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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.
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!
Vats, Nats, Glass, Concrete, and Rebar
Mar 14, 2013 8:16 PM
I wandered around on Thursday, it was sunny, I had my camera in hand, etc., etc., yadda yadda yadda.
Some items of note (click photos to embiggen):
On your left, hard-to-get evidence of the ongoing work at Bluejacket at the Boilermaker Shops
. They've covered up all the eye-level windows, but peeking through the (dirty!) glass above the large door on 4th shows the fermenters now installed on the mezzanine level.
At right, my first viewing of the renovated Team Store at Nationals Park
's Center Field Gate.
Below, the Lumber Shed
in the sun.
's space is to the left, and Osteria Morini
's is to the right. (On the ground floor.)
And, everyone's dream come true, a parking garage being born:
Of course, it's actually the parking garage that will be underneath the Harris Teeter
in the Twelve12 apartment building at 4th and M, so it's probably allowed. If you want even more photos of rebar and concrete, my Twelve12 page
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
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.
, Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Canal Park
, Capitol Hill Tower
, The Yards
Wells Cleaners Now Open in the Boilermaker Shops
Jan 29, 2013 11:16 AM
The Boilermaker Shops
at the Yards
now has its first operating retail tenant, with Wells Dry Cleaners
having at last opened its doors to the public. (Note that I avoided any "it's about to open" posts, having learned my lesson the hard way too many times in the past!)
It's open from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am to 6 pm on Saturdays, and is closed on Sundays. It's right next door to the Willie's Brew and 'Que space, much closer to 3rd Street than to 4th.
(Fun signage, too! Check out another view of it from the side
, to see the smaller sign sticking out for easy reading when walking the long length of the building.)
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.)
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
This Esquire interview
with Bluejacket bigshot Greg Engert says that the bar will open "in May."
Updated Photos From Under-Construction Projects, Finally
Sep 12, 2012 9:28 AM
Isn't it great that the icky humid cloudy weather of the past few weeks finally broke? Aren't the skies glorious and blue? Does that mean I finally got to get out to take some photos? Why, yes!
First up are new photos from ground level at Canal Park
, including the new L Street streetscape and the sculptures:
If you're big on Canal Park, you may also be interested in the many before-and-afters in the Canal Park Expanded Photo Archive
, which leads off with the first decent bunch of photos from 2nd Place and L Street
since construction started on the park many moons ago and then takes you on a before-and-after walk around the park's perimeter.
I also added a few sunny-day Boilermaker Shop exterior photos
and a shot of the hole in the ground at the Twelve12
apartment/Teeter project, because the ones I took on back Gloomy Thursday, when I got to go inside the Boilermaker building,
drove me nuts:
External construction has pretty much wrapped up at 200 I/225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/Old Star Plant
, especially on the south side of the building, facing Canal Park. There was a ribbon-cutting on Friday for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
gallery in the building's new lobby on I Street, but unfortunately I wasn't able to make the event. Hope to get photos inside before too long. In the meantime, you'll just have to look at the outside, and compare it to the White Monolith that it used to be:
If these all aren't enough for you, you can spend some time in the Photo Archive
, where you pick the intersection you want to see and then you can see the entire range of photos I've taken for all angles or just the ones of your choice. You may even end up in the Photo Archive without realizing it, if you click on the
icon on any of the pages above, which also will give you the full range of photos for that angle. It's pretty much the Near Southeast equivalent of heading down the rabbit hole.
Inside the Boilermaker Shops, Under Construction
Sep 6, 2012 12:52 PM
at the Boilermaker Shops, the World War I industrial building at the Yards
that Forest City is adapting into a retail and office space. And today I was able to see the interior
for the first time since 2007, with camera in hand, of course.
None of the tenant spaces are looking like their final versions yet, but it's still cool to check out the bones before the spaces really get going with their installations. Though I sure wish it hadn't been pouring rain, to get a better sense of how much more natural light will come into these spaces when the sun is out. Next time....
