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13 Blog Posts Since 2003
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I start with this photo of some recently posted signage, which I'm pretty sure debuted at the top of the list of Most Ignored Signs in Washington. (No one ever believes me when I tell them that riding bikes isn't officially allowed on the Navy Yard portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk.)
And now to a way-too-long pile of tidbits:
* PLAYOFFS: I doubt anyone at this point needs to tell me that the first of what will hopefully be numerous playoff games this October at Nats Park is tonight (Friday), when Game 1 vs the Cubs starts at 7:31 pm. They'll play again tomorrow at 5:38pm, and would return on Thursday Oct. 12 for the fifth game of the series, if necessary. Here's a rundown from the BID of playoff-related festivities and deals that might be of interest.
* WILLOW: I have been remiss in not passing along that DC-based clothing and gift shop Willow is going to be opening a second location in the ground floor of Arris, at 4th and Tingey in the Yards. As described in the BID newsletter, "The store brand adds a distinctive local twist with DC neighborhood-inspired gifts and clothes designed in-house by members of the Willow team."
* DOCKSIDE?: I have not confirmed this personally, but a reader reports being told by workers putting out tables on Thursday that the new Yards Park boardwalk kiosk outlet of Osteria Morini is expected to open this evening. UPDATE: Reader now says that no, it's Due South Dockside. But that's what I get for not reporting it out myself. {hangs head in shame}
* BYE BYE 37 L: Photographic evidence on Twitter of the demolition of the Empire/DC Flyer Cab company building, which is making way for a new residential building. It becomes the 175th entry in my Demolished Buildings Gallery (up a spot from its brief designation as #174, after a reader pointed out that I had neglected to add, of all things, the McDonald's, though I will give myself a break on that one, given the maelstrom in my life at the time).
* THIRD STREET CLOSURE UPDATE: Flashing signage north of 3rd and Virginia says that the four-month-ish-southbound closure is now scheduled to begin Oct. 11. (After the first two games of the playoffs, I might add.) I saw from the freeway yesterday that the huge reinforcing beams (more like tubes) that were installed across the footprint of the two tunnels are being removed between 2nd and 3rd Streets, and there's even now some small square footage where both tunnels are covered with dirt. (UPDATE: The sign was changed this morning to read "On or About Oct. 10," and now the latest VAT newsletter says "as soon as Oct. 9.")
* GARRETT TEA LEAVES: The building permits have been approved, and construction trailers arrived within the past few days at the staging lot on the former trash transfer site at 2nd and K, and so signs are pointing to work getting underway on The Garrett, the last of WC Smith's "Collective" troika. Joining siblings Park Chelsea and not-yet-open-but-newly-landscaped Agora, the Garrett will have about 375 rental units, and ground-floor retail. (No, I don't know when Whole Foods is opening.)
* PARC RIVERSIDE PHASE II: A reader who lives at Velocity says that management informed residents that work is expected to resume Any Second Now (or maybe already has) on the excavation for what will be the second phase of the Parc Riverside residential project, at Half and K.
* BOWER FLOOR PLANS: If you have been desperately awaiting the condo project known as the Bower to start selling, well, that hasn't happened yet, but floor plans are finally available on their web site. (h/t RMP)
 

Some brief items while I continue to be more or less on sabbatical:
* 1ST AND K SLIVER? Urban Turf reports that the owner of garage on the northeast corner of 1st and K has finally sold his lot, and a developer is planning a 12-story 34-unit residential building. Urban Turf has a rendering, but I prefer looking back to December 2004, right after the garage building was rehabbed and opened as A1 Tires. JPI attempted to buy the site back when planning 909 New Jersey, but the owner was, shall we say, not interested. (The expletives still ring in my ear from when I asked him about it a decade ago.)
* YARDS PARK KIOSKS: With the return finally of the approved building permits feed, I was able to report in the comments a few days ago that the construction visible in the kiosks along the boardwalk at the Yards Park were for ventures from the owners of Lumber Shed tenants Due South and Osteria Morini (along with what I believe is office space for the marina). I posted last year about the possibility of "Due South Dockside," but Eater has now reported that the Morini kiosk is not going to be the long-ago announced pizza joint Nicoletta, but a "summer sister spot" for Morini that could open late this summer. "Details about the offshoot are limited, but expect a bar serving draft beer and wine, as well as a pared-down menu of what’s available at the flagship restaurant. That includes made-to-order salads, the New York-transplant’s iconic meatballs, and simple desserts," Eater says.
* FED WAREHOUSE: Another twist in the long-running saga of the warehouse at 49 L Street: There is now a sign up announcing that the site is up for sale, and a commenter found the GSA listing.There was talk a few years back of this building being traded to the city, but that apparently is not coming to pass. (Nor apparently did the city choose it as the site of a homeless shelter.) And once upon a time a group of residents wanted it to become the Half Street Market.
* ROSE PT: The BID Newsletter reports that Rose Physical Therapy Group is now open in the ground floor of 1015 Half Street.
* ROOFING: The first "roof cap" on the rebuilt original Virginia Avenue Tunnel was pored last week, in the 200 block of Virginia Avenue. It seems odd to say these words, but the project is expected to be completed next year. (Time flies.)
* YOU'RE AN ALL STAR: The preparations and publicity for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game at Nats Park are now underway, with the unveiling of the logo and also information on how one might actually procure tickets.
 

