Thursday, May 26, 2016

Funny flowchart: "What should we do tonight in Petworth?"

The DC pop-culture site Brightest Young Things has been making funny flowcharts on what you can do in various neighborhoods: last year they did one on Columbia Heights (do you want to dance? Are there vegans? Do you want tequila?) and now they've done one on Petworth, which also includes places in Park View and Columbia Heights. Pretty fun.

Sadly it includes the now-closed Crane & Turtle and soon-to-close Domku, but otherwise is pretty neat. Click the image for a bigger version or visit their site.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Burger pop-up coming to Alfie's every Sunday starting the 29th

Alfie's, the Thai pop-up at the old Mothership space on Georgia, will start hosting its own pop-up this Sunday: Lucky Buns, a burger concept. It will run every Sunday from noon to 9pm, with Alfie's open the rest of the time.

It's kind of Pimp My Ride style: yo dawg, I heard you like pop-ups so I put a pop-up in your pop-up.

The concept comes after Alfie's chef and owner Alex McCoy tried out Thai brunch on Sundays. Instead, he's going to test out the burger concept for future brick-and-mortar establishments, according to the Washingtonian.

You order at the counter, then you can eat inside or take it away, and they'll have beer and yard games, which sounds intriguing. I feel like with the Midlands beer garden coming just down the street, plus the patios at Looking Glass and DC Reynolds, Georgia Ave is getting some good outdoor drinking options this summer. (Midlands is aiming to open sometime in the summer.)

The burgers themselves sound pretty epic: Burger Days has the rundown, including Alfie's Aussie burgers and som new ones:
• a twist on McCoy’s hit at Crisp, the Royale with cheese, featuring smoked cheddar (at Crisp, it’s gouda), yellow mustard, garlic mayo, house pickles, shaved red onion and iceberg,
• the Belly Bun with bacon XO sauce, smoked cheddar, charred red onion, nam jim mayo and arugula;
• a green chili cheeseburger (YES. YES. YES.) highlighted by charred green chili relish, mustard, garlic mayo and smoked cheddar;
• and a veggie burger with pickled daikon, cucumber, green onion, coriander and fresh herbs.
Sounds pretty tasty. Lucky Buns (and Alfie's) is at 3301 Georgia Ave NW.

Photo from Lucky Buns' site.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sad news: Dokmu closing on Upshur after massive rent hike

Sad news for Upshur Street: Domku, the ten-year old Scandinavian and Slavic restaurant at 821 Upshur Street NW, will be closing at the end of June. PoP posted a press release from the owner, blaming a 66% rent hike:
Domku Closing After Over A Decade
Rising Real Estate Prices are Pushing Petworth Pioneer Out

After nearly 12 years in business Slavic-Scandanavian inspired Domku, located in Petworth, will close their doors at the end of June. A dramatic rent increase is forcing owner, Kera Carpenter to leave the neighborhood she helped create. Carpenter’s hand was forced by a 66% rent increase on the new lease.

Carpenter opened Domku in January 2005 as an effort to bring vitality to the Petworth neighborhood where she had bought a home a few years before. “When deciding where I wanted to open a business, making a contribution to my own neighborhood was a big factor. I knew it would be more difficult than going to an already establish area. I don’t regret that decision, but now now there is only so much I can do.
I did some research, and thanks to the city's property registry site I found that the owner of the building is "Lucky Alley LLC," which according to is owned by a Lynn Yaudes.

A person with the same name owns an event-planning company, and companies with similar names are based at the same address as Lucky Alley, 1220 L Street NW, Suite 100-330: things like Unlucky Alley LLC and Know Thy Alley LLC, which seems to own 809 Upshur Street NW. OpenCorporates also mentions the event-planning company at the same place, so I assume it's all the same person. I can't find more info for Yaudes or her businesses aside from a dormant Twitter account.

I understand why Yaudes would try to make more money off of the booming Upshur strip, but 66% is a big increase, and it's a shame that it results in closing a long-time and beloved local restaurant. Seems like it's throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Domku was one of the first nice restaurants on Upshur to open in some time, predating the more recent developments like Petworth Citizen, Upshur Street Books, Twisted Horn and the like.

Domku will also have an indoor yard sale on June 26, and no plans to re-open elsewhere.

Bike to Work Day is today: there's an afternoon pit stop at the Civic Plaza

If you're participating in Bike to Work Day, or just a regular bike commuter, our area has a stop for you: the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza at 14th/Park/Kenyon is an afternoon pit stop, from 4-7pm, which will have refreshments, entertainment and giveaways.

You should make sure to register first, but registration is free.