The photo gallery
shows the spaces where Bluejacket Brewery (above), Buzz Bakery, Willie's Brew and Que (below left), Huey's 24-7 Diner, and Wells Dry Cleaners will be, along with the office space being built out on a new second floor that runs along much of the interior of the building (below right) and some of the as-yet unleased sections.
The photos you see here are just a smattering, so be sure to check out the whole gallery
It's too bad that the mondo-cool Shaw 15 Ton Crane
left from the building's original incarnation
is up in the office space, rather than somewhere in the public areas, but hopefully the office workers will take good care of it.
There are no official opening dates for any of the tenants, though it sounds like the dry cleaners will be the first to open (yay...?). Bluejacket has previously announced they are shooting for an early 2013 opening.
For additional information, including lots of (not especially new) photos of the exterior from when the sun is actually out, see my Boilermaker Shops project page
I also tossed in a photo of the hole in the ground
where Twelve12 4th
will be sprouting, to be home to apartments and Harris Teeter. I was told that they've dug as deep as they're going to go, and pile work is next on the agenda.
Also, I was going to grouse about why I don't take photos when the weather is bad by pointing to this batch I shot along L Street
catching the homestretch progress at Capitol Quarter
, but strangely enough most of the "before" shots aren't exactly under bright blue skies. Juggling a camera and an umbrella is not my cup of tea, though.
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.
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.
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.)
Updated Photos from the Usual Spots (Holiday Edition)
Apr 8, 2012 6:35 PM
Because of a need to burn off some calories before digging into my "Reeseter's Bunny" (milk chocolate-coated peanut butter bunny, which the label says is four servings [ha!] at 180 calories per), I did my usual wanderings this morning to grab updated photos around, Capper
, 200 I
, Canal Park
, and the Boilermaker Shops
. Alas, I did not hide any Easter eggs in any of these shots, nor did I find any.
The framing and Tyvek-ing is underway on 3rd Street south of L, in the shadow of the 300 M Street office building, as Capitol Quarter
continues its march toward completion. I also took a lot of photos of other CQ Phase II blocks, so spend some time in the Capitol Quarter Phase 2 Expanded Photo Archive
(and scroll down a bit) to hop through the many (many!) before-and-afters.
Then there's the Boilermaker Shops
at the Yards
, where some work was being done even on Easter Sunday. The walling off the interior space for the different tenants has begun, with the studs visible--and some drywall has even gone in on the mezzanine level, as seen at right, in a view from 4th Street, through what will be the Bluejacket space.
The work is on-going at Canal Park
, but continues to not be terribly exciting from a photographic standpoint, unless you're wowed by images of new curbs. But the Canal Park Expanded Photo Archive
can take you for a walk around the park's perimeter to see the current views, if you don't see it every day. (I also like my barbed wire shot [above right], the result of desperation after being without photos from the east side of 2nd and L for a very long time now. But, no, I didn't jump the fence.)
I also enjoyed being watched very closely by a USDOT security guard with a clipboard as I took photos of the park's progress from the south side of M Street. "What are you taking photos of?" she finally asked, trying to sound stern. "Stuff," I replied, as I smiled and kept walking.
There's also updated shots from 225 Virginia/200 I
(seen at right), with the landscaping now starting to go in.
If you want to see today's entire batch (213 of 'em), here they are
, remembering to click the fun little
icon if you want to see the entire range of photos for a certain location. If you want even more new-ish pictures, here's photos I took around 1st and Half Streets on Tuesday
, to get the Fairgrounds
exterior into the official archive
Now I need to go find that peanut butter bunny. I think I earned it.
Thursday Tidbits: Roundup of Pre-Opening Day Roundups
Apr 5, 2012 11:18 AM
Before everyone disappears down the Nats Opening Day/Masters/Caps rabbit holes (myself included!), here's some links to items that might be of interest.
First, a few new entries in the What's New Around the Ballpark?
* On Tap Magazine surveys the neighborhood with "The Hidden Gem That is the Capitol Riverfront
." (Another jewelry metaphor to go with the Post's "Diamond in the Rough
" piece from Sunday.)
