week for 52 weeks for the first 100 people in line helping to bring a crowd at 10 am on a Monday, the city's first Buffalo Wild Wings opened this morning at 1220 Half St. SE, immediately to the south of the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro entrance and not too far from the main gates at Nationals Park.
Ward 6 council member Charles Allen was on hand to cut the ribbon for the restaurant, which is employing about 130 DC residents, including many whom live very close by in Southwest or Southeast.
It opens daily at 11 am, and stays open until 1 am Fridays and Saturdays and midnight the rest of the week.
Here's a few quick photos of the festivities, with the full batch in this gallery.
Comments (12)
More posts: 55 M St., bww, Restaurants/Nightlife
 

Papers have gone up to cover the windows of the Park Tavern at 2nd and M in Canal Park, with a sign up saying they are closed for renovations. I've sent an inquiry (given that the restaurant's social media feeds and web site remain silent), but my understanding from other sources is that this is more than just a freshening of the decor--one reader says he was told that it will be reopening as a pizza-based venue.
With construction underway on the Canal Park ice rink, scheduled to officially open for the season on Nov. 14, this would seem to be a good time frame for a retooling.

In the meantime, over on Half Street just south of the Metro entrance at M Street, Buffalo Wild Wings is looking close to opening. A worker told me that staff training is expected to start this week, with November 17 being the *targeted* opening date. Though, of course (all together now), We Shall See.
UPDATE: It actually looks like Nov. 16 will be the grand opening (the date I heard many moons ago), with this mailing providing the big hint but also according to sources In the Know.
(PS: There are tentative thoughts about a JDLand happy hour in the coming weeks, probably at BWW. More as the schedule becomes clear.)
Comments (10)
More posts: bww, Restaurants/Nightlife, parktavern
 

* LOWER LAS PLACITAS: Capitol Hill Corner reports that the owners of Las Placitas told ANC 6B that they hope to open in their new location at 8th and L Streets SE on Nov. 1. The space will have 40 seats inside and another 38 along the building's north side.
* 'CAPERS: Excerpts from the one-woman play "'Capers," about how residents of Capper/Carrollsburg dealt with the housing project's demolition, is being performed tonight (Oct. 15) at 7 pm at 400 M St. SE, hosted by the Arthur Capper Carollsburg Community Village. You can also catch the entire play four nights next week at the Forum Theatre in Silver Spring.
* DSS BARRY CEREMONY: The Display Ship Barry isn't actually leaving just yet, but on Saturday Oct. 17 the Navy is holding a departure ceremony at 10 am inside the fences of the Navy Yard. See the announcement for details, including how to get into the base if you wish to attend. It was announced in February that the ship will be dismantled and removed from its home along the Anacostia Riverwalk.
* WATCH. BOX.: A "watch box" (guard shack) that stood as part of the sentry post at the Navy Yard's 8th Street entrance from 1853ish until 1905ish and was passed through by Abraham Lincoln just hours before his assassination has been restored and formally ribbon-cut on Oct. 8 after its return earlier this year from a 110-year stay at Indian Head. (Though unfortunately it's on display on a portion of the grounds that most of us will never see.)
* SODOSOPA: South Park took on gentrification last week, with the new neighborhood of SoDoSoPa, the Lofts at SoDoSoPa, and the Residences at the Lofts at SoDoSoPa. And there was this: "What this town needs is a Whole Foods. It will instantly validate us as a town that cares about stuff." (And yet you people still refuse to adopt my new name for this neighborhood, Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards, #NeCaBaRY.)
* BRIDGE BEFORE AND AFTER: DDOT's historic photos Tumblr recently included a shot from 1966 of the early construction of the downriver 11th Street Bridge span. And I realized I have a photo taken from a very similar location as the span was dismantled in 2012 and its offspring was built. (The piers remain in the water, though, as the potential underpinnings of the 11th Street Bridge Park.)
Comments (5)
More posts: 11th Street Bridges, barry, Capper, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, lasplacitas, Navy Yard
 

Perhaps I haven't had my ear to the right parts of the ground, so it's a bit of a shock to see these photos, passed along by the official JDLand stringer this morning, announcing that Ziaafat Grill and Restaurant is now open for business at 1102 8th Street SE, in the old Levi's Port Cafe space and next door to the eventual new home for Las Placitas.
The menu shows a lineup of Indian food, with a buffet at all times as well as chicken tikka, kabobs, lamp chops, biryani, and karahi. And nan, of course.
I do not know the hours (not seeing a phone number to call on the menu posted in the window), so if anyone feels like heading over there for lunch and coming back with a report, you'll get a JDLand Gold Star. UPDATE: The BID says the hours are 10 am to 10 pm daily.
(I'll update here as I get more info, but didn't want this dish to be served cold, as it were. Also, the "Muy Pronto" sign in the Las Placitas window is pretty funny.)
If you never went to Levi's, you may not know that it's not exactly a spacious interior, so be prepared for more of a carryout option than fine sit-down dining.
Comments (3)
More posts: 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, ziaafat
 

Rumored a few months ago after a liquor license application appeared in the pipeline, it's officially being announced today by Forest City Washington that the owners of Brooklyn Winery will be opening DC's first "urban winery" in a new 16,000-square-foot pavilion on the southwest corner of 4th and Water Streets SE in the Yards Park.
It will be named District Winery, and is to "feature the most popular components" of the Brooklyn version--it will be a full-service restaurant, and will also have a wine tasting area, a private events space with an open-air terrace, and, "of course, an impressive collection of wines, crafted and aged onsite." The Brooklyn operation is also apparently a quite popular venue for weddings.
The new pavilion's design will apparently be quite a wood-and-glass look that will echo the nearby Lumber Shed and the Yards Park itself. When I wrote about the rumors back in May, I included some 2009-era imaginings of what the pavilion could look like from when the Yards Park was going through its approvals process, but my understanding is that the design has evolved considerably, with District Winery's input. (No new renderings are being made available just yet, however.)
Forest City says it expects to start construction in the spring of 2016 and that the winery would open in the fall of 2017.
Comments (19)
More posts: districtwinery, Restaurants/Nightlife, Yards Park
 
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