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I've just received an e-mail from Yung Park, the owner of the no-longer-Little-Red-Building site at Second and L, where the plans have been for years to reopen a liquor store known as "Parkway Wine and Spirits" once the new building is constructed (the old LRB for a long time housed the Star Market). However, apparently that's all now changing.
According to this e-mail, the site is now going to be a cafe, to be called the Aroma Espresso Bar, and it will feature an Illy coffee bar, plus "gourmet sandwiches and gourmet pastries." He says that the new building's exterior design will be the same, with the interior having modern finishes. The first floor will be the kitchen and coffee bar, and the second floor will be the seating area. (They're also hoping for sidewalk tables, though that will have to go through the city's Public Space permitting process.)
"If we have decent weather," Mr. Park expects the building and store to be ready by February.
With Harry's Wine and Spirits (which I think is now being called Harry's Reserve) opening at 909 New Jersey within a few months, the notion of two "gourmet" wine and liquor stores so close to each other must not have looked quite so appealing. And, with Parkway/Aroma's location next to Canal Park, switching to a more all-ages business plan is probably a wise move. Will post additional information as I get it.
Comments (20)
   
 
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Adam says: (11/2/10 1:51 PM)
This is great news for the neighborhood, thanks!


F says: (11/2/10 2:57 PM)
Three cheers for Mr. Parks!!! I greatly appreciate his decision to change venues and hopefully cater to a broader section of our growing neighborhood.

He can count on me to be a loyal customer at Aroma Espresso Bar...especially since I'm a coffee addict.


khan says: (11/2/10 3:12 PM)
Nice...
The idea of having two liquor store in the neighborhood was a complete disaster. Coffee place on the other hand is a great idea. The next step should be a martini bar or underground music place.


khan says: (11/2/10 3:52 PM)
Is that same as link store or just a different store with the same name of the chain coffee store?


JD says: (11/2/10 3:58 PM)
@khan, he said it's not a chain store. (so I wonder if the name is going to be problematic)


Glenn says: (11/2/10 4:15 PM)
Illy is a wonderful Italian coffee.

So, Mr. Park, if you want tables on the sidewalk, get your checkbook ready for an ANC6D extortion. That's the way they have operated in the past.


c says: (11/2/10 4:43 PM)
best news ever, this is a perfect use for the building next to the nicest (or at least second nicest) park in our hood - we will definitely frequent this business, thanks!


MJM says: (11/2/10 4:49 PM)
Excellent news - wise choice! Maybe if there is change within 6D Mr. Park won't be extorted!! :)


m says: (11/2/10 4:55 PM)
Yay! Just this morning, as I was finishing a run, a caffeine craving kicked in around NJ and K and I thought to myself "wouldn't it be great if we had a non-Starbucks option around here?". Thanks, Mr. Park, for making my dreams come true!


Amy says: (11/2/10 5:46 PM)
Happy about this news! Can't wait for the park to be finished. I'm sure he'll have great business as people will likely stop by for coffee etc to drink while at the park. (at least I will)


tall-boy says: (11/2/10 6:50 PM)
Isn't the park going to have its own cafe though?


JD says: (11/2/10 6:58 PM)
Yes, Canal Park is slated to have its own cafe. But I imagine it may not operate the same hours as Mr. Park's. And probably will be at least a year in coming. (they've said construction will take 12-14 months, so unless they get started on major construction real soon, it's looking like 2012 for the park's opening)


John says: (11/2/10 7:34 PM)
About construction starting at canal park any news as to when it will start? was all the infrastrucure going on on 2nd st/2nd pl. work work for the park or for CQ? Thanks JD


JD says: (11/2/10 8:04 PM)
No news on when construction is going to start. I think the work people were seeing in the streets was just some Pepco stuff--I don't think the financing has been completely straightened out yet between DCHA (who got the money for the Canal Park infrastructure upgrades) and the Park's Development Association.


Bruce says: (11/3/10 8:24 AM)
Wonderful news and a better use of the space.
Bruce


C says: (11/3/10 8:49 AM)
Let's not get all cynical and say that yards park opening and canal park ground breaking occurred just before the DC mayoral primary...though there may have been some strategery to give the perception of more progress than there was. Nonetheless, I'm thrilled yards park was opened before completed because much of it is useable. That they put shovels in ground at canal is terrific too, at least we know it will start relatively soon. Some initial infrastructure work concluded about two weeks ago. I'm told permitting is still ongoing for some of the retention tanks to hold storm water runoff because this truly is a first of its kind park for DC and much of the east coast.


Glenn says: (11/3/10 9:04 AM)
"No news on when construction is going to start. I think the work people were seeing in the streets was just some Pepco stuff--I don't think the financing has been completely straightened out yet between DCHA (who got the money for the Canal Park infrastructure upgrades) and the Park's Development Association."

Didn't I recently have a discussion here with someone who insisted that construction had started on the park and even challenged my definition of construction???

Don't go buying new shoes for park strolling just yet. They may very well go out of style before you use them


JT says: (11/3/10 10:31 AM)
So two fancy liquor stores nearby is too much but a coffee shop a block from a Starbucks is good news?

Hopefully they have some good food options other than just sandwiches and pastries.


Mark says: (11/4/10 11:49 AM)
This is FANTASTIC NEWS - we could not be happier about the owner's decision to go this route. We will definitely frequent and support this new coffee/ sandwich shop in the hood!


MJM says: (11/4/10 1:09 PM)
Glenn - that would have been me. Actually I meet with someone from the Canal Park project a few weeks ago - there are 'issues' but still on track for late 2011 end date.

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