* WJLA wandered around
looking at the ballpark environs.
* The Post's Going Out Gurus blog
checked out the Fairgrounds
' sneak peek on Tuesday. (Though what's the deal with the photos that look like they were taken through a veil? Will this Instagram obsession never ebb?)
* WTOP runs down the options
for arriving at the ballpark by water taxi. (American River Taxi, by the way, says that they are almost sold out
for the April 12 home opener.)
Some other items:
* Two reports
from MLB.com on the Wounded Warrior Amputee charity softball classic, played Tuesday after the Nats-Red Sox exhibition. The Warriors pounded their celebrity challengers 17-4.
* "DC Modern Luxury" magazine's Men's issue picks the Foundry Lofts
as one of the city's "Best Bachelor Buildings." Go here
, then click on the Best Bachelor Buildings subhed to get to page 62, then look at the bottom of the page. (As an aside, the write-up sounds even better if you imagine it being spoken by Stefon
* Or, if you like your tidbits a bit less glossy, Multihousing News has "Foundry Lofts Blazes Trail on DC Riverfront
gets a big write-up and cover photo in Beer Advocate magazine
, though we don't get to read it online. You'll just have to make do with the Sept. 2011 batch of photos from inside the Boilermaker Shops
the brewery has put up on their Facebook page
* Nineteen "experts" have picked the Nationals to make the playoffs
this year. No pressure!
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.
Photos from All Over, Feb. 2012 Edition
Feb 27, 2012 11:34 AM
Take a gorgeous Sunday, add an obsessive-compulsive need to document all the change underway, and what do you get? Nearly eight miles of walking and a shameful number of new photos.
The Foundry Lofts
building is all but done, with only the retail spaces left to be built out, so I took a bunch of "after" photos that will probably last for a while. But that new Potbelly sign sure stands out! I also pressed my nose against the glass to peek inside the sandwich shop's space--it sure doesn't look far from opening.
Embarrassingly, I haven't had a camera in hand on the Navy Yard's portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk since 2004. (I'm always worried they're going to toss me in the brig as a security threat, especially after a run-in a few years back where I was chased down by both a gate sentry and the DC police after taking photos of the Hull Street gate from across M Street.) But I pushed forward yesterday and got a bunch of new shots that I've added to my Navy Yard page
, taking care to demonstrate to the many security cameras that I was photographing the river and not the installation. (Don't miss the especially cool before-and-after of the gate to the Yards Park.)
I will probably be creating a separate Riverwalk page before too long, but not today.
Along 11th Street at N
, photos are more notable for what's not there anymore, as the demolition of the embankment for the old outbound RFK ramp is done, and the path of the new ramp from M Street for traffic headed to the outbound 11th Street Bridges
freeway traffic becomes more obvious. Also see this picture of the work on the 11th Street Local bridge
, showing the demolition of part of the old outbound bridge approach, which has to be done before the new local bridge can hook up with 11th Street. (You can see it as well in my O Street before-and-afters
, if you figure out what to look for.) Check my 11th Street Bridges photo page
for more images.
Then there's Canal Park
, where I mainly took some new photos of the pavilion under construction near M Street, since photos of digging and ground work don't quite rise to the level of "interesting." I also hit most of the angles for the Boilermaker Shops
, as well as for Capitol Quarter Phase II
, where the security guard expressed concern about my actions (I need a laminated Photography Approved card or something). And I wandered the 225 Virginia/200 I
11th Street Bridges
, 225 Virginia/Old Post Plant/200 I
, Boilermaker Shops/Yards, Canal Park
, Capitol Quarter
, Foundry Lofts/Yards
, Navy Yard
, 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.)
