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Search term: (fooddrink) : 200 matching blog entries

Peet's Coffee Coming to Insignia on M
Dec 14, 2017 8:52 AM
In addition to confirming the news of Oath Pizza, it was announced this morning that Peet's Coffee will be opening in the ground floor of Insignia on M, and that both establishments plan to be open in the spring of 2018.
The press release says that Peet's will be facing New Jersey Avenue adjacent to the Metro station, and Oath will be in the space to the west of Bethesda Bagels.
This leaves two retail spaces open in the building, 3,000 square feet at New Jersey and M and 1,500 square feet at New Jersey and L.
Another victory for you coffee types!
Comments (18)
More posts: 1111 New Jersey/Insignia on M, Restaurants/Nightlife, oath, peets

Chipotle Opening on 1st Street SE on Dec. 14
Dec 12, 2017 8:37 AM
According to a Facebook ad (!) found by commenter Ampersand, the Chipotle in the ground floor of F1rst on 1st Street SE south of M is opening at 10:45 am on Thursday, Dec. 14.
"The first 25 people in line will receive a Buy-One-Get-One voucher good for your next visit and a Chipotle t-shirt, with purchase."
Chipotle joins F1rst's foodie lineup of Taylor Gourmet, Chop't, Roti, and Rasa Indian Grill, along with Solidcore to burn off all those calories. The development's next eatery, Declaration, looks to open in 2018.
Comments (32)
More posts: chipotle, Restaurants/Nightlife

Thursday Edible Tidbits: Rasa Opening Dec. 6, Oath Pizza Coming
Nov 30, 2017 7:37 PM
Short and sweet, just in time for dessert:
* RASA ALMOST HERE: According to City Paper, Rasa Indian Grill will be opening its doors in the ground floor of F1rst on Wednesday, Dec. 6. (I'm not surprised that I don't have a recent shot of the Rasa front, but I can't believe I don't have a decent NOT-recent shot of it, either. Argh.) The City Paper piece has a lot of background on the restaurant's format and background. And on Instagram Rasa says that they will be opening from 12-2 on Tuesday Dec. 5 to support DC Central Kitchen.
* OATH PIZZA: The sight of workers in the retail space next to Bethesda Bagels in the ground floor of Insignia on M has been noticed; but what I and my normally deep-digging commenters missed was the news back in October that Boston-based Oath Pizza would be coming to that address in early 2018--and boxes inside the space do indeed say "Oath Pizza" on them. A Merrifield/Mosaic location opened about a month ago, and WTOP says that not only does Oath bill itself as the "only existing certified-humane pizza restaurant in the country," it "has what it calls a trade secret thin crust, that’s hand-stretched, grilled and seared in avocado oil."
Comments (22)
More posts: 1111 New Jersey/Insignia on M, F1rst Residential/Hotel, Restaurants/Nightlife, oath, rasa

Wednesday Tidbits: Cava Opening, New Ice Rink Operator
Oct 25, 2017 10:49 AM
This morning's news of note:
* With this tweet (and the graphic at right), Cava is announcing that it is ready to open, starting with a "free community lunch" on Friday, Oct. 27, from noon to 2 pm. It's at 52 M Street between Half and Cushing, in the ground floor of the Homewood Suites (and next to Shake Shack).
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is announcing that the Canal Park ice rink is expected to have its grand opening on Friday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 8 pm. It may actually open to the public in the days before that, weather permitting, but We Shall See. There is a new operator this year, Tri-State Ice Management, which operates rinks at Pentagon Row, Glen Burnie, and Rockville. The BID's announcement says that the company with be "revitalizing and bolstering the programming at the ice rink," and that will be new skates, that "guarantee sharpness throughout the season." There's also a new web site, at CanalParkIceSkating.com. (No word on a new restaurant operator in the Il Parco space, however.)
Comments (31)
More posts: Homewood Suites, Canal Park, cava, Restaurants/Nightlife, icerink

Taylor Gourmet Opening Aug. 23; District Winery Aug. 30
Aug 22, 2017 7:04 PM
Some pronouncements that have been muchly anticipated:
* Taylor Gourmet opens tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 23, on 1st St. SE between M and N, at 11 am.
* District Winery opens on Aug. 30. And its restaurant is apparently named Ana, as in Anacostia. (WTOP)
* The Juice Laundry is really really trying to open. Really.
(This is short, because I saw the sun disappear yesterday, and am still out of pocket.)
Comments (33)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, juicelaundry, taylorgourmet, winery

Il Parco (nee Park Tavern) Shuttered for Good
Aug 16, 2017 10:05 AM
As was first reported on Twitter by loyal JDLand reader @Minnesota_Nicer, a scribbled sign went up on the door of Il Parco at Canal Park last week saying that the restaurant was "closed for renovations," a message met with some level of skepticism. A more imposing sign has since arrived, and I have confirmed with WC Smith that the restaurant is indeed closed, and the space's relationship with restaurateur Xavier Cervera is now over.
The hunt is now on for what Brad Fennell of WC Smith called an "operator who will fully embrace the park and all of its potential," and meetings with interested parties are apparently already underway.
Il Parco opened in early 2016 as a retool/replacement for the Park Tavern, which opened in April 2013. Neither restaurant ever seemed to capture the fancy of residents, office workers, or Nats fans, and it will be interesting to see what might come into that location next and how a new operator will approach the space and its surroundings.
Comments (36)
More posts: Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, ilparco, parktavern

Friday Tidbits: 1st and K Sliver, Yards Park Kiosks, 49 L for Sale
Jul 28, 2017 10:39 AM
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.

Shortest Post Ever: Roti Open, Chix Closed
Jun 27, 2017 4:22 PM
I am not in a proper blogging situation and getting terribly behind, so need to get a fresh thread up for the commenters who are doing such a great job keeping the conversation going. The headline basically says it all, but I guess I have to type SOMETHING more:
* Roti is now open in the ground floor of F1rst, on 1st Street SE between M and N.
* Unfortunately, one block away, on Half Street, Chix has already closed, not even a year after opening. (Their third location on 11th Street has closed as well, leaving just the original one on 14th, and their online presence has gone quiet, so something must be amiss.)
Enjoy the conversation below!
Comments (23)
More posts: chix, Development News, F1rst Residential/Hotel, Restaurants/Nightlife, roti

Dacha, Punch Bowl Social, and Other Retail Catching Up
Jun 11, 2017 8:16 PM
Running down a few things that happened while I was otherwise occupied, but that I want to finally mention in an actual blog post for those who don't camp out in the comments for weeks at a time.
* DACHA: Way back in March it was learned that Shaw's popular beer garden Dacha will be coming to Dock 79, and signage now confirms that. It will occupy the space along the riverwalk on the building's southwest corner--closest to Bardo, for some hot beer garden-on-beer garden action.
* PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL: Less way back, in May, it was announced that "eatertainment" venue Punch Bowl Social will occupy 24,000 square feet on two floors at 1250 Half Street, aka the residential building that will soon fill the Half Street Hole directly north of Nats Park. To quote from the press release, Punch Bowl "has made a name for itself with its remarkably balanced execution of the eat, drink, play concept, pairing a Chef Hugh Acheson designed, southern inspired scratch-made menu and craft beverage program with social activities including pinball, skee-ball, karaoke, vintage video games, bocce, bowling, and more."
* STEADFAST SUPPLY: The "unique marketplace that connects brands with consumers" has opened anew, now at the Boilermaker Shops on Tingey Street in the space formerly occupied by Hugh & Crye. Hours are 12-6 pm Tuesdays-Sundays. (Alas, I got my photo about 24 hours too soon, so it's out of date already, but "progress, not perfection" is the current JDLand motto.)
* OTHER COMING SOONS: While wandering a week ago, I procured photographic evidence of the work going on at Roti at F1rst on 1st Street, as well as some of the recent Coming Soon window signage that I don't think I have posted, for Cava Grill next door to Shake Shack at the Homewood Suites at 50 M, and both the Juice Laundry and Cosmopolitan Nail Salon at Arris. (I didn't get Eighteen Eight Salon because I know I posted that at some point. Not sure if I missed window signage for Shilling Canning Company and/or Chloe, though?)
There. Now I feel a little better.

A Photo Tour of Insignia on M; Bethesda Bagels Opening June 3
Jun 2, 2017 8:54 AM
The JDLand camera shook off the cobwebs on Thursday and took a tour of Insignia on M, the new 324-unit apartment building at the corner of New Jersey and M, SE.
The full gallery is here, and it was good timing that the visit came on the first non-gloomy day in what felt like weeks, since the bright sunlight (remember that?) gives many of the photos, especially from the roof, some added pop.
The final stop on the tour was at the building's first retail tenant, where the official word came that Bethesda Bagels will open for business at 6:30 am tomorrow, Saturday, June 3.
For actual information about the building, check out the official web site, or to be reminded of the "befores" of 1111 New Jersey, see my project page.
Here's a sampling of shots, but there's plenty more in the full gallery:
And while the photo isn't from yesterday, here is the official before-and-after of the northwest corner of New Jersey and M, as another project moves to the "Completed" column.
Comments (22)
More posts: 1111 New Jersey/Insignia on M, bethesdabagels, Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife

Slipstream Now Open at New Jersey and I
May 29, 2017 10:20 PM
Judging by the packed house at 11:45 Memorial Day morning, very few of you need me to tell you that Slipstream Coffee and Libations has now opened its second DC location, in the ground floor of the ORE82 apartment building at New Jersey Avenue and I Street, SE.
My lack of interest in coffee and coffee-like beverages is well documented by this point, so I will just leave it to the JDLand Commentariat to weigh in with their opinions. But it is always nice to welcome a new retail outpost to the neighborhood.
(And I got a nice chuckle out of the line of people marching directly from next-door neighbor Orangetheory Fitness right into Slipstream. Hope they burned a lot of calories first!)
Slipstream is just the first of a mini-wave of arrivals, with reports via the Commentariat that the Salt Line is apparently coming this week and Bethesda Bagels is in Any Minute Now mode as well.
Unfortunately, there is also apparently a farewell, as reader JH_105 reported that a sign at the register says that Congressional Cleaners, in the ground floor of Capitol Hill Tower, is closing permanently on June 14. which is just two weeks short of the 10th anniversary of its opening. Which would also make it two weeks short of the 10th anniversary of it getting robbed just a few hours after it opened. Things were different then.
(PS: I'm still very much in and out. Patience requested, noted, and truly appreciated.)
Comments (28)
More posts: ORE82, bethesdabagels, congressionalcleaners, Restaurants/Nightlife, saltline, slipstream

Tidbits for Tuesday: Chop't Preview at F1rst; 769N Groundbreaking
May 1, 2017 7:30 PM
Two items being posted Monday that are literally Tuesday Tidbits:
* The first retail offering at F1rst has almost arrived, as salad purveyor Chop't is opening its doors on Tuesday for a "preview," from 10:30 am to 2 pm and again from 5 pm to 7:30 pm (or until they run out of food). It's a "Chop't Gives Day," meaning that for a $2 donation to the DC Central Kitchen, guests will receive a complimentary salad.
I do not have a recent photo of the Chop't exterior, but here's what @JRogers202 sent out on Twitter last week. Also, the official address for Chop't is 1257 1st Street, SE, if yiou are needing exact coordinates.
* A press release has gone out announcing a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Tuesday at the still-as-yet-unnamed DC Housing Authority mixed-income residential project on the south side of L Street between 2nd and 3rd known for now as "Square 769N."
The glitterati will be there to wield shovels to herald the "start" of construction on the next phase of the Hope VI redevelopment of the old Capper/Carrollsburg housing project, which will bring 179 rental units including 36 affordable apartments immediately to the east of the Canal Park ice rink block. (Pay no attention to those piles already in the ground.)
(Also note that in the above drawing, the 769N apartment building is the one on the left, as seen from Canal Park--to the right is the long-planned but still in limbo 250 M Street office building.
Comments (76)
More posts: chopt, F1rst Residential/Hotel, Restaurants/Nightlife, sq769napts

Latest Restaurant Announcement: Shilling Canning Company, to Arris
Apr 6, 2017 8:57 AM
Word filtered out last week, and was confirmed to me a few days ago, that Arris has landed another restaurant: the Shilling Canning Company, centered around mid-Atlantic cuisine, is expected to open by early 2018.
Chef Reid Shilling is at the helm of this "rustic combination of Mid-Atlantic cooking and Californian finesse," according to the press release, and will be working with "local growers and purveyors to source the best in fresh ingredients from the Mid Atlantic, from proteins that will be butchered in house, to seafood carefully selected from local fishermen."
The restaurant is named for the small canning business that Shilling's family operated in Maryland from 1935 to 1958.
It will have 75 seats, and additional outdoor seating as well. There will also be a wood-burning grill and wood-fired brick oven, allowing for pizza to be on the menu. There will also be a raw bar.
Chef Shilling has previously worked at numerous restaurants, including Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro and most recently at The Dabney here in DC,
The Shilling Canning Company joins the Arris coming-soon offerings Chloe and the Juice Laundry, and a slew of neighborhood-wide eateries expected to open in 2017 and 2018.
Comments (6)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, shilling, The Yards, Arris/Parcel N/Yards

Open Thread, For a Spell
Mar 7, 2017 10:06 AM
My focus is now zeroing in on a very targeted area in my world, so I am going to be pulling back from full-sized posts here for the foreseeable future. I may still pop up in the comments, and may find a moment or two to pipe up for whatever reason on Twitter, but for now my time is best spent elsewhere. Continued thanks to the "erstwhile" JDLand commenters for keeping the chatter up in my absence.
But at least before I go I can post links to the news of Dacha coming to Dock 79, and that maybe a bowling alley will go into some of the retail space in the Jair Lynch residential/retail project above the Half Street Hole just north of Nats Park. And a reader reports this morning that steel beams have arrived at the NAB HQ site at South Capitol and M, so work might be starting there.
And thanks to everyone for your patience and good thoughts in these past months.
Comments (42)
More posts: dacha, Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife, lynchhalf, JDLand stuff

A Sit-Down Restaurant for Arris: Chloe Coming in Fall 2017
Feb 23, 2017 9:32 PM
It was announced on Thursday that fall 2017 is expected to see the opening at Arris of Chloe, a multi-genre restaurant from Chef Haidar Karoum, late of Estadio, Doi Moi, and Proof.
The press release says that "Chloe will be a showcase of Karoum's personal culinary journey, including his Lebanese roots and extensive travel around Western Europe and Southeast Asia, all grounded in and linked by the seasonal bounties of the mid-Atlantic."
It will have 103 seats inside, with counter seating for 14 at an open kitchen and another 27 spots in the bar, plus 32 outdoor seats for warm months (like February?).
Washingtonian has much more about the venture, including a couple of renderings of the interior, one of which seems to hint that the restaurant will be located in the corner space at 4th and Tingey, but I am trying to confirm the exact location for sure.
Chloe will join Arris's other existing and coming-soon retail tenants Philz Coffee, Conte's Bike Shop, the Juice Laundry, and the Cosmpolitan Nail Lounge. And it also joins the ever-increasing list of eateries across the neighborhood slated to open in 2017.
Comments (18)
More posts: chloe, Restaurants/Nightlife, Arris/Parcel N/Yards

Restaurant News: Declaration to F1rst; Cava Grill to 50 M; Bardo Latest
Feb 17, 2017 12:03 PM
* The first sit-down restaurant at the F1rst development has been reported by WBJ: Declaration, a 3,500-square-foot restaurant from the Presidential Restaurant Group, which is Lincoln and Teddy & the Bully Bar as well as the first Declaration at 8th and V NW. WBJ says that it will be in the ground floor of the Residence Inn next door to the actual F1rst apartment building, and will have entrances from both the street and the hotel lobby. It also will apparently "be significantly larger and therefore offer a broader menu" than the V Street location, including "Philadelphia-oriented menu items." This location "aims to open by the end of 2017." It joins the previously announced F1rst lineup of Taylor Gourmet, Chop't, Rasa Indian Grill, Chipotle, and Roti.
* Also reported by WBJ, Cava Grill has signed a lease to open in the Homewood Suites on the northeast corner of Half and M, SE, which expectant taste buds may also know as the location-to-be for Shake Shack.
* Bardo says that its new riverfront brewery location on Potomac Avenue across from Nats Park "will open sporadically" between now and April, based on the weather, on a weekend-by-weekend basis.
(And, alas, this week has also seen one final farewell.)
My food map shows the full lineup of offerings, both open and announced. In addition to the coming-soons mentioned above, 2017 should see the opening of The Salt Line, All-Purpose, Bethesda Bagels, Slipstream, the Juice Laundry, and District Winery.
Comments (35)
More posts: Homewood Suites, bardo, cavagrill, declaration, F1rst Residential/Hotel, Restaurants/Nightlife

Welcome to 2017: All is Quiet on Tidbits Day
Jan 1, 2017 2:08 PM
Cleaning out the hopper:
* FIVE GUYS: There's paper over the windows at the Five Guys on 2nd St., SE, but the official web site says (and a source has said the same) that this is a temporary closure, for some interior "refresh" work.
* ORANGETHEORY: The neighborhood's newest fitness offering will be opening in ORE 82 at New Jersey and I in March, but starting Tuesday, Jan. 3, pre-sales of "founding memberships" will begin.
* EAGLE ACADEMY: The charter school at 1017 New Jersey Avenue will be relocating after this school year ends to Naylor Road SE in Ward 8, "after recently learning that its leased facility in Ward 6 will be sold by the building's owner in August 2017." I imagine questioning eyes will now turn to the garage next door at New Jersey and L, wondering if its days are numbered as well, and if a developer is assembling the New Jersey-facing parcels on Square 740 for some future project.
* OH SAY, CAN YOU HEAR: If within the past month or so you've suddenly started hearing the National Anthem in the air at 8 am, you're not alone. (The Hill is Home)
There's probably more, but I've been awake for a good 90 minutes since my late-morning/early-afternoon nap and still need to get in my mid-afternoon nap before the game with the Washington Football Team gets underway.
But I'll add this, showing the view from the freeway 12 years ago today (Jan. 1, 2005) and a wider shot of the same general view back in August.
UPDATE, JAN. 2: Have you seen this cute little Chihuahua that went missing in the neighborhood?
Comments (13)
More posts: ORE82, fiveguys, Restaurants/Nightlife, orangetheory, sq740

Roti Joining Chop't, Taylor, Chipotle, and Rasa at F1rst in 2017
Dec 21, 2016 9:59 AM
The headline about says it all, but for the sake of fleshing out a full post I'll write that it's been announced this morning that Mediterranean-style fresh-and-wholesome purveyor Roti will be coming to the apartment project in the block north of Nats Park known as F1rst in 2017.
It joins previously announced food offerings Taylor Gourmet, Chop't, Chipotle, and Rasa Indian Grill, and this morning's press release says that the retailers are all expected to open in Spring 2017 at the same time the F1rst residences will be completed.
F1rst will have 325 rental units, and a Residence Inn is being completed next door at the same time.
The official F1rst web site has floor plans and additional information (plus the hours of their now-open leasing center trailer at 1st and N), and my project page gives more details and history of the site. And my Food Options page shows you the lineup of everything that's in the pipeline (scroll way way down).
Comments (11)
More posts: F1rst Residential/Hotel, Restaurants/Nightlife, roti

McDonald's Closing For Good Today
Dec 13, 2016 6:55 AM
As first reported by commenter NJAve late yesterday, and then confirmed on Twitter (with photographic evidence) by another reader, the McDonald's at South Capitol and I Streets, SE, is closing today, Tuesday, Dec. 13.
It was about 14 months ago that word first started filtering out about plans to redevelop the site, and in early 2016 the designs were unveiled for a two-phase project starting with a 380-unit apartment building at the corner of South Capitol and I. A raze permit has been filed for, and excavation and foundation permits are currently in process.
Until such time as McDonald's decides to deign the neighborhood south of the freeway with its presence again, the closest outlet for Big Macs, Egg McMuffins, and the best fountain Diet Coke on the planet is at 4th and C, SW (though 15th and Pennsylvania SE is the closest drive-through, and perhaps the one in Crystal City on Route 1 is the quickest-closest).
See my 2 I project page for more renderings, and photos. And maybe I'll throw this one out, for one last time. ("One last time / Relax, sit and have a Diet Coke with me / One last tiiiimmmeee.....")
Comments (17)
More posts: 2ist, Restaurants/Nightlife, mcdonalds

Retail Update: Lots of 'Coming Soon' Signage
Dec 10, 2016 3:03 PM
Why, yes, I did spend part of my Saturday taking pictures of new-and-not-so-new signs in windows! (Also took lots of other photos, which will come soon.)
Both Orangetheory Fitness and Slipstream Coffee now have their locations well marked, in the new ORE 82 apartment building at New Jersey and I. Ditto Conte's Bike Shop, on 4th Street just north of the Yards Park:
Elsewhere, I alas have to improvise, having either been too lazy to walk closer or too boneheaded to take a photo when I was actually standing right in front of the dang sign. But nonetheless here's evidence of Bethesda Bagels, coming to Insignia on M, and Shake Shack, which recently received its building permit for its space at the Homewood Suites, in the retail space at Cushing and M (a second space does not yet have any announced tenant):
(I'll resort to pointing you to photos I took in October of the signage for both The Salt Line and All-Purpose Pizzeria, at Dock 79.)
In non-signage retail news, here's the current state of construction on the new District Winery building at the Yards, along with photographic evidence that the shipping containers have indeed been removed from the southern two-thirds of the former Fairgrounds footprint. They remain up by Half and M, however.
Everything mentioned here is expected to open in 2017, as are some other not-photographed venues. Scroll down below my Food Map for the full list of announced-but-not-open offerings.

Juice Laundry Coming to Arris; Bardo License Approved, at Last
Dec 2, 2016 10:25 AM
(Sorry for short and sweet. My Own Private JDLand, etc. etc.)
* The BID reports that Forest City has announced (I never hear about Forest City things directly anymore) that all-organic, vegan, and gluten-free juice bar and raw-food kitchen The Juice Laundry will be coming to Arris in the spring, its first location outside of its home base in Charlottesville. If you want a sneak preview, there's a pop-up version of the Juice Laundry this weekend at the corner of 4th and Tingey, from 10 am to 6 pm today (Friday, Dec. 2) and tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 3).
* Barred in DC says that "the long saga for the Bardo River Brewery appears to be over," with Bardo and ABRA having entering into a consent order this week that will finally pave the way for a liquor license. Barred says that the order means that Bardo can be open until midnight, but is "required to create a security plan and maintain a comprehensive security camera system and cannot seek permission to have entertainment, such as live music or DJs." However, an "anonymous" comment on Barred's post disputes these items, and says that Bardo "is still pursuing legal measures due to the delays ABRA's illegal actions caused." Gosh, I wonder who wrote that!
I kind of gave up on following the many twists and turns after last year's liquor license veto, but Barred has posts to catch you up on this new brewery plan.
UPDATE, DEC. 7: The owner of Bardo has been busy on Twitter yesterday and today, making clear his vast displeasure with ABRA and ANC 6D.
Comments (22)
More posts: bardo, Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife, juicelaundry, Arris/Parcel N/Yards

Chipotle Confirmed, Coming to F1rst in 2017
Oct 17, 2016 11:41 AM
Another fast casual dining option is being announced today, with word from the developers of the F1rst apartment building that Chipotle has signed a lease and is expected to open in Spring 2017, alongside previously announced options Taylor Gourmet, Chop't, and Rasa Indian Grill.
A new rendering accompanying the press release appears to show that Taylor, Chop't, and Chipotle will be in the three spaces on 1st immediately north of the residential entrance to F1rst.
Also speaking of F1rst, there is now a leasing center at the corner of 1st and N, nestled in the "L" of the Hampton Inn. Residences are also expected to be available in spring 2017.
It's getting hard to keep up with the 2017 lineup of offerings, so check out my Food Map to stay up to date.
Comments (29)
More posts: chipotle, F1rst Residential/Hotel, Restaurants/Nightlife

District Winery Popping Up, Parcel O Digging Down
Oct 17, 2016 8:55 AM
At 4th and Water Streets, SE, the steel has started popping up for District Winery, the winery/restaurant/events space coming in late 2017 to the Yards.
The official web site is online, along with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, though right now the site's links are mainly for how to reserve the events space for your wedding or how to work for the winery.
Here's a few more images, along with recognition that I need to get my act together and create a project page, though in the meantime you can read my previous posts for more info.
Just to the winery's northeast, digging is well underway at Parcel O, where a joint project is underway that will beget a 138-unit condo building by PN Hoffman and a 190-unit rental building by Forest City. There are hints that the condo building will be called The Bower, though PN Hoffman's web site hasn't quite gotten there yet. Completion is expected in 2018.
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More posts: Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, winery, The Yards, Yards/Parcel O, Yards Park

Rasa Indian Grill Slated for F1rst in 2017
Oct 14, 2016 2:16 PM
The Washington Post is reporting that Rasa Indian Grill will be coming to the ground floor of the F1rst apartment building on 1st Street SE between M and N in "summer 2017."
Says Food writer Tim Carman, "Patterned after fast-casual powerhouses such as Sweetgreen and Cava Grill, Rasa will try to fill a gap that the owners identified in the Indian dining market. While there are refined Indian restaurants (think: Rasika, Passage to India and Masala Art, among others) and mom-and-pop joints (Indigo, Bethesda Curry Kitchen, Tiffin, etc.), there are few places to order chicken curry in a hurry (outside such counter-service operations as Merzi in Penn Quarter and Spice 6 in Hyattsville and Fairfax)."
The article says that the restaurant isn't expected to "tone down the spice blends" for non-Indian palates, and that it will "emphasize vegetables as much as meats."
Read the Post piece for more details, including the back story on the two owners, who are the sons of the co-owners of Indique in Cleveland Park and Bombay Bistro in Rockville.
Rasa joins previously announced offerings Taylor Gourmet and Chop't at F1rst, which is the middle building in the above not-quite-so-recently-taken photo. A Residence Inn is being built next door. My F1rst project page has more photos and details.
If you're having a hard time keeping track of what restaurants have been announced, my Food Map page shows them (especially if you scroll down to the "Announced, But Not Yet Open" section). Next year looks to have a lot of new arrivals, including a second outlet of All-Purpose, just named this week by the Post's Tom Sietsema as the #1 restaurant in the area. Also announced as coming to the neighborhood in 2017 and beyond are Shake Shack, Salt Line, Bethesda Bagels, Slipstream, District Winery, Circa/Open Road, and Due South "Dockside." And given how much retail space is in the pipeline, there's probably a lot more announcements to come.
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More posts: F1rst Residential/Hotel, Restaurants/Nightlife, rasa

Bethesda Bagels Coming to New Jersey and M in 2017
Oct 4, 2016 7:50 AM
Bethesda Bagels, purveyors of round food and assorted other delicacies, announced on Twitter and Facebook on Friday that it will be coming to the neighborhood "in early 2017," and confirmed under tough questioning that their location will be in Insignia on M, the new 324-unit apartment building on its way to completion on the northwest corner of New Jersey and M, just above the east entrance to the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station.
This will be Bethesda Bagels' third location, alongside its shops in Bethesda (duh) and at Dupont Circle.
The Insignia building has approximately 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail spaces that both face M Street as well as at the corner of New Jersey and L, and this is the first news of a tenant. (I *think* BB will be in one of the spaces along M, but I don't yet have confirmation of that.)
See Insignia's official web site for more details about the building, or check out my project page to be reminded of what this stretch of New Jersey looked like not all that long ago.
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More posts: 1111 New Jersey/Insignia on M, bethesdabagels, Restaurants/Nightlife

Chix Now Open on Half Street SE
Sep 20, 2016 8:39 AM
After a few days of "soft" openness, Latin-flavored "green eatery" Chix is now open at 1210 Half St., SE, just south of the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station and next door to Buffalo Wild Wings, in the block north of Nats Park, in the ground floor of 55 M Street.
I have been out of town, and so apologies for the pre-opening photo accompanying this post, but you can check out Chix's Facebook page (or this photo from JDLand reader @JRogers202) to make up for my failure. (And I hope to make up for it myself before too long.)
Here's the menu for your perusal. Hours have not yet been posted, but I have asked and will update this post whence they arrive. UPDATE: Per this tweet, hours are 11 am to 9 pm daily.
This is now the third restaurant right near the corner of Half and M SE, joining The Big Stick and the aforementioned BWW. The offering expected to arrive next at that central location is Shake Shack, which is targeting a spring 2017 opening in the ground floor of the Homewood Suites on the northeast corner of the intersection.
If you want to catch up with all of the nearby restaurant offerings (like Tom Boswell told you to!), the JDLand Food Map is at your service.
UPDATE, 24 HOURS LATER: For the historical record.
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More posts: 55 M St., chix, Restaurants/Nightlife

Shake Shack Coming to Homewood Suites at Half and M
Aug 3, 2016 10:20 AM
The Washington Business Journal is reporting this morning that Washington's fifth Shake Shack outlet will be opening in 2017 in the ground floor of the Homewood Suites currently under construction at Half and M Streets, SE.
The 2,800-square-foot space will of course be only about two blocks away from the neighborhood's other Shake Shack, but this new one will not require a ticket to a baseball game to get your fix of burgers, crinkle fries, shake-like concretes, and other delicacies.
WBJ says that the lease is signed, and that the hotel itself is expected to open later this year. There is one additional retail space in the building that does not yet have an announced tenant.
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More posts: Homewood Suites, Restaurants/Nightlife, shakeshack

