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6 Blog Posts Since 2003

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:
Comments (6)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, osteriamorini, The Yards
 

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.)
 

Thanks to a small tidbit on the notice of a liquor license application by Osteria Morini for its coming location in the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park, I can pass along that Morini's chef Michael White will also be bringing his Nicoletta pizza/pasta carryout and delivery operation to one of the small retail spaces built into the park's overlook, on the boardwalk near the pedestrian bridge.
Though the boardwalk retail spaces have been envisioned as housing "seasonal" offerings, Nicoletta will be a year-round tenant. The space Nicoletta will occupy is about 250 square feet, so it will have no interior seating, but it will have outdoor seating in the warm months.
Nicoletta is expected to open a few months after Morini, which is still targeting a late summer debut. So, it could be by late fall or by the end of the year, while keeping in mind that restaurant target dates are often a bit fluid.
Nicoletta NYC's web site includes the menu, if you want to start preparing your taste buds well in advance.
As for additional Morini information via the liquor license application, the space, in the southeast corner of the Lumber Shed, is described as a "full service, fine dining restaurant specializing in authentic Italian food" will have an interior seating capacity for 165 and two outdoor seating spaces/"summer gardens" totalling 136 spaces, though that's probably for both Morini and Nicoletta. It also says there will be background music, "and occasional live music and/or DJ will be provided."
There's no web site for Osteria Morini's DC location yet, but the sites for the Soho and New Jersey locations, as well as those for White's other restaurants, may provide some information if you're, ahem, hungry for it.
And if you're wanting to keep up on the neighborhood's new and pending food options, here's the map.
 

Yards developer Forest City Washington is putting out the word that construction is about to begin to transform the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park from its current open-air skeletal structure to the 30,000-square-foot glass-walled retail and office structure that has been in the works for a number of years.
Construction is expected to take 12-14 months, so look for completion probably in early fall 2013. The southeast corner of this building will be home to Osteria Morini, the Italian restaurant from New York City chef Michael White, and Forest City will be moving its offices to the second floor. The ground floor is designed to offer indoor and outdoor seating for five restaurants in all, and apparently a second unnamed offering is expected to be announced later this summer.
Look for fences to be going up around the structure by the end of this week, with actual construction activity probably beginning by early July.
See my Yards Park Phase 2 section for more renderings of the Lumber Shed's final form, along with photos from its faaaaahbulous salmon-exterior days and the more recent stripped down version. There are also plans for two more pavilions directly to the east of the Lumber Shed, though there's no timeframe for them.
And, in other Yards news:
* Kruba Thai and Sushi is expected to open in July in its location on the southwest corner of the Foundry Lofts (directly across from the Lumber Shed).
* The Boilermaker Shops are still expected to open "later this year," with its lineup of Bluejacket Brewery, Willie's Brew and 'Que, Buzz Bakery, Huey's 24-7 Diner, Austin Grill Express, and brb ("be right burger") well known by now, along with a dry cleaners and with spaces for other non-food/service retailers yet to be filled/announced.
* And the 218-unit residential building at 4th and M with the ground-floor Harris Teeter and unnamed-fitness-club-that's-Vida-Fitness is going to be called Twelve12 (for its address, 1212 4th Street SE). Excavation of the site has taken a little longer than expected (thanks to those surprises that kept being dug up), so the official start of construction there is now going to be "later this summer," with the opening in early 2014 (which is pretty much what I kept telling people to anticipate, anyway).
Comments (12)
 

The first tenant for the Lumber Shed building at the Yards Park has just been announced by Forest City: the Italian restaurant Osteria Morini, by New York City chef Michael White. It will be a 4,250-sq-ft space, and is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
Osteria Morini currently has two locations, in Soho and Bernardsville, New Jersey, and is described in Forest City's press release as a "mid-priced, casual restaurant with lunch and dinner menus featuring innovative pasta dishes, grilled meats, fish and regional specialties."
It is part of the Altamarea Group, which also includes Marea, Ai Fiori, Due Mari, Al Molo, and the soon-to-be-opened Nicoletta. Chef White is a James Beard nominee and was named best new chef by Esquire magazine in 2002.
The Lumber Shed is one of the Yards Park's planned retail pavilions, which will also (temporarily) house Forest City's offices on the second floor. The restaurant will be located on the southeast corner of the building (seen at right), facing the Anacostia River and the Navy Yard, and will have outdoor seating on the east and south sides. With this announcement and Forest City's occupancy, the building is 60 percent leased, with the unleased space all on the ground floor for additional retail/restaurants.
This building is just to the south of the Foundry Lofts that opened in late 2011, and one block south of the Boilermaker Shop, where six restaurants will be opening over the next year or so. All three buildings are "adaptive reuse" projects of structures from the site's old days as part of the Navy Yard.
UPDATE: A bit of additional detail on the venture from Washingtonian's Best Bites blog. And here's the full press release.
 




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