Monday, June 10, 2019

Meridian Pint to be replaced by Malaysian restaurant Makan from Maketto chef

That was quick! Meridian Pint at 11th and Park, which unexpectedly closed several weeks ago, will be replaced by Makan, a Malaysian restaurant from former Maketto and Spoken English chef de cuisine James Wozniuk, who Zagat profiled a bit ago.

DCist has the story, they're aiming for late summer, and Wozniuk is partnering with Kendrick Wu on the restaurant. They add that the restaurant will use Mid-Atlantic ingredients.

I don't see any permits there yet, but I did see a transfer of the liquor license from the Pint to Makan.

Once I hear more I'll let you know. They're at 3400 11th Street NW.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Kraken Axes will replaced by Hook Hall: coffee shop, beer garden & venue; no more axes?

If you recall, axe-throwing bar Kraken Axes at 3400 Georgia Ave NW closed a few months ago for renovation. The owners had a lot of ideas for the space, including a big outdoor patio/beer garden, whiskey library and more. Now we have some details from their website, which is now calling the space Hook Hall. It sounds pretty great and I hear it may be open in the summer, so relatively soon.

They're planning it be an event space you can rent, a coffee shop during the daytime and a beer garden and bar. I've also heard there won't be axe throwing any more. However, you can get your axe fix at their new location, 840 E Street NW.

The space itself looks great on the outside, with a new facade. (It looks even better now, this photo was a couple weeks old.) They're currently working on pouring concrete for the patio beer garden as well. I've reached out to the owners for more info, but haven't yet heard back.

Here's more info from their (under construction) website:
Situated in the heart of Washington, DC, Hook Hall is a traditional tavern and event space. It is a place you go to enjoy a cold beer and catch up with friends, or to find the latest epic pop-up experience. It’s a space designed to transform and transition throughout the day. 
We have a stage that’s primed for local talent to impress, and our outdoor space – The Deck – that is second to none in the District. Choose a sunny day, pre-book your outdoor cabana, and gather all of your friends – you have memories to make at Hook Hall. 
As a traditional pub you’re invited to join us from sun up to sun down, for a hot cup of coffee in the morning while reading the paper or achieving inbox zero, to the midday meetings, and happy hour end to the work day. Swing by after your black tie gala to show off your fancy duds and have a night cap before heading home. Whatever you’re looking for you’ll find here at Hook Hall. If what you’re searching for is a fun place to hang with your friends or your kids, a place to unwind after a day in the office, a place to sit in the sun and write your memoirs, or a place to congregate and celebrate—Hook Hall is here for you.

We have a rotating selection of craft beers, classic cocktails, and supple wines. Specialty cocktail nights will feature new favorites that might make their way into the daily rotation. In the mornings, our coffee is always hot and strong, and roasted by the local team at Vigilante Coffee.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Work underway at 14th and Monroe for Children's Hospital primary care center; former TGI Friday's space

Finally, something is coming to the big empty space that was supposed to be TGI Friday's at 14th and Monroe. The other day I walked by and saw some workers there, who told me it was being turned into a primary care center, and the permits for it say "Children's National Primary Care," which is affiliated with Children's Hospital.

Work is underway, but it's unclear how long it will take. Children's Hospital sold their Shaw clinic last year, so presumably this is the replacement.

It seems like a good use of the space. This was going to be TGI Friday's, which spurred some opposition from neighbors that it would be loud or otherwise problematic (upstairs from this space is a senior citizens' home.) TGI Friday's agreed to install soundproofing, but then they canceled their plans and it never came to fruition, and the space has sat vacant for a long time.

The area is a bit far from the main foot traffic around 14th and Irving, and the space across 14th failed as both a Ruby Tuesday and as the mysterious and rarely open Jenkins BBQ. (That space is now planned to be a Korean BBQ, which I hope succeeds.)

In any case, it seems like a convenient place to take your kid for medical care. What do you think?

Thursday, May 30, 2019

New neighborhood bar Smitty's now open at 3549 Georgia; relaxed vibe, nice cocktails

There's a pretty cool new neighborhood bar open at 3549 Georgia Ave NW, Smitty's. I stopped by last week and enjoyed it, it has a relaxed vibe with brick walls and a long bar, plus some tables, and some nice cocktails.