Slipstream 'Crafted Coffee and Libations' Signed for ORE 82
Jul 15, 2016 8:47 AM
In its latest e-mail newsletter (no link yet), the Capitol Riverfront BID announced that retail broker Rappaport announced that Slipstream will be coming to ORE 82, the 227-unit apartment building at New Jersey and I that's expected to be completed late this year.
Slipstream's mission statement says that it aims "to elevate coffee and cocktails from seemingly common to extraordinary through engaging service, a comfortable atmosphere and a relentless focus on quality." Its first DC location is on 14th Street NW south of Rhode Island Avenue, not far from Logan Circle.
The menu for the 14th Street location shows not only coffee at all hours and cocktails, beer, and wine from 8 am to close (wheeee!), but menus of sandwiches, bowls, toasts, and soup served for breakfast/lunch until 3 pm and meats, cheeses, salads, snacks, bowls, and toasts for dinner from 5 pm to closing, plus brunch on weekends. Whether that will be the same configuration at New Jersey and I is not yet clear.
Slipstream joins Orangetheory Fitness in ORE 82's tenant lineup.
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More posts: ORE82, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, slipstream

All-Purpose Pizzeria Announced for Dock 79
Jul 15, 2016 8:07 AM
The second I posted the news of Slipstream I realized I had forgotten one other restaurant announcement* that slipped through recently while I was otherwise occupied, which is that All-Purpose Pizzeria has been announced as the second restaurant tenant at Dock 79, joining The Salt Line.
All-Purpose is another venture from the folks behind Red Hen an Boundary Stone, with its first location having opened earlier this year at 1250 9th St., NW.
That location is open six days a week for dinner, and the the menu has flights of cheese, cold and hot antipasti in addition to the centerpiece pizzas.
City Paper profiled All-Purpose back in May, describing the process with a 650-degree oven that results in a crust "crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and sturdy enough for the 'New York fold hold.'"
*Though, if you are a wise reader of the JDLand comments, you would already know about this, since we discussed passing references to this without any official announcement back in May.
UPDATE: Washingtonian has additional details, including that there will be a separate takeout shop serving square Sicilian-style slices.
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More posts: allpurpose, Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife

The Brig Opening Softly at 4 pm Friday, June 17
Jun 15, 2016 4:15 PM
Not sure what I can write beyond this:
The Brig is located on the northwest corner of 8th and L Streets, SE (1007 8th for your GPS). See my project page for photos and links to posts on the long and winding road to this milestone. And see you all there for a JDLand Happy Hour at some point in the relative near future.
UPDATE, 6/17: Yup.
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife

Due South Working on Plans for 'Dockside' on Yards Park Boardwalk
May 27, 2016 11:10 AM
In the wake of what is clearly a very successful venture at the Lumber Shed, there are apparently now early-stage plans for "Due South Dockside," to be housed in two of the "bays" along the Anacostia Riverwalk near the pedestrian bridge in Yards Park.
Due South owner Bo Blair tells me that there will be a "streamlined menu of Due South's best items," along with frozen drinks, beers, and wines and a kids menu (presumably not including beers and wines).
An April 2017 opening date is being targeted. But I will note that there is apparently not yet a completed agreement with Forest City, as an inquiry to them about the plans was greeted with the standard statement about the company not commenting on any potential deals until a lease is signed.
The early plans were presented to ANC 6D's ABC committee earlier this week, and my understanding is that the committee voted to support a liquor license for the project.
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More posts: dockside, duesouth, Restaurants/Nightlife, Yards Park

Checking Out the New Kids at the Yards
May 26, 2016 10:11 AM
It's been rainy for so long that I forgot that I should actually go out and take photos when the sun is shining. So this morning I went for a quick visit to the Yards to finally get photos of the latest arrivals and soon-to-be-arrivals.
First, there's Philz Coffee on Tingey Street, which already looks to be a popular addition to the neighborhood. (I'll leave it to folks who actually partake of this particular beverage to speak to the coffee itself.) The Conte's Bike Shop pop-up is next door through this weekend, though its permanent space will be around the corner on 4th Street when it opens in 2017.
Next I pressed my camera up against the windows at Whaley's, in advance of what I hope is a visit that involves actual eating before too much longer. (There's also this shot that better shows the high ceiling of the space.)
The Yards Park Marina is said to be opening in June, and the entrance to the slips is looking pretty close to ready. These three shots are a pseudo-panorama, showing the view from the entrance to the east (with a big hole in the horizon where the Barry should be), straight ahead down the ramp where vessels such as water taxis will be able to dock, and to the west. (The large gates will lock.) There will be 50 slips all told.
I did not take any photos of the other "news" in the Yards today, of some initial site work underway at the Parcel O site on the southeast corner of 4th and Tingey. Don't look for a big hole to open up just yet, though.
I also took what might be a final "before" shot of the lot at 4th and Water where construction is expected to start in coming weeks on the District Winery building.
But, dang it! I forgot to wander over to Spooky Park to check out the final landscaping touches! This mission was a failure!
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More posts: contes, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, marina, philz, whaleys, Arris/Parcel N/Yards

Whaley's Announces May 16 Opening (Updated)
May 12, 2016 8:48 AM
UPDATED: It looks like an Instagram post wasn't even quite solid enough of a source, as there's now been a press release that Whaley's is officially opening on Monday, May 16. The web site has been updated with that date, and reservations can now be made.
UPDATED II: And here's a peek inside, from Washingtonian.
Original post:
It was a little circuitous, but this evening on Instagram Whaley's announced that it will be opening its doors on Saturday, May 14th.
(The folks on the Yards Instagram account "got too excited" and announced an earlier date, which the Whaley's Instagram account corrected in the comments, as seen in the screen shot.)
The official web site still says "Opening Soon," but the dinner and drinks menus are now posted and the menus are "coming soon" as well (UPDATED because I'm an idjit). The hours (which I'm guessing are not the permanent ones) are listed as 5 to 10 pm Sunday through Wednesday and 5 to midnight Thursday through Saturday, with the kitchen closing at 11 pm.
The seafood and raw bar is located in the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park, in the ground-floor space between Osteria Morini and Agua 301, facing the park's overlook and the Anacostia River.
The web site's About page gives the lowdown on the Whaley's theme, and that "there was indeed a man named Whaley," who was the commodore of the Maryland Navy early in the Revolutionary War, and then became the first casualty in the Maryland Navy in the Revolutionary War.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, whaleys, The Yards

Philz Coffee Celebrating its Opening with Free Coffee May 13
May 9, 2016 7:47 AM
The neighborhood's next coffee offering is now apparently only days away from arriving, as Philz Coffee has announced an opening "celebration" for its location in the ground floor of Arris in the 300 block of Tingey St., SE, on Friday, May 13, with complimentary coffee and pastries from 11 am to 3 pm. (If you think you're going to swing by, let them know via this Eventbrite invite so that they can gauge how many people will be coming.)
Full operating hours for Philz haven't yet been posted on either the corporate web site or the Yards location Facebook page, but I imagine they will open at the crack of dawn as they do at their other locations. While waiting for that information, you can check out the menu of coffee and tea offerings.
(h/t to commenter RMP)
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, philz, Retail, The Yards, Arris/Parcel N/Yards

Open Road Coming to 99 M in 2018; A Look at Future Food
Apr 12, 2016 12:59 PM
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

Fast Casual Restaurant Chix Coming to Half Street in Summer 2016
Apr 5, 2016 1:39 PM
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.
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More posts: 55 M St., chix, Restaurants/Nightlife

'Top of the Yard' Rooftop Lounge at Hampton Inn Debuting
Apr 5, 2016 12:01 PM
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.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, hamptoninn, Square 701, topoftheyard

Seafood Restaurant 'The Salt Line' to Open at Dock 79 in 2017
Mar 31, 2016 11:17 AM
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.
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More posts: Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife, saltline

The Brig Gearing Up for a Spring Opening. No, Really.
Mar 19, 2016 10:24 AM
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.
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife

Liquor License Denied for Bardo Riverfront Project at Florida Rock
Mar 17, 2016 2:21 PM
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.
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More posts: Alcohol/Liquor Licenses, bardo, Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife, riverwalk

Zoning Commission Gives Approval to District Winery Design
Feb 23, 2016 1:48 PM
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.
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More posts: Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, winery, The Yards, Yards Park, zoning

Whaley's, A Raw Bar/Restaurant, Coming to Lumber Shed
Feb 10, 2016 10:39 AM
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.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, whaleys, The Yards

Impressionistic First Peek at District Winery's Yards Park Building
Feb 1, 2016 5:02 PM
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."
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, winery, The Yards, Yards Park, zoning

Soft Opening Tonight at Il Parco
Jan 30, 2016 3:53 PM
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.)
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More posts: Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, ilparco

A Blizzard of Friday Tidbits: Il Parco Signage and More
Jan 22, 2016 9:31 AM
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.
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More posts: bridgepark, Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, ilparco, parktavern, Stadium Events

A Speedy Summary of 2015's High Points
Dec 31, 2015 11:28 AM
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.
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More posts: Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail

Las Placitas Now Open at 8th and L SE
Dec 28, 2015 10:20 AM
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.
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First Buffalo Wild Wings in DC Now Open on Half Street
Nov 16, 2015 10:16 AM
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.
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More posts: 55 M St., bww, Restaurants/Nightlife

Park Tavern Closed for Retooling; BWW Getting Close
Nov 1, 2015 10:30 AM
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.)
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More posts: bww, Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, parktavern

Thursday Tidbits: Las Placitas, Navy Yard Items, South Park
Oct 15, 2015 9:50 AM
* 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.)
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, barry, Capper, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, lasplacitas, Navy Yard

Surprise! Ziaafat Grill Now Open on Lower 8th Street
Sep 24, 2015 10:31 AM
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.
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More posts: 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, ziaafat

Now Official: District Winery Coming to New Pavilion at Yards Park
Sep 21, 2015 9:34 AM
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.
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More posts: districtwinery, Restaurants/Nightlife, Yards Park

Due South Now Fully Opened; Last 2015 Truckeroo Today
Sep 11, 2015 10:09 AM
Two notes from the Bo Blair/Georgetown Events empire:
* After a private opening party Thursday night, Due South is now in full operating mode, open in its Lumber Shed spot at 301 Water St. SE for dinner seven days a week plus lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends. Its complete menu is now in place (which is also available for carryout). The restaurant's web site is now fully formed as well, if you want additional information. Plus, here's Tom Sietsema's review. Hours are 11 am to 10 pm Sunday through Thursday and 11 am to 11 pm Friday and Saturday.
* Right this very minute the doors are opening on the last Truckeroo food truck festival of 2015, at the Fairgrounds at Half and M Streets SE. Free admission, live music, "plenty of shade and picnic tables," and a whole lot of different trucks. And some pretty nice weather for that 12 hours of corn hole the kids will all be playing.
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More posts: duesouth, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, truckeroo

Las Placitas Now Moving to 1100 8th St. SE Instead
Sep 10, 2015 1:34 PM
It was back in July that the Barracks Row folks tweeted out that 8th Street mainstay restaurant Las Placitas would be moving to the old Quizno's space at 8th and M SE--but now it's being reported by PoPville that the new location will actually be the old Chicken Tortilla space at 1100 8th St., SE, on the southeast corner of 8th and L.
And if I had just walked on that side of the street during a long photo-taking excursion on Sunday that included multiple shots at 8th and L, I would have seen the signs in the window, but at least the high resolution of my camera can now confirm that the signs were/are there.
This spot is one block south of the freeway, and let's call it three blocks south of Las Placitas's existing home, which will eventually become expansion space for Matchbox.
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More posts: 816-20 Potomac, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, lasplacitas

Circa Announced for Not-Yet-Built 99 M Street SE
Sep 9, 2015 8:59 AM
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

RIP Sizzling Express, and More Tidbits of the Food and Drink Variety
Aug 31, 2015 7:47 AM
Continuing to catch up....
* SIZZLING EXPRESS CLOSED: The handwriting was no doubt on the wall the instant that Harris Teeter and its vast food bar/carryout options opened up a stone's throw away, but it's still a little sad to see that the Sizzling Express at 4th and M SE closed for good in mid-August. For quite a while it was the only "new" food offering in the neighborhood, having arrived in the ground floor of 300 M at some point in 2001 or 2002. No word on what might someday arrive in its place.
* DUE SOFT: In case you haven't yet ducked into Due South, the neighborhood's newest restaurant, at 3rd and Water, SE, be advised that it has been and is still operating in "fine-tuning mode," with a limited dinner menu and drinks. It expects to become fully operational on Tuesday, Sept. 8, opening daily at 11 am for lunch and dinner along with weekend brunch.
* NOVEMBER WILD WINGS: A little birdie has told me that Buffalo Wild Wings is working toward an opening date of November 2, though we know how I feel about the validity of estimated restaurant opening dates more than about three days in advance. (If you haven't been paying attention, they are coming to Half Street SE just south of the Metro station entrance.)
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More posts: bww, duesouth, Restaurants/Nightlife, sizzlingexpress

Due South Opening Softly, Then Opening for Real Next Week
Aug 14, 2015 11:20 AM
They're still putting their makeup on, but after a soft opening over the next few days, Due South is planning to open its doors for real on Monday, Aug. 17 in the northwest corner of the Lumber Shed at 3rd and Water in the Yards.
The southern-themed restaurant is the latest from the Bo Blair empire, he of the Fairgrounds, and Jetties, and the Bayou, which is where Due South executive chef Rusty Holman made his home before moving to the Yards.
It will be just dinner service starting at 5 pm during the first few weeks, with weekday lunch and weekend brunch offerings coming probably in early September.
The official web site isn't up and running right this instant, but once it is, you should be able to see the menu and more details.
When I visited this morning, there was a lot of work still going on, but they were nice enough to let me take a few photos while I dodged the crowd of workers bringing in the cartons of eggs and stocking the bar.
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More posts: duesouth, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, The Yards

Philz Coffee Announced as First Arris Tenant; Pacers Running Confirmed
Aug 11, 2015 9:18 AM
Forest City is announcing today that San Francisco-based Philz Coffee has been signed as the first tenant at Arris, the 327-unit residential building now getting its upper levels of glass on the southwest corner of 4th and Tingey Streets, SE.
Philz is described as a company "on a mission to better people’s days by reinventing the coffee drinking experience," with not only "an impressive array of exclusive, handcrafted, flavorful blends," but also excellent customer service.
DC is the first place Philz is expanding outside of California (with another outlet coming soon to Adams Morgan), and this move also will bring back a coffee shop to the Yards, after the recent closing of Buzz Bakery.
The Philz will be located in a 2,400-square-foot space on Tingey Street across from the Boilermaker Shops, and will open in spring 2016. (Arris's retail spaces total 19,000 square feet.)
Pre-leasing at Arris is expected to begin this fall, with move-ins targeted for early 2016, according to Forest City.
Also today Forest City is finally officially confirming the news that's been out there for a while, that locally-based Pacers Running will be taking the final retail space at the Boilermaker Shops, with an opening expected in October. Forest City says that "While Pacers Running stores carry top-of-the-line footwear, as well as running and exercise clothing and gear, along with personalized expert advice and fitting, they have also branched out to be a major organizer and promoter in the area of events aimed at runners who are serious and even not so serious about their running."
Also tucked into the press release is that Due South is expected to open in "late August," and that there is no announced opening date for Nicoletta Pizzeria.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, pacers, philz, Retail, Arris/Parcel N/Yards

Peeking in the Windows at Due South, Opening Soon at the Lumber Shed
Aug 2, 2015 12:56 PM
It appears that Due South is making its push to open in the Lumber Shed at the Yards within the next few weeks, and lo and behold, the covers are now down off the windows, so of course this morning I had to press my cellphone up against the glass to get some pictures. (Which worked surprisingly well, I might add--thanks, Samsung!)
For those not keeping up, this southern-themed restaurant will be helmed by chef Rusty Holman, he of Bayou, and in fact owner Bo Blair is shutting down Bayou during August "in order to focus on the opening of our brand new restaurant, Due South in Navy Yard."
The photo above is a peek in from the Water Street side of the space, below left is the view looking in from the front door, and below right is what you see looking in from the west. Click to enlarge, as always....
And, while we're talking restaurants, Scarlet Oak did indeed open on Saturday evening, and so here's a requisite photo of the exterior, and a quickie of the interior (didn't want to bug the other diners). The bar already looked like a pretty popular spot to hang out.
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More posts: duesouth, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, scarletoak

Scarlet Oak Opening Saturday, Aug. 1, at 4 PM
Jul 31, 2015 8:46 AM
It's time to add another dining option to the neighborhood lineup, as Scarlet Oak has put out the word that it is opening at 4 pm tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 1, on the northwest corner of New Jersey Avenue and K Streets, SE, in the ground floor of the 909 New Jersey apartment building.
The fare is "casual American," and the menu is available for your perusing, showing a range of small plates and "nibbles," pizza, and entrees, plus some intriguing cocktails.
If and when you venture in, take to the comments to let us know your impressions.
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More posts: 909 New Jersey, Restaurants/Nightlife, scarletoak

Las Placitas Moving to Old Quizno's Space at 8th and M SE
Jul 29, 2015 10:54 PM
I cannot tell you a thing other than what is contained within this tweet from Barracks Row Main Street, so I will just repeat it:
"Very happy that Las Placitas is staying on Barracks Row! They'll move this fall to the old Quiznos space at 8th and M on lower 8th Street."
Las Placitas with its Mexican fare is of course one of the mainstays of 8th Street, but it had been announced a few weeks back that its lease was not being renewed, and that next-door neighbor Matchbox would be expanding into the space.
As for the new location, there hasn't been much going on since Quizno's left a few years back, and other restaurants in the 1100 block of 8th--Chicken Tortilla and Levi's Port Café--have been closed for a while as well.
This space, on the northeast corner of 8th and M, is immediately to the north of the Navy Yard's Latrobe Gate, and is also across the street from the Blue Castle, which was bought late last year by the National Community Church. Plus, one block to the north is where The Brig will open, someday. And this may be especially good news for the eventual tenants of the Lofts at Capitol Quarter, now under construction at 7th and L, who will have a sit-down restaurant a block away.
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More posts: 816-20 Potomac, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, lasplacitas

Nats Park Goes With An 'Event Space' in Old Team Store
Jul 22, 2015 11:00 AM
There had been hopes (and rumors) that the old Team Store space at Half and N Streets at Nats Park would become a restaurant of some sort, but the team is now marketing the spot as "Centerfield Social," where for a $100 a person with a minimum of 100 guests you can "book Nationals Park's newest pregame gathering spot right inside the gates."
Reserving the space also apparently gets you an "all-inclusive food and beverage package, including beer and wine, starting 2 hours before game time," along with "Infield Box seating close to the action."
(Though I imagine if someday some restaurant operator somewhere reallyreallyreally wanted that space....)
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Scarlet Oak Close to Opening, and Other Almost-y Food Tidbits
Jul 21, 2015 3:24 PM
My dad always says that "almost only counts in horseshoes," but I won't let that deter me from a few Almost Tidbits:
* SCARLET OAK, ALMOST: With this tweet earlier today, Scarlet Oak let it be known that it is close to opening, with a soft opening expected "next weekend" and a "grand opening soon to follow." The modern American restaurant and bar on the northwest corner of New Jersey and K comes from the same folks who brought you Southern Hospitality in Adams Morgan.
* DUE SOUTH, ALMOST: HillNow quotes a Forest City prediction that Bo Blair's Due South southern restaurant will "likely" open in the Lumber Shed in August. We Shall See.
* BDUBS CONSTRUCTION, ALMOST: A little birdie tells me that the Buffalo Wild Wings folks have said that the hope is to have its new Half Street location open by October (let's see, what else happens in October?), and that construction should start within the next few weeks.
* ANOTHER COFFEE SHOP, ALMOST: The official Yards twitter account lamented last week's loss of Buzz Bakery, but then added, "Fear not coffee aficiandos! We have a new coffee shop in the works." My understanding is that an announcement should be made in the coming weeks (along with perhaps some other retail announcements).
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Buzz Bakery Closing, Becoming Bluejacket Bottle Shop, Tasting Room
Jul 16, 2015 11:03 AM
Not much to pass along other than to quote the announcement just sent out:
"For our friends in DC, the last day of operations for our Yards location will be tomorrow, Friday, July 17. As our neighborhood has grown and developed, we have always tried to meet the desires of our community, and have found that our guests would benefit from more programming and offerings from our adjoining brewery & restaurant, Bluejacket and The Arsenal. They'll be transforming the space into a bottle shop & tasting room in the coming weeks."
Buzz was first announced as coming to the Boilermaker Shops in June 2011, then opened in the fall of 2013, not long after Bluejacket and the Arsenal debuted.
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Navy Yard Oyster Company Venture Appears to Be Dead
Jul 14, 2015 10:04 AM
Just reported by City Paper, and not a complete surprise to anyone who's watched the space remain untouched for many months, is the news that the Navy Yard Oyster Company appears to be pulling out of the Lumber Shed at the Yards.
The restaurant was to be a venture by owners of Beuchert's Saloon and Sonoma, a duo who also opened Stanton & Greene on Capitol Hill earlier this year.
The official quote from Forest City is that "We have a signed lease in place with Navy Yard Oyster Co. but are currently in discussions with the tenant, at their request, as to whether they intend to continue," but City Paper quotes Michael Stevens of the BID as saying that the owners "have pulled out of their lease."
The restaurant was slated to go in the space between Agua 301 and Osteria Morini on the Shed's south side, facing the Anacostia River.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, oysterbar

Buffalo Wild Wings Looking to Come to Half Street Near Nats Park
Jun 11, 2015 10:24 AM
After weeks of not-especially-sly references to this in my comments threads, I can now report that national eats-and-brews-and-whatnot chain Buffalo Wild Wings is looking to take about 6,000 square feet of ground-floor space on the block of Half Street SE between the subway station entrance and Nationals Park.
A tenant layout permit for a restaurant in 55 M has recently been applied for, referencing an occupancy of 233 seats/260 total, but my understanding is that no lease agreement had yet been signed with the owners of the 55 M Street office building where the space is located.
If this all does come to fruition*, retail space that has sat empty for five-plus years while millions of people trekked past may be finally getting a tenant.
* Exercising my normal amount of caution, given the lack of a signed lease or official announcement.
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Hill Country Launching 'The Home Stand' Gameday BBQ Popup
May 20, 2015 12:18 PM
If you've been feeling like your baseball experience is lacking in Texas barbecue, you are in luck, with the news that Hill Country Barbecue will be running a gameday sandwich shop called "The Home Stand" on the JBG/1244 South Capitol site on the northeast corner of South Capitol and N streets, SE, immediately north of the Nats Park western parking garage.
There will be picnic seating for 200, with a rotating lineup of sandwiches ranging from their Chopped Beef, Pit Smoked Turkey and Hot Link Sausage sandwiches as well as a "daily Pitmaster special." Each sandwich will come with your choice of cucumber salad, baked beans, or pasta salad.
There won't be beer and wine offerings to start, but those libations should be part of the lineup eventually.
The Home Stand will be open two hours before and after the game on home game days.
The Post says that it could open this Friday, or "if not this Friday, then by the next homestand," according to a Hill Country rep.
This site is slated to become a 290-unit residential building with 26,000 square feet of retail, but it hasn't been expected that work would begin on that project until after baseball season at the earliest.
UPDATE, 5/24: "The Home Stand" started operating on Friday, and is now duly photographed, as you see above, and here.
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More posts: 1221 Van, Restaurants/Nightlife, hillcountry

Winery Looking to Come to Water Street - Time for New Building(s)?
May 2, 2015 1:42 PM
A Friday afternoon post over at City Paper's Young and Hungry site broke the news of a liquor license application for a "multipurpose facility" by the name of District Winery, saying that it would have "450 seats (with a total capacity for 750) plus dancing, a 100-seat summer garden, and a wine pub."
And that it would be at 385 Water St., SE.
Which is pretty cool news, except that right now there is no building with an address of 385 Water St., SE.
There were theories that it would be the first hint of retail leasing in the under-construction Arris, which is indeed in the 300 block of Water, but is on the north side of the street and so would have to be an even-numbered address.
The Lumber Shed is 301 Water--if all of the retail spaces in that building weren't spoken for, the notion of just a fat-fingering of the address could have been assumed.
But, 385 Water... Hmmm....
Many of you may not have been around back in 2009 when Forest City received approvals for its plans for Phase 2 of the Yards Park. This included approving the remaking of the Lumber Shed as a glass-enclosed retail pavilion--and also included the plans for two additional retail pavilions on what is now open lawn space between the Shed and 4th Street SE.
The drawings you see here are from 2009 and have actually been on my Yards Park and Lumber Shed pages since then--they show various views of all three pavilions, including a view from a deck on the easternmost pavilion looking toward the west with the Shed and other pavilion visible. (Click to embiggen.)
The larger, eastern pavilion, dubbed P2B (because this is Parcel P) would have a footprint of about 10,300 square feet, while the smaller middle one's footprint would be about 6,300 square feet. Each of them would be less than 40 feet high and would have "open roof terraces on the second story for outdoor dining." And, as the drawings show, they would have much the same glass-and-concrete look as the Lumber Shed does.
And it could certainly be possible that the larger eastern one could have an address of 385 Water Street. And it looks sizeable enough for a venture looking for 450 seats with capacity for 750, plus dancing.
Forest City, as always, makes no comment on tenant-related information when there is no signed lease. And so it's also interesting that District Winery (which City Paper says appears to be from the same folks behind the Brooklyn Winery in New York) has made the move to apply for a liquor license before any lease has been signed.
We Shall See on all of this, including what any potential timeline might be for the construction of one or both of these new pavilions, but at least it means there would appear to be some definite leasing interest for these spaces. Either that or I am terribly off base with all this pondering.
UPDATE: All that pondering, and I could have just read that yes, it is indeed a new building being planned."Plans are still in the early stages, putting an opening at least two years away[.]" (h/t @JES)
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More posts: districtwinery, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, Yards Park

Bonchon Officially Opening Today at 11:30 at 1015 Half St. SE
Mar 30, 2015 10:46 AM
Because I wouldn't want anyone to go without Korean fried chicken for a second longer than necessary, I will pass along for those who haven't been keeping up that DC's first Bonchon restaurant and bar is indeed opening today, March 30, at 11:30 am, on the southwest corner of Half and K streets, SE, two blocks north of the Navy Yard-Ballpark station's west entrance and three blocks north of Nats Park.
It will be open every day at 11:30 am, staying open until 9:30 pm Sunday-Wednesday and 11 pm Thursday-Saturday, except on Nats game days, when 11 pm will be closing time Sundays through Wednesdays. with midnight the post-Nats closing time Thursdays through Saturdays.
The menu is here, and note the $9 lunch special from 11:30 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday, with a choice of wings, drums, strips, or a combo, plus one side.
If you go, feel free to post your review in the comments.
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More posts: 1015 Half, bonchon, Restaurants/Nightlife

Bardo Looking to Raise $200K for Florida Rock Brew Garden
Mar 27, 2015 4:53 PM
I wrote a few weeks ago about the latest plans to use two acres on the western part of the Florida Rock site along the Anacostia River as a "brew garden" and neighborhood park while waiting for the project's later phases to get underway--and I also wrote about the muted reception the idea got from ANC 6D after a somewhat nebulous presentation by developer MRP Realty and representatives of Bardo.
Now the Bardo folks, who already operate a similar brew garden in Northeast, are trying to raise $200,000 to "do this thing deluxe," to create what it calls Bardo Riverfront, described as "100,000 square feet of BeerDisneyLand." This would include flush toilets instead of porta-potties, a bike shop, a kiddie playground, and "the largest dog park in DC," as well as parking for 500 bicycles, cornhole, food trucks, outdoor movies "projected onto a floating screen in the river," and other ideas.
(Their main web site has a festive graphic of how they envision the layout.)
Donations of $20 now will get you four pints of beer when it opens, or four pitchers for a $50 donation, or numerous other options up to a $5,000 donation allowing you to take over the entire place on any Monday-Thursday when the Nats aren't playing. If you don't have money to contribute, you could donate wood trips, or "big tree logs to make into totem poles."
More details as they become available....
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More posts: bardo, Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife

Getting Closer Tidbits: Bonchon, Opening Day, Park Chelsea Edition
Mar 25, 2015 10:59 AM
* BONCHON GETTING CLOSER (MARCH 30!): There's been a whole lot of non-construction people inside Bonchon (as I saw during my most recent nose-pressing), and HillNow quotes the owner as saying the restaurant "is aiming to open near the start of Major League Baseball season," with job postings saying that the restaurant will open next week. Also: "The kitchen of the 140-seat restaurant will stay open late on game days, until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and later on weekends. A happy hour 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday is in the works."
UPDATE: Washingtonian has a sneak peek, with pictures, and says March 30 is the opening date. And Eater has its post up now too, and there's confirmation of that date on the Bonchon Navy Yard Facebook page. So, prep your taste buds!
* OPENING DAY GETTING CLOSER: The Capitol Riverfront BID has put together an initial list of Opening Day Specials and Events, which I imagine I will mention again with more fanfare when April 6 is upon us. If you liked 106.7 The Fan hanging out in Canal Park for the Winter Classic, they are doing it again for Opening Day. And Bluejacket is having a big Opening Day Fest.
* PARK CHELSEA GETTING CLOSER: With a July 1 target date to start leasing, the huge residential building at New Jersey and I is rolling along, and they've posted some interior construction photos on their web site. (But what I really want is their update on getting I Street opened....!)
And now I can't get Paul McCartney out of my mind.