More notes about buildings and food:
* BANFIELD: The sign is now up, and "early 2015" looks on track for the Banfield Pet Hospital at Twelve12 on Tingey Street in the Yards.
* 82 I: The lot has been cleared of cars, a new fence has been put up and construction-related signage ("Hard Hats Required") has appeared on the northwest corner of New Jersey and I, where Graystar's 234-unit residential building appears to be ready to get underway the second its shoring/excavation permit comes through.
* FLORIDA ROCKIN': Excavation permits for the first phase of Florida Rock's redevelopment were approved a few weeks ago (hence the beginning of earth-moving), and as of Friday there's now an approved permit for the nine-story apartment building itself. The project's ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled for tomorrow morning (Dec. 9) at 10 am--in a tent, thank heavens. Given that it took more than a decade to get this project to the digging phase, you can't blame developers MRP Realty and Florida Rock Properties for going beyond the normal speeches and ornate shovels: they are having a pig roast as well, after the ceremony until about 3 pm.
* 100 MONTADITOS: It looked very very close to opening last week, but there appears to have been some sort of fly in the ointment (or a Spaniard in the Works, if you will). The Yards tweeted this morning that it is opening this Thursday. Mr. JDLand is monitoring the situation closely. UPDATE: A missive from the Montaditos folks confirms the Thursday opening, with a "Dollarmania" promotion through Sunday, Dec. 14, with all Montaditos sandwiches selling for $1. There will also be $2 beers and sangria and $3 premium beer and wine for the eatery's first 100 days.
* WILLIE'S: Now offering brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm.
* OSTERIA MORINI: "Morini Mondays" begin tonight, with $10 pasta dishes.
 

In honor of Osteria Morini's one-year anniversary, Eater DC has posted an interview with the restaurant's top dogs, chef/owner Michael White and executive chef Matt Adler.
There's some discussions on coming to a new neighborhood and the restaurant's operations that may be of interest whether you are a Morini frequenter or not:
* "In NY we had never really experienced the idea of opening in a whole new neighborhood. [...] In the first few months ,people were mad at us because they couldn’t find us." But apparently cabbies now know where 301 Water St. SE is.
* Another challenge: Patrons "not understanding what Southeast [DC] is like now. People who have lived in DC for more than 20 years will come here and say they can’t believe how beautiful it is here."
* The most memorable day of service: "Opening Day of baseball, without a doubt. At 3:45, the restaurant was empty. At 4 it was full. I've never experienced anything like that before."
* The customer base: "You might have a Congressman in the dining room, a lobbyist eating at the bar, someone in a Nats Jersey sitting down. [...] I remember one day when we had the head of the Federal Reserve at table 21, Nats fans at the bar, people from the neighborhood having pasta. "
The chefs were also asked about Nicoletta, the pizza/pasta carryout operation planned for one of the retail spaces under the overlook on the boardwalk, which was originally supposed to open a few months after Morini. White and Adler confirm that it's still coming, but that they are "in the process of getting the design right and working out the kinks." What about an opening date? "If I gave you a date, it probably would end up getting pushed back."
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, morini, nicoletta
 