Late Tuesday Tidbits: Tweets Possibly Lost in the Deluge
Feb 14, 2012 9:02 PM
It's starting to feel a lot like 2007 around these parts, with all the big news flying. (In fact, today's posts brought JDLand its highest traffic since all the ballpark opening falderal in early April 2008.) But I wouldn't want people to miss a couple little items tweeted
over the past few days:
* New Dry Cleaners -
Buried in the press release
on Osteria Morini
is the news that a dry cleaners is now the first non-food retailer signed as a tenant at the Boilermaker Shops
. According to Forest City, Wells Cleaners will be taking 800 square feet of space.
* A Theater? Or Even A Theatre?
- The Examiner reports
that indy-friendly Landmark Theatres
is wanting to open a second location in the District to go along with its E Street Cinema
. While the article emphasizes that city officials are very much hoping that Landmark will consider an East of the River location, the director of the city's Office of Motion Picture and TV Development says that Landmark "is also looking at the Yards neighborhood[.]" Whether this truly means in the Yards itself
or somewhere in the general Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards area, this news is certainly the sort of tidbit that gets residents veeeery excited
. (Full disclosure: I see a lot of movies at E Street.)
* Concerts and Pups:
The Nats released their 2012 promotional schedule
, which includes three post-game concerts, fireworks after the July 3 game, and four Pups in the Park dates. My cat
is currently contacting attorneys. Also, single-game tickets go on sale
March 8 at 10 am.
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.
Another Look Inside the Foundry Lofts, Nearing Completion
Jan 26, 2012 11:15 AM
When last I visited the Foundry Lofts
, it was about a month before the first residents moved in. I took a pile of photos, but while model units were furnished, a lot of the shared spaces were still being worked on. So I finally made a return visit this week to see all the finishing touches on the interior courtyard, lobby, community room, etc. And I took one or two photographs
, of course.
The leasing office tells me that the 170-unit building is now about 65 percent leased and 40 percent occupied, and construction on the non-retail spaces is not far from 100 percent completion. The four priciest units--the corner penthouses, which were announced with rents in the $4,500 range--are all taken. And the two eateries in the ground floor--Potbelly and Kruba Thai and Sushi--have their building permits and are working toward opening within 90 days.
Also, because I can't walk past the Boilermaker Shops
without taking pictures, I added a few new shots to that page, including the panorama at right that I got from one of the Foundry Loft patios.
As if this all isn't exciting enough, here's a first terribly not exciting photo of the excavation underway
at the 1212 4th/Teeter site
a block east of the Foundry Lofts and across the street from Boilermaker.
Plus, since I had to walk down 4th Street to get to all of this, I snapped some shots of the continuing Capitol Quarter
progress at K
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
* 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?
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
Tidbits: Catching Up After a Lazy Holiday Season
Jan 2, 2012 12:42 PM
Hope everyone has had a good holiday season, and made it into the New Year relatively unscathed. I took some blog vacation time myself, but while it's looked like pure slacking, I've actually been hard at work on my 2012 State of the Hood
roundup, which will be coming tomorrow.
Until then, here's a few very short tidbits to catch up on, some of which were already tweeted
(so blog-only folks might have missed them) and others of which were just little things that have piled up on my To-Do list.
* In the days before Christmas, the final demolitions were finished up at Florida Rock
, making the concrete tower #166 in my Demolished Buildings gallery
. I didn't get down there for mid-demo photos, but DCMud has a few stylized shots
* The Capitol Riverfront BID said last week on Facebook
that construction will begin in April on turning the Lumber Shed
at Yards Park into a combination retail pavilion and office space for developer Forest City
. No such announcement from Forest City yet, and no details on who any of the retail tenants may be.
* Suspect fleeing from police jumps the fence
into Nationals Park
on Dec. 28, finally found hiding in a public restroom.
* The Examiner surveys what's coming for DC's various waterfronts
* The Post's annual list
includes "Renting in Navy Yard" as one of the "In"s. (To which the smart-ass in me replies, "Oh, you mean actually in the Washington Navy Yard
, the Navy's oldest shore establishment, now 202 years old?")