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More posts: 880 NJ/Park Chelsea, bonchon, Restaurants/Nightlife, parkchelsea, WC Smith/Square 737

Tidbits: Declaring Another Project Underway; Food-Related Items
Mar 18, 2015 5:33 AM
Just some things that didn't make it to the blog during the outage:
* MORE GROUND BROKEN: I had posted a photo last week of the new fence at not-Ballpark Square but wasn't quite ready to say that construction had started. However, the pile driver has arrived, and steel beams are already sticking out of the ground, so I think it's now safe to add the residential/hotel portion of the project to the ludicrous lineup of developments currently underway. (The office component at 99 M is expected to get started before long as well.) It's also the fourth to break ground just within the past month or so, joining residential projects 909 Half and 82 I and the Homewood Suites hotel at 50 M. And I think that's probably it for major projects getting started until the end of this year or early next year.
* BONCHON GETTING CLOSER: The paper is off the windows, so I was able to see where things stand at Bonchon--and it's looking well along. (Not pictured are the five or so boxes containing large flat-panel TVs.)
* DEMO PERMIT APPS: Applications have been submitted to demolish two buildings on the DC Water site--a 50,000-square-foot brick building and a 1,980-square-foot wood shed. Whether these are on the footprint of the planned movie theater/accompanying residential, I cannot tell you.
* SPRING! SPRING! There's now quite the inventory of outdoor tables at Willie's Brew & Que, and work is underway for a patio at the Big Stick (photo by Mr. JDLand):
* MORE ABOUT FOOD: I mentioned it in passing before, but there's been enough tweets sent my way to mention again that work has now started at the Scarlet Oak space at 909 New Jersey. And there's purty window ads now, to both get their name out there and to THWART my PEEKING. And closer to the river, at the Lumber Shed, both Due South and the Navy Yard Oyster Company have gotten their building permits.
With all that cleared out of the hopper, I now may be a bit scarce for the rest of the week. Hopefully the site will behave, though.

Thursday Tidbits: Marathon, Beer Festival, Montaditos Bankruptcy, More
Mar 12, 2015 9:34 AM
* MARATHON: The Rock n Roll Marathon is on Saturday (March 14). Near Southeast gets off easy compared to some neighborhoods, but watch for closures, runners, tie-ups, etc., along South Capitol Street and the Douglass Bridge (plus over into Buzzard Point and also in Anacostia Park) until early afternoon. Full map here. In short: get thee to the Southeast Freeway or the 11th Street Bridges if you wish to escape by vehicle.
* CLOVER FEST: If you're not navigating around distance runners on Saturday morning, you may be dodging wobbly attendees from this year's Clover Fest beer tasting festival at 1st and N SE during the afternoon and evening.
* MONTADITOS BANKRUPTCY: "The Florida operator of the Spanish mini-sandwich chain 100 Montaditos has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Miami." Bankruptcy filings were also submitted for nine of the chain's restaurants in south Florida and the Arlington, Va., location. No word on whether it has any impact on the Tingey Street location. (Miami Herald)
* BLUEJACKET OPENING DAY FEST: Bluejacket is having an Opening Day Fest on Monday, April 6. Free to enter, but there's also a food/drink package option.
* TRUCKEROO: The 2015 Truckeroo schedule is out, starting April 24. (Yes, the Fairgrounds/Bullpen is going to remain open this year.)
* THREE BEDROOMS: I wrote back in October about the Yards West zoning hearing where this all first percolated, but GGW has taken a look at the notion of incentives for three-bedroom apartments. Then City Paper's Housing Complex blog tackled the subject as well.
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More posts: 100montaditos, Bluejacket, Restaurants/Nightlife, truckeroo, Parcel A/Yards

Frosty Friday Tidbits: March is the New February
Mar 6, 2015 11:08 AM
* The restaurant group that owns a slew of Capitol Hill and Near Southeast restaurants, including the Park Tavern and Willie's Brew & Que, has now exited bankruptcy. (Hill Rag)
* Some additional information about the Display Ship Barry's impending departure, including that the hull is apparently structurally sound and so it's expected the ship will be towed away, as opposed to be being dismantled in place. Also, the Navy "has not yet made a decision about replacing Barry with another decommissioned ship, and there is no timeline for doing so." (USNI News)
* Bisnow takes a look at the city's "fastest-growing neighborhood," though, ahem, the ballpark was not built in 2005, guys. (Bisnow)
UPDATE: Extra-special last-minute tidbit:
* A crane will be arriving at the Community Center site next week to place the steel for the gymnasium, which is good in terms of progress but which is bad in terms of the fact that it's going to take up a bunch of parking spaces on L and then around and up 5th Street. It is expected that these parking spaces will not be available at all next week. After the gym steel work is done, though, the crane will move onto the construction site itself.
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More posts: Community Center, Restaurants/Nightlife, Navy Yard

Brew Garden, Park Envisioned as Interim Use at Florida Rock
Mar 3, 2015 1:59 PM
With the western portion of the 5.5-acre Florida Rock site along the Anacostia River just south of Nats Park not likely to be built on for a number of years (thanks to that pesky little detail of needing to demolish the existing Douglass Bridge first), there are again plans being discussed to "activate" the area with an interim use, even while construction continues to the east on the project's first-phase apartment building.
Developer MRP Realty will be going to ANC 6D in the coming days/weeks to look for feedback on what the space could offer, but the basics they are envisioning at this point are to use the space as an outdoor "brew garden" while also providing a large neighborhood-oriented park.
MRP would partner with the brewing team from Bardo, who would be in charge of the on-site vats and the craft beer-filled taps, while the rest of the site could see a number of sub-vendors offering various activities, like a putt-putt course or maybe even batting cages. There would also be picnic tables along the river, food (on-site offerings and food trucks are both possibilities), and family-friendly programming as yet undetermined.
What the site will not offer is large concerts or private events, though smaller-scale music could be a possibility. I'm told the site would have a maximum capacity of around 1,000 guests.
This is not the first rodeo for the idea of using this large open space, although previous notions were on a larger scale and perhaps might be described as more Fairgrounds-like, a comparison that this new proposal is apparently trying very hard to avoid.
Since it's all still in the brainstorming phase, and still has to go through the ANC, the alcohol/beverage folks, and various city agencies for permits, it remains a bit nebulous. (Feel free to use the comments to pass along any ideas for activities and offerings.)
In the meantime, work continues on the Riverfront, the 300-unit apartment building on the east end of the site, by Diamond Teague Park. This first phase construction will also see an expanded plaza between the building and Teague Park, a westward extension of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail into the Florida Rock site, and an already planned temporary use space separating the brew garden/park from the new building, with some surface parking, a small green space, and "The Beach," a sand-covered spot with volleyball courts. The building is expected to be completed in 2016.
More details as they become available....
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More posts: bardo, Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, riverwalk

Tuesday Tidbits: What's in a Name, Anyway?
Mar 3, 2015 9:15 AM
Catching up a bit:
* CHEF SCOUTING: Master chef Peter Chang and his partners are "looking in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood for a 6,000-square-foot space that could, when finished, serve as Chang's fine-dining flagship." He is about to open restaurants in Rockville and Arlington, alongside his existing Richmond and Charlottesville offerings that all showcase his "genuine, flame-throwing Sichuan cooking" considered to be some of the best Chinese food in the country. However, given that the word "peripatetic" is often used to describe him, we'll see what happens. (WaPo)
* FESTIVAL FESTIVALING: The National Cherry Blossom Festival will close this year with a new event, the Anacostia River Festival, on April 12 from noon to 4 pm at Anacostia Park. A joint effort by the 11th Street Bridge Project and the National Park Service, it is expected to feature boating, fishing workshops, tours of historic Anacostia, and "other unique programs to engage families with the environment."
* POOL CLUBBING: VIDA's Penthouse Pool Club opens on May 1. Assuming it has stopped snowing by then.
* AHEM: I've referenced this in a few unofficial places, but might as well just give it the full-on treatment. Recently Mr. JDLand was struck by a creative bolt of lightning (or perhaps was just tired of listening to me rant and rave), and presented me with the design at left. With tongue most firmly in cheek, I admit it cracks me up. If you would like to be among those making such a bold statement, the shirts are $12, available in S-M-L-XL. An in-person hand-off can probably even be arranged if you live within the general JDLand listening area. Shoot me a message if you are interested.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, bridgepark, Events, Restaurants/Nightlife, peterchang, JDLand stuff, vida

Taylor Gourmet and Chop't Slated for Ballpark Square
Feb 26, 2015 1:16 PM
If your tastebuds are on the lookout for additional options in the neighborhood, tell them that I am hearing that Taylor Gourmet and Chop't are slated to be tenants in the pending Grosvenor-McCaffery-Skanska mega project along 1st Street SE between M and N currently dubbed Ballpark Square.*
But said tastebuds will need to be patient, as the project is still a few weeks away from an expected ceremonial groundbreaking, and then it will take a while to construct the project's 285-unit apartment building, 180-room hotel, and 233,000-square-foot office building in the block just north of Nats Park.
All told, there will be about 45,000 square feet of retail across the project, with about 7,000 of it in the separate two-story 7,000 square feet retail building at the corner of 1st and N, also being developed by Grosvenor/McCaffery.
The rendering at right showing the 99 M office building, the hotel, and the residential building as seen from the northwest corner of 1st and M may help get your bearings on the location and plans.
No operator for the hotel has been announced as yet. (And note, as always, that this is separate from the Hampton Inn currently going up on the south end of the block.)
* I've also heard that "Ballpark Square" is actually not the final name of the development. This allows me to yet again point people to my June 2007 post, Name Your Own Near Southeast Development Project!
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More posts: 99m, Development News, F1rst Residential/Hotel, Restaurants/Nightlife

Scarlet Oak Construction to Start Soon at 909 New Jersey
Feb 2, 2015 2:23 PM
Residents at 909 New Jersey Avenue received a notification today that construction is expected to begin "in the next few weeks" on Scarlet Oak, the restaurant announced last year from the folks who created Southern Hospitality in Adams Morgan.
Construction hours are expected to "typically" be from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, though I am sure my comment threads will light up if there is work beyond those times.
Also included was a release from the Scarlet Oak team, describing the venture as a place that will "serve American fare food with a casual neighborhood vibe." There will be some overlap on the menu, "but will showcase new small plates, sandwiches and entrees crafted by Chef Leo Garcia, formerly of Proof and Red Hen." The bar list "will feature rotating craft beers, refreshing specialty cocktails, and an extensive wine list."
There will be a bar, a dining room, and additional seating on the 1,000-square-foot patio, and it will be open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and brunch and dinner on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
(Wisely, no targeted opening date is mentioned.)
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More posts: 909 New Jersey, Restaurants/Nightlife, scarletoak

Progress Report: The Brig, Lower 8th Street's Beer Garden-to-Be
Feb 1, 2015 9:21 AM
On the northwest corner of 8th and L streets, SE, work is proceeding on the space that will become the beer garden now known as The Brig.
As we found out a few months ago, the design has been scaled back from a restaurant with a roof deck and patio to a more typical beer garden look--a big outdoor space with tables along with a "service" building that has no seating.
As you can see, there is definite progress on the service building, with a mid-year-ish opening looking to be doable.
The driveway at the west side of the lot will allow for food trucks to sell their wares.
The photos give a feel for the amount of patio acreage as well, and show that some noontime shade will come from a group of trees along L Street, though they could maybe benefit from a bit of a haircut (to, ahem, spruce the look up a little).
You can read my past posts on The Brig to catch up on the long and winding road to this point. And this group of before-and-afters shows the lot over the past not-quite-10-years. (And I can't decide if I need to add the corrugated tin shack visible behind the stockade fence in the early shots to my Demolished Buildings Gallery.)
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife

Bonchon Buildout Progressing at Half and K
Jan 14, 2015 2:21 PM
Next up on the Near Southeast Cavalcade of Eateries appears to be Bonchon, the Korean fried chicken outlet that is opening its first DC location on the southwest corner of Half and K streets SE, inside the 1015 Half Street building a couple of blocks north of Nats Park.
I sent my unpaid stringer out in the dismal weather today to grab a photo or two of the work on the 5,300-square-foot space, which sources say has been progressing rapidly, perhaps with an eye toward opening before, well, Opening Day (Monday, April 6).
Eater DC shared some renderings and details about the interior, though reading that the architects are "designing the restaurant to include a sports bar" -- I've never heard of a "sports bar" as an object within a restaurant rather than just an appellation for a restaurant, but maybe I don't move in the right circles. Nevertheless, Eater says that there will be seating for 200, and that the full bar will have "both Asian and American craft beers."
Anyone wishing to thank my stringer for his work can probably arrange a meeting at 100 Montaditos.
(A small update on another restaurant in the pipeline: the planned Scarlet Oak at 909 New Jersey still does not have its necessary building permits, but they are at least in process.)
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More posts: 1015 Half, bonchon, Restaurants/Nightlife

2014 Year in Review: Restaurants and Retail
Dec 26, 2014 9:44 AM
Trying to narrate what's gone on progress-wise in 2014 in Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard Territory/Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards would require a torrent of words that would be too over the top even for me, so I've decided to go visual.
Quite simply, here's the lineup of restaurants and retail offerings that opened east of South Capitol and south of the Southeast Freeway since January 1, 2014:
Coming in 2015, assuming all goes well? Banfield Pet Hospital at 4th and Tingey is the only retail offering announced, but in terms of food, there's The Brig beer garden at 8th and L, the Navy Yard Oyster Company and Due South at the Lumber Shed, Bonchon at 1015 Half Street, and Scarlet Oak at 909 New Jersey. Plus CBS Radio. And maybe Nicoletta? I would also imagine there will be some things we haven't heard about yet.
You can see full list and locations of all the neighborhood's eateries on my Near Southeast Food Options map.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail

Subway Cafe Now Open at 20 M Street
Dec 23, 2014 11:16 AM
Reports from folks involved with 20 M Street say that the new Subway Cafe restaurant opened this morning at 10 am.
This is the "office building-oriented concept" from the company, with a full Subway menu but with a coffee-shop vibe, meaning that there's big cushy seats and premium caffeinated beverages in addition to the sandwiches.
If these reports are indeed true, has anyone ventured in?
This is in the same building where The Big Stick opened last week. It is on the northwest corner of Half and M streets, SE, kitty corner from the west entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station and one block north of Nats Park.
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More posts: 20 M, Restaurants/Nightlife, subway

The Big Stick Restaurant Opening Today at 5 PM
Dec 18, 2014 1:30 PM
Word has filtered my way that Justin Ross's new venture The Big Stick is opening for business at 5 pm today, Dec. 18, in the ground floor of 20 M Street on the northwest corner of Half and M, SE.
Justin tells me that it will be a limited menu for the first few days, and of course there's always some kinks to be worked out, but open is open. As we've found out, the menu will be centered around a beer-and-sausages lineup, with other European-type offerings as well.
Believe it or not, this is the first new (non-temporary) retail establishment to open on Half Street, SE since the revival of Near Southeast began in the late 1990s. If you had told me when the announcement of the site choice for Nats Park was made in September 2004 that it would take a decade to see the opening of just one restaurant on Half Street, well, it's fair to say I would not have believed you.
If you go, give a report in the comments.
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More posts: 20 M, the Big Stick, Restaurants/Nightlife

First Look (and First Bites): 100 Montaditos
Dec 10, 2014 8:28 PM
It's mere hours until the official opening of 100 Montaditos at the Boilermaker Shops in the Yards, but a lucky few (including myself) have gotten the chance this evening to step inside, check out the atmosphere, and sample the menu.
As part of its Grand Opening, there will be a "Dollarmania" promotion from Thursday 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 during the restaurant's first 100 days.
(In case you are wondering, at left is a sample of the Classic Sangria, along with sandwiches 07, 10, and 63.)
It will be open daily from 11 am to 10 pm.
If you are wondering about the whole "Montadito" thing, it is a small warm roll with options for a wide variety of ingredients, making it easy to eat in the very Spanish way of tasting lots of different recipes. But there's more than just the sandwiches on the menu, including salads, appetizers, and other Spanish items.
While I do not fancy myself a food critic, I will venture to say that the bread does indeed appear to be a highlight.
I did not have the Official JDLand Camera in hand, so these blurry cellphone shots will have to do until you visit yourself. And chances are you will run into Mr. JDLand, who is strategizing his approach to trying all 100 Montaditos.
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More posts: 100montaditos, Restaurants/Nightlife

Banfield Getting Closer; 82 I Hints; Florida Rock Shindig; Food Updates
Dec 8, 2014 9:30 AM
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.
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More posts: 100montaditos, 801nj, banfield, Development News, Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife, morini, willies

Tidbits: The Not Quite Yet Edition
Dec 3, 2014 9:14 AM
Surveying a few pending tidbits that share a common theme:
* BIG STICK: I figured I'd better finally provide own photo of the restaurant's new signage, at right (click to enlarge). Is it open? Not quite yet, though there are apparently private soft-opening events coming before long.
* 1333 M: I'm pretty sure I don't get paid enough to watch all 3 1/2 hours of Monday night's zoning hearing on Cohen/Siegel's planned three-building 673-unit project on the east end of M Street, though I did survey a few moments here or there. Was it approved? Not quite yet: the commission had a series of items it wants more details and tweaks on, and the project will be back before the board in January. HillNow wrote about the list of community benefits the developer agreed to in its Memorandum of Understanding with ANC 6B.
* DC WATER: There had been some talk last week of Ward 5 councilmember Kenyan McDuffie wanting to use eminent domain to get rid of a trash transfer station on W Street NE and then moving there a portion of the DC Water operations currently at 1st and O SE--which would help allow Forest City to move forward on its movie theater and residential plans. Does this mean that the movie theater is coming soon? Not quite yet: during Tuesday's marathon council meeting, McDuffie withdrew the measure because of a lack of support.
* SOCCER: There's a gonna be a new stadium across the way. It appears. But not quite yet. So, while you're waiting, check out the Walking Tour photos I took of the site last fall.
And one that I couldn't figure out how to shoehorn into the motif:
* YARDS PARK SURVEY: The Yards Park folks would love it if you would take a moment to fill out their 2014 Perception Survey.
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More posts: 1333 M, the Big Stick, Restaurants/Nightlife, DC Water (WASA), The Yards at DC Water

100 Montaditos Seemingly About to Open; Other Yards Updates
Dec 2, 2014 3:36 PM
Word is filtering my way that 100 Montaditos should at last be bringing its menu of Spanish sandwiches and other items to the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards, perhaps even as early as this Thursday, Dec. 4
Mr. JDLand has been keeping close tabs on the progress of this latest offering, and provided this photo of the sandwich board (literally!) out front of the space last week.
That Montaditos is close to opening is also referenced in an end-of-year press release from Forest City that details the rather blockbuster year they've had at the Yards, with the openings of Twelve12, Teeter, VIDA, Sweetgreen, TaKorean, Ice Cream Jubilee, Unleashed, Willie's.....
The release also says that Banfield Pet Hospital is expected to open in the first quarter of 2015 in Twelve12's last retail space on Tingey Street, and that the Navy Yard Oyster Company and Due South restaurants are both expected to open in the Lumber Shed in the spring. Also coming in the spring should be the landscaping of the no-longer-Spooky Parcel A lot, with both a temporary park and parking lot. (No mention of the Trapeze School move, though.)
On the residential side of things, "late 2015" is given both as the completion date for the 327-unit Arris building next to the Foundry Lofts and also the planned start of the 135-unit PN Hoffman condo building at the southeast corner of 4th and Tingey.
If you see action at Montaditos, let me know. And let @TheSlot know, too.

Details on The Big Stick, Perhaps Opening in December
Nov 25, 2014 10:59 AM
It's been a long time coming, but it appears that Justin Ross's second neighborhood venture, The Big Stick, is getting close to opening on the northwest corner of Half and M, in the 20 M office building.
The sign is now up (as captured by @CapCityChewy), and yesterday Eater DC had a peek at the designs for the space, saying that the restaurant "will aim to open in the first or second week of December" because Ross "wants things to be up and running smoothly before the Washington Capitals play the Winter Classic at the stadium January 1." Though, as always, let's all repeat the mantra that it will open when it opens.
As for the menu, Eater says that in addition to the sausage-based menu we already knew about, The Big Stick will "also offer some more hard-to-find dishes like raclette, the cheesy European dish," and that the beer menu will "emphasize European lagers and pilsners over hoppy American brews (though they'll still have some of those available)."
There's also some rough sketches of the interior design, which has hints of inspiration from ski lodges (tied in with the raclette, I guess), but "baseball also works its way into the design theme." It will be "bar-centric" as well, with plenty of TVs. So I guess there won't be 8,000 Teddy Roosevelts on the wall?
UPDATED 12/2 to add my own lousy photo of the signage.
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More posts: 20 M, the Big Stick, Restaurants/Nightlife

Osteria Morini Chefs Interviewed About First Year; Nicoletta Still Coming
Nov 10, 2014 6:22 PM
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

Catching Up with The Brig: Your Basic Outdoor Beer Garden
Nov 7, 2014 11:06 AM
Monday's news that "The Brig", the long-planned beer garden at 8th and L, is moving forward caught certain observers flat-footed, especially certain observers who had lost the thread of the project's long road through the city's historic preservation review process, especially as it reappeared during 2013. (Though, to be fair, certain observers were in 2013 distracted by other circumstances.)
But in reading various documents more closely, the equally big news is that the project has gone from a restaurant with a roof deck and patio to a design that's more in keeping with the idea of a real "beer garden" -- the design that will now be built is of a big outdoor space with tables and room to stand around, plus a small "service" building that has no seating.
In 2011, site owners Mark Brody and Alan Gaunoux had planned what I described at the time as a "one-story building with a roof deck, in addition to the proposed ground-level summer garden. The look of the building (which is closer to 1 1/2 stories high) is very industrial, with large multi-paned windows and lots of "wood rainscreening" on the exterior and the roof deck."
The Historic Preservation Review Board's staff report in Feb. 2011 referred to the design's "somewhat chaotic and unfinished appearance," but the commissioners felt that it was on the right track and "was very close" to achieving acceptance. The next month, the owners returned with a "substantially simplified" design, moving to a brick veneer and other changes. This version appeared on the board's consent calendar, with final approval delegated to the board's staff.
And then we fast-forward to April of 2013, when Brody and Gaunoux returned to the HPRB with a scaled-back plan after apparently having "reevaluated their finances." The HPRB staff report described the new version as "largely an open-air 'use' of the existing lot, with a smaller service building rather than the indoor restaurant space previously proposed."
The new design included a one-story stucco building along the northern edge of the property, just for restrooms, storage, a small kitchen, and the bar opening up to the garden. There would be a roof-type structure projecting 10 feet southward to cover the bar area, and a paved area along the east edge of the site that could provide space for a food truck and trash collection. The bulk of the site would be "paved" with flagstone, and there would be a 6'6" "ornamental" metal fence surrounding the site, plus a central pole anchoring string lights that would provide illumination. All of which, according to the board's staff, would improve on the "visually disadvantageous" parking lot now on the site, as seen in the above photograph from March of 2014.
The service building became a focus, with the Historic Preservation Office having "discouraged the applicants from proposing trailers, shipping containers, or portable toilets." In June, a revision of the revised design updated the service building including signage and new fixed shutters on the building's blank wall along 8th Street, plus a "decorative parapet" and cornice along the roof line, similar to what is seen on several of the one-story buildings along Barracks Row.
On July 11, 2013, the board approved these concept plans, and by mid-August a building permit had been applied for, with a scope of work described as "a prepared food shop with an accessory fast food establishment (food truck) for 210 seats and 399 occupants." That permit took nearly 15 months and numerous corrections to get its approvals, with the permit finally being issued last week and the owner saying that he expects to break ground soon.
(And this huge summary doesn't even get into the Class CT Tavern liquor license fight back in 2011!)
So, all in all, it does sound like if you're one who likes your beer garden to be heavy on the "garden," this will be right up your alley. It also sounds like it's perhaps starting small, without too much of an investment, to see whether it catches on.
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife

Unleashed Open at Boilermaker Shops; A 100 Montaditos Peek
Nov 4, 2014 10:53 AM
(First off, go vote! Second, if you're in ANC 6D07, read about your candidates before you go vote.)
I fear I'm reaching maximum velocity in the posting department, but I don't want to let these terribly important Boilermaker Shops observations slide:
* Unleashed(!) by Petco is open. Apologies for the blurry interior photo, but the two staffers froze in terror when I said I'd like to take a photograph inside, so I didn't really dilly-dally.
* The door to the 100 Montaditos space just happened to be open when I walked by, and, well, you know....:
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More posts: 100montaditos, Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, unleashed

'Due South' - Lumber Shed's Southern Cuisine Spot Officially Announced
Nov 3, 2014 1:34 PM
Perhaps it was the teensy bit of publicity garnered over the weekend, because a press release is just out from Forest City Washington officially announcing that the rumors are true:
A new restaurant from Bo Blair's Georgetown Events group named Due South will bring a "heaping helping of southern-style cuisine and hospitality" to the Lumber Shed at the Yards in spring 2015, helmed by Bayou executive chef Rusty Holman.
It will occupy 3,366 square feet on the northwest corner of the Shed, and will have outdoor seating.
A quote of note from the press release: “ 'We were early believers in the Capitol Riverfront as a vibrant location for food and drink since opening The Bullpen in 2009,' said Bo Blair. 'Now, we’re very excited to be able to become a permanent part of The Yards. The growth of the restaurant scene in The Yards is truly a great thing for this city and we certainly wanted to be a part of it.' "
Due South will join Osteria Morini, Agua 301, Ice Cream Jubilee, and the also-coming-in-spring-2015 Navy Yard Oyster Company at the Lumber Shed.
This also means that the Shed's retail spaces are now 100 percent leased.
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More posts: duesouth, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, The Yards

A REALLY Unexpected Green Light: 8th Street Beer Garden, 'The Brig'
Nov 3, 2014 11:15 AM
A truly unexpected piece of news has just come across the transom, via WBJ: Apparently a permit was issued Friday that will allow the start of construction on the long-planned beer garden at 8th and L, SE.
It will be called "The Brig," and will seat 210 and serve 299, and property owner Alan Gaunoux told WBJ that he "expects to break ground next week." I believe the seating is configured as 99 indoor seats and another 200 outside. (see update, below)
This project has been so dormant that I haven't written a post about it since November of 2011. I thought it was still languishing in the Historic Preservation Review Board process, but apparently all systems must be go, though, as WBJ says, "early versions of the development were scaled back[.]"
You can see the rendering from back in 2011 and read the multiple posts on the project's early days on my project page, though I don't know how much it resembles what will actually be coming. It is still apparently a one-story structure, with a bar, and some food, and perhaps some live music.
UPDATE: I will write another post on this in a few days--I'm looking at documentation that indicates this is definitely a very far scaled back operation in terms of a "building" from what was being looked at in 2011. Puts the "garden" in beergarden.
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife

Lumber Shed's Southern-Style Restaurant Applies for Liquor License
Nov 1, 2014 1:12 PM
It was way back in March that we heard rumors of a southern-style restaurant coming to the Lumber Shed, to be helmed by Bo Blair of Fairgrounds/Jetties/etc. and his chef at the Bayou, Rusty Holman.
While there has still never been an official announcement of such a venture, Friday's DC register included a public hearing notice for a liquor license application at 301 Water St., SE, under the trade name "Due South." (The sign is up in the window at the Shed, too.)
The application is for a CT Tavern license, for a "Tavern serving Southern food with a seating capacity of 199 and total occupancy load of 250." There is also a request for a 92-seat summer garden (i.e., outdoor patio) as well as an "entertainment endorsement" for the license (i.e., live music, as the Bayou has).
And, with lovely symmetry, the Register also included the news that Shed's other pending restaurant, the Navy Yard Oyster Company, has applied for its Class C liquor license. The posting describes the restaurant as being "a wine-centric oyster bar offering a seasonal, seafood-driven small plate menu drawing its inspiration from the Chesapeake Bay and the states that Washington, DC is connected to, both geographically and culturally." A jazz brunch is also mentioned, along with "other occasional similar performances." It would have seating of 73 and a total occupancy load of 199, along with two summer gardens, with seating for 32 and 18.
As part of normal procedures, both will be taken up by ANC 6D, presumably before the application hearing date of Dec. 29.
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More posts: duesouth, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, oysterbar, The Yards

A Week of Food: Anniversaries and Grand Openings
Oct 30, 2014 4:18 PM
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....)
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More posts: Bluejacket, Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, morini, teeter, unleashed, willies, The Yards

Yards Says Willie's Brew and 'Que Opening Friday
Oct 15, 2014 10:38 AM
As to whether it *will* open Friday at 5, well, we'll see!
Willie's is located on the west end of the Boilermaker Shops, at 3rd and Tingey streets, SE.
If you want to read about the long road to this point, have at it.
In other food news, TaKorean is now going to be open on Sundays from 11 to 7.
UPDATE: In non-food Boilermaker Shops news, the Yards folks also tweeted that Unleashed by Petco is scheduled to open Nov. 3.
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, unleashed, willies, The Yards

Is the Long Willie's Brew and Que Wait Almost Over?
Sep 16, 2014 4:32 PM
A reader pointed me today to a new Facebook page for Willie's Brew and Que, the long-delayed sports bar that was first announced as coming to the Boilermaker Shops back in 2011.
It's been a busy day on the page, with a new logo posted ("Willie's, Est. 2014") as well as photos of the interior, including shots of the point of sale kiosks with the caption "Computers almost up and running!" There's no news there of an opening date, but the About page is well filled out with details. (The WilliesBBQ Twitter feed is silent so far, however.)
Certainly with October baseball looking staggeringly likely, it would behoove any restaurant or bar in the neighborhood to rush preparations to completion in order to capitalize on hordes of wild-eyed Nats fans converging on the area. However, the long delay in building out the space, followed by the bankruptcy and associated falderal surrounding owner Barracks Row Entertainment earlier this year, have made it easy to be skeptical that the restaurant would actually ever open.
So, keep an eye on the western end of the Boilermaker Shops (at the corner of 3rd and Tingey) to see if white smoke from barbeque equipment signals the arrival of a new restaurant.
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, willies, The Yards

At Last, Restaurant News at 909 New Jersey: Scarlet Oak
Sep 9, 2014 3:30 PM
Just out from City Paper's Young and Hungry, the news that has been rattling around as rumor for weeks: "The official tree of the District of Columbia--Scarlet Oak--will be the name of an American restaurant coming to 909 New Jersey Ave. SE from the owners of Adams Morgan's Southern Hospitality."
City Paper says "the menu will have some carryover from Southern Hospitality, including the fried chicken and chicken and waffles. But there will also be new stuff like pizzas and flatbreads. Drinks will include specialty cocktails and a large wine by the glass and beer selection." There will be about 100 seats, plus another 75 on the huge patio outside the space on the northwest corner of New Jersey and K.
(By the way, CP, it's not actually directly across from the Whole Foods site. Basically two blocks away.)
This will be the second tenant at the 909 apartment building, which was completed in 2009. Harry's Reserve Wine and Spirits opened there in 2011.
A December or January opening date is cited, but We Shall See.
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More posts: 909 New Jersey, Restaurants/Nightlife, New Jersey Ave., scarletoak

Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken Coming to Half Street in 2015
Sep 3, 2014 2:01 PM
Washingtonian is reporting that Korean fried-chicken chain Bonchon is coming to the neighborhood next year, in a 200-seat space that ANC Commissioner David Garber says is going to be in the 1015 Half Street building two blocks north of Nationals Park.
Quoting: "The menu will mostly mirror Arlington’s (here’s a sample), with a focus on spicy and soy-garlic fried chicken, plus Korean specialties like pork buns and bulgogi. ... [Y]ou'll find a spacious bar for pre-and-post game gatherings. A list of 16 craft beers, both domestic and Asian, are in the works, plus a specialty cocktail menu. Takeout, delivery, and catering services are also planned, as well as reservations for large parties."
Washingtonian says that the space is being designed by GrizForm, which also worked on Bluejacket and Agua301. There are also plans are an outdoor patio. (UPDATE: The restaurant will apparently occupy ground-floor space on the L Street side of the building.)
The building housing the new venture is the one that stood empty for many moons before the announcements earlier this year that the National Labor Relations Board will be moving there, as will CBS Radio. That a restaurant is going into the building at all is a bit of a surprise, since the retail spaces were always a somewhat wishy-washy subject.
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TaKorean Opening Officially on Monday at Twelve12
Aug 17, 2014 10:08 AM
After two soft-opening days last week, food truck-turned-brick and mortar outlet TaKorean will be having its official grand opening on Monday, Aug. 18 in the ground floor of the Twelve12 apartment building at 4th and Tingey, next door to Sweetgreen.
Initial hours of operation will be 11 am to 7:30 pm Monday through Friday, and 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday, but closed Sunday--with plans for longer hours in coming months.
For those who have never come across TaKorean's truck or Union Market space, the menu takes classic Korean items like Bulgogi, Dak Galbi, Bo Ssam, and tofu and gives them a "Mexican twist" -- served taco style or in bowls with rice or slaw (including a kimchi-style offering) and with an array of toppings ranging from lime crema to Siracha sauce to sesame seeds.
The Twelve12 location also will have draft beer, sake, and soju.
The company pledges 1 percent of all gross sales to local environmental and youth-based nonprofits.
(And now I shall apologize for going AWOL this month. I drove to and from Wyoming to deal with various aspects of my mother's estate and to breathe the fresh air--sneaking in some touring of festive places like Lincoln, Neb., Scotts Bluff, Fargo, N.D., and Cedar Falls, Iowa, along the way. The house had no internet connection, except for my smartphone or if I set up my laptop close to a window and caught a neighbor's unsecured WiFi signal--all of which made it easy to go off-grid. So I'll be playing catch-up over the next few days. And I'll be disappearing again at the end of the month for what is hopefully just a brief stint on the DL. Getting old stinks.)
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, takorean, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards

Wine and Oyster Bar Coming to the Lumber Shed in 2015
Jul 15, 2014 9:37 AM
Today Forest City Washington is announcing another restaurant for the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park--the Navy Yard Oyster Company, a "wine-centric oyster bar," will be coming to the south side of the building, between Osteria Morini and Agua 301, with a target opening date of Spring 2015.
The venture is from August Paro and Elias Hengst, founders of Beuchert's Saloon and Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar on Capitol Hill.
The menu will feature oysters from Rappahannock and the Chesapeake Bay, along with other well-known oysteries. There will also be an "extensive by-the-glass wine list," and classic cocktails "featuring selections from the burgeoning local distiller movement." Ditto the beer menu. There will be lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch service.
The restaurant will occupy 1,887 square feet on the ground floor, but its two-story ceiling will be the exposed trusses of the Shed's roof. The announcement describes the expected ambiance as "low key, laid back elegance," but is also inspired by the building's ties to the Navy, the city, and the river.
The ownership group, in addition to Paro and Hengst, has members who have been involved in various ways in other local restaurants such as Tryst, The Diner, Mendocino Grill, and the upcoming Stanton.
There is now only one remaining restaurant unit available in the Shed, on the northwest corner, which may or may not have something in the works.
(Also snuck into the oyster bar announcement is the news that the Parcel N apartment building is going to be called Arris. Plus it gives "early August" as an expected opening date for TaKorean.)
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, oysterbar, takorean, The Yards, Arris/Parcel N/Yards

Out and About: Ice Cream Jubilee Opens at the Yards
Jul 12, 2014 1:45 PM
After a soft-opening on Friday, scoop shop Ice Cream Jubilee officially opened for business this morning in the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park, and it didn't take long for the masses to line up, thanks to the blistering weather.
My normal edict to only use my own photos is relaxed a bit with this image that Mr. JDLand provided of his scoops from a visit on Friday afternoon--banana bourbon caramel, blueberry pie, and Thai iced tea.
The store's summertime hours will be 10 am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday, and 11 am to 8 pm on Sundays.
If you wish to officially proclaim your favorite flavors, the comments are open for your use.

Ice Cream Jubilee Opening at the Yards Park July 12
Jul 7, 2014 4:35 PM
With summer heat beginning to approach red alert stage, residents and visitors will be thrilled to learn that Ice Cream Jubilee is scheduled to open its "scoop shop" on Saturday, July 12, on the northeast corner of the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park.
The store's summertime hours will be 10 am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday, and 11 am to 8 pm on Sundays.
The initial menu will include at least 12 ice cream and sorbet flavors, along with Zeke's coffee (drip and iced). Sundaes and other treats are expected to follow in the coming months.
Victoria Lai, Jubilee's founder, began making and selling ice cream three years ago while still working her day job at the Department of Homeland Security, and in 2013 her creations won the People's Choice Award for Best Ice Cream at the 2013 DC Scoop competition. This is the company's first shop.
Jubilee is the third eatery to open at the Lumber Shed, joining Osteria Morini and Agua 301.
See the shop's web site for more details on flavors and whatnot.
UPDATE: Here's the Post's Going Out Guide on Jubilee and some other new ice cream arrivals.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, icecreamjubilee, Lumber Shed/Yards, Retail, Yards Park

Catching Up, Illustrated Version I: Sweetgreen
Jun 29, 2014 10:39 AM
I was out of town for a bit (Detroit!), but it was mainly laziness (abetted by a lack of major news) that's kept me silent for nearly two weeks. When the lovely weekend arrived, though, I took a survey of the latest. I'll break it up into a few posts.
As scheduled, Sweetgreen opened at Twelve12 a little over a week ago. Here's the outside looking in, and the inside looking out:
As for Twelve12 itself, work is still on-going at the Vida empire, the Teeter, and the upper levels of the residential, but the streetscapes are finished, and the northeast corner of 4th and Tingey now looks well filled in:
(Judging by the ads, it appears that the opening date for the Penthouse Pool club has been pushed back to August.)
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, sweetgreen, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards

More Food Arrives: Sweetgreen Opening Next Week
Jun 12, 2014 2:22 PM
It's been officially announced that next week Sweetgreen will be opening its newest location, on the northeast corner of 4th and Tingey in the ground floor of the Twelve12 apartment/retail complex at the Yards.
The purveyors of food that is more healthy than should be allowed by law* are planning a soft opening on Wednesday, June 18, from 11 am to 4 pm, where you can pay what you want for food ordered during their test run, with proceeds going to FreshFarm Markets.
Then it's anticipated the restaurant will open on Thursday, June 19 for regular business, with hours of 10:30 am to 10 pm seven days a week.
This is Sweetgreen's twelfth location in the DC area. It's in the same block as Vida Fitness, TaKorean, and Harris Teeter, all of which should be opening over the coming months. Twelve12 expects its first move-ins this month.
(I kid because I love. I am a devoted fan of the Guacamole Greens salad.)
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, sweetgreen, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards

Thursday Tidbits: Plain White Concrete Sandlot
Jun 5, 2014 12:23 AM
As you can see, If you rent one of the Twelve12 units on the north end of the building, you'll have a great view of the construction at the Lofts at Capitol Quarter.
Now to the tidbits:
* The latest on the Xavier Cervera mess. (WSJ)
* Apparently there is a void that can only be filled by a PROFESSIONAL. (City Paper)
* The 11th Street Bridges project receives an Award of Excellence in Concrete from the National Capital Chapter of the American Concrete Institute. No, really. (Hill Rag)
* The Courtyard touts its makeover. (Press release via Yahoo)
* How does DDOT see the city's multimodal future evolving? Check out the MoveDC draft transportation plan.
And, on the agenda:
* On Thursday, the Nats play the Phillies at 4 pm, which clears the evening for the first NatsLive concert of the season, with the Plain White T's. The show is free for anyone with a ticket to the game, though there's no truth to the rumor that they will just play "Hey There, Delilah" 17 times in a row.
* Then at sundown the Capitol Riverfront Summer Outdoor Movie Series kicks off at the northern end of Canal Park with the Sandlot.
* On Friday, Sam O brings reggae to the Yards Friday Night Concert Series, starting at 6:30 pm.
* If you can think this far ahead, it's been announced that Snallygaster is returning to the Yards, on September 13. "An epic day of inimitable imbibery and monstrous merriment featuring over 200 craft drafts."
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, courtyard, Events, Restaurants/Nightlife, The Bixby

Friday Tidbits: More, More, More (and Less) Edition
Apr 25, 2014 2:00 PM
* LESS NGA: While demolition of Spooky Building 213 at 1st and M has technically been underway for a few weeks, the showy portion got started this week. But my camera hasn't gotten down there yet--look for photos this weekend, if you don't already have a front-row seat for the festivities.
* MORE CBS RADIO: WBJ provides more information on CBS Radio's move to 1015 Half Street, which was officially announced on site by the mayor and other poobahs on Monday. A CBS Radio exec is quoted as saying that the street-level studio and performance area "will allow an unfettered look into how we operate and provide fans of our stations with the chance to meet some of the top names in the music business and our own beloved personalities.” Another quote says that CBS Radio "wanted a ‘Today Show’ type street-level studio and the only place they could get that was in the city.” Construction on the space is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
* MORE XAVIER: Not exactly sure why the Wall Street Journal is so all-over the Barracks Row Entertainment bankruptcy, but here they are again with more details: "Lawyers for eight restaurants including Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Molly Malone’s and Boxcar Tavern [and Park Tavern and Willie's] said in new court papers that Xavier Cervera, who became a consultant for the restaurants in August after selling the restaurants in late 2012, intentionally hindered their performance," so that the new owners would struggle to make payments and then Xavier and his partners could retake the properties. There's a battle over a scooter, too.
* MORE RIVERWALK: DDOT announced this week that work is about to begin on the four-mile-long stretch of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail from Benning Road through the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to the DC/Maryland line.
* MORE FAT: Mark your calendars, the Tour de Fat returns to Yards Park on May 31. (Yes, the link includes the beer list.)
* LESS INCENTIVE: In the latest step to make all my work completely unnecessary, you can now go back in time on Google Street View. (But it's only to 2007, so at least my 2003-2007 photos aren't totally useless.)
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More posts: 1015 Half, Events, Restaurants/Nightlife, parktavern, riverwalk, willies, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards, Yards Park

Friday Tidbits: CBS Radio Coming, Liquor License Applications
Apr 18, 2014 3:36 PM
If it weren't pouring rain at my undisclosed vacation location, I'd be leaving these until Monday, but boredom is overtaking me.
* MORE NEW NEIGHBORS: The move of CBS Radio to 1015 Half Street, rumored in February, is now confirmed, both in my inbox and now in WBJ. Mayor Gray is holding a press conference with various officials at the building Monday mornng. The radio folks are taking about 33,000 square feet on the second floor, and WBJ says they "will also lease about 3,000 square feet on the building's ground floor for use as a performance studio to host talent planning to play other venues during tour stops in D.C." (Maybe passersby will get to press their noses up to the glass to see who's there!) CBS Radio will be joining the National Labor Relations Board at 1015 Half, which announced its lease of 143,000 square feet in January.
* MORE BEVERAGES: Today's DC Register has two notices of alcoholic beverage license applications of note, both at the Yards. One is for 100 Montaditos, the Spanish small sandwiches restaurant coming to the Boilermaker Shops, and TaKorean, which will be bringing its Korean-style tacos to Twelve12. The apps say that Montaditos will have 74 seats, and TaKorean will have 60 seats, along with a 14-seat sidewalk cafe.
Now I shall return to watching the rain.

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More posts: 1015 Half, Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards

Subway Cafe Coming to 20 M Street
Apr 12, 2014 4:48 PM
When news of Justin Ross's new restaurant The Big Stick appeared a few weeks ago, it was the first new tenant for Lerner's 20 M Street since then-Wachovia, now-Wells Fargo moved in back in 2008.
But within the past day or so signage has appeared in the retail space next to Wells Fargo announcing that a Subway Cafe is now coming soon as well.
For those not in the know (like me until a few hours ago), this is the mega-chain's "office building-oriented concept," with a full Subway menu but in a coffee shop vibe, with gourmet caffeinated beverages and baked goods alongside the sandwiches. The interiors also apparently feature flat screen TVs, updated lighting, and comfy chairs where people can park themselves for hours at a time. Here's a short piece by Esquire on the cafes (with a photo!) from when the idea first began being tested.
If you want to check one out and can't wait for this one to open, there are at least three in downtown DC, including at 455 Massachusetts Ave. NW and 555 13th St. NW.
And if you like your Subways traditional, there's still the one on 2nd Street SE across from Canal Park.
There will no doubt be grousing about this space not going to something a bit less, um, chain-y, but for office workers at 20 M, 80 M, 55 M, and the soon-to-actually-be-occupied 1015 Half Street, this will allow for a short lunch trek, so they can get back to their desks more quickly to continue slaving for The Man.
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More posts: 20 M, Restaurants/Nightlife, subway

First Street Fields 'Social Sports Venue' in the Works
Apr 8, 2014 4:26 PM
Right as I was posting about all the fence signage in bloom, another batch of new banners appeared, at the Florida Rock site on Potomac Avenue at South Capitol Street.
The banners announce First Street Fields, and point to a placeholder website that says the "Social Sports Venue | Events Venue | Private Rentals | Beach Bar" will arrive in "Late Spring 2014."
The Hill Rag reports that the plan is for a "unique-to-Washington sports facility featuring playing fields for sports like bocce and whiffle ball, beach volleyball and kick ball." There would also be food trucks, pop-up "restaurants," farmers markets, and public and private field days.
And if this all sounds a bit familiar, that's because a similar proposal last year didn't quite make it through the process. Which is perhaps why the developers emphasized to ANC 6D during a presentation in March that it will be a "safe place to come," according to the Hill Rag, and that they "are looking at such issues as safety, medical issues, and crowd control[.]" The developers said that the sound would be carefully controlled with “integrated speaker management.”
The commission subsequently voted 4-2 to support the concept, once a settlement agreement is hashed out that covers issues like closing times, noise mitigation, and crowd capacity.
The Alcohol Beverage Control Board is having a fact-finding hearing on the venture tomorrow (Wednesday, April 9).
(I do wonder how that decontamination is going....)
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More posts: Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife

Tuesday Tidbits: Very Late Wednesday Edition
Apr 2, 2014 10:46 PM
* CSX I: Eleanor Holmes Norton tells USDOT to get moving: "I ask that you help ensure the prompt release of the Final EIS for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project so that the surrounding community is aware of the preferred alternative, any impacts this project may have on them, and any mitigation and benefits to the surrounding community."
* CSX II: ANC 6B writes to Mayor Gray: "We have serious concerns about the VAT project proposed in the draft environmental impact statement, and we urge you to ensure those concerns are adequately addressed before the District issues the requisite approvals for the project."
* POCKET CHANGE: The Wall Street Journal reports that "Investors who own the storied Hawk ‘n’ Dove bar and other Capitol Hill eating spots owe more than $9 million to D.C. restaurateur Xavier Cervera and his partners who sold the restaurants to them in late 2012." An earlier WSJ piece gives a wider view of the mess of financing this all appears to be.
* FOR THE RECORD: In Precinct 131 (Near Southeast), Muriel Bowser received 40 percent of the vote, Tommy Wells 30 percent, and Vince Gray 24 percent. And in the Ward 6 council race, Charles Allen beat Darrel Thompson 57-43. A grand total of 444 people cast ballots out of the 2,085 registered voters in the precinct. So, yay to 21.29 percent of you!
* BLUEJACKET AND BASEBALL: It seems like the brewery has already been here forever, but Bluejacket is about to embark on its first season of providing refreshments to Nats fans. They've announced that they will be "tailgating" on their patio at 10 am Friday for the season opener, and that their new outdoor grill will be open for business "weather permitting, all season long Thursdays through Sundays from 11 am until 10 pm and on all game days beginning two hours before the first pitch."
* SWEET!: Sweetgreen has gotten its tenant layout permit to begin the buildout of its space in Twelve12, on 4th Street across from Bluejacket.
* THROWBACK THURSDAY: I did a bit of purging in my office over the weekend, and found at least two museum-worthy items (here and here). That's in addition to the Canal Park groundbreaking shovel I still trip over on a regular basis.

Park Tavern, Willie's, Other Cervera Restaurants Declare Bankruptcy
Mar 29, 2014 8:32 AM
The DC Twitterverse lit up Friday night when the Wall Street Journal (?) reported the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Barracks Row Entertainment, the company behind the slew of neighborhood restaurants opened by Xavier Cervera, including the revamped Hawk & Dove, Lola's, Molly Malone's, Boxcar, Senart's, The Chesapeake Room, and Pacifico Cantina.
Barracks Row Entertainment is also behind the Park Tavern at Canal Park, and the will-it-ever-open Willie's Brew and 'Que at the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards, and those two entities are part of the bankruptcy as well. The filing says that the company has "between $1 million and $10 million in debt."
What does it all mean? I guess we will just have to see....
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, parktavern, willies, The Yards

Natitude Returns for the 2014 Season (Exhibition Version)
Mar 28, 2014 11:56 AM
Can it really be possible that the Nationals are about to start their seventh season on South Capitol Street? Yes, it's true, with Saturday's exhibition against the Tigers giving a taste before the home opener on April 4.
Here's my offerings for fans coming to the neighborhood:
* What's New To You in the neighborhood around the ballpark is my page for fans who haven't been paying attention since the end of last season. (Short version: Bluejacket. Osteria Morini. Agua 301. Four under-construction apartment buildings and one under-construction hotel. And much more!)
* Food Options Map outside the ballpark helps you find where the food is (and will be).
* My parking lot map is a bit provisional until I find out exactly which lots are open and for which prices, but it's a start. (Let me know what changes you see.)
* You may also wonder what the deal is with the big murals and holes punched in that spooky building at 1st and M....
Meanwhile, here's some Preseason Preview linkage:
* Going Out Guide has a roundup of drinking options near the ballpark from Going Out Guide, including Bluejacket's new patio bar (and grill!), new hop-filled creations at Biersch, and "Oberon Day" at Justin's.
* Yesterday was the big media tour of the stadium, so lots of coverage of all the new stuff inside the ballpark. From Byron Kerr/MASN: "Further ballpark element changes include the new Norfolk Southern Club, which replaces the Stars & Stripes Club in sections 206 through 221, the Gold Glove Club, the Silver Slugger Suite, Heineken Red Star Bar near Section 205, a clubhouse team store ladies boutique located behind Section 141 and an expanded Nationals main clubhouse team store, which will be upgraded and moved to the right field side of the Center Field Plaza." And WNEW has a few photos of the club spaces.
* There's also going to be an "interactive wall" hiding the construction on the new team store in the old Playstation space. (WP)
* More from Byron: the Nats "will feature 55 beers. Many of them are local and craft choices, including offerings from Port City, DC Brau, Mad Fox, Allagash, New Belgium and Dogfish Head." There's also a listing of all the new food offerings (including poutine!), and Mike Isabella's G sandwiches.
* SportsBog also reports on some of the new food offerings.
And sandwiched somewhere in between all of that is some baseball.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

Southern Style Food Coming to the Lumber Shed?
Mar 28, 2014 11:49 AM
From Going Out Guide's preview of drinking options around the ballpark, there's this little tidbit: "By May 1, you’ll see a food truck preview of an as-yet-unnamed Southern-style restaurant, which Fairgrounds owner Bo Blair and Bayou chef Rusty Holman plan to open in the Lumber Shed in Yards Park, currently home to Osteria Morini and Agua 301. (Holman is a native of North Carolina.)"
If so, this would go into the empty space on the northwest corner of the building (across from Kruba Thai). It would also join Ice Cream Jubilee, which should be opening soon in the northeast corner of the building.
Forest City, as always, does not comment on leases before they are executed, so there is no confirmation of this as yet.
(Those Forest City staffers up on the second floor better all be getting memberships at Vida.)
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More posts: duesouth, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, The Yards

Year-Round Restaurant Coming to Nats Store Space?
Mar 24, 2014 12:39 PM
Dan Steinberg is reporting this morning that the Nats are expanding the Clubhouse Team Store, which includes moving it from its current location on the west side of the Center Field Gate to a "larger space located on the right field side of Center Field Plaza [...] on the way toward the kids playground area." An accompanying photo shows that it's the old Playstation space.
But there's also this tidbit, from an e-mail sent to Steinberg by a Nationals representative: "The team store will continue to operate in its current location until the new store is fully constructed later in the season. Once the new store opens, we plan to convert the old space into a restaurant that fans will be able to enjoy throughout the year. An official announcement on the restaurant will be made as soon as details are finalized."
Veddy interesting....
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

Tuesday Tidbits: Preposition Edition
Mar 18, 2014 5:27 PM
This week's offerings are definitely quite tidbitty:
* KNOCKING DOWN: No time has been wasted in starting the demolition of the old inbound flyover from the 11th Street Bridge, as seen in the photo at right.
* FILLING UP: WBJ looks at the ever-widening selection of local beers at Nats Park.
* MOVING IN: There's been a change in the kitchen at Agua 301, with chef Will Vivas (formerly of Recess Tapas Lounge) taking over from original executive chef Antonio Burrell. A press release says that "mainstay" items will remain (like the pork belly tacos), but that "Vivas is developing new selections based on his South American background and training."
* TOPPING OUT: Nats owner Mark Lerner says he doesn't believe the roof the team proposed for the ballpark is going to happen. (WaPo)
* COMING BACK: In case you were concerned, the Bullpen bar at the Fairgrounds at Half and M is returning for another season, beginning on Opening Day (April 4). And yes, this includes Truckeroo, too.
* CROSSING OVER: Greater Greater Washington looks at the possibilities and pitfalls of the proposed 11th Street Bridge Park. The design contest for the park is scheduled to kick off on Thursday. And the project has a spiffy new web site, too.
* CHECKING OFF: Early voting for DC primary elections has begun at One Judiciary Square, with it expanding on Saturday, March 22, to 13 additional sites across the city, including nearby King Greenleaf Recreational Center. April 1 is just around the corner!

Isabella Bringing G Sandwich Shop to Nats Park
Mar 12, 2014 2:04 PM
In news that will certainly have Mr. JDLand enthralled, it was announced today that Mike Isabella of Top Chef fame will be opening a version of his G sandwich shop at Nationals Park, apparently in time for the March 29 exhibition against the Tigers. It will be located on the main concourse near the First Base Gate, behind Section 136.
It will be a much more limited menu than the main G, according to the press release, but will feature G's Chicken Parm and Italian Hero sandwiches, as well as a meatless roasted cauliflower sandwich and a kielbasa sandwich known as "The Drewno." There will also be a "Sandwich of the Homestand" rotating special.
If you want to take the food for a test drive before Opening Day, the flagship G is located at 14th and W, offering sandwiches by day and a tasting menu at night.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

Tuesday Tidbits: Mmm, Mmm, Good Edition
Mar 11, 2014 3:58 PM
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.
* Tom Sietsema had good things to say about Osteria Morini.
* 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.

New Restaurant by Justin Ross Coming to 20 M Street
Feb 24, 2014 5:00 PM
The WBJ Top Shelf blog is reporting that Justin Ross, who took a gamble on the neighborhood when he opened Justin's Cafe in 2010, will be opening a beer-and-sausage restaurant called "The Big Stick" this summer at 20 M Street, within spitting distance of the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station's Half Street entrance, one block north of Nationals Park.
Quoting: "The Big Stick -- named for baseball bats as well as a reference to Nationals' running president Teddy Roosevelt -- will feature house-made bratwurst and other sausages. The beer list will vary from Justin's domestic, craft-heavy offering to some European selections and mass market American beers, Ross said."
(I had *just* seen a building permit application for a new tenant layout at 20 M about an hour ago, and wondered what it might be. Presto!)
The new restaurant will be 20 M's second retail tenant since it opened in 2007, joining a Wells Fargo branch. And this will be the first food offering (other than the Fairgrounds and food trucks) on Half Street.
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More posts: 20 M, the Big Stick, Restaurants/Nightlife, Justin's Cafe

Nats Extend Stadium Food Deal with Levy; New Offerings
Jan 28, 2014 10:48 AM
The Nationals put out the word today that they have signed a multi-year deal with Levy Restaurants, the "exclusive restaurant partner" at the ballpark since 2009. (Except for, you know, that other restaurant partner at Nats Park.)
The release mentions how the agreement demonstrates a "commitment to regional business" by expanding the farm-to-table program to bring fresh meat, poultry, and vegetables to the various food locations around the park, but I'm guessing that many fans will be more interested in the local sourcing of DC Brau, 3 Stars Brewing Company and Port City Brewing Company, which will now be offered in two additional "District Drafts" locations around the ballpark (four total).
There will also be new items on the menu this year, "including hand rolled sushi, stir-fry to order noodles, house made jumbo lump crab cakes and new vegetarian and gluten-free options."
Fans will also be looking forward to seeing if the redesign of many stands around the park that the Nationals and Levy have undertaken will in fact "get fans in and out of lines and back to the action quickly through faster purchase times and optimized event day flow." There will apparently also be "new digital menu boards" throughout the ballpark for real-time info on offerings, promotions, etc.
Of course, there are also new food offerings outside of the ballpark this year, too--for those who haven't been keeping track, here's the rundown of what's arrived since last season (and what's coming), plus the same basic info in map form.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

Ice Cream Jubilee Coming to the Lumber Shed
Jan 21, 2014 3:19 PM
Perhaps a snowy January day isn't the best one to announce this, but Forest City has just put out the word that Ice Cream Jubilee will be opening in the Lumber Shed at the Yards this spring. This will be the brand's first dedicated store location, and will be a 1,076-square-foot space on the northeast corner of the Shed, on the edge of the Yards Park. In addition to scoops, the store will sell pre-packaged half pints of many of its flavors.
Ice Cream Jubilee was the winner of the People's Choice award at the DC Scoop competition last July.
The army of kids who are brought to the Yards Park throughout the year will certainly figure out this new offering pretty quickly.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, icecreamjubilee, Lumber Shed/Yards, Retail, The Yards

Late Wednesday Tidbits
Jan 15, 2014 7:51 PM
Cleaning out the pending file:
* DIG IT: The shoring and sheeting permit has now been approved for the residential building currently known by the spiffy moniker of Parcel N at the Yards, which means that the parking lot on the southwest corner of 4th and Tingey should start being dug up any time now (beyond just the DC Water digging up that's been going on for a while). This building will have 327 residential units and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail when completed in either late 2015 or early 2016.
* MMMM, BEER: Bluejacket is going to start offering tours of its brewery, beginning Jan. 31. The offerings range from a free tour with one complimentary taste of a Bluejacket brew to a $22 "tasting tour" to the $75 "Beer and Food Experience Tour." See the web site for more details.
* A REVIEW: Alas, the Post's Tom Sietsema did not have particularly good things to say about the food at the Arsenal (but he did like Bluejacket's brewed offerings).
* ANC VACANCY: The Board of Elections has officially certified the vacancy in 6D02 after Ed Kaminski's resignation, and the wheels are now turning for a special election. Petitions may be picked up at the BOE and circulated until Feb. 3, with challenges to those petitions allowed through Feb. 12. If more than one person successfully makes it through the petition process, an election will be held, most likely at 6D's March business meeting. If only one candidate qualifies, that person automatically fills the vacancy. So, if you're itching to be an ANC commissioner and you live in Capitol Hill Tower, or Velocity, or 909 New Jersey, or across the way in the northeastern sections of Southwest, here's your chance.
* SOUTHEAST BLVD: ANC 6B's Brian Flahaven has posted the commission's draft comments on DDOT's initial plans for the rebuild of Barney Circle and Southeast Blvd. Spoiler: "The committee recommended a number of clarifying changes to the comments including the addition of an opening sentence that conveys the commission’s opposition to the design concepts presented to the community on Nov. 21, 2013. The committee also wanted to make it clear that other stakeholders besides DDOT need to be brought into the project discussion."