It's run in part by Kaleabe Getanah, who you may remember from the Saloon or Hilltop - he's a super nice guy so it's good to see him with a new place. They also have some bar snacks, though I didn't try them. The lemon basil vodka soda and cucumber mint gin & tonic were quite tasty. Prices are very reasonable too.

It's a nice little friendly spot, check them out.

Friday, May 24, 2019

City pools open Saturday! Here are the ones in our area

Woo! The city's outdoor pools open tomorrow. It's finally that time of year. Here's the full list, and the ones in our area. "Happy Hallow" is an outdoor kids pool at the Marie Reed facility, most of which is indoor.

Ward 1

Banneker Pool
2500 Georgia Avenue, NW | 20001
(202) 673-2121
Hours of Operation:
Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri: 10 am - 8 pm
Sat & Sun: 11 am - 6 pm
(Closed Thursdays)

Happy Hallow
2200 Champlain Street, NW | 20009
(202) 671-1289
Hours of Operation:
Wed, Thurs, Fri: 10 am - 6 pm
Sat & Sun: 11 am - 6 pm
(Closed 2 pm - 2:30 pm Daily)
(Closed Mondays & Tuesdays)

Park View Children's Pool
693 Otis Place, NW | 20010
(202) 576-5750
Hours of Operation:
Wed, Thurs, Fri: 11 am - 6 pm
Sat & Sun: 11 am - 6 pm
(Closed Daily: 2 pm - 2:30 pm)
(Closed Mondays & Tuesdays)

Ward 4

Upshur Pool
4300 Arkansas Ave., NW | 20011
(202) 576-8661
Hours of Operation:
Tues - Fri: 10 am - 8 pm
Sat & Sun: 11 am - 6 pm
(Closed Mondays)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wow Wawa! Beloved shop opens tomorrow in Columbia Heights with free coffee through the weekend

It's Wawa time! The beloved Philly-area convenience store with popular sandwiches is opening tomorrow at 14th and Irving according to WTOP. They'll be offering free coffee starting at 8am, and the first 100 people there get Wawa t-shirts according to DCist. They're donating $2500 to the Capital Food Bank too.

This is the third store in the city, with two others in Georgetown and on 19th Street near Dupont Circle, and there's Adams Morgan and Tenleytown locations opening soon as well.

The Wawa in our area replaced Potbelly, Pete's Apizza and Five Guys. I've never gotten a sandwich (or hoagie, depending where you're from) at Wawa, but people seem to love them. They also have a wide variety of coffees and are similar to Sheetz in that you order from a touch screen and there are a lots of options for sandwiches and other food, plus convenience store items. I've also heard a lot of people disappointed that Pete's was closing.

What do you think? What's your favorite sandwich from there?

Monday, April 29, 2019

Wonderland's 15th annual Sundress Fest is May 5th: food, music, fun all for charity

It's that time again: local mainstay the Wonderland Ballroom is holding their 15th annual Sundress Fest, a block party with food, music and deals, and where anyone wearing a sundress get discounts.

The event benefits DC Central Kitchen, and they'll be selling sundresses at the fest in case you don't have your own. The fest is always a blast, and I'm looking forward to it.

Here's more form Wonderland:
Mesdames et messieurs, boys and girls, the Wonderland Ballroom is very proud to announce that it will be holding its FIFTEENTH Sundress Festival on the fifth of May this year.  
Sundress Fest, DC's best beer-infused block party, is a celebration of summer that takes place at the Wonderland Ballroom every first Sunday of May with proceeds benefiting DC Central Kitchen.

Literally all the stops - and there were honestly very few stops to begin with - have been pulled for Sundress's quinceaƱera. Last year we ordered two swimming pools' worth of beer, and this year we have four. DC Brau is coming out in force to serve them to you. Last year we got half a day of sun; this year we've already been assured by our only Wiccan regular that we'll have beautiful weather. We have three bands. We have the fantastic Maddy Brannon and Kate Flaherty emceeing affairs from the stage, and we have the mellifluous musical stylings of DJ Keenan Orr until the streetlights come on.

Mark your calendars for Sunday May 5, and be sure to save this event on Facebook to get all the details on the day's festivities as they become available!