A Slew of Shots Snapped on a Sunny Saturday Sojourn
Dec 4, 2011 5:24 PM
Yes, it's time for another batch of updated construction photos. This is a tough stretch of year to take these--the sun never gets very high in the sky, so anything facing due south is about impossible to get without glare. And, for places like Canal Park
, it's hard to even get some locations out of the shadows long enough to get a photo that you can decipher. But you can see (below left, and on the project page) a couple of shots of the progress on the park's pavilion where the Park Tavern restaurant
will be housed, along with plenty of shots vaguely showing the other ongoing ground-level work. Meanwhile, at Capitol Quarter
(below right), they continue to just zip right along, with framing now well underway on the north side of L and around up 4th, and prep work for foundations continuing in the project's final block, on the south side of L.
In the Renovation/Rehabilitation portion of the tour, we have a few updated images of the Boilermaker Shops
(above left), another building that's tough to shoot in winter, even more so when there's not much of it other than steel beams at the moment (though they have recently been painted white). Meanwhile, 225 Virginia/200 I
is coming pretty close to the end of its exterior renovations, though work inside will continue in preparation for the arrival of three DC agencies later this year.
There isn't much new to see of Lot 38 Espresso
(aka the Little Red Building 2.0, above left), which the grapevine says is now shooting for a mid-December opening. (But, really, at this point, it opens when it opens--the last batch of permits and approvals is always slow going, and I bet the owner wants it open even more than you do.) I also took a bunch of shots of the former National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building
at 1st and M (above right), not because there's been any changes to it, but because I really enjoyed finally being able to aim a camera at it without having guards reaching for their guns. (Nyaah! Nyaah! Click! Click! Click!)
I came home with 438 new photos (yikes), and you can browse the 180-plus I decided to upload to the online archive here
. (Yes, it's true, you don't actually get to see every photo I've ever taken. Which is probably for the best.)
Remember to click the
icon to see the entire range of photos for any location, while the project pages linked to above are your best bet if you're looking for paired before-and-afters and/or narrated tours.
And, in case you didn't see my tweet
or my late-night update
, the residential/Teeter project at 4th and M
got all the dotted i's and crossed t's I mentioned in my initial post, and is officially now considered by Forest Ctiy as "commenced." (I just can't call it 1212 4th Street yet. Doesn't really make the location pop as well as "4th and M.")
First Look Inside the Foundry Lofts Building at the Yards
Nov 1, 2011 1:52 PM
The fine folks at the Foundry Lofts leasing office
were kind enough to give me a hard-hat tour of the still-under construction building today, and of course I went with camera in hand. It was hard to pare down my photos to a manageable amount, but I think this Foundry Lofts Construction Progress Gallery
does a good job of showing the general aura of the building's units and public spaces. (I even got to visit a few of the penthouse units, although there's still much work to be done on them.)
The 170-unit building is now about 43 percent leased, and the first residents are expected to move in at the end of this month. And within the next month or so, Potbelly Sandwich Works and Kruba Thai and Sushi will start work on their ground-floor spaces, with both looking to open during the first quarter of 2012.
One aspect of the building's design that many people may not be aware of--since it isn't visible from the outside--is the large interior open-air courtyard, which even includes a yoga platform complete with bamboo. (I did confirm, though, that attendance at the daily yoga sessions will not be mandatory for residents.)
And, because I can never resist, I also got a couple photos of the so-close-to-being-finished bridge between the Yards Park
and Diamond Teague Park
(which should be opening Any Minute Now), as well as the increasingly naked Boilermaker Shops
building. Those photos are at the bottom of the gallery
For more about the project, see my Foundry Lofts project page
, which includes many "before" photos that are worth looking at to be reminded at just what an amazing job has been done in transforming this 1918 building. And for much more detail about floor plans, available units, and other information, visit the official leasing office web site
. Rents, according to the web site, start at about $2,000 a month for the one-bedroom units, $2.900-ish for two-bedroom units, and $3,200 and up for the two-story penthouses. (The corner ones with the great views run at about $4,500 a month.)