A Sneak Peek Inside Agua 301, Now Opening Dec. 21
Dec 16, 2013 12:14 PM
With Agua 301 now set to open at the Lumber Shed in the Yards Park on Saturday, Dec. 21 (a day later than reported last week), of course I had to get inside with camera in hand to check it out.
I was sidestepping a busy crew of people still getting everything in place, so the images do not have the sheen of a minutes-from-opening space, but you can see the layout and take in the views that the various tables will have. (I even tossed in one "before" photo, which is just a teensy bit different.)
The modern Mexican restaurant will begin with just dinner service, expanding to lunch and then brunch probably at the beginning of next month. And in spring, an additional 44 seats will be available outdoors, along both the southern and western sides of the building.
And this will bring to a close 2013's run of restaurant openings in Near Southeast--it takes some remembering that, one year ago, there was no Gordon Biersch, or Park Tavern, or Bluejacket, or Buzz Bakery, Osteria Morini, or Nando's Peri-Peri.
As for what 2014 will bring, expected openings include Nicoletta, 100 Montaditos, Willie's Brew and 'Que, Sweetgreen, and TaKorean.
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More posts: agua, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, photos, The Yards

Agua 301 Reportedly Set to Open on Dec. 20
Dec 11, 2013 3:02 PM
City Paper's Young and Hungry blog is reporting today that Dec. 20 is the expected opening date for Agua 301, the Mexican restaurant by the Zest folks on the southwest corner of the Lumber Shed in the Yards Park, next door to Osteria Morini.
CP says that the menu will have a "modern Mexican bent with a few less traditional touches." Tacos? Si! Small plates? Si! Guacamole? Si! Margaritas? SI! (But probably not fajitas, burritos, or enchiladas.) There will also be large entrees such as pan-seared black bass in case a small plate of beef barbacoa flautas doesn't quite fill you up.
The restaurant is expected to be open just for dinner to start, adding lunch and brunch service in January. And in the spring there will be 44 seats of outdoor patio seating, to take in the views of the Anacostia River.
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More posts: agua, Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, The Yards

Osteria Morini Opens Today at the Lumber Shed
Nov 19, 2013 10:57 AM
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:
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, osteriamorini, The Yards

Liquor License Denied for Florida Rock Temporary Event Site
Nov 15, 2013 12:09 PM
PopVille reported this morning that the Alcohol Beverage Control Board has denied the Class C (Tavern) liquor license application by "River Front at the Ball Park" for the event site it was wanting to create on the empty Florida Rock site on Potomac Avenue SE between Nationals Park and the Anacostia River. It had been described as "a food and drink venue before and after Nats games," plus the operator was also intending to have "partnerships to bring kickball and bocce, weekend food and flea markets, and other events to the site."
While a stipulated liquor license was narrowly supported by ANC 6D in May after some teeth-gnashing, in June 6D ended up protesting the full license application, as did commissioner Ed Kaminski of neighboring 6D02--though 6D07 commissioner David Garber sent a separate letter in support. MPD also filed a protest.
The Finding of Fact and Order rejecting the license is pretty lengthy (and you are welcome to read it, because I shan't try to hit every high point), but the overriding issues came down to the following:
"First, the Board is not confident that MPD has sufficient resources to police the establishment and the surrounding streets during events at Riverfront; especially, when Riverfront is requiring some patrons to come to the establishment from off-site parking areas.
"Second, as an undeveloped lot, Riverfront cannot prevent noise generated at the venue from bothering nearby residents.
"Third, based on its proximity to South Capitol Street, S.E., the Board lacks confidence that Riverfront can ensure the safety of pedestrians.
"And fourth, the Board is unconvinced that approximately three foot bicycle racks and silt fences sufficiently block patrons from the river bordering the proposed location."
Commissioner Garber, in whose single-member district the Florida Rock site is situated, took to Twitter this morning with his disapproval of the board's decision, a thread which also includes a fair number of comparisons by local resident Mike Mills to the Fairgrounds at Half and M and the noise problems it has caused for residents north of M.
What do YOU think?
UPDATE: WaPo's Mike DeBonis adds some detail, especially one I {ahem} didn't know--one of the members of the team trying to launch the event site is Carlos Gray, the 37-year-old son of the mayor.
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More posts: Alcohol/Liquor Licenses, Florida Rock, Restaurants/Nightlife

Photos: Morini De-Wrapped, Turret Makeover, New I Street Forming
Nov 11, 2013 11:21 AM
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.)

Inside Bluejacket and Arsenal - In Daylight!
Nov 10, 2013 2:46 PM
This weekend the Bluejacket/Arsenal folks have opened the bar and restaurant for lunch, which turned out quite well when I wandered by the Boilermaker Shops with my camera. I threw together a quick gallery, but here's a sampling:
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, photos, Retail, The Yards

TaKorean Coming to Twelve12 in 2014
Nov 4, 2013 12:45 PM
City Paper reports today what's been rumored for a for a few months now, that TaKorean will branch out from its food truck and Union Market stall to a fast-casual restaurant space in the under-construction Twelve12 apartment building
The 1,700-sq-ft restaurant will face 4th Street, SE, adjacent to the Sweetgreen at the corner of 4th and Tingey, in the building on the south end of the project that will also be home to the Vida Fitness/Penthouse Pool and Lounge/Bang Salon/Aura Spa empire. At the north end of the block will be Harris Teeter, and up above will be 220ish rental apartments.
According to City Paper, "the location will offer a few new options beyond Korean-style tacos, including rice bowls with all the same toppings. TaKorean will also continue to offer salad bowls."
Forest City, which only confirms tenant deals when leases are signed, hasn't piped up yet, but I'll update if/when they do.
UPDATE: Forest City has now made it official with their own press release, which says that the Twelve12 retail spaces are now 92 percent leased, and that residential leasing for Twelve12 will begin in the first quarter of 2014, with initial move-ins expected by June.
It also says that, at the Lumber Shed, Osteria Morini is expected to open "in mid-November" and Agua 301 in early 2014--but, well, let's give it a little cushion and just say they'll open when they open. And it gives a basic 2014 date for 100 Montaditos and Willie's Brew and 'Que at the Boilermaker Shops.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, takorean, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards

Buzz Bakery Opening Thursday at Boilermaker Shops
Oct 30, 2013 8:57 AM
With Bluejacket Brewery and its Arsenal restaurant having now opened to the public (with a launch last night that would be the envy of most restaurant/bar operators), the Neighborhood Restaurant Group is now putting the finishing touches on sibling operation Buzz Bakery, next door to Bluejacket at the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards.
The original plans were to open this morning, but the bakery then tweeted that "there's still a little beautifying & final touches that need to happen," and a sign on the door now says that it will open Thursday at 7 am.
Buzz's web site doesn't yet have information on this location, {deleted}. UPDATE: Buzz Bakery has gotten in touch with me and said they don't know what their hours will be yet, but that they will be different from their other locations and so would I please remove the part of this post mentioning the publicly posted hours for their Ballston location. {shrug}
Buzz and Bluejacket are on the east end of the Boilermaker Shops, at 4th and Tingey streets, SE. They join Nando's Peri-Peri, Wells Cleaners, and GNC Nutrition in the building, with Willie's Brew and 'Que and 100 Montaditos slated to join them in the future.
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Post Says Bluejacket (and Arsenal) to Open Tuesday, Oct. 29
Oct 23, 2013 4:14 PM
According to an article just put up at washingtonpost.com, the long-awaited Bluejacket Brewery will officially open for business at 4 pm on Tuesday, Oct. 29, with dinner service beginning at 5:30 pm.
And there's this, which is interesting: "The restaurant and bar inside Bluejacket will go by another name, the Arsenal, a moniker that draws on the building's history. [...] Chef de cuisine Dan Hahndorf, formerly of Vermilion, will be running the kitchen. Bailey told me his menu will put a modern spin on beer-hall food, with an emphasis on Mid-Atlantic ingredients. He'll also be using the spent grains from the beer production to make pastas."
It means that Bluejacket is the brewery itself, "which has the capacity to produce 5,000 barrels a year, or roughly 10,000 kegs. Engert expects to sell about 60 percent of Bluejacket's production via retail, but as of now, the brewery does not have a distribution deal. Large-format bottles of Bluejacket beer will be available for take-away at the Navy Yard location. Bluejacket will not sell growlers."
There's some nice interior photos in the Post spread, which may have to do if you're unable or unwilling to brave what will probably be massive crowds at first.
It was announced way back in June of 2011 that the brewery--along with Buzz Bakery--would be coming to the Boilermaker Shops.
UPDATE: And here's another piece on the opening, from City Paper's Jessica Sidman.
UPDATE II: Here's the menu, via City Paper.
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Catching Up on Photos - Boilermaker Shops
Sep 29, 2013 4:01 PM
A sunny Sunday peek at new tenants GNC and Nando's Peri-Peri, which both opened in August in the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards:
Or, if you want to see them all in one long-lens shot:
Also in August, it was announced that fast-casual Spanish-small-sandwiches outlet 100 Montaditos will be coming to the Boilermaker Shops as well. And, who knows, maybe someday Bluejacket, Buzz Bakery, and Willie's Brew and 'Que may actually open.
See more new photos, as well as before-and-after photos and information about the project here.
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Sweetgreen Confirmed For Twelve12 at the Yards
May 21, 2013 1:20 PM
With this photo yesterday from the little Yards tent display at 1st and N lighting the fuse, the announcement was made today that local salad chain Sweetgreen will be coming to Twelve12, the new 218-unit apartment building now under construction at 4th and M SE that will also be home to Harris Teeter and Vida Fitness.
Sweetgreen is currently expected to open in mid-2014, and will be located right on the corner of 4th and Tingey, with "exposure" on both streets, as seen in the image at right.
Forest City's press release for today's news also gives some timeline updates for the Boilermaker Shops, saying that Bluejacket and Buzz Bakery are expected to open in June late July/early August, Nando's Peri-Peri "this summer," and Willie's Brew and Que "in late summer." Over at the Lumber Shed, Osteria Morini is expected "in mid-late summer of this year," and Agua 301 is coming "this summer." And, as reported last week, year-round pizzeria Nicoletta will be coming to the Yards Park boardwalk "in late 2013." In the non-food category, Desi Living Loft Furniture is still expected in June.
UPDATE: Forest City sent an update to the expected opening date for Bluejacket/Buzz Bakery.
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Hill Country 'Working On' Possible Outdoor Venue at USDOT
May 20, 2013 2:18 PM
WashBizJournal reports today (and it's verified in my building permit feed) that Hill Country, esteemed purveyor of slabs of meat, is looking at the possibility of a pop-up "outdoor venue with tents, food and beverage sales and live music" on Tingey Plaza behind the US Department of Transportation HQ, at New Jersey and Tingey.
But this isn't a done deal--WBJ quotes Hill Country reps as saying that they've started the permitting process but "we don't have a deal yet that would allow us to proceed with that opportunity." Getting all the moving parts together could take a while, as WBJ says the restaurant found with the similar pop-up it recently launched on the lawn of the National Building Museum.
If this happens, it could join the Fairgrounds at Half and M and possibly the "Riverfront at the Ball Park" site at Florida Rock as temporary outdoor offerings catering mainly to Nats Park attendees. And Rocklands BBQ has set up shop on gamedays at 1st and N, and is in the process of getting a liquor license.
The Tingey Plaza site is owned by JBG Cos., the developers of the USDOT building, which was completed in 2007.
As for the empty historic red brick building on the southeastern corner of the plaza, it was slated to be a retail/food court of sorts back when the plans for DOT were unveiled, but so far....
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Osteria Morini Sibling Nicoletta Pizza Coming to Yards Park
May 13, 2013 1:29 PM
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.
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Park Tavern Says It's Open For Business
Apr 8, 2013 4:43 PM
After months of waiting, a simple tweet a few moments ago says that the Park Tavern restaurant at 2nd and M SE in Canal Park is open for business.
If you stop by there, give us some details in the comments.
UPDATE: I should also mention that the BID tweeted that the water feature (some might call it "fountains") at Canal Park is operational today as well, after a breather during the switchover from ice rink to warm weather retreat.
UPDATE II: Here is the menu. (If you want to see the chicken, parm cream, and dried cherries flatbread, here 'tis. And here's the taps. And the cocktail menu, blurred to give you the experience of ordering after you've had a few.) The manager told me they will just be open for dinner for a few weeks, then expand to lunch.
UPDATE III: Photos of the interior here and here. (Yeah, they were taken back in November, but nothing's changed!)
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Biersch Gearing Up; Photos (Of Course)
Mar 28, 2013 2:00 PM
I was lucky enough to get invited one of the dry runs that Gordon Biersch is holding over the next few days to prepare the staff for their April 1 opening (because, with 40,000 Nats fans descending on the neighborhood, Biersch might get a bit of business). And they allowed me to take a pile of photos. I'll include the money shot here:
See all the pictures here.
There's one more day of test seatings on Friday, and then a VIP reception on Saturday.
It's a pretty dang big space. Definitely a completely new experience in the neighborhood!
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Willie's Gets a Building Permit; Other Permits of Note
Mar 26, 2013 12:07 PM
Now that the Park Tavern looks just about ready to open (and the grapevine tells me it got its liquor license on Monday morning), it looks like Xavier Cervera is turning his attention to the project we have known as Willie's Brew and Que at the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards.
According the latest batch of approved building permits, a building permit has been issued (to Williams Willies Sports, technically), for a restaurant with 109 seats and 156 occupancy load.
So now everyone can start keeping an eye out for any work in the space on the Boilermaker Shops' western end, on Tingey at 3rd Street. (The photo above is from a visit I made to the Willie's spot back in September.)
Other items worth noting in the latest permitting blitz:
* The Park Tavern has gotten its permit for a 75-seat summer garden.
* Gordon Biersch's outdoor seating has been reduced from a 94-seat area to a 60-seat summer garden.
Then there's this additional tidbit, which needs to have a glaring "CONJECTURE!" label attached to it. But a few weeks ago EYA got a soil boring permit for 908 2nd Street, SE, which is the empty parking lot owned by the Housing Authority between I and K and between Canal Park and EYA's now-completed Capitol Quarter townhouse project. I have heard rumors for a while now that there's been talk of another deal between EYA and DCHA, though not for townhouses this time around. The empty lot where the soil borings took place is part of the Capper Hope VI footprint, and the plans have always been for a six-story, 147-unit mixed-income building on that site. Is something in the works? All together now: We shall see!
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Baseball Not Far Off; A Visitor's Guide to the Neighborhood
Mar 21, 2013 10:38 AM
It seems like it's been forever since baseball was at Nationals Park (except for that Game 5, which feels like yesterday), and now we're in the final homestretch before the team returns to town, first for an exhibition game against the Yankees Friday, March 29, at 2 pm, followed by the season opener at 1 pm on Monday, April 1.
So, once again I highlight my Visting Nationals Park page, which I built last year to bring together links and information both about the ballpark itself and what's available and interesting outside the stadium.
For those wanting to know what's happened in the Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards (#NeCaBaRY) neighborhood since last season, my What's New and Notable list fills in the headlines, while the Google Map of Food and Drink options shows both the currently opened eateries and the ones coming soon.
There's also links to information on the Riverwalk, the Yards Park and new-to-you Canal Park, and the Navy Yard, for people looking for other ways to pass the time before and after games.
As for the ballpark itself, there's my map of official and "cash" parking lots, a "Getting There" guide, and of course all of my photos of the stadium's construction and milestones.
But, for people who can't even bear to click a link, I'll give the headlines that I know are most of interest:
* Brewery/Restaurant Gordon Biersch should open on Opening Day at 1st and M.
* The Park Tavern at 2nd and M could be opening Any Minute Now.
* Kruba Thai and Sushi at 3rd and Water in the Foundry Lofts has been open since November.
* Highly anticipated brewery Bluejacket is expected to open at 4th and Tingey in the Boilermaker Shops in late spring or early summer, as will Nando's Peri-Peri, Buzz Bakery, and (maybe) Willie's Brew and 'Que.
* Later in the summer should see the opening of the first two restaurants in the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park: Agua 301 (which has just begun its buildout), and Osteria Morini.
There's also still Justin's Cafe, Five Guys, Subway, Potbelly, Lot 38 Espresso, McDonald's, and the Fairgrounds.
And, alas, there's also still the hole in the ground at Half and N.
On the bright side, there are two new holes in the ground where work is actually underway, for new apartment buildings the Park Chelsea at New Jersey and I and Twelve12 at 4th and M, both expected to open next year.
And the Camden South Capitol apartments directly across South Capitol from the stadium are opening in just a few weeks.
In other words, believe it or not, good things are actually happening outside the ballpark. And it seems like good things should be happening inside the ballpark this year, too.
So bookmark the guide and use it whenever you come down to Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard/Nats Town/#NaYa/#NeCaBaRY.
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Agua 301 Shooting For July Opening at Lumber Shed
Mar 12, 2013 9:54 AM
The Washington Business Journal has a short piece on Agua 301, the "modern Mexican" restaurant coming to the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park.
The restaurant, developed by the same people who run Zest Bistro on Barracks Row, will be on the building's southwest side (the left side in the photo at left, closest to the pedestrian bridge), and buildout is apparently now getting underway, with the owners "hoping for" a late July opening.
It is a 3,500-square-foot space, and will have 107 seats indoors, plus another 43 on the patio.
So, let's do a run-down of the next few months:
Canal Park's Park Tavern could be close to opening {ahem}, so let's call that March.
Gordon Biersch is aiming for Opening Day, April 1.
Bluejacket says "May/June" for its highly anticipated arrival at the Boilermaker Shops.
Nando's Peri-Peri says June for its opening, also at the Boilermaker Shops.
Agua shooting for July.
No dates other than "summer" have been announced recently for Osteria Morini, Chef Michael White's Italian restaurant planned for the southeastern corner of the Lumber Shed. So, August or September might not be out of the question, though until a buildout is underway, that would just be speculation.
Also no dates for Buzz Bakery or Willie's Brew and Que at the Boilermaker, though since Buzz is by the Bluejacket folks, perhaps it'll come around the same time? UPDATE: A Facebook commenter passed along this Hill Rag piece by the Capitol Riverfront BID's director, saying that Buzz is aiming for an April opening. Willie's remains a mystery, though.
Anyway, basically one new restaurant a month from now through summer is a little bit different from what the neighborhood has seen since, well, ever. (Though, of course, we know how targeted opening dates can sometimes slide...)
For Nats fans doing a little preseason salivating, here's my map of where the neighborhood's restaurants are, and will be. (If you haven't been to the neighborhood since last season ended, you'll also want to note the arrival of Kruba Thai and Sushi at 3rd and Water Streets, in the Foundry Lofts building at the Yards.)
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Park Tavern Opening Perhaps Not Far Off?
Mar 10, 2013 9:57 AM
On Saturday, the Park Tavern restaurant at Canal Park sent this out on Twitter:
"Our new chef is in place!! Should be about 10 days until we open. More details to come"
Is the opening really now looming? We shall see...!
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Gordon Biersch Planning Opening Day Opening
Feb 28, 2013 9:59 PM
The Post's Going Out Guide is reporting that the Gordon Biersch at 1st and M is planning for an April 1 opening, which just happens to be the Nationals' 2013 Opening Day as well.
GoG says the restaurant will open at 11 am seven days a week, with happy hour from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The bar will stay open open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and midnight the rest of the week. (Food looks to be available until 10 pm Sunday-Monday, 11 pm Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, and midnight Friday-Saturday.)
The restaurant will have 226 seats inside, along with another 88 on the planned outdoor patio (they have applied for the required public space permit, but it's not approved yet). Might be a bit crowded on game days, but it will be interesting to see what kind of crowds it draws the rest of the time, especially from outside the neighborhood.
The location is now on the Gordon Biersch web site, too. And the head brewer has popped up on Twitter.
(The next question: will Biersch end up opening before the Park Tavern, which is now apparently delayed again?)
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Bluejacket Brewery Gets Big Preview in Post Food Section
Feb 19, 2013 8:45 PM
You don't have to wait for the Wednesday print edition of the Post to see the lead article in the Food section, previewing the Bluejacket brewery coming to the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards this spring.
Quoting: "If most craft breweries are akin to spacious but modest homes, Bluejacket, when it opens in May or June, will be a small mansion with all the amenities. The quantity and variety of equipment, much more than a brewery of its size would usually have and all custom-built, will arguably make Bluejacket like no other small brewery in the country: a facility that [Neighborhood Restaurant Group] hopes will turn out a staggeringly diverse, constantly changing array of topnotch beers."
After much describing of the how Bluejacket's approach to its brewery differs from many other ventures in the US, the Post asks, "So what, then, will be the end result of this perfect-world brewery buildout? Once we descended from the mezzanine to the ground floor, Engert began describing a wildly ambitious beer program: 15 drafts and five cask ales at all times, plus five drafts from other breweries, along with an assortment of house beers in 375- and 750-milliliter bottles and even magnums and Jeroboams. He wants to implement the same sort of constant rotation that is a hallmark of Birch & Barley/ChurchKey and other NRG restaurants."
I haven't been inside the space since September, but the photos I took that day, from before the buildout began, should help envision the setup that the Post piece describes.
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Retail, Restaurant, and Recreation News (New and Old)
Feb 11, 2013 11:40 AM
A hail of bullets on various retail, restaurant, and recreation-type items, some of which are relatively new, but some of which decidedly aren't:
* The boxing and fitness club DCBFIT opened last week in the ground floor of Capitol Hill Tower, at the corner of New Jersey and L SE. While their web site makes me tired and sore just looking at it, I'm sure there are plenty of folks who will find this offering intriguing.
* Gordon Biersch, coming soon to 1st and M, has "Now Hiring" signs up: go to Work4GB.com.
* Also hiring, according to commenter JT who passed along the Craigslist link, is the Park Tavern at Canal Park. The Hill is Home says that it's opening "very soon," even saying "around the 20th of February," but We Shall See.
* Nando's Peri-Peri now has signage up at the Boilermaker Shops--it's a little more than halfway down Tingey between 3rd and 4th, closer to the Bluejacket end of the building. It's supposed to be opening this spring.
* The Navy Yard portion of the Riverwalk was supposed to reopen today--anyone give it a shot yet? And, if so, is there any actual trail once you go out the east gate? As I showed a couple of weeks ago, the old asphalt had been ripped up as part of the 11th Street Bridges work, though of course it will be back at some point.
* Maybe now is finally a good time to mention the opening of petcare store Wagtime Too at 900 M Street, where it has been for a number of weeks now, offering boarding, daycare, grooming and "cool stuff." And I actually have taken a photo of it.
* Apparently the Quizno's at 8th and Potomac closed permanently back in December. And Chicken Tortilla at 8th and L was closed when I walked by a few weeks ago, though I don't know the story on that.
UPDATE: Yes, the Riverwalk is apparently open. And I meant to also mention that Kruba Thai and Sushi's web site is now up and running.

Sneaking a Quick Peek Inside the Gordon Biersch Space
Feb 2, 2013 5:33 PM
When wandering by the Gordon Biersch space earlier today, I managed to sneak a peek inside:
I also caught some more fermenters arriving, plus some signage (click to embiggen):
The sign kind of says it all, right? "Early April" -- will they manage to make Opening Day?
Seems hard to believe this is actually coming. There is also a public space permit application in the window for unenclosed sidewalk seating, so you can look forward to dining al fresco at 1st and M while hordes of Nationals fans traipse past in the summer.
(I also added these photos, and a few others, to my 100 M page, which I kind of hadn't really looked at since the building opened in 2008.)
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More posts: 100 M, biersch, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, Square 743N

Progress Check: Lumber Shed and Twelve12 at the Yards
Jan 29, 2013 1:55 PM
Some quick shots from today of the other projects underway at the Yards, in case a new dry cleaners just isn't exciting enough for you.
The new exterior glass is now almost completely on the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park, where Osteria Morini and Agua 301 are slated to be tenants when it opens later this year (along with Forest City Washington on the second floor):
A before-and-after that can't possibly be resisted:
Facing the Anacostia:
Meanwhile, over at the Twelve12 apartment building project on 4th Street (more popularly known as the Harris Teeter/Vida Fitness building), the progress isn't quite as showy, unless you're a construction nerd and you know what the arrival of a tower crane means:
Yes, it means that vertical construction is not far off. The building is expected to be completed in 2014. And in case you want one more shot of the hole in the ground:
See the project pages for the Lumber Shed and Twelve12 for renderings and additional details.
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Nando's Peri-Peri Coming to the Boilermaker Shops
Jan 22, 2013 10:28 AM
A press release sent out this morning says that "fast-growing international chicken restaurant" Nando's Peri-Peri will be coming to the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards, with an expected opening in June of this year. It will be the restaurant's 12th US location, including the one on 7th Street NW in Chinatown and eight others in the DC area.
Nando's would join planned restaurants Bluejacket brewery, Buzz Bakery, and Willie's Brew and 'Que, along with opening-any-second-now Wells Cleaners at the Boilermaker Shops.
If you haven't tried it, "Nando's is known worldwide for its succulent Peri-Peri chicken, marinated for 24 hours, flame-grilled to perfection, and basted to the customer’s preferred flavor and spice."
The press release did not come from Forest City, but they have confirmed the lease.
(And props to reader Jaybird who had this rumor a few months ago, and mentioned it in a recent JDLand comment thread.)
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Vats of Beer! Or At Least the Vats to Make Vats of Beer
Jan 15, 2013 12:32 PM
Within the past few days, readers have sent tweets with photos of brewing equipment being delivered to soon-to-be-Gordon Biersch at 100 M and inside the space at the Boilermaker Shops that will become Bluejacket.
No official timeframe on when either of these restaurants will open, though a Biersch employee told the Post that he "expects the new Biersch branch to be operating in time for the Craft Brewers Conference in March and the Nats' home opener in April."
As for the other beer joint on tap for the neighborhood (see what I did there?), there doesn't appear to be any action so far in the Willie's Brew and 'Que space at the Boilermaker Shops, but with owner Xavier Cervera's long-in-the-works redo of the Hawk 'n' Dove reportedly about to debut, perhaps he'll then be able to shift resources both to Willie's and to the Park Tavern at Canal Park.
UPDATE, 1/17: This Esquire interview with Bluejacket bigshot Greg Engert says that the bar will open "in May."
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Agua 301 Restaurant Coming to Yards Lumber Shed
Nov 29, 2012 3:05 PM
Forest City Washington is announcing today that a "modern Mexican" restaurant to be called Agua 301 will be coming to the Lumber Shed building at the Yards next summer.
The 3,600-square-foot restaurant, to be located on the Shed's southwest corner (nearest to the Yards Park's pedestrian bridge) is coming from the creators/owners of Zest Bistro on Barracks Row, and takes its name from the address of the Lumber Shed, at 301 Water St., SE. The menu is being developed by Zest's executive chef, Dot Steck.
The Lumber Shed is already the announced location of Italian restaurant Osteria Morini (on the building's southeastern corner) and has spaces still to lease for three additional restaurants.
The press release from Forest City also says that Bluejacket and Buzz Bakery are still expected to open in the Boilermaker Shops in the "first quarter" of 2013, with Willie Brew and 'Que opening there "by spring." UPDATE: But one thing I am noticing that isn't mentioned in the press release: any reference to Huey's 24-7 Diner, which was one of the originally announced restaurants for the Boilermaker Shops. Hmmm. Anyone close by want to check and see if that banner has been pulled down from the Boilermaker facade?
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A Terribly Important Before-and-After to Capture for Posterity
Nov 11, 2012 3:05 PM
Never let it be said that I have completely abandoned my mission.
South Capitol and I Streets, SE. At left, August 14, 2005; at right, November 11, 2012.
Thank you, drive through.
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BID Says Kruba Thai Now Open, Except for Sushi and Alcohol
Nov 9, 2012 2:41 PM
A tweet just out from the Capitol Riverfront BID says that Kruba Thai is now open, although with the caveats that the full Thai menu is available, but alcohol and sushi aren't yet, so definitely consider this a "soft opening."
If you swing by and check out this temporarily liquor-free version, post your thoughts in the comments.
Even without the alcohol, Kruba is now the first sit-down/table-service restaurant to open in Near Southeast since Justin's Cafe arrived in spring 2010.
For those who haven't followed closely, Kruba is in the southwest corner of the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts building, just north of the Yards Park on 3rd Street, SE.
UPDATE: I wandered down, and they are indeed open. A couple of photos:
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WBJ: Gordon Biersch Confirmed for 100 M
Oct 31, 2012 6:01 PM
The Washington Business Journal confirms today what I've been chasing and rumoring for just over a year now, that brewery/restaurant Gordon Biersch is indeed coming to 100 M, the office building on the northeast corner of 1st and M, SE, one block north of Nationals Park.
No timetable was announced, but you'd think Opening Day 2013 would certainly be a goal. (Then again, we once thought that Opening Day 2012 would be a goal.)
The building permit application I saw a few weeks ago that I assumed was Biersch indicated the restaurant will have up to 236 seats indoors, and 94 outdoors.
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Restaurant Permit Application at 100 M; Gordon Biersch, Finally?
Aug 31, 2012 10:38 AM
A building permit application has been filed with DCRA for an "interior alteration for new restaurant" at 100 M Street, one block north of Nationals Park at the corner of 1st and M SE.
The application information as seen online doesn't give any specifics of the applicant, but I wouldn't be surprised that this is at last the signal that brewery/restaurant Gordon Biersch is indeed coming to this corner ground-floor retail space in the 220,000-square-foot office building, as was first rumored last October.
I know absolutely nothing more than this, and perhaps now the hounds will now be released to get something confirmed. But no matter what tenant ends up in there, a restaurant in that space will be most welcomed by residents and fans.
(I'm guessing a by-the-playoffs timeline might be a bit aggressive, though.)
UPDATE: Meant to include that the application mentions 236 seats indoors, and 94 outdoors. And remember, this is still just an application, it's not approved yet.
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Bluejacket Brewery Debuting - The Beers, That Is
Jul 31, 2012 1:28 PM
It may still be a number of months before Bluejacket Brewery opens on the eastern end of the Boilermaker Shops in the Yards, but that's not stopping owner Greg Engert and brewer Megan Parisi from getting a head start on the beers that will be offered at the new restaurant. So, tomorrow (Wednesday, Aug. 1) at 6 pm, Bluejacket's first five beers will be unveiled in an event at sibling ChurchKey.
If you go to the ChurchKey web site and then click on Events (come on, people, direct links!), you'll see hints about the lineup, which are mainly "mashups" created in collaboration with other breweries around the US, but also includes Sidewalk Saison, Bluejacket's first solo brew. (via WaPo)
It's expected that Bluejacket itself will open in early 2013.
UPDATE: At the risk of not being 1 billion percent accurate, I'll draw attention to the fact that two of the beers have already been "released" (Snack Attack and the Black Berliner Techno Weiss) and three are new, with Sidewalk Saison being the only one that is completely Bluejacket's own creation. But since ChurchKey also bills the event on its own web site as "World Premier: Bluejacket 5 Drafts Unveiled," you can just pick which part of "Premier" and "Unveiled" you'd like to focus on.
UPDATE II: More on the brews from WCP/Young & Hungry.
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More posts: Bluejacket, Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, The Yards