Quite a few upcoming food-related events in the next few days, plus some items of note:
* TRUCKERBOO: As mentioned elsewhere, Friday brings the Halloween-themed version of Truckeroo, the last food truck shindig of 2014, starting at 11 am.
* WILLIE'S HAPPY HOUR AND "GRAND OPENING" - Willie's Brew & Que at 3rd and Tingey has now launched Happy Hour, weekdays from 4 to 6 pm, with $5 drafts, wine, rail drinks, and vodka or gin gimlets. And Saturday night is said to be its official "grand opening," though there's no recent mention of it on Willie's Facebook page, Twitter feed, or web site. (There will be quite the show outside that night, though.)
Speaking of libations, Willie's "smoked ice" got a rave review from the Post's Going Out Guide.
* BLUEJACKET TURNS 1: The actual anniversary was on Oct. 29, but on Sunday, Nov. 2, Bluejacket Brewery and its Arsenal restaurant will be celebrating out on the patio at 4th and Tingey streets SE from 1 to 5 pm. The wood-fired grill will be operational, with "pig-chetta on the rotisserie plus other bites," and the brewing team is going to break into the vault of barrel-aged brews. And EaterDC has some stats from Year One, starting with 2,396 barrels produced, and 15,715 soft pretzels baked.
Also, with the arrival of baseball's off-season comes the return of Saturday tours at the brewery.
* UNLEASHED OPENS: Hey, pet food is food too, for some critters! Don't forget that Unleashed by Petco officially opens in the Boilemaker Shops on Tingey St. SE on Monday, Nov. 3.
* TEETER'S GRAND OPENING: As momentous as any food event in the neighborhood's recent history is the pending arrival of Harris Teeter at 4th and M SE, in the Twelve12 building. The signage has been announcing the official opening on Wednesday, Nov. 5, but on Nov. 4 at 5:30 pm there will be a ceremonial ribbon cutting, followed by a "Taste of Teeter" sampling event, running until 8 pm. (Because no one in Washington DC will have anything going on the evening of Election Night!) The 50,000-square-foot store will be open seven days a week from 6 am to midnight.
* OSTERIA MORINI TURNS 1: Bluejacket isn't the only one celebrating a first birthday, for on Wednesday, Nov. 5, Chef Michael White will be in the house as Osteria Morini marks its own anniversary with a special five-course menu for $85 per person ($125 with wine pairings). Reservations are available between 5:30 and 9 pm--RSVP via e-mail.
* JUBILEE WINTER HOURS: Not that ice cream isn't wonderful any time of year, but I'm sure we can all respect a switch to shorter hours at Ice Cream Jubilee until the weather warms again. It will still be open from noon to 9 pm every day.
And before long it'll be time to start breathlessly awaiting the 2015 arrivals of the Navy Yard Oyster Company, Scarlet Oak, and Bonchon.
(One would think Subway Café and the Big Stick will arrive at 20 M before Dec. 31, but we shall see....)
 

Goodness, these piled up all of a sudden. Let's start with the food and drink-related items:
* Strolling by the long-in-the-works Willie's Brew and 'Que at the Boilermaker Shops over the weekend, I saw that flat screen TVs are now up on the walls. I imagine they are dreaming of being open by Opening Day.
* Ice Cream Jubilee at the Lumber Shed now has its tenant layout permit approved, so work should be underway there.
* PoPville reports that Hill Country's attempts to open a temporary location on Tingey Plaza behind USDOT haven't worked out.
And, on the non-digestible front:
* SWill reports on ANC 6D's newest commissioner, Stacy Cloyd, who is filling the 6D02 vacancy left by Ed Kaminski. A resident of Southwest, Stacy will also be representing areas east of South Capitol, including Velocity, Capitol Hill Tower, and Nats Park (and River Parc, before long).
* DDOT has released its draft Request for Proposals to the short-list finalists for the first two phases of the South Capitol Street project, which include building the new bridge and also rebuilding the interchange of I-295 and the Suitland Parkway.
* The new owners of the lot at South Capitol and N just north of Nats Park have withdrawn the pending zoning case for the site, which predated the property's recent sale. The previous ownership group had long been working on an office project, but in its withdrawal letter 1244 South Capitol Residential LLC says it is "studying development of the property for residential uses," and that it plans "to submit a new application for Capitol Gateway review in the near future."
* Outside the boundaries, but Near Southeast residents may still be interested in the looming start of the huge Wharf project on the Southwest Waterfront, with a ceremonial groundbreaking scheduled for March 19. Here's the Post's story on the new development, along with a photo gallery (which might seem to have a somewhat familiar style) of the current waterfront, before it's gone.
 

A looming snowstorm will always divert my attention, but before the flakes fly, here's a few tidbits:
* I was not there, but the developers of the Florida Rock site apparently told Monday's ANC 6D meeting that they are looking at a June start of construction for the project's first phase, a 350-unit residential building. However, no building permit applications have been filed yet, with one reason being the need for some curb cut approvals, which the ANC voted to support. So, We Shall See.
* SWill reports that a developer is in the planning stages for a 260-unit apartment building on South Capitol Street across from Nationals Park, just north of the Camden building that opened last year. There are older rowhomes on the north end of the block, some or all of which could be incorporated into the project in some way. However, this is technically outside of my boundaries, so other than snapping photos of what will come, I'll be leaving this to Will to cover.
* I feel like I've already mentioned this, but in case I haven't, a raze permit has been filed for St. Matthew's Baptist Church on the southwest corner of New Jersey and L, to make way for Donohoe's 1111 New Jersey residential project. UPDATE: And commenter Alan below adds the tidbit that the church's message board out front now says "Looking for our perfect home."
* Washingtonian had very good things to say about Osteria Morini, while the Post's Tom Sietsema waxes saltily on Agua 301.
 