Here's more info:
Bike to Work Day 2016
Free Annual Event Promotes Healthy, Clean, Low-Cost Alternative to Driving to Work

Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA)

Bike to Work Day 2016––Join more than 17,000 area commuters for a celebration of bicycling as a fun, healthy and environmentally-friendly way to get to work. A record-breaking number of cyclists are expected to participate again this year, so register now at

Friday, May 20, starting at various early-morning times depending on pit stop location.  Some locations are afternoon events.  Locate specific start/end times for all pit stops at

Register for free and visit one of 83 regional pit stops throughout Washington, D.C., and surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia; enjoy refreshments and be entered in raffles for new bicycles. Cyclists must register for one pit stop but are welcome to visit any of the 83 pit stops along their way to work. Free event t-shirts will be available at pit stops for the first 15,000 registrants who attend. 

Bicycle convoys - led by experienced bicycle commuters - will travel throughout the region. All levels of cyclists are welcome to join the convoys.

Bicycling to work is a healthy and cost-effective alternative to drive-alone commuting.  Join Commuter Connections and WABA on Friday, May 20, for Bike to Work Day 2016. Ride with thousands of cyclists, new and experienced, and enjoy a healthy commute that helps improve traffic congestion and air quality in the Washington metropolitan region. There will be free t-shirts, snacks, beverages and prizes for registrants who attend, while supplies last.

For free registration and event details, visit Follow Commuter Connections on Twitter at @BikeToWorkDay and use #BTWDC and #BTWD2016. 
Commuter Connections is a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Commuter Connections promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to drive-alone commuting, and provides ridematching for carpools and vanpools and offers the free Guaranteed Ride Home program. Commuter Connections is funded by the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and U.S. Departments of Transportation.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

District Dogs doggie day care coming to old Petworth Liquors spot

Recently we heard that the frequently troubled Petworth Liquors had closed. Now we know what's replacing it: District Dogs, a doggy day care center.

A friend passed along ANC commissioner Rashida Brown's note about it on the Park View Beautification Facebook page:
Petworth Liquor closed about two weeks ago. The Zuckermans decided not to renew their lease. This was a result of the issues we've been experiencing along the corridor, particularly with public drinking. The Zuckeman's just signed a lease with District Dogs. They are going to run doggy day care.
Good news! Both for it getting replaced by something quickly, and for the owners (the Zuckermans) to not renew the lease due to Petworth Liquors' many issues. In the past, the store had been investigated for underage sales, loitering, public urination outside, selling to-go cups, violating operating hours and more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

City posts punny dos-and-don'ts ads about marijuana laws on bus stops starring Mary Jane and Kush the dog

This isn't something I expected to see -- the city has posted some pun-filled ads talking about the dos and don'ts  city's newish marijuana laws on bus stops. For example, the ad titled the "Blunt Truth" and aims is to "weed out" the myths about marijuana laws in DC.

I spotted this one at the shelters at Georgia Avenue and New Hampshire, right outside the Georgia Ave-Petworth Metro. The ads, starring Mary Jane, Reggie and Kush the dog, explain what you can do (use marijuana if you're over 21, possess two ounces, and so on) and what you can't do (sell it, use, give, or grow if you're under 21, and such.) I like the names for Mary Jane and Kush, though maybe I'm too square to get what Reggie is referencing.

The ad has the logo of the city's Department of Behavioral Health on it as well Twitter and Facebook links for Drug Free DC. I like it -- glad to city is doing this to make people (in this case, I assume young people) more aware of the laws.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bike repair clinics from the Bike House are back at Annie's Ace Hardware!

If you want some help fixing your bike, Annie's Ace Hardware on Saturday is the place to be.

The Bike House Co-op, a nonprofit bike group, is hosting their free Bike House clinic every Saturday from noon to 3 pm at Annie's at 1240 Upshur Street NW.

Bike House volunteers are on hand to help you diagnose and fix problems, and they they have a lot of the tools and equipment you'll need to do it. Annie's sells many bike parts too. I fixed a tire and aligned my wheels at the clinic a bit ago, they were really helpful.

It's a pretty cool event from a cool group. They also hold classes and clinics elsewhere, although the classes at Annie's are already full.  You can try their other events in Bloomingdale.

11th Street NW named one of the country's best main streets

This is pretty neat: National Life, an insurance company that does a lot with main streets and small towns, recently wrote about 11th Street NW in Columbia Heights, highlighting it as a great example of main streets.

The blog cites the bars and restaurants, coffee shops, BloomBars, the Gala Theatre (on 14th, but close enough) and others on the street, as well as the New York Times article from a few years calling the street the "hip strip."

While not a huge publication, it's always nice to get recognition for our area. National Life has previously highlighted streets around the country.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Photo gallery: the Funk Parade on U Street

The third Funk Parade was last weekend, and photographer Alex Rego went. She took a lot of great shots of the action, check it out! Dancers, musicians, artists, marching bands, and a lot more!