Kruba Thai and Sushi Liquor License Gets ANC Support
Jul 10, 2012 8:53 AM
I wasn't at Monday night's ANC 6D meeting, but commissioner David Garber tweeted the news that the commission voted to support the liquor license for Kruba Thai and Sushi, which apparently is now hoping to open in August in the southwest corner of the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts at the Yards. It will have "tons of outdoor seating facing Yards Park," given its location directly across from the Lumber Shed. This is another slippage of the opening date, but work does appear to be ongoing in the space, and movement on a liquor license application is good to see.
Kruba is another offering from the same people running Teak Wood Thai and Sushi and Regent Thai near Dupont Circle and Galae Thai & Sushi in Alexandria.
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More posts: Alcohol/Liquor Licenses, ANC News, Restaurants/Nightlife, Foundry Lofts/Yards, The Yards

Boilermaker Shops: Construction Progress, But Two Tenants Gone
Jun 24, 2012 8:30 PM
I checked out the progress at the Boilermaker Shops on Sunday, and of course have posted a slew of new images, which show some pretty striking changes to the building's exterior, including large glass panels at Bluejacket's space on Tingey near 4th, along with marketing banners to let passers-by know what's coming after the building opens later this year.
As you look at the photos, you'll see the banners for Willie's Brew and Que sports bar, Wells Dry Cleaners, Huey's 24-7 Diner, Buzz Bakery, and Bluejacket Brewery.
What you don't see, however, are banners for Austin Grill Express and brb ("be right burger"), and this is no oversight. Forest City has passed along word that the leases with Thompson Hospitality for those two food outlets have fallen through. But work continues to find replacement tenants, along with others for the spaces not yet filled.
It's still expected that the building will open later this year, although Bluejacket is aiming for an early 2013 opening.
(If you haven't gotten enough of Yards construction photos, here's the hole in the ground still being dug for Twelve12, the Teeter/apartments building at 4th and M. And bless whoever cut a few camera-sized holes in the fence along 4th Street.)
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, photos, Retail, The Yards

Construction on Lumber Shed at Yards Park Set to Begin
Jun 19, 2012 3:22 PM
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).
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, osteriamorini, Retail, The Yards

Fairgrounds Announces Truckeroo Dates, Sunday Family Days
May 3, 2012 10:22 AM
As the Fairgrounds prepares to begin its daily hours on May 4, the outdoor event space just north of Nationals Park at Half and M is also starting to promote some of its non-gameday offerings:
* The Truckeroo food truck festival will be back for another year, on five Fridays this summer: May 11, June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, and Sept. 28, running from 11 am to 11 pm each time.
* There will also be a new "Family Day" event, with a promo flyer describing it as having "carnival games and prizes, inflatable and mechanical rides, children's entertainers and live musicians," plus food trucks. Admission will be free, and scheduled dates so far are May 13, May 27, June 3, June 10, and June 24, from 11 am to 4 pm.
All have been added to my Events Calendar, for future reference.
(Perhaps this is also good timing to finally link to this Housing Complex post from last week showing what the site could look like if it ends up with advertising on the sides of the shipping containers, which WCP says Fairgrounds was soliciting.)
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More posts: West Half St., Fairgrounds/Bullpen, Events, Restaurants/Nightlife

New Boilermaker Shops Brewery to be Called Bluejacket
Mar 16, 2012 9:44 AM
The Washington Post reports today that the Neighborhood Restaurant Group has now decided on a name for the brewery it is bringing to the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards: Bluejacket, which it says is "historically a term for sailors in the US Navy."
The brewery also now has a web site, a Twitter feed, and a Facebook page. And an "Established 2013" tagline, so that's another confirmation that they don't look to be opened before the end of this year.
The brewery will be located on the eastern end of the Boilermaker Shops building, fronting 4th Street SE.
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More posts: Bluejacket, Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, The Yards

Potbelly Opening for Business Tuesday at 10 am
Mar 11, 2012 10:03 PM
Unless things fall apart in the final few hours, the Potbelly Sandwich Works at 301 Tingey St. SE should officially open for business on Tuesday, March 13, at 10 am. (At least, that's what the sign says!) On Sunday afternoon workers were on site getting training, and on Monday there will be a dress rehearsal/dry run for "friends and family."
It will be open from 10 am to 7 pm seven days a week, and, if you're unfamilar with Potbelly's menu, you still have a little time left to bone up.
It's in the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts building, about two blocks east of Nationals Park, and one block south of M Street behind the US Department of Transportation headquarters. It's also the first "chain" food establishment to open in Near Southeast since Starbucks opened at USDOT in fall 2007. (Five Guys opened on 2nd Street waaaaaay back in May 2005.)
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Tuesday Tidbits, Getting Closer to Opening Day Edition
Mar 6, 2012 10:18 AM
Cleaning off the digital desk:
* Readers are reporting that the fence is coming down around the Bullpen on Half Street. This would be in preparation for the new Fairgrounds offering. Designs show that the new "fence" will be shipping containers, which makes sense given that the venture is centered around a shipping container market. Their intent is to have it up and running by Opening Day. (Read my Fairgrounds post from a few weeks ago for much more detail.)
* Speaking of Opening Day, single-game tickets go on sale Thursday at 10 am.
* Residents won't exactly be interested in this news (except maybe from a parking/traffic angle), but I'll still pass along that a new venture called Ballpark Bus is getting launched this season to bring fans from five northern Virginia locations to the stadium. (More to be announced soon, the web site says.) The blog Let Teddy Win has more about the service.
* If you'd rather get to the stadium by sea, Potomac Riverboat Company is once again running its Baseball Boat for the 2012 season--boats leave Alexandria and take about a half-hour to get to Diamond Teague Park, right across from Nationals Park. Price is $24 for a round-trip voyage or $15 one way. (You can also set sail from National Harbor by taking PRC's service from there to Alexandria and then hook up with the baseball boat, for $30 round trip or $20 one way.)
* Also getting ready for another season of operations is American River Taxi, whose owner tweeted on Monday "See you for Cherry Blossoms." The boat stops at Georgetown, the Southwest Waterfront, and Teague Park--and now that pier is a lovely riverside-bridge-walk away from the Yards Park (rather than having to walk up 1st to Tingey, over to 3rd, and down).
* Still haven't heard of an official opening date for Potbelly (though it's expected to be next week), but a press release says that the hours will be 10 am - 7 pm seven days a week, along with delivery service Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. The store's general manager will be James Carpenter, who previously worked at their Union Station shop. Trivia fans will also note that this location at 301 Tingey (in the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts) will be the 45th Potbelly to open in the DC area.

Tidbits: K Street Closure; Potbelly Opening Date; Brewers Ball; More
Feb 29, 2012 11:14 AM
* The portion of K Street SE within the Canal Park footprint will be closed through March 31 after workers found "major unmapped utilities" that have caused delays to the construction. Park head Chris Vanarsdale says that in order to meet spring planting requirements, it was necessary to close K now. (A little bit of hassle in exchange for purty plants this year, otherwise the planting would have had to wait until next year.) This means that to cross Canal Park drivers and pedestrians need to either use I Street or M Street.
* A sign posted at Foundry Lofts for its residents says that they expect the Potbelly to open the week of March 13. And here's the Store Locator page, still marked as "Coming Soon." (Here's what it looked like inside on Sunday morning.)
* If you can't wait until the Nationals finish Spring Training to drink beer at the stadium, there's the 2012 Brewer's Ball on March 13 at Nats Park, benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Guests can sample "a variety of handcrafted microbrews from more than a dozen of the region's best microbreweries and brewpubs, while also enjoying the cuisine of several popular restaurants." Individual tickets are $115, and deadline to purchase is tomorrow, March 1.

Thursday Tidbits: Wagtime, Potbelly, Ballpark Taxis, More
Feb 22, 2012 10:33 PM
[Yeah, yeah, the title says Thursday but I messed up and pulled the trigger before midnight.]
For those not following my precious prose on Twitter or Facebook, some tidbits:
* Pet day care/supplies retailer Wagtime is wanting to open a second location to go with its Shaw operations, and is looking at the 900 M St. SE building (where Domino's is located). This would, however, require a zoning change, and a BZA hearing for a special exception and a variance is scheduled for May 8 at 1 pm.
* Potbelly must truly be coming to the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts, because its sign is now up.
* WashTimes: "The D.C. Taxicab Commission will allow so-called 'shared riding' outside Nationals Park to manage the chaotic jumble of pedestrians who leave in search of taxis and sometimes engage in what the agency calls 'aggressive behavior.' [...] The commission says shared riding, in which separate groups of passengers may get in the same taxicab if they are heading the same way, is needed to quell disorder and stop the use of unlicensed cabs from surrounding areas that are 'illegally pilfering' fares from the District's licensed drivers." There is already a taxi stand at Half and M; it sounds like the one the article mentions as where riders will need to queue up in order to get cabs.
* Forest City's Deborah Ratner Salzberg has been named co-chair of Mayor Gray's new task force on affordable housing.
* The Coalition for Smarter Growth looked at 2010 census figures and determined that Near Southeast has one of the city's higher totals of households without a vehicle, at somewhere between 53 and 67 percent.
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More posts: 900m, Restaurants/Nightlife, Foundry Lofts/Yards, Retail, Nationals Park, The Yards

ANC 6D Supports Park Tavern, Willie's Liquor Licenses
Feb 15, 2012 9:17 AM
While nowhere near as flashy as the Half Street/Fairgrounds news, it should be noted that ANC 6D on Monday voted to support the liquor license applications for Xavier Cervera's two upcoming restaurants, the Park Tavern at Canal Park and Willie's Brew & Que at the Boilermaker Shops in the Yards. The support is conditional on having voluntary agreements signed for both applications within the next two weeks.
There was a bit of drama with this, with the commission's ABC subcommittee chair Coralee Farlee refusing to recommend this support because of what she considered a lack of communication from Cervera over the wording of the voluntary agreement; Cervera's lawyer had apparently replied with a few comments, but Farlee had not heard from Cervera himself (who seemed a bit bewildered by it all). David Garber stepped in to say that he had been working the voluntary agreement issue as well, which clearly Farlee wasn't especially happy about either.
Garber noted Cervera's desire to not have the process delayed, given Park Tavern's planned June 15 opening date and the need for Cervera to have a license in place in order to move forward with Forest City and the Boilermaker Shops. Commissioner Cara Shockley expressed some concern about moving so quickly, and there was also discussion about how a vote to support without a signed VA is not 6D's standard operating procedure. (Audience member and former 6D secretary Roberta Weiner mentioned how at other ANCs the vote would be to protest the license until a VA is signed by all parties.)
But in the end, four commissioners voted to support the licenses, Shockley voted against, and Ron McBee voted to abstain. (Commission chair Andy Litsky was not in attendance.)
My post from last week gives a whole pile of details on both restaurants, which I'll not bother to rehash here. (That post is much more fun to read, anyway.)

Lumber Shed Restaurant Announced: Osteria Morini
Feb 14, 2012 2:25 PM
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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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Lumber Shed/Yards, osteriamorini, Retail, The Yards

Half Street 'Fairgrounds': Shipping Container Market, Events Space
Feb 13, 2012 11:56 PM
After three years of operating The Bullpen(s) on one of the empty lots just north of Nationals Park, landowner Akridge and Bullpen/Georgetown Events owner Bo Blair are opting to try something new for the 2012 season: "Fairgrounds," a combination food, market and events space that will be open seven days a week from the beginning of baseball season through October 1.
Modeled on Brooklyn's Dekalb Market and designed by Schlesinger Associate Architects, Fairgrounds will use salvaged shipping containers as retail spaces for vendors, in a program overseen by Diverse Markets Management, the people behind the flea market across from Eastern Market and the downtown holiday market. DMM touts a database of more than 2,000 vendors that it says it will tap into to "keep the market busy and diversified."
The Market (seen above and at left, click to enlarge) will be positioned on the Das Bullpen site at Half and M, across from the Navy Yard Metro station entrance. It will include "permanent" food truck versions of two of Blair's restaurants: Bayou and its New Orleans/Southern-themed food and drinks, and Surfside with its beach-type offerings. There are also plans still being worked out to have a rotating roster of additional food trucks every non-game day.
This space will open at 11:30 am every day; on game days, the market and food trucks will remain open until two hours after the game ends; otherwise, it will stay open at least through Happy Hour, or later if patrons are still around. There will be a "spectator" deck built on top of the shipping containers as well as a music stage, with plans to continue to have local and regional bands play on game days. And of course there will be 20 HD televisions and plenty of cornhole sets. (Which I totally don't get, but you kids have fun with it.)
Nats fans already quivering in fear can rest easy knowing that the two liquor licenses that were in place for the Bullpens are still active for this new venture, and a permanent bar will be built in addition to the drinks served by the Bayou and Surfside trucks.
To the south of the main food area, there is a larger open area where Fairgrounds can offer bigger events. The site will host another series of Truckeroo food truck festivals throughout the summer, along with potential music events, arts festivals, farmers' markets, etc. Every Sunday, there will be a "Family Day," with children's concerts, face painting, balloon artists, and the like. The area can also be rented for private events.
The Market's offerings can also be expanded on days when there are ballgames that might be bigger draws than others (*cough*Yankees*cough*).
Shipping containers and pallets will replace the existing long black fences all along Half Street and along M (as you can see in the drawing at top left), with possibly some work done by local artists to liven up the containers even more.
But, in what will probably be even bigger news to people who have been watching this area closely for a long time, Akridge says that they hope to begin construction this summer on the first phase of their 700,000-square-foot Half Street mixed-use development. Their intent would be to start with the 280ish-unit residential building on the south end of the block (directly across from the stadium), and the Fairgrounds' design would make it easy to just move the wall of containers further north on the site to still leave an events area available if indeed they do get underway before the end of the baseball season. The project also includes plans for two office buildings on the north end of the block, along with ground-floor retail along Half, M, N, and a pedestrian walk between the office buildings.
At Monday night's ANC 6D meeting where these plans were presented, the commissioners expressed enthusiasm, and a resolution of support was passed 6-0. Blair and his team are working with DCRA and other city agencies to get necessary approvals and permits in place so that containers can be brought in and the market can get underway by the start of the baseball season. (Whether that means the official home opener on April 12 or the April 3 home exhibition vs. the Red Sox remains to be seen. It will certainly be easy to see when the shipping containers start to arrive.)
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More posts: West Half St., Fairgrounds/Bullpen, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, Nationals Park, truckeroo

Some New Details on Park Tavern, Willie's Brew and Que
Jan 31, 2012 10:03 PM
At a meeting of ANC 6D's ABC committee on Tuesday night, we got some new details on two restaurants coming to Near Southeast in 2012, the Park Tavern at Canal Park and Willie's Brew and Que in the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards. Both are from Xavier Cervera of Lola's/Molly Malone's/Boxcar/Hawk n Dove/etc. fame, and Cervera was in attendance to answer questions from the committee. Let's go to the bullet points, shall we?
Park Tavern - This casual restaurant in the pavilion on the south block of Canal Park near M Street is aiming to be the city's first LEED Gold restaurant, thanks to a green roof, solar panels, and the various stormwater management aspects built into the park itself. And:
* There will be fewer than 100 seats inside the glass-and-steel structure, but outside Cervera expects another 75-125 seats, both in a private "summer garden" area by the park's skating rink/water feature and in a sidewalk cafe on the eastern side, along 2nd Place. Because the building is long and narrow, Cervera said that all of the inside tables will be along the windows. There will be additional space on the roof, where visitors can go to look out over the park or walk through the big light cube, but Cervera isn't planning service up there except for private functions.
* The menu will include Neopolitan pizzas and flatbread offerings along with seafood, steaks, and more, along with full liquor service; Cervera is asking for a CR license, with hours until 2 am Sunday through Thursday and 3 am Friday-Saturday.
* The restaurant is planning to offer breakfast service beginning at 8 am, though Cervera sounded a little skeptical of whether there will be enough business to support it. (Maybe via Congressional-type breakfast business meetings?)
* June 15 is the target opening date for both the park and the Tavern.
Willie's Brew and Que - A few blocks to the south, Cervera is waiting for Forest City to finish construction on the Boilermaker Shops renovation so that he (and other tenants) can then begin their build-outs. It will occupy the western end of the building, at 3rd Street (seen at right), where the full two-story space to the roof will be open. Details:
* There will be 230 seats inside the restaurant, with another 125 or so at outdoor tables in front of the building at 3rd Street.
* It will have "live" barbeque: Cervera said that he has put a lot of money into the kitchen, with charbroilers and custom-made smokers to churn out authentic North Carolina barbeque.
* And there will be plenty of booze to go with the food, as Cervera will be requesting a CT ("tavern") liquor license, mainly, he says, because with 81 home Nats games a year two blocks away at the ballpark, he can't envision being able to meet the requirements of a CR license where 47 percent of sales must be food. (Tavern licenses don't usually go over very well with ANCs, so this will be interesting to watch.) Full operating hours until 2 am Sunday-Thursday and 3 am Friday-Saturday will be requested on the license, along with an "entertainment endorsement" to allow live music inside until 11 pm Sunday-Thursday and 1 am Friday-Saturday and recorded music on the patio. (The entertainment endorsement discussion for both locations sidetracked into whether dancing will be part of the endorsement, with Cervera bemused at the notion of having to make people stop dancing if the music has moved them: "This isn't 'Footloose.' ")
* Cervera has no opening date for Willie's, but he says he expects Forest City to release the space to him for build-out within 2-3 months.
The discussion surrounding Willie's showed the committee members being a bit hesitant to make decisions for this restaurant that then will set the standard for the other Boilermaker Shops tenants who aren't yet applying for their liquor licenses, such the brewery from the Churchkey team. The issue of noise, especially from the outdoor seating space, and how it will effect residents of the Foundry Lofts across the street was brought up, though 6D commissioner David Garber said that no one is moving into this area without knowing that it's going to be an entertainment destination of sorts. Cervera, in arguing his cause, said that he fully expects himself and the Churchkey operation to be "good stewards" of the new nightlife in the neighborhood. The first three years of operations will be "painful fiscally," he said, but they want to be here first and be good tenants.
In the end, for both operations, the committee voted to recommend approval of the license applications to the full ANC, subject to the successful negotiation of a voluntary agreement between the commission and Cervera. (Note that neither liquor license application has actually been filed yet, but Cervera says he expects all paperwork to be completed by early next week.) The full ANC could take these applications up at its Feb. 13 business meeting, if papers have been appropriately shuffled by then.
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, parktavern, Retail, willies, The Yards

More Beer News! License Process Starting for Two Eateries
Jan 25, 2012 3:38 PM
If yesterday's news about the brewery coming to the Boilermaker Shops in the Yards wasn't enough, today I can pass along that the liquor licensing process looks to be getting started for Xavier Cervera's two upcoming locations in Near Southeast, the Canal Park Tavern planned for the pavilion at Canal Park and the Willie's Brew and Que sports bar also at the Boilermaker Shops.
Both have been added to the agenda for ANC 6D's ABC Committee next meeting, on Jan. 31 at 7 pm at King Greenleaf Rec Center. Hopefully at this meeting there will be some details on both places (seating capacity, hours, when they expect to open, general menu concepts, etc.).
With the Tavern expected to open along with Canal Park sometime this summer and WBQ probably not until late fall or beyond, this is a pretty early start to the ABC process, so don't get your taste buds primed just yet. But all evidence of forward progress is worth noting.

Tuesday Tidbits II: Some Info on the Boilermaker Shops Brewery
Jan 24, 2012 7:43 PM
There hasn't been much said so far about the restaurant planned for the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards by the Birch and Barley/Churchkey team, but the Post's All We Can Eat blog posted some morsels today:
* The still unnamed venture will "contain a full-scale production brewery, a brewpub-like tasting room [...] and a 200-plus-seat restaurant."
* A head brewer has been hired: Megan Parisi, former lead brewer at the Cambridge Brewing Company in Massachusetts. And, as a fun side fact, Parisi used to play clarinet for the US Navy Band, right next door at the Navy Yard.
* "Barrel-aged sour beers" will be a major focus. A comparison is made to Belgium's lambic beers, which means I'll be camping on the doorstep (Lindeman's Peche is a personal favorite). Owner Greg Engert called it all "a giant experiment."
* The operation will "open in about a year."
The brewery's neighbors in the building at 4th and Tingey SE, as announced so far, will be an Austin Grill Express, brb ("Be Right Burger"), Buzz Bakery, Huey's 24-7 Diner, and Willie's Brue and 'Que sportsbar, which will be another option for drowning any Prince Fielder-related sorrows, though by the time these places open the Nats will have had a fabulous 2012 season and no one will remember any of the recent drama. Right? Right?
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, The Yards

Boilermaker Shops, Now With More Windows and a Mezzanine
Jan 11, 2012 10:49 AM
Do you get excited about new windows? Then this latest batch of photos of the Boilermaker Shops rehab is for you!
But, in addition to all the new glass, you can also see that the construction of the mezzanine level has begun as well. (There's a rendering midway down the page of how the mezzanine level will look, if you're having a hard time envisioning it.)
If you're just joining us, this is the project at the Yards that will bring six restaurants to this historic building by the end of 2012: a brewery by the Birch and Barley/Churchkey Folks, Austin Grill Express, BRB burger joint, Huey's 24/7 Diner, Buzz Bakery, and Willie's Brew and 'Que.
And, speaking of restaurants at the Yards, interested parties will like to hear that construction has begun on the Potbelly Sandwich Works shop in the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts building, just south of Boilermaker on the southeast corner of 3rd and Tingey. It is expected to open this spring, as is Kruba Thai and Sushi, which just received its building permit last week for its space in Foundry's southwest corner, just north of the Yards Park.
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Restaurants/Nightlife, Foundry Lofts/Yards, photos, Retail, The Yards

Tidbits: Some SoCap Bridge $, Half Street 'Thinking', DPW, More
Nov 21, 2011 9:32 AM
I've tried over the past few months to clampdown on runaway Tidbits posts, but these are some pretty small tidbits, so I think I'll let them through:
* Douglass Bridge: The Feds have "freed up" $68 million from previously appropriate funds to allow DC to start buying up right-of-way land for the new South Capitol Street/Douglass Bridge. NBC4 quotes DDOT chief Terry Bellamy as saying "If I had my way and we had the money, we could possibly see a new bridge in about six to seven years." But, considering they're looking for $800 million for not just the bridge itself but all the associated improvements to South Capitol Street and its interchanges with I-395 and I-295, getting the rest of the money might be a little trickier.
* Half Street: According to the Post, Monument Realty and investment partner Victor MacFarlane "are now thinking about when to begin" developing the rest of their Half Street project. The southern portion of Monument's side of Half Street (the east side--you know, where the big hole in the ground is) was originally designed with both a hotel and a residential building. And there's still no word from Akridge on a start date for their side of Half Street (the Bullpen side).
* DPW Move: While the timeline for getting DPW into their new home on Okie St. NE and out of their New Jersey and K site has slipped (shocker!), things are still moving forward, and I'm hearing that they should be moved early in 2012. But this delay is not as yet impacting William C. Smith's plans for a new apartment building just to the north--various permits have recently been approved, and WCS expects to start some deep infrastructure work, along with some clearing and grading along New Jersey Avenue north of I, sometime in December. (But WCS needs DPW out before too long because a smidge of DPW land crosses what will eventually be the new I Street and onto the WCS property.)
* Wha?: Is it just me, or does this article seem like it was written in 2009? It's a bit odd to trot out version 83 of the "there's no food in Near Southeast" story when there are leases signed for at least 10 new eateries to open in the next 12 months: Lot 38 Espresso at the old Little Red Building site (Any Minute Now!), Potbelly and Kruba Thai in the Foundry Lofts by spring, the Park Tavern at Canal Park by summer, and six choices at the Boilermaker Shops by the end of 2012. Not to mention probably another couple places in the Lumber Shed, perhaps a big one at 100 M, and a Harris Teeter in 2013. But I still predict that, when the slew of What's Happening Around Nationals Park stories come pouring out in advance of Opening Day 2012, the focus will still be on the lack of movement along Half Street (see Tidbit #1).
* New Bridge: Don't forget the dedication ceremony for the Yards/Teague bridge on Tuesday at 1:30 pm on the Yards Park side of the bridge. In addition to the mayor and DC Water chief George Hawkins, the organizers are also expecting Eleanor Holmes Norton, Naval District Washington Commandant Rear Admiral Patrick Lorge, USDOT deputy secretary John Porcari--and the Racing Presidents!

Canal Park Signs Lease with Xavier Cervera for Restaurant Space (Updated)
Nov 17, 2011 11:45 AM
This was rumored a number of weeks ago, but today it is official that Capitol Hill restaurateur Xavier Cervera will be opening a restaurant in the pavilion space at Canal Park. I hope to have more details later today, so check back for updates, but for now I'll repeat what the last rumors were, that the menu would feature "Neopolitan pizzas and a raw bar." (We'll see if that holds up.)
Cervera also has another Near Southeast eatery in the works, with Willie's Brew and Que planned for the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards. He is also the man behind Lola's, the Chesapeake Room, Senart's, and the under-renovation Hawk 'N' Dove.
(This is a can't-wait-an-instant-to-get-the-news-out post, so like I said, I'll have more later today, including hopefully timelines and whatnot.)
UPDATE: The restaurant will be named the Park Tavern, and Chris Vanarsdale of the Canal Park Development Association says they are "still working out the details of the menu." Cervera will be designing the 3,500-square-foot LEED gold or platinum space over the next couple of months, and it will open at the same time the park is completed, which is now expected to be June 2012. There will also be outdoor seating.
And, probably less exciting news but news nonetheless is that the CPDA also now has an agreement with Rink Management Services to operate the ice skating rink in the park's southernmost block, near M Street. (They operate the Reston Town Center rink along with lots of other seasonal and year-round rinks across the country.) Needless to say, that part of the park probably won't be functioning when the park opens next summer, but look for it in the winter of 2012/2013.
Construction on the park continues, with lots of infrastructure work still being done (though the pavilion where the Park Tavern will be continues to rise up). My Canal Park page has more information, renderings, and some not-altogether-outdated photos.
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More posts: Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail

Whatever Happened To: The Beer Garden at 8th and L?
Nov 8, 2011 1:29 PM
It was one year ago today that we heard the first rumblings of plans for a beer garden to be built on the northwest corner of 8th and L, SE. It would have 99 indoor seats and space for an additional 200 customers in a "summer garden," and would offer live music.
The project went through all manner of liquor license wrangling, followed by a lot of work on the design in order to satisfy the Historic Preservation Review Board (which it finally did, in March). At many of these sessions, the owner spoke of wanting to get the project underway as quickly as possible, but since the HPRB approvals in spring, it hasn't seemed like anything has been happening.
However, late last week, when I was playing around with DDOT's new Public Space Permit locator app and figuring out how to import its Occupancy Permit data into my own list of Near Southeast Public Space Permits, I saw that a construction staging area permit had been issued for 720 L St. SE on Sept. 22. Some digging into the city's building permits application also found building permits applied for on Aug. 18, but still not yet approved.
I contacted the owner, Mark Brody, and he tells me that they indeed are working on permits, but "it's taking longer than expected." (I know, this is a shocker.)
So, no timetable for the project's opening at this point, but it appears it hasn't fallen completely off the map.
For more, you can see my 8th Street Beer Garden project page, or read the posts from the approvals process.
(And, speaking of the permits feed on the JDLand home page, I've tinkered with both the public space and building permits so that they're now sorted and grouped by address.)
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, square 906

Gordon Biersch to 100 M? and BID Surveys/Planting Day
Oct 20, 2011 8:19 PM
My post on Wednesday about the rumors of a not-quite-yet-signed tenant for the ground-floor restaurant space at 100 M Street SE shook loose quite a few mouths, and it is unanimous amongst those gabbers that the newcomer in negotiations is Gordon Biersch, the brewery/restaurant that already has a location at 9th and F Streets NW, not too far from the Verizon Center. With 100 M being within sight of Nationals Park, it would seem a plausible destination, assuming the final papers get signed (which does not appear to be imminent). It'll be interesting to see their timeline, especially vis-a-vis the baseball season (getting it done by Opening Day, 5 1/2 months from now, would seem to be a bit optimistic, I think?).
On a 100 percent unrelated note (I really do hate teeny tiny posts, so felt the need to combine these), the Capitol Riverfront BID's latest newsletter is out, and they're asking for respondents for their annual "online perception surveys" for both the BID itself and for the Yards Park.
But don't you dare click on either of those survey links if you haven't yet filled out my readership survey--my feelings will be terribly hurt! (Argh! I'm snakebitten with the dang survey. This link was a bad one until about 9 am on Friday. Sorry! Please try again!)
The BID also is co-hosting a Community Planting Day on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9 am to noon, along with the US Green Building Council National Capital Region. They're going to plant thousands of daffodil bulbs throughout the neighborhood.
The rest of the newsletter is here.
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More posts: 100 M, Capitol Riverfront BID, Events, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail

Rumors of A Pending Tenant for 100 M Restaurant Space
Oct 19, 2011 6:30 PM
Word is starting to bounce around that a tenant is close to being signed for the prime restaurant space in the ground floor of 100 M Street SE, on the northeast corner of 1st and M, one block north of Nationals Park.
As to who the tenant may be, I don't have confirmation, but rumors are mentioning a "semi-chain type place." (I'm trying to find out more, but since recent surveys indicate that 93 percent of all JDLand readers are interested in retail/restaurant news, I'm just going to go with what I've got.)
The location is advertised as 8,500 square feet, and I don't know if this rumored lease is for the entire space (though I imagine it is). One way or another, it will probably be a level of food and dining experience that's a step up from the last eating establishment on that corner, the old On Luck Cafeteria that was demolished five years ago.
I hope it goes without saying that as soon as I know more, I'll pass it along. And please remember that this is all still rumor territory, so until there's an official announcement, don't be skipping meals waiting for the new offering to arrive.
UPDATE: The rumor mill is strong that the not-yet-signed tenant is Gordon Biersch. But there's no official confirmation of that. But I've heard it from enough different places since yesterday to pass it along.
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More posts: 100 M, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, Square 743N

Willie's Brew and Que Coming to Boilermaker Shops; Pizza and a Raw Bar at Canal Park?
Aug 31, 2011 4:31 PM
After a bit of a false start a few months ago, Forest City is now confirming that Capitol Hill restaurant magnate Xavier Cervera will be opening "Willie's Brew & Que" in the Boilermaker Shops at The Yards. On the Yards's just redesigned web site, Willie's is listed as opening in Fall 2012, along with the other Boilermaker Shops restaurants previously announced (Austin Grill Express, brb, Buzz Bakery, a craft brewery by the Churchkey folks, and Huey's 24-7 Diner).
In a Going Out Gurus post today about Cervera's purchase of the Hawk 'n' Dove, Willie's is described as a sports bar, with the "'Cue" in the name referring not to pool but to barbecue that will be smoked on site. Plus, "Cervera promises 'the audio and video system is going to be very cool in there' when the place opens in 2012, including custom-built 12-foot plasma screens." (Note that GoG says it's "Brew & 'Cue", while Forest City's web site says "Brew & Que.")
Look for some new signage on the fences around the Boilermaker within the next few weeks, trumpeting all of the announced restaurants. (And I'll also point out that the web site says "more to come.")
The Going Out Gurus post also says that Cervera will be opening a restaurant at Canal Park, which they say will be LEED-certified, serving Neopolitan pizzas and featuring a raw bar. I've got a request into the Canal Park folks for confirmation and/or details. The park is expected to open in spring 2012. (UPDATE: The leasing negotiations for the Canal Park site are apparently not yet finalized, so don't consider this a done deal just yet.)
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More posts: Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Canal Park, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, The Yards

Friday Tidbit Overload (Isn't August Supposed to Be Slow?)
Aug 5, 2011 2:30 PM
A slew of tidbits, some already tweeted, some not:
* The third Truckeroo food truck festival is now scheduled for next Friday, Aug. 12, from 11 am to 11 pm. They'll keep doing them monthly, through October.
* This isn't news for anyone who's seen the big holes punched in the sides, but work on the Boilermaker Shops retail space at the Yards is finally underway. It's expected to take about a year. This is where the new brewpub by the Churchkey folks will be, along with Buzz Bakery, Austin Grill Express, BRB, and Huey's 24-7 diner.
* Along with their announcement of a new Circulator route that will run from east of the river across the 11th Street Bridge and up 8th St. SE over to Potomac Avenue, DDOT has also announced that the Navy Yard Circulator route will no longer go into the Union Station garage. Instead, it will stop at a new location near the flagpoles in front of the building. There won't be any stop at Louisiana and D anymore, either. (See the DDOT presentation posted by DCist for the details, with the Navy Yard route stuff being on page 7.)
* The Capitol Hill Day School's blog is doing a good job keeping track not only of the renovation work at Dent School, but also on the progress on their temporary location at 5th and K, SE. The modular classrooms are arriving, plus there's now power!
* For people who don't stay glued to comment threads (for shame!), ANC commissioner David Garber recently posted with more details about the Georgetown University Health Disparities office moving into the retail space at Capitol Hill Tower: "I was reassured that this will not be a health clinic, and that it is better to think of it as the research center's "home base" on this side of the city. It will mostly be office space, and employees will spend most of their time outside the office at sites in Wards 6, 7, and 8, facilitating research on environmental health, obesity, and breast cancer research. I was told that no more than five clients would be visiting the office each day -- not as a medical clinic-- but that the space would likely also be used to hold meetings for the center's organizational and community-based task forces/committees."
* The Hill is Home gives an update on the 8th Street underpass, where a mural is about to be created to spiff up the space, and where the public parking lot is going to get new signage, lighting, and pricing to encourage Barracks Row visitors to use it.
* President Obama gave a big speech on jobs at the Navy Yard this morning, which will be notable mostly for how my Google News Alert for "washington navy yard" will take days to get back to normal.
There's probably more than this, but this has already cut into that mini-break I was trying to take....

Forest City Announces Restaurants at the Yards; Teeter Confirmed
Jun 27, 2011 8:48 AM
A press release went out this morning with the news that so many residents and office workers have been waiting for: the initial list of restaurants that will be opening at the Yards, along with confirmation that Harris Teeter is coming to the building at 401 M Street.
At the Foundry Lofts apartment building currently heading toward completion, there will be a Potbelly, plus Kruba Thai and Sushi, from the operators of Teak Wood Thai and Sushi, Regent Thai, and Galae Thai and Sushi. Both are expected to open in the first quarter of 2012. (Pre-leasing of the residential units is expected to begin in August, with move-ins starting in October.)
The Boilermaker Shops, the 1919-era building nestled between the Foundry Lofts and the US Department of Transportation, will have a number of different offerings:
* There will be Buzz Bakery, a full-service bakery, coffee shop, and "dessert lounge," plus an as-yet-unnamed craft brewery, both operated by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, the people behind the Evening Star Cafe, Vermilion, Rustico, Tallula, EatBar, Columbia Firehouse, Birch and Barley, and ChurchKey.
* Austin Grill Express, a "casual, funky Tex-Mex restaurant drawing on the experience of Austin Grill to deliver a unique menu and environment."
* BRB ("be right burger").
* Huey's 24/7 Diner, a "classic diner experience." (But will it actually be open 24/7?)
It's expected that Huey's, Austin Grill, and BRB will open in the fall of 2012, with the others in "late 2012."
And, at the 401 M Street residential building (the only one of the three buildings that is 100 percent new construction), a Harris Teeter will be coming to the ground floor, which has been rumored for a number of years but is now finally confirmed. The press release says it will open in 2013, though for that to be the case, they need to start work on the building pretty much, um, now.
More as I get it, and you can read the official press release for additional details. For more on each project, see my Foundry Lofts, Boilermaker Shops, 401 M, and main Yards project pages, or see the official Yards web site. Especially don't miss the photos from the interior of the Boilermaker Shops, which is a space very much unlike anything else in DC.
UPDATE, June 2012: Because this post is linked to in so many places, it's necessary to update that in late June 2012 it was revealed that Austin Grill Express and BRB would not be coming to the Boilermaker Shops after all. However, Willie's Brew and Que sportsbar had been announced as another tenant in late 2011.

A Few More Nats Park Photos (Eateries Etc.), and Other Tidbits
Jun 15, 2011 9:29 AM
I wandered down to Nationals Park last night to take in the atmosphere of not only the four new eateries, but also the return of Ryan Zimmerman. It was a healthy crowd (26,700+), and only about half of them seemed to be in line at Shake Shack and the other new food concessions (though by later in the game, the non-Shake Shack options had no lines).
I took another slew of photos (since the original batch from Monday's preview event proved to be pretty popular) mainly trying to get shots of these new "iconic" ballpark features from various angles, along with a few other shots of interest. As you can see in the shot at right, you can look at Blue Smoke and Box Frites with the Yards Park "iconic" pedestrian bridge and Navy Yard riverwalk directly behind, or with an east-of-the-river vista. I also grabbed a view of the progress on the bridge between Diamond Teague Park and Yards Park, my first shots of Das Bullpen, and both the sunset and the moonrise. And they would have all been even better if I had brought the official JDLand DSLR camera and not my less-than-fabulous point-and-shoot. Browse the gallery, and then mock me for leaving in the top of the 7th inning.
Other recently tweeted tidbits:
* The Yards' new Facebook page now includes a 2 1/2-minute virtual tour of what the neighborhood will look like when it's all built out. To see what it looks like now (and what it looked like a few years back), wander through my Yards project page.
* On Sunday morning a group of volunteers descended on the empty lot just east of the Velocity condo building to turn it into a demonstration rain garden. It's a project of the DC chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and is being funded by REI and the Cohen Companies (developers of the block), among others. They are having a meeting at Velocity on June 20 at 6 pm to discuss the project, and there will be another work day on the site on Saturday, June 25. The project's blog has photos and a lot of details; it's officially named the David Stemper Memorial Rain Garden, in honor of a Surfrider volunteer who passed away in 2010.
* The BID says that the next Truckeroo food truck festival at Half and M SE will be on Friday, July 15.
* Last week CSX sent a letter out to residents who live near Virginia Avenue introducing the plans to rehab the Virginia Avenue Tunnel. (It was probably quite useful for people who don't read JDLand!)

First Look at New Nationals Park Eateries (Shake Shack et al)
Jun 13, 2011 10:45 PM
On Monday night the Nationals unveiled for an invitation crowd the four new concession options brought to Nationals Park by the Union Square Hospitality Group. Shake Shack (which has already taken Dupont Circle by storm), El Verano Taqueria, Blue Smoke Barbecue, and Box Frites are side-by-side along the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk in Center Field, and will be open 2 1/2 hours before every game. (There will also be $5 "happy hour" beer specials on the Scoreboard Walk, starting 2 1/2 hours before every game for the rest of the season.)
The area behind the scoreboard has also been "refreshed," with new furniture, plants, trees, herbs (really!), and synthetic turf to give a "backyard" feel. There are also 14 "shade sails" now erected over the area to help keep fans waiting in line for the new eats from falling over in the heat; the sails are supposed to reduce ambient temps by up to 20 degrees, and also provide UV ray protection of up to nearly 94 percent.
The Nationals are hoping that this revamped spot becomes an "iconic" area at the ballpark, with COO Andy Feffer explaining that the stadium already has "cool clubs," but they are private and not open to everyone as these will be. As for whether they will be able to handle what could be quite a crush of hungry foodie fans, Feffer said "We shall see," while noting that since the USHG folks have existing operations at Citi Field in New York, "if anybody's prepared, these guys are."
And, is there a chance that these four stands could ever open to the public on non-gamedays? Feffer says they've talked about it, and that it's a possibility down the road, when the area's worker-and-resident population expands further.
I took a slew of pictures of the food and signage (two of my favorite photo subjects, even surpassing shots of buildings!). The eateries will open to fans on Tuesday at 4:30, before the 7:05 Nats-Cardinals game. (As always, 400 $5 tickets are available at the box office on game day.) The photo gallery also includes photos of the menus if the suspense is too much to bear.
UPDATE: The Post's Dan Steinberg has more on the new offerings.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

Back from Across the Pond; Lots of Tidbits While I Recover
Jun 8, 2011 9:09 AM
I'm back in DC, having spent 11 wonderful days in Madrid, Barcelona, and cruising across the Mediterranean to Pisa, Florence, Rome, the coast south of Naples, and Mallorca. Needless to say, while I checked in on the news back home from time to time and tweeted an item or two if the timing was right, I wasn't following developments closely, and I'm pretty out of the blogging groove at this point. So I'm going to start back slowly with some easy items.
* Redistricting: The city council voted Tuesday to approve a redistricting map that, as expected, keeps Near Southeast in Ward 6. This continues to make Marion Barry extremely unhappy, and the Examiner reports that he'll be "asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to open a Justice Department review of proposed new D.C. ward boundaries because, Barry says, they violate residents' civil rights." There's still a final vote to be had on the plan, probably on June 21. As for the last-minute changes that ended up keeping much of Ward 6 intact (moving Reservation 13 to Ward 7 instead of other areas), you can read Tommy Wells's blog for more details.
* Riverwalk: The Navy Yard announced last week that its portion of the riverwalk along the Anacostia River, running from the 11th Street Bridges to the Yards Park, will now be open from 5:30 am until "official sunset," seven days a week and including holidays; though there will still be closures as needed, which are announced on the Navy Yard Riverwalk Twitter feed. (I admit that I got a bit of a kick passing along this news via Twitter while riding on a train north of Rome.)
* DPW Move: The council passed emergency technical legislation on Tuesday that allows Capper PILOT funds to be used to build a new location for DPW operations in Northeast, which means that they should be moving from the 2nd and K site this fall (before "leaf season").
* Ward 6 Family Day: Tommy Wells's yearly event for Ward 6 residents will be held on Saturday, June 25, and will be at the Yards Park for the first time. It's from 1 to 5 pm, with "free food, live music, games and activities for the whole family as well as raffles featuring gift certificates from local businesses and sporting memorabilia from the Wizards, DC United and Washington Nationals."
* ANC 6D has its next meeting on Monday, June 13, at 7 pm at Arena Stage. The agenda is light on Near Southeast items, with only a resolution by David Garber about Near Southeast bike stations and requests by Cornercopia and Harry's Reserve to be exempted from the ban on the sale of "singles."
* Food Truck Festival: Bo Blair, the owner of the Bullpens and the organizer of Truckeroo on June 3, said in an e-mail that the event was a "massive, incredible success," with somewhere between 17,000 and 18,000 attendees and "zero problems." The next date for the event will be announced soon.
* Construction and Destruction: Construction has stalled on the Little Red Building v2.0 at 2nd and L, which ANC commissioner Garber says is a "building permit issue that is in process of being resolved - construction should start back 'soon.'" Meanwhile, the "re-dressing" of 225 Virginia is well underway, with the new exterior walls being hung on the north side of the building. And if it hasn't already happened, the trailer that was the original sales office for Capitol Quarter is being torn down, since construction of townhouses is now underway on that block. (Photos to come, at some point.)
* The Yards on Facebook/Twitter: I kind of stumbled across these (never saw any announcement about them), but the Yards now has an official Facebook page (which is available on Twitter, too) along with a separate one for the Foundry Lofts (its Twitter account is protected, though).
UPDATE: And, since this just came across Twitter: Dan Steinberg reports that Shake Shack and the other new Nats Park restaurants will open next Tuesday, the beginning of the homestand vs. the Cardinals.

Food Truck Festival 'Truckeroo' Coming to Half and M June 3
May 8, 2011 11:00 PM
From Monday's Capital Business from the Post, the news that the owner of the Bullpen and Das Bullpen is following through on the desire he stated a few months back to hold "food truck festivals" on a regular basis in the parking lots at Half and M, SE. Apparently, the first "Truckeroo" festival will be held on June 4 June 3, and the Post says it will "include food trucks like Lobster Truck, Fojol Bros., Eat Wonky, Curbside Cupcakes and D.C. Slices, is scheduled to run from noon to 9 p.m., and occur monthly through October. The idea is to drive business to the ballpark area on non-baseball nights."
(The blurb also says that the Bullpen "is the biggest cash cow in the burgeoning Blair empire.")
Nothing on the Bullpen web site about Truckeroo yet, but I'll post more as I hear.
This site will eventually be the location of Akridge's 700,000-square-foot mixed-use development that will run along the length of Half between M and N north of the ballpark, but no start date for construction has been announced.
UPDATE: Bo Blair has told the BID (and now me directly) that the Post got the date wrong, that it's actually scheduled for Friday, June 3.
UPDATE II: Here's the flyer announcing the event, showing vendors that I assume are planning to be there. It also has the hours as 11 am to 9 pm. They also now have a web site.
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More posts: West Half St., Fairgrounds/Bullpen, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, truckeroo

Sensorium, Nats, Water Taxis, and Other Events and Tidbits
Apr 10, 2011 10:55 PM
Sorry I went off-grid most of last week--when I said that the weather on Opening Day reminded me of 2008, I wasn't expecting to then come down with pretty much the same bug that clobbered me after the big event three years ago. (I'm also getting too old to traipse around outside for many hours over multiple days in 40-and-rainy weather.) I'm still not 100 percent, but here's a few items I'm passing along as I work my way back into the swing:
* As already posted, ANC 6D is meeting Monday night at 7 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L SE. There's lots of Near Southeast items on the agenda, including the Market Deli landmarking nomination, a call for a combined M Street SE/SW transportation study, and Forest City's desire to move its offices to the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park. ANC 6B then meets on Tuesday, but there don't appear to be any south-of-the-freeway items on their agenda, so I'll be skipping that.
* Sensorium starts its six-week run at the Yards Park on Tuesday, April 12. The Post's Going Out Guide posted some photos of the dome last week during construction, as did the Sensorium folks themselves. If you haven't been following this, Sensorium pairs a 12-course tasting menu with visual/performance art into a production that sounds like unlike anything on the current or recent DC agenda. There are two seatings every night (except Mondays), with tickets $150 per person. If you go, tell us all about it!
* Also at the Yards Park this week is the DC Challenge race and festival on Saturday the 16th, where you can test out your Amazing Race-type abilities in this "Ultimate Urban Scavenger Race."
* The Nationals have a big home stand, starting with the Phillies Tuesday through Thursday (so beware the descending hordes) and then the Brewers Friday through Sunday. All weekday games are at 7:05 pm, Saturday's game is at 1:05 pm, and Sunday is the usual 1:35 pm start. I haven't heard yet if Das Bullpen will be making its debut this week or not. UPDATE: The owner of the Bullpen told me on Monday afternoon that Das Bullpen will be open on Tuesday evening for the Nats/Phillies game.
* American River Taxi has begun its service between the Georgetown Waterfront, the Southwest Waterfront (which we're now calling The Wharf, I guess), and Diamond Teague Park. They have an 8 am commuter run on weekdays from the Wharf to Georgetown, then regular runs between the three stops starting at 10 am until 6 pm weekdays and 9 pm on weekends. (If you're wanting to try out the service to get to any of the Nationals games this week, they say that the boat leaves Georgetown at 6:05 pm [updated time].) Ticket kiosks are at Tony and Joe's at the Washington Harbor in Georgetown and the Gangplank Marina in Southwest, and tickets can also be purchased on the ship. Tickets will normally be $9, but are currently discounted at $8, according to SWill, who's doing a fine job following the venture's launch. ART has just one boat so far (the Dolley Madison), they are still adjusting their run times (right now it takes 20-35 minutes between stops), so following them on Facebook and/or Twitter is a good way to keep up with their service. They hope to eventually expand their offerings to National Airport, Alexandria, and National Harbor. (As of now, the Potomac Riverboat Company is the only outfit sailing to Teague from Alexandria, and that's just for Nationals games.)
* Harry's Reserve at New Jersey and I had its first wine tastings on Friday and Saturday. If you want to keep up with their news and events, you can friend them on Facebook (they've set themselves up as a Facebook "person" rather than a product page to "like"--perhaps they'll rejigger that soon.)
Also, a site note: with more neighborhood information being tweeted these days than I could hope to write about or even retweet, I've created a Near Southeast Businesses/Organizations Twitter list, which you can also browse on the JDLand.com home page, in the box below the map in the right margin--which is below the box with my own latest tweets, so clearly you can get a lot of Twitter content right here if you haven't joined the cult social media outlet yet. I'm trying to keep this list to very-very local businesses and groups (and not DDOT or the Nationals or other feeds that aren't mostly about goings-on in this area). If I'm missing any, let me know.

Pre-Opening Day Roundup: Shake Shack Coming by June, NatsFest Photos, Circulator's Hours Officially Expanded
Mar 30, 2011 5:46 PM
The news from Tom Sietsema whizzed around the Twitterverse early today: "acclaimed" New York restaurateur Danny Meyer is bringing four of his creations to Nationals Park, including Shake Shack, which has already had DC foodies salivating over a planned Dupont Circle location. Shake Shack will be replacing Five Guys on the Scoreboard Walk, and surrounding it will be El Verano Taqueria (serving Mexican snacks), Box Frites (Belgian-style fries with dips) and Blue Smoke (barbeque). The ink is apparently barely dry on the deal, so construction is only just now getting underway (as you can see in the photo at right and this one, which I took today at the ballpark). Shake Shack and the others are already operating at the Mets' stadium, Citi Field.
This isn't the only news of the day in regards to the ballpark food, as the team also announced new food partnerships: the Boston Beer Company will bring Sam Adams beers to the stadium, along with a new Sam Adams beer garden in May; Kayem Hot Dogs are now the "official frank of the Washington Nationals"; and Breyers is now the official ice cream. There's also changes to the existing concessions, including two portable Hard Times Cafe carts that will sell nachos. And a new "point of sale" operation that is supposed to speed up food sales and other transactions. (We shall see....!)
As for outside the ballpark, I peeked in on the progress at Das Bullpen, and while they were working very hard, it was hard to judge whether they'll be open by tomorrow morning. But the original Bullpen at Half and N will be opening at 10 am for all your late-morning beer-drinking needs. (Justin's Cafe will open at 10:30.) There was also work going on along Half Street, with Monument Realty finally replacing the Half Street advertising signage that for so long has declared "Coming 2009" with a more gentle "Coming Soon."
All this reconnaissance came as part of my short visit to NatsFest, and you can see a quick gallery of my photos from the event, none of which are terribly exciting and are more about little things here and there than the players or any of the activities. (I figured those sorts of photos would be a dime a dozen since every fan was toting a digital camera.) One change at the stadium visible in one of the photos (above the big honking new Jayson Werth banner) is that the red tent on top of the left-field garage that has been obscuring views of the Capitol for the past few years is now gone. Yay!
In other news, DDOT has announced that the Navy Yard Circulator's hours are indeed being extended beginning on April 1. From Friday through Sept. 30 (though could be continued in the FY12 city budget), the buses will run from 6 am to 9 pm weekdays and from 7 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, in addition to the extended hours on Nats game days. (They're supposed to post the 2011 Game Day Schedule, but it's not there quite yet.)
And, if you want more transit info before heading off to the ballpark, here's Metro's press release on its plans for extra trains, crowd monitoring, etc.
If I were in a generous mood, I could also link to today's front-page Washington Times story about how nothing is happening around the ballpark in terms of development, but if they are silly enough to dub the "new" Courtyard by Marriott (finished in 2006) as one of neighborhood's "signs of progress," then I'm not sure you need to read the rest. Besides, you can just read my roundup of what's changed since the end of last season to find out all you need to know.
We'll see what the weather does on Thursday--people seem to be sounding a bit more optimistic, but be aware that if there's rain, they'll most likely play Friday and not Thursday night.
UPDATED headline, tweaking "before June" to "by June."
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Florida Rock Raze Permit, and Other Tuesday Tidbits
Mar 22, 2011 11:03 AM
All sorts of small stuff that has recently been Tweeted, or just left to molder until I finally got around to posting:
* A raze permit application has been filed by the Florida Rock folks for the concrete plant operated by Vulcan Materials Co. on Potomac Avenue just south of Nationals Park. This in an of itself is quite interesting, made even more interesting by a lack of response from Florida Rock Properties when I inquired as to what this planned razing might mean. From what I'm told, raze permits are valid for one year from the date of issuance (and this one hasn't been issued yet). The plan has been for a 1.1-million-square-foot mixed-use project that would include office, residential, hotel, and retail in four buildings, plus lots of open space. (Note that the western part of the project can't be built until the new Douglass Bridge is built and the current one is demolished, which doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon). Whether the current plans will still be going forward with the current owners or if changes are in the works, we'll just have to wait and see, though considering that it took FRP a decade or so to get zoning approvals for the site, it would be no fun to see the process start over again.
* There was a kitchen fire on the 3rd floor of the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St. SE on Monday night, according to tweets from DCFireEMS. The bulk of the fire was handled by the sprinkler system, they say, and there were no injuries.
* The DC Music Fest planned for the Yards Park on May 7 has been cancelled "due to a lack of funding and sponsorships."
* The Five Guys at Nationals Park will not be back for the 2011 season, says Curbed DC. (The one on 2nd Street across from Canal Park is not affected by this.)
* Speaking of the ballpark, in case your attention hasn't yet turned to baseball, note that Opening Day is next Thursday (March 31), with NatsFest being held at 4 pm the day before. The first series of games (Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday) will all be early afternoon starts (1:05 pm on Thursday and Saturday and the normal 1:35 pm start on Sunday).
And Saturday's game is bookended by Family Fun Day at Yards Park, being held from 11 am to 4 pm in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. (Plus there's all the goings-on that day on the Southwest Waterfront, including the big fireworks display.)

8th Street Beer Garden Design Historic Preservation Review
Feb 21, 2011 11:09 AM
Posted on Friday was the Staff Report from the Historic Preservation Review Board on the design for the proposed Bier Garden at 8th and L, SE, as the owners of the site at 720 L continue to work toward constructing a one-story building with an accompanying summer garden and roof deck. (You can look to the left, or see a slightly larger version of the design, as it was presented to ANC 6B last week; 6B voted to support the design.)
If you're not up for reading all six pages yourself, here's my Zagat-style report on the report:
It makes for good reading if you're interested in how new buildings in historic districts are evaluated; you might be surprised (I was!) that design guidelines actually "discourage the exact duplication of historic styles," opting instead to encourage applicants to consider a new building as an "enhancement" to the district "while respecting the historic context." The report discusses how the decision to go with a one-story structure could draw on "the vernacular of Washington's modest industrial buildings and alley warehouses," and in fact the report includes a photo of the Bier Garden lot in 1949, when a one-story building housing a laundry/tailor stood on the site.
The report finds that the proposed massing of the new building does reflect the character of the historic district and "references recognizable attributes" of both industrial buildings and traditional beer gardens. The report also sees the rain screen and other more contemporary design choices as reflecting the "whimsy, casualness and somewhat ad-hoc nature of many outdoor beer gardens."
However, there are concerns that there are so many finishes applied "in so many different directions" that the result is a "somewhat chaotic and unfinished appearance," and suggests selecting one or two key ideas that would allow the building "to be showcased in a less hectic manner." Other major issues cited include choices on the roof deck (and the lack of any lighting or shade up there in the current design), the proportions of the doors, and the designs of the rain screens, as well as how the building's "streetscape presence" along both 8th and L.
The report ends with a recommendation that the applicants "restudy the issues outlined [...] as they pertain to the principles of design cohesiveness, proportion and scale, and streetscape presence." It's also recommended that the board delegate final approval of the design to the board staff once the comments from staff and the board are addressed in the revisions.
The hearing begins at 10 am on Thursday, and can be watched live, or on demand starting the next day. (And this will actually be the first HPRB hearing I'll have ever watched!) You can read my previous Bier Garden posts if you're needing to get caught up.
UPDATE: And now we return back to "Beer Garden" from "Bier Garden," as Mark Brody informs me that it was a typo on the plans.
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, square 906

ANC 6D Doings: Bullpen Expansion Support, Canal Park Timeline
Feb 14, 2011 9:38 PM
Quick items from tonight's ANC 6D meeting:
* The commission voted 6-0 to support the Bullpen's plans to open an additional 632-seat beer garden at Half and M, across from the Navy Yard Metro station's west entrance just north of Nationals Park. Owner Bo Blair says that this new area, which I'm referring to as Das Bullpen until cease and desist letters stop me, would be a more "mellow" space than the current Bullpen, with little if any live music, and catering more to folks over 35 and families. It will be offering European beers and a "light" menu (though, are sausages ever really "light"?).
It was determined that this new operation, which will run in tandem with the existing Bullpen at Half and N for the 2011 baseball season, does not need its own liquor license. The ANC in its motion also requested that ABRA handle this license expansion request in an expedited fashion so that negotiations between the Bullpen and landlord Akridge can be completed and the beer garden can be opened by the end of March. It's expected that the original Bullpen will disappear after this season so that Akridge can begin construction on the southern residential portion of its 700,000-square-foot Half Street project.
While both Bullpens will only be open during stadium events, Blair said he's thinking about investigating whether food trucks could be coaxed to come to the Das Bullpen site during lunchtime on non-game days every so often.
You can read more about Das Bullpen here.
* Chris VanArsdale of the Canal Park Development Association gave a very brief presentation by request of 6D chair Ron McBee. VanArsdale said that the "construction kick-off" meeting was held today with Davis Construction, and that work on the site should start "by the end of the month." With a 14-month construction timeline, this would get the park "substantially completed" by March 2012, and finished by May.