New Photos: Catching Up on a Lot of Change in a Lot of Spots
Sep 12, 2011 2:32 AM
I took a lot of photos on Sunday, so many that I'm not going to waste time trying to come up with some pithy introduction. What you see below are just a taste of all the new images I posted, so be sure to follow the links for more.
At the Yards
, the Foundry Lofts
(left) are looking close to done, and it's striking to compare it to its Before
shots to see just how well the exterior of the building has been cleaned up. Meanwhile, the Boilermaker Shops
(right) is now defrocked, with work underway to transform it into the 46,000-square-foot retail space that will open about a year from now.
In the Yards Park
, work will start this fall to make the Lumber Shed
into another retail space, and earlier this summer test panels were hung
on one corner of the building (left) to show how currently bare structure will look when it is completely enclosed in glass. And, over on the western edge of the park, the new bridge
that will connect Yards Park to Diamond Teague Park
(and Nationals Park
) is coming along (right), with a number of the signature curved "fence posts" already installed. The bridge is scheduled to open in a few months.
I finally got some not-very-exciting shots of the under-construction pavilion on the south end of Canal Park
(left), along with updating what photos I could of the perimeter (the fencing around 2nd Place in particular puts a cramp in my methodology). This pavilion is where a restaurant is planned, which could be home to the latest Xavier Cervera offering if a deal is finally reached
. The park is expected to open next year. Plus, I captured the temporary home
of the Capitol Hill Day School (right), so that some day many years from now there will be a record of the modular classrooms that stood for nine months or so on the site of the eventual Capper Community Center
at 5th and K.
And change is happening at a ridiculously rapid pace at Capitol Quarter
, so much so that a trip through the Phase 2 Extended Photo Archive
is definitely recommended to see all of the new vistas in comparison to the old Capper
footprint. Less showy but still moving forward is the transformation of 225 Virginia/200 I
, including the beginnings of the work on the parking deck at 3rd and I.
Want to plow through all 213 new images? Have at it
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
, 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.)
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....
Zoning Commission Approves Office Space in Yards Lumber Shed
Jul 7, 2011 7:33 PM
In a wonderfully short hearing on Thursday night, the Zoning Commission voted 5-0 to approve Forest City Washington's request
for an amendment to the current Southeast Federal Center Zoning Overlay
to allow the company to temporarily move its offices to the second floor of the historic Lumber Shed building at the Yards Park
The company made the request because, while there has been "great interest" from potential retail tenants for the first floor of the building, the second floor has not as yet been as enticing, and filling the ground-floor spaces alone is not enough to get construction financing secured. Because Forest City is "anxious" to get the building started, their move to occupy the second floor can settle the financing issues and finalize deals with interested tenants, which means that construction on the 34,000-square-foot building could begin this year and be open by early 2013.
There had been some concerns at the setdown hearing back in April
about the "temporary" request being for a period of 20 years, but Forest City's representatives emphasized (as they also did to the ANC
in April) that their intent is to be in the Lumber Shed only until there is office space elsewhere in the Yards to which they can move. Alex Nyhan of Forest City explained that getting retail uses into the second floor is currently "challenging" because the building is "by itself" at the Yards (without much built out around it), which is exacerbated by the fact that it's a somewhat seasonal destination. But Forest City feels that once the other projects in the first phases of the Yards are built out, there will be a demand for the second floor, plus "the onus is on us" to make the Yards into a location where second-floor retail not only at the Lumber Shed but in other
Yards buildings is attractive to tenants.
The discussion seemed to satisfy the zoning commissioners, and with the Office of Planning in support
of the change and no voices in opposition, the unanimous vote came quickly.
Nyhan also gave the commission a quick update on the status of the other first-phase Yards projects, to help illustrate that "after many years of planning" things are starting to move:
* The Foundry Lofts
170-unit apartment building will begin pre-leasing in August
, and will open in October;
* The Boilermaker Shops
retail space has announced five restaurant tenants
, and will begin construction this month, opening in Fall 2012;
* And 401 M Street
, home to a planned Harris Teeter
and 200ish-unit apartment building, is expected to start construction this fall.
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."
("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
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