While I keep trying to get myself reacquainted with blogging (a process that clearly is not proceeding smoothly), I'm going to cheat and go with some Tidbits lists every so often, so that at least I can feel like I'm getting the spigot working better, even if it's still sputtering. Also, I have to get used to all these events, specials, and activities, which didn't used to be part of the Near Southeast blogging landscape.
* The BID reports in its latest newsletter that the Canal Park ice rink is scheduled to open on Monday, Dec. 16. And speaking of the park, if you haven't wandered by, you may not know that Christmas trees and wreaths are for sale there this year. See the market web site for details.
* On Saturday (Dec. 7), the 11th Street Bridge Park project is holding two "community design meetings" that will provide an update about the project and break out attendees into smaller groups to work on ideas. A nationwide design competition for the project is expected to be launched early in 2014. The bridge park itself is expected to cost $35 million, which at this point is mostly unfunded. One meeting is at 200 I Street SE from 2 pm to 6 pm (details and RSVP here) but there is also a morning meeting. (via DCist)
* ArtYards has the Chalk a Lot street art event on Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 7-8) at the NGA parking lot, 1st and M SE. And see also this Going Out Guide look at the ArtYards project.
* Osteria Morini is now open for lunch, and here's the menu. Plus there's Happy Hour specials now, too, from 4 to 7 pm Monday through Friday. And Post food critic Tom Sietsema took a First Bite there earlier this week.
* Bluejacket is going big with its first New Year's Eve celebration. For your $160 ticket, you'll get an open bar for all Bluejacket brews, plus a DJ and "passed bites." Then there will be a champagne toast as part of the ceremonial midnight keg drop. (No, seriously.) And Bluejacket/Arsenal is now open for lunch, too, and is serving Sunday brunch from 11 to 3, but you probably already know these things.
* VIDA Fitness, coming to the Twelve12 building at the Yards in 2014, is now offering membership pre-sales. Their site says that the Penthouse Pool Club will open on July 1, 2014 and the VIDA Fitness itself on Aug. 25, 2014.
* If you want to look a little farther into the future: WMATA has scoped out the subway alignments it would like to pursue as part of its 2040 "core configuration" plan. How would you feel about a new Blue and Yellow line under 2nd Street from Union Station, turning west with a station at New Jersey and I before heading to Virginia? (It would also run under M Street NW from Georgetown to New York Avenue.) I can't wait to set out from my retirement home with my brain-embedded camera to take photos of this project.
 

The neighborhood dining options take another leap forward today as Osteria Morini officially opens to the public in the southeast corner of the Lumber Shed at 3rd and Water in the Yards Park. There's a web site (though, um, oops), and City Paper has the menu.
Morini now joins Bluejacket, Buzz Bakery, Nando's Peri-Peri, Park Tavern, and Gordon Biersch on the list of new 'hood eateries in 2013. Morini's next-door neighbor, Agua 301, is under construction, but whether it makes it under the wire as the last opening of 2013 or ends up being the first of 2014 is still up in the air. Morini's sibling Nicoletta, which will serve pizza out of one of the retail bays along the Yards Park riverwalk, is expected to open next year.
What say you about the Morini menu?
UPDATE: And I guess I should have thought to include a small memory of what the exterior and interior of the Lumber Shed used to look like:
 

With the news that the window coverings had come off of the Osteria Morini space in the Lumber Shed, I went racing down there with hopes of pressing my camera up against all that glass to get some photos of the opening-any-minute-now restaurant from Chef Michael White. Alas, I arrived during training, and so was THWARTED (because I'm way too shy to have just gone ahead and taken the up-close shots with 40 people staring at me).
I did get at least a couple of surveillance-type shots from a respectable distance, which I posted in a new photo gallery you should check out, but here's a preview:
The restaurant is expected to open next week, perhaps the 19th or the 20th, but at this point we know it will open when it opens.
The photo gallery also has a few other fun shots from the other projects currently under construction (residential buildings Twelve12, Park Chelsea and Toll Brothers's River Parc), such as the turret at 4th and M getting quite a makeover:
Plus, the Park Chelsea has gotten new signage, but more interesting is the outlines now forming of the new stretch of I Street that will run between 2nd and New Jersey when it opens (probably not any sooner than spring 2014):
But just go ahead and check out the full gallery.
Also, while they aren't terribly showy just yet, I have built two more of what I call my Expanded Photo Archives for both the Park Chelsea and River Parc projects, to bring together more before-and-afters from a wider/farther array of angles than I usually display on the project pages. (Yep, I'm partying like it's 2007.)
 
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