Meanwhile, at the Beer Garden to the East....
Feb 8, 2011 11:33 PM
While the neighborhood's big Beer Garden News last week was the plan by the Bullpen folks to create one at Half and M, SE, the other proposed beer garden in the area, at 8th and L, SE, is continuing to proceed through the city's bureaucracy. With its liquor license having been dealt with last month, this "Bier Garden" is now undergoing the Historic Preservation Review process, a necessary step thanks to its location within the Capitol Hill Historic District (which I'm sure Das Bullpen is thankful to be well outside of).
Original plans for a temporary structure were undoable thanks to historic district restrictions, so now the applicant, Mark Brody, and his architect have opted to go with a one-story building with a roof deck, in addition to the proposed ground-level summer garden. The look of the building (which is closer to 1 1/2 stories high) is very industrial, with large multi-paned windows and lots of "wood rainscreening" on the exterior and the roof deck. (I've asked for electronic versions of the color renderings that were shown at Tuesday night's ANC 6B meeting, but Mr. Brody is still pondering whether to pass them along.) UPDATE: Since the renderings have been submitted to the Historic Preservation Office and have been shown at a public meeting, an interested party passed them along. (UPDATE 1A: And Mr. Brody's architect has now sent it to me as well--thank you!) Here is the main image, looking at the corner of 8th and L:
The ANC's Planning and Zoning Committee had a first look at the designs on Feb. 1, and, according to the committee report, expressed a number of concerns about "the proposed materials, the open deck design, and the lack of letters of support from other establishments and or affected neighbors" as well as the "unfinished appearance" and issues with not having received details such as "views of the affected area with relationship to existing structures and plat specifications."
By the time the full commission met Tuesday night, Brody had made some changes to the initial designs, and forwarded letters of support from two neighbors on L Street as well 18 letters from Capitol Quarter residents (thanks probably to an e-mail that went to the private CQ mailing list asking for support). When asked, Brody said that Mark Batterson of the National Community Church (which is buying up the north side of this "Saints and Sinners" block to build a new office and performance space) has decided that he "will take no position" on the beer garden plans.
There ensued much discussion, with the bulk of concerns coming from Kirsten Oldenburg (in whose SMD this is) and David Garrison, who both clearly are unhappy with the design, especially the roof deck. (Perhaps Kirsten will write more about this project on her blog so I don't have to try to summarize, HINT HINT.) But other commissioners made clear their desire to get something built on this portion of Barracks Row south of the freeway to help jump-start the area.
After an initial motion to oppose the designs while the applicant and the city's Historic Preservation Review Board continue to make refinements failed 3-7, a second motion to take no position failed 4-6, followed finally by a motion that passed 7-3 to support the designs, with an accompanying letter to the Historic Preservation Office detailing the commission's concerns about safety on the roof deck, the design of the doors (too stubby, Oldenburg says), the "parapet" that is above the front door, and the design's "historic character." Commissioners Oldenburg, Garrison, and Norman Metzger were the three commissioners in opposition. The HPRB may hear this case at its Feb. 24 meeting, though that agenda has not yet been set. (Note that the Capitol Hill Restoration Society will be a source of comments about the project as well.)
Interestingly, the liquor license apparently will not cover the roof deck, so Brody will have to come back to the ANC if he intends to serve alcohol in that space. There was also mention made of wanting to have sidewalk tables during warm weather, which will require a public space permit and another trip back to the ANC (athough the bus stop right out front might make for a space issue).
There's probably more to write about this, but I'm pacing myself, since I'm guessing there will be plenty of additional chances to cover the process. And hopefully I'll get some renderings to post soon, but when the project gets onto an HPRB agenda they'll become part of the public record, so I'll definitely have them then.
There were some additional South of the Freeway tibits that came out during these discussions, but I'll save those for another post.
UPDATE: Here's Kirsten Oldenburg's thoughts and concerns about the design.
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, square 906

Bullpen Looking to Add Beer Garden at Half and M
Feb 2, 2011 9:22 PM
The Bullpen, the outdoor bar and festivities spot that has operated just across the street from Nationals Park during stadium events since 2009, is making plans to open a "Beer Garden" at the northern end of their current block, at Half and M streets, SE, facing the western entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station. (See my high-quality graphic at right.) With 79 picnic tables holding eight people each, it would have a seating capacity of 632 people, and would offer draft German beers (and perhaps other European beers) along with German sausages, kielbasa, and other light (ahem) fare.
"Das Bullpen" [copyright JD] is being envisioned as having a very different atmosphere from the current Bullpen, with the beer garden not having game areas with lots of kids running around. There would be no amplified music, and it would operate during the same hours as Bullpen 1.0 (which will be remaining open this year as well). It would have its own entrance, right across from the Metro station's entrance, and would be fenced in and partially covered/tented in the same way as the existing Bullpen.
At an ANC 6D ABC subcommittee meeting tonight, a Bullpen rep explained that Akridge, the owners of the entire block bounded by M, N, Half, and Van, has informed the Bullpen owners of plans to begin construction perhaps as early as October of this year on the southern end of the block, where Bullpen 1.0 is located. (There seems to have been some sort of "hint" that if the Bullpen wants to have a shot at a permanent home in the new ground-floor retail spaces that will be available when the block is completed, they need to expand to this additional area this year.) If Akridge's plans are unchanged from what went through the zoning process a few years ago, the southern end of the block would be a 300-unit residential building with ground-floor retail. You can see renderings on my Akridge Half Street page.
As you can see on my cruddy map, there will still be substantial parking available between the two locations. (For old-timers, this new site is where WMATA's old Southeastern Bus Garage entrance was located.)
The Bullpen's lawyers are trying to determine whether this constitutes an expansion of the current operation, to allow Das Bullpen to open under their existing liquor license, or whether a new license (and then a new voluntary agreement with the ANC) will be needed. More to come, I'm sure.
UPDATE: And it should be noted that this is a completely separate venture from the Bavarian Beer Garden plans at 8th and L, SE. Beer gardens to the left! Beer gardens to the right!
UPDATE II: To clear up any confusion, they are intending to have Das Bullpen open this spring, with Bullpen 1.0 open as well through the end of the 2011 baseball season.
UPDATE III: Another clarification: The new site has no official name yet. "Das Bullpen" is purely my invention, because I wanted something catchy to describe it.

ANC Doings/The Beer Garden and The Bullpen
Jan 31, 2011 9:28 AM
Here's what's on tap over the next two weeks in ANC Land:
* Tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 1), ANC 6B's Planning and Zoning subcommittee will be getting a first look at the construction plans for the Bavarian Beer Garden 8th and L, SE, as the owner has now begun the Historic Preservation review process, required because the site is within the boundaries of the Capitol Hill Historic District. This meeting is at 7 pm at the Caesar Chavez Public Charter School at 714 11th St., SE.
* Then, on Wednesday, Feb. 2, ANC 6D's Alcohol Beverage Control subcommittee will be meeting at 7 pm at King Greenleaf Rec Center, 201 N St., SW, with an agenda item that says "proposed expansion into adjacent space for The Bullpen at 26 N St., SE." This is the outdoor bar just north of Nationals Park on the footprint of Akridge's Half Street project. I assume that an expansion would be northward, across a little alley and staying within Akridge's land; to expand westward would mean going across Van Street into Monument's property on the old BP Amoco site at South Capitol and N, and to expand eastward would mean going across Half Street into a very big hole.
* Both of these items, along with plenty of others, will then be on the agendas at the ANC's official monthly meetings--ANC 6B's is at 7 pm on Feb. 8 at the LDS Church at 522 7th St., SE, and 6D's is at 7 pm on Feb. 14 at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church at 600 M St., SW (the agenda for which probably won't be available until very [very very?] late this week).

ANC 6B Supports Beer Garden Liquor License, Van Ness Elementary Reopening
Jan 12, 2011 1:22 PM
At Tuesday night's ANC 6B meeting, two south-of-the-freeway issues were voted on (remember, the section from 7th Street to M Street eastward is 6B04, not 6D07):
* By a 7-3 vote, 6B will now support the liquor license application by the Bavarian Beer Garden at 8th and L streets, SE, provided the Voluntary Agreement hammered out by 6B and BBG is approved by ABRA. (Back in December, 6B had voted to not support/protest the license until a VA was agreed to.) Under this agreement, the beer garden's overall hours of operation will remain from 11 am to 1 am Sunday through Thursday and 11 am to 3 am Friday and Saturday, but there are now slightly amended hours for entertainment. Entertainment indoors is approved from noon to midnight on Sundays, 6 pm to midnight Monday through Thursday, and noon to 2 am on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays. Hours for "summer garden entertainment and dancing" are from noon to 11 pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and 11 am to 1 am on Fridays, Saturdays, and Holidays, with none allowed outdoors on Mondays.
Kirsten Oldenberg, the 6B04 rep in whose single-member district the beer garden will be located (and who now has a blog!), expressed lingering concerns about allowing a tavern license in this location, while David Garrison reminded the meeting that there are residences on 7th Street whose backyards will be directly across from the outdoor garden. Norm Metzger mentioned that this establishment doesn't exactly fit in with the ideas for revitalizing the area as seen in the Lower 8th Street Visioning Draft Report. But despite the concerns, the liquor license application will be moving forward, with only new 6B chairman Neil Glick, Garrison, and Metzger opposing.
The commissioners still have not been shown any designs for the beer garden; however, while the lot's co-owner, Mark Brody, told the commission last month that he planned to build a temporary structure as quickly as possible with a permanent building coming (perhaps) in a few years, it's now been determined that since the block is in the Capitol Hill Historic District a temporary building is not allowed. So there will have to be a "real" building, and its design will be subject to historic review by all applicable organizations before it can move forward.
* New 6B02 rep Ivan Frishberg brought to the commission a draft letter to DCPS in support of reopening Van Ness Elementary, since interim chancellor Kaya Henderson said last month that the school system is "committed" to making a decision on the school this month. There was a lot of discussion, and a lot of questions brought up by David Garrison about the boundaries of the school, how it might impact the schools on the Hill, costs to get the school reopened, and more, but in the end the commission voted to approve the letter. (I *think* the vote was 7-2-1, but am trying to get it confirmed.) UPDATE: Oops. The vote was 9-0-1.
UPDATE: Here's another wrap-up of the meeting from The Hill is Home, who could hear what was going on a lot better than I could....

Tuesday Tibits: ANCs, 1345 South Capitol, More
Jan 11, 2011 10:52 AM
* I skipped out on the first ANC 6D meeting of 2011, not seeing any Near Southeast-specific items on the agenda. I did check in with Damon Harvey of DDOT before the meeting, though, to find out what he was going to be speaking to the ANC about, and it was to tell residents that 2011 Visitor Parking Passes will be sent out in the middle of March (right before baseball season starts). If you have any feedback or questions on the parking passes (which were instituted in 2008 as part of the stadium Performance Parking Pilot), you can contact Damon at damon.harvey [at] dc.gov.
* Tonight (Tuesday) is ANC 6B's meeting, at Brent Elementary at 7 pm. The agenda indicates there could be some news about the Bavarian Beer Garden proposed for 8th and L, SE, so I'll be there to check it out.
* SWill across the way has the news (via Bisnow) that Camden's long-delayed 1345 South Capitol Street residential project across the street from Nationals Park is reportedly going to finally get underway during the first quarter of this year. The design that was approved back in 2007 showed a 276-unit apartment building with about 3,300 square feet of ground-floor retail. I used to track this building, but pulled my coverage boundaries back to the South Capitol Street median when SWill hit the ground running with the "Southwest... The Little Quadrant that Could" blog. So while I'll probably mention milestones on the project, I'm going to leave the laser-like focus on it to Will.
* Newly minted ANC 6D07 commissioner David Garber was featured this past Sunday on HGTV's My First Sale, documenting his not-altogether-smooth road to selling a house he renovated in Anacostia. I don't see any repeats in the listings, but eventually the episode should be posted online.
* The city's web site about the various Anacostia Waterfront Initiative projects, TheAnacostiaWaterfront.com, is going to be decommissioned as of Feb. 1, with content about projects like the 11th Street Bridges, the Douglass Bridge, and the Anacostia Riverwalk having already been rolled into the DDOT web site. The new URL is ddot.dc.gov/awi.

Tidbits: Floating Bridge, 11th Street Bridge Closures, Water Taxis, Beer Garden
Jan 4, 2011 11:07 AM
A few small items that might be of interest:
* The National Capital Planning Commission at its Thursday meeting should be approving the design of the 611-foot-long floating bridge to connect the Yards Park with Diamond Teague Park. The "delegated action" document says that the bridge will also include an 81-foot-long platform that will be used as a "marine environmental education center" -- the platform is necessary to span three underground pipes at the DC Water pumping station. At the BID annual meeting in December, it was said that construction on the bridge could begin this spring. (UPDATE) And construction is expected to take 6-8 months.
* If you drive into downtown DC across the 11th Street Bridges late at night/early in the morning, be advised that the ramps from northbound I-295 and 13th Street, SE, will be closed between midnight and 5 am on both Friday, Jan. 7 and Monday, Jan. 10 to allow for work with overhead steel girders. But the South Capitol Street Bridge will be open for your Anacostia crossing pleasure.
* There hasn't been much apparent movement by American Water Taxi to get started with its planned service between Georgetown, the Southwest Waterfront, and Teague Park, but an update on their web site within the past few weeks says that "Focus groups and working group meetings to start in January."
* The agenda for the Jan. 11 ANC 6B meeting includes an item on the "Resolution of the Bavarian Beer Garden [Liquor] License Protest." Does this mean that the ANC and the folks wanting to open the beer garden at 8th and L have gotten the voluntary agreement hashed out, after all the concerns recently expressed? We shall see.

6B Protesting 8th Street Beer Garden Liquor License (While Working on a Voluntary Agreement)
Dec 15, 2010 1:01 PM
On Tuesday night the full ANC 6B commission took up the issue of whether to support the liquor license application for the new "Bavarian Beer Garden" that a businessman is trying to open at 8th and L, SE. I wrote a lot about it last week when the ANC's ABC subcommittee met, and you can read that (long) entry for most of the background, as well as read the committee report that came out of it.
Commissioners are still very leery of approving a tavern license "with an entertainment endorsement" without having much more information about the plans for the bar, worrying that if they give their support and what is currently billed as just being some "oompah" music turns into a nightclub with music late at night seven days a week, there will be little recourse. (The fact that this is the first restaurant venture by the applicant has them a bit nervous as well.) Their desire is to write various hours/occupancy/entertainment-type restrictions into the Voluntary Agreement, perhaps including some that can then be revisited a few years down the road when it's clear how the bar is operating.
Mark Brody, the applicant, told the commissioners that he is willing to sign a voluntary agreement, and is willing to negotiate over the requested hours of operation and occupancy load (which is at 399 on the initial application), so the negotiations will soon get underway. (The vote by the commissioners to support the license once a voluntary agreement is signed was 7-3.)
However, because the deadline for protesting the license application before ABRA is Monday (Dec. 20), and because the full ANC would need to approve any voluntary agreement by vote at a business meeting, the ANC is going officially be "in protest" with ABRA on the license until the agreements are worked out. (You can read the ABRA Protest Process FAQ for more details, including about how the parties would then be scheduled for a "settlement conference" with an ABRA mediator.)
The hearing date is January 3.
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, square 906

8th Street Beer Garden at 6B's ABC Committee
Dec 9, 2010 9:55 PM
Despite having arrived fashionably late to tonight's ANC 6B ABC committee meeting, I still managed to get there in time to hear the initial presentation by Mark Brody on his plans for the "Bavarian Beer Garden" that he is looking to bring to the currently vacant northwest corner of 8th and L, SE. (This is the "Saints and Sinners" block, which is also going to have the National Community Church's new operations on the Miles Glass site on the north end of the block.)
As I've written previously, he and his business partner (who has owned the property for more than 20 years--Brody appears to have bought a half-interest in the lots earlier this year for $600,000, according to property records) are applying for a liquor license for a tavern/beer garden that would seat 99 customers inside, with space for another 200 outside in the summer garden. They're looking to be open from 11 am to 2 am Sunday through Thursday, and until 3 am on Friday and Saturday, with the hours of alcohol sales matching those "open" hours. They also want to have live entertainment (oompah! oompah!) from noon to midnight on Sunday, 6 pm to midnight Monday through Friday, and noon to 2 am on Saturday. Brody said it would be "upscale," with beer running around $7, and there would be food, though no menu has been determined yet.
Brody brought no drawings or designs, but said they would put a newly constructed building along 8th Street, with the entrance on the corner, and the beer garden would be behind it, butting up against the driveway from Miles Glass that punches through to L Street. (Brody and his partner own the two small buildings on the west side of the driveway.) Brody suggested that having a large nightlife offering south of the freeway would help pull people south on 8th, and make them less reticent to use the parking lot beneath the freeway (which tied into the discussion around the previous agenda item, another restaurant in the 500 block of 8th). He also mentioned the large surface parking lots that exist nearby that would have more than enough capacity to hold the large number of patrons his plans are for, though certain bloggers in the audience mentioned that the big one at 7th and L is probably going to see construction start on its north portion before too much longer.
There was considerable skepticism from the commissioners (especially chair David Garrison) when Brody said that he hopes to be up and running "by spring," especially since the lot is in the historic district and he would still need all of his designs approved by the Capitol Hill Historic Society and the city's Historic Preservation Review Board, as well as go through the not-always-smooth building permitting process.
He and his partner (who is in construction) are looking at building a smaller "temporary" building now, with a more permanent three- or four-story structure to come later. But when the commissioners expressed their concern about having very little to go on in terms of design and concept before they make a decision as to whether to support the liquor license application, Brody said that he and his partner won't be building anything without getting the license first.
Commissioners also mentioned "Heart and Soul" a few times, which Hill veterans will remember as the venture at 8th and Pennsylvania that got its approvals as a restaurant with some live entertainment and turned into a nightclub that became a nightmare for residents. "What you're giving me screams 'nightclub,' " said 6B05 rep Ken Jarboe.
Neil Glick of 6B08 talked about the size of the plans, that this would be the largest space on the Hill except for maybe Remington's, and that "we can't just give away" support without much to go on, especially since Brody has not had any dealings with 6B before.
Kirsten Oldenberg, in whose single-member district (6B04) this site is located, listed similar concerns, as well as the fact that, if the temporary building is a success, why would the owners ever then tear it down to build something better? She also mentioned the Lower 8th Vision draft plan that has just been submitted to the Office of Planning, wondering if this project fits in to that vision.
6B07 commissioner Carol Green separated herself a bit from her brethren by saying that she feels the area south of the freeway needs something now.
Jarboe then mentioned the possibility of writing into the voluntary agreement that the liquor license be temporary (three or four years) so that the project can get started soon, but "to give [the license] to you forever and ever opens us up for mischief later on."
The license is on the agenda for the full ANC 6B commission meeting on Tuesday (Dec. 14), at 7 pm at the People's Church at 535 8th St., SE, but with things like a voluntary agreement still needing to be written, along with probably some strong feelings about wanting more information, I'm not sure how the timeline is going to work out, with the liquor license hearing date set for January 3.
UPDATE: After deliberations (which were public but I mistakenly didn't stick around for), the ABC Committee has decided to support the liquor license application contingent on the applicant and the city's ABC Board agreeing to a Voluntary Agreement that limits hours and occupancy (terms to come). 6B is also going to argue for a temporary license (as I described above), but it's not clear that the ABC Board would go along with that. There will be more discussion of this at Tuesday's full ANC meeting.
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, square 906

Beer Garden Coming to 8th and L?
Nov 8, 2010 5:23 PM
An Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Notice of Public Hearing appeared in last Friday's DC Register for an outfit called "Bavarian Beer Garden" seeking a Retail Class "C" Tavern license to open a "new tavern, beer garden with European/American food" on the northwest corner of 8th and L, SE. This corner is currently an empty lot (sorry for the old photo), and is next to some of the land that the National Community Church just bought as part of its purchase of the Miles Glass site (a small amount of the Miles Glass property runs all the way through to L Street).
The hearing notice says that the tavern/beer garden would seat 99 customers inside, with space for another 200 outside in the summer garden. They're looking to be open from 11 am to 2 am Sunday through Thursday, and until 3 am on Friday and Saturday, with the hours of alcohol sales matching those "open" hours.
This is part of the "Lower 8th Street" area that the Barracks Row folks are trying to revive; but I'll also note that it's in the block directly north of the Blue Castle, which I believe still has charter schools operating inside, so I wonder if there's going to be an issue there.
The lot resides in ANC 6B, and I don't believe anything has come before its ABC subcommittee yet.
The ABRA hearing date is set for Jan. 3, 2011, with petitions to appear before the board about this application needing to be submitted by Dec. 20.
(h/t Prince of Petworth, who has photos of the site taken today)
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More posts: The Brig Beer Garden, 8th Street, Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, square 906

Agenda for June 14 ANC 6D Meeting
Jun 11, 2010 3:21 PM
The agenda is now posted for Monday's ANC 6D meeting, and it does have a few Near Southeast-related items on it. So it follows logically that I'm not going to be able to be there.
Items include: A report from the housing authority on a request for a zoning time extension for the planned (and long-delayed) community center at Fifth and K streets, SE; an update on the upcoming second phase of Capitol Quarter (which EYA tells me resulted in 11 reservations in the first 15 days); an update on the stadium Traffic Operations and Parking Plan, presumably coming out of the two recent public meetings; and reports/possible votes on Justin's Cafe's proposed sidewalk cafe and the proposed "Harry's" liquor store at New Jersey and I, both of which you can get more detail on from my report on last week's ABC subcommittee meeting.
The meeting is at 7 pm at St. Augustine's church at Sixth and M streets, SW--they're trying to get moved to their space in the new Waterfront buildings, but it still hasn't happened.
I'm going to try to find out more about the community center request, though I imagine there isn't much more to it other than DCHA says it doesn't still have the money to build it yet and so can't meet the deadline that was set in the zoning PUD (planned unit development) for Capper. The time frame for the community center has already been extended once, and in fact DCHA told the Zoning Commission last year that they fully expected that new deadline of filing building permits by Jan. 1, 2011, would be too short and that they'd be back to request another extension. Which appears to be what's transpiring.

Tidbits: Five Guys; Gump; 295 Lane Closures; SoS
Jun 10, 2010 1:12 PM
* There's been discussion on Twitter about this, but I guess it needs to be elevated to the blog--last week a sign went up at Five Guys on Second Street saying that it would be closed for maintenance from June 4 - 14. It certainly looks like they're doing work in there, and I doubt that if it were closing for good they would have given a timeframe, but I know people are nervous, given the dearth of other choices. I don't know any additional details, so feel free to post in the comments if you have any scuttlebutt to add.
* The BID's summer outdoor movie season continues tonight (Thursday) with Forrest Gump. Festivities start at Second and M streets, SE, at 7:30 pm, though the movie itself doesn't begin until after sundown. (I'm already making plans for the July 8 showing of Star Wars--if anyone wants to hang out with me, I can regale you young whippersnappers with tales of seeing it at the Uptown in the summer of 1977, and how my mother almost made us leave because she couldn't quite get hip to robots walking around in sand dunes.) Aak! They've taken it off the list, and replaced it with Legally Blonde! Waah!
* From DDOT, a notice about some lane closures this weekend on DC-295, which are technically outside my iron-clad boundaries but which do have to do with the 11th Street Bridges project: "From 9 pm on Friday, June 11 into the evening of Sunday, June 13, DDOT contractors will close one travel lane in each direction of DC 295 between the 11th Street Bridge and Pennsylvania Avenue. The work is part of the 11th Street Bridge Project. In addition, there will be single lane closures Saturday on both the northbound and southbound sides of Kenilworth Avenue (DC 295) at Eastern Avenue. This work if related to the replacement of the Eastern Avenue Bridge." They warn that there could be backups of two miles or more.
* I didn't really blog about Wednesday's phenomenal debut of Stephen Strasburg (though I was at the game and Tweeted here and there) because I figured that there might be one or two other outlets where you could get the latest. But it will be interesting to watch the impact on the neighborhood if he continues to pitch like an alien being--will all of his games bring huge crowds? Will attendance start to lift at games when he isn't playing? Will game-day traffic and transit issues that haven't really been at the forefront become a sore point if more people come to games more often? And will restaurants and bars (and retailers and office tenants and residents) start thinking a little more about being near the ballpark? The Summer of Strasburg (SoS) could get quite interesting....
QUICK ADD: From the Nats: "The Washington Nationals will host their annual blood drive, in partnership with Inova Blood Donor Services, this Saturday, June 12 in the Nationals Park Conference Center from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition to helping save a life, blood donors will receive two tickets to a future Nationals game, a limited edition Build-A-Bear Workshop bloodhound and the opportunity to take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Nationals Park." There will be a second drive on Aug. 28, from 8 am to 2 pm.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Capitol Riverfront BID, Restaurants/Nightlife

Sunday Rearview Mirror: The 1977 Cinema Follies Fire
Jun 6, 2010 2:47 PM
(For someone who graduated from college with a degree in history, I have done a lousy job over the years of documenting the history of Near Southeast with anything approaching the zeal of my coverage of its present and future. I can offer no good excuses, but I'm going to begin to rectify this with a new series, "Sunday Rearview Mirror." I don't pretend to have the level of knowledge or experience of the pre-ballpark era as those who passed through Near Southeast during those years, but hopefully by taking the time every so often to highlight and describe events from the past I can help make sure that the new residents and workers who only recently heard of Near Southeast have some awareness of the people and events that came before them.)
It was in the 1970s that the western edge of Near Southeast became home to a new entertainment district for the city's gay residents, with its remoteness and lack of nearby residences allowing some measure of freedom for a culture that was only just beginning to step out of the closet. The area between South Capitol and First streets--with clubs like the Lost and Found, Club Baths II, Grand Central, Waaay off Broadway and Washington Square--became home not only to nightclubs with dancing and music but also but bathhouses, x-rated movie cinemas, and strip clubs. One of the new clubs was the Cinema Follies, which opened in 1975 at 37 L St., SE, showing x-rated gay films.
On Oct. 24, 1977, an explosion on the ground floor triggered by cleaning chemicals started a fire, with flames quickly consuming carpeting and wall hangings, blocking the exit for the patrons who had been in the 50-seat second floor theater. The fire never reached the second floor, but the smoke quickly became overpowering. However, a door that led to the roof was padlocked, and the windows had been replaced with cinderblocks. According to the Washington Post's account, "most of the victims were found in the orange-and-black theater seats [...] and may have been overcome by the smoke before they realized what was happening."
Nine people died as a result of the fire, making it the deadliest fire in Washington DC up to that time, a mark that stood until a fire at an unlicensed group home on Lamont Street, NW, killed 10 in April 1979. Identification of those who died at the Follies was hampered by the fact that, as the Post reported, "Many homosexuals do not carry identification when they visit homosexual gathering places," being "wary about the possibility of jeopardizing jobs or social position by having nonhomosexuals learn of their sexual orientation" in case their presence at club might be made public "through a police raid or other event."
(An interesting sidelight to the issue of identification was a column by Post ombudsman Charles Seib soon after the fire, questioning the Post's decision to not use the full names of some of those who died and no names at all of the injured. The column quoted then-Managing Editor Howard Simon as saying that the paper's main motivation was "compassion for the wives and children" [since some of the victims were married] but Seib went on to ask whether this approach had the effect of "underscoring the stigma of homosexuality, of shoving it back in the closet at a time when efforts are being made to bring it out and address it as a social fact?" This is an issue that papers still clearly struggle with, even today.)
William Oates, the manager of the club, was eventually fined $650 in 1979 for violating four building codes, though city officials stated that Oates "did everything possible" to try to comply with the laws, but poor city record keeping and poorly written codes made it difficult. (The city did work to strengthen its codes in the wake of the fire.) However, nearly eight years after the fire, in September of 1985, families of four of the victims were awarded more than $1.5 million in a civil suit against the club's owners.
Within a year or the fire, Oates opened "The Follies" at its new location at 24 O St., SE, where it operated until it was demolished with many other gay nightclubs in May 2006 to make way for Nationals Park. Somewhat amazingly, the building where the Cinema Follies fire took place, which was not all that heavily damaged, still stands today, on L Street directly across from the under-construction 1015 Half office building. It's currently home to a cab company.
I plan to write more Rear-View Mirror entries in the future about the neighborhood's past as a nightclub district, but until then, this 2003 pamphlet by the Rainbow History Project gives a great overview of the clubs that used to be such an integral part of Washington's gay culture. Hard to believe that, when the pamphlet was written, the authors had no idea how little time the existing clubs had left.
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More posts: 37l, Restaurants/Nightlife, Rearview Mirror, square 698

Justin's Applying for Sidewalk Tables; Additional Info on the New Liquor Store (and the Little Red Building)
Jun 3, 2010 10:49 AM
The report from Wednesday night's ANC6D ABC Committee meeting:
* Justin's Cafe is seeking to add four tables, with umbrellas and four chairs each, on the sidewalk directly in front of the restaurant. They would be available the same hours as the restaurant itself, until 1 am Monday through Thursday, 2 am Friday and Saturday, and 10 pm Sunday. There were concerns from a commissioner or two about whether people might walk away from the outdoor seating area with alcoholic drinks, about the additional noise brought by 16 or so people outside, and about whether cigarette smoke from the tables would waft up and bother the Velocity units directly above. Justin Ross replied that a sign would be posted about alcohol only being consumed on the premises, and that smokeless ashtrays would be available for the tables (and that since people can't smoke inside the restaurant, there's already a lot of smoking going on outside on the sidewalk). Velocity's management had sent along a letter in full support of the plan.
The committee voted 4-0 in favor of recommending that the ANC support the application, and that vote should come at the ANC's June 14 meeting, if Justin's voluntary and community cooperation agreements are revised in time.
* The owners of Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits on Pennsylvania Avenue SE came to talk with the committee about their plans for a new "upscale" liquor store at 909 New Jersey Ave., SE, which they will be calling Harry's SE & SW. (For about nine years they ran the Harry's liquor store at Waterside Mall in SW, which closed about five years ago.)
They have signed a lease agreement to take the two retail spaces on the north side of the building, at the corner of New Jersey and I, and they will be knocking down the wall between them in order to end up with about 2,200 square feet of space. The hours would be 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday (or possibly 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays), and closed on Sunday. They would sell beer, wine, and liquor, as well as milk, sodas, juice, cheese, and other "quick stop" items, but would not sell sandwiches as had been mentioned on the meeting agenda. They hope to open in September or October.
Much of the discussion centered around whether they will try to get an exemption in order to allow sales of "singles," which is a very hot-button issue. The owners said that they want the exception so that they can sell "high end" Belgian beers, which come in single bottles, and have no intent to sell the cheaper singles that can attract a somewhat less desirable element. However, ANC 6D chairman Ron McBee said that he imagines it would be very difficult to get support from the full ANC for the exception, and that there would also be concerns about any attempts to amend the singles law that might make it look like the law was targeted toward one socioeconomic class and not another.
Also discussed was the possible impact of this new store on the long-held plans for a similar high-end liquor store at Second and L SE on the site of the "Little Red Building." The ABRA rules state that liquor stores can't open within 400 feet of each other, and these two would be more than 500 feet apart as the crow flies. But Mr. Park, the owner of the LRB, is clearly concerned about whether the neighborhood can support two very similar operations. He is moving forward with plans to demolish the LRB and put up a new structure, and is also looking at an October-ish opening date. (He said he'd send me the building plans soon.)
In the end, the committee voted 4-0 in favor of recommending that the ANC support Harry's license application. A voluntary agreement and a community cooperation agreement will now need to be hammered out, and those involved weren't sure if one could be ready by the June 14 ANC meeting, in which case it would probably come up at the July 12 one.