Friday, September 12, 2014

Alcohol delivery services coming to Columbia Heights


Prepare for more ways to get alcohol. The city has recently approved a few businesses that will delivery alcohol to your door, just like if you ordered a pizza. Drizly, Klink and Ultra are the three services, and they include some of our area.

Drizly hasn't yet published their coverage map, though my place in northern Columbia Heights is included. According to DCist, they deliver to Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights, but don't yet deliver to Mt. Pleasant, and it's unclear to me exactly how they define the areas they do cover -- would Columbia Heights include Park View and Pleasant Plains? Ultra includes the 20009 and 20010 zip codes, and Klink only says "Washington, DC" as well as Ann Arbor, Mich. and Orlando, Fla.

They all seem to only deliver when liquor stores are open, so no 3 am and the party is running out of booze salvation.

Drizly is a smartphone app, and prices seem a bit more expensive than in a shop, but not by much -- most craft beer seems a dollar or two more than retail, starting at about $10.99, while liquor starts at about $20 for things like Absolut Vodka or Dickel Whiskey. The selection seems to be enormous, hundreds of kinds of alcohol, and they have some really expensive stuff too: I saw a few $200+ old Scotch bottles. Ultra has similar prices and a huge selection as well but a $50 minimum, while Klink has similar prices but a much smaller selection, only about 20 items total and only one kind of beer.

I hope this doesn't affect our local liquor stores (I'm quite fond of CC's at 14th and Newton and Lion's on Georgia) but it sounds like Ultra and Drizly at least works with local shops.

It's an amazing world we're living in. Photo by Daniel Lobo

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New furniture and home decor shop, Mara Home, at 14th and V

There's a new addition to 14th Street's booming furniture corridor: Mara Home at 2213 14th Street NW, between W and Florida.

The shop, opened by Kathleen Mara, who founded the popular Homebody in Capitol Hill. Mara has a lot of modern furniture, textiles, rugs, decor and other home items in a nice open space. When I stopped in the other day, Mara told me she thought the area was a good one for home decor and furniture and had been wanting to open a new shop for some time. (She also said she was not related to Patrick Mara, the former Ward 1 council candidate.)

It was a pretty neat spot, and the other day they had a sign for 30% floor models -- they're getting in new stock and wanted to sell what they had.

Monday, September 8, 2014

G Sandwich Shop is awesome (but not cheap, but worth it)

A few weeks ago I stopped by G Sandwich Shop, the Mike Isabella-run spot at 14th and V, and it was pretty fantastic. I highly recommend it.

I tried the Calypso Chicken Curry, with Caribbean-style chicken plus pickled peppers, a tangy, thin yogurt sauce, cucumber and grilled pineapple on flatbread -- it sounds like an odd combo, but went together perfectly and the ingredients were cooked just right. My buddy got the Bullshot, a lot of rare roast beef with fried green tomatoes, bacon and celery slaw on a tasty sub roll: a lot heartier than mine but also quite delicious.

I also got a side of homemade potato chips, which were the right balance between soft and crunchy, and a watermelon-tarragon house made soda, which was also really good. (The mango, hops and coriander one sounds interesting too.) The sandwiches start at $9 up to about $14 for specials, plus $2 for the chips and $4 for the drink, so it's not a cheap lunch, but is a delicious one. They also have beer on tap. (If you get some of the free flavored water instead, you'll save a few bucks.)

It's an inviting space too, big and bright with murals on the walls and wood tables and chairs.

G is open for lunch 11am-5pm daily, plus a tasting menu 6-10pm on Wednesday-Saturday, and a "Sunday Gravy" $40 prix fixe, family-style meal from 6-10pm on Sundays. I haven't tried the two latter ones yet, but plan to.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Open house at Cove shared working space on Saturday & Sunday

Cove, the new shared working space located where the Dunes was previously at 14th and Meridian, is hosting an open house on Saturday and Sunday. 

I wrote about them a couple of weeks ago, it's a place where you can rent a space to work by the hour (or longer) with wifi, coffee and such. Here's more details:
I just wanted to share that cove is having an open house for its newest productive space this Saturday and Sunday, September 6 and 7, from 12-3pm each day. cove CoHi is located at 1402 Meridian Pl, NW. We will be giving tours of the space, signing up people for free trials, and serving light refreshments from our neighbor, Le Caprice.
Sounds interesting -- except for the CoHi part, one of my pet peeves

Two Kickstarters launching free mini-libraries in the area; help fund them!

This is pretty neat: two different folks have launched Kickstarters to build a Little Free Library, one in Columbia Heights at 11th and Kenyon (outside Tubman Elementary) and one in Petworth on Illinois Avenue NW just off Grant Circle.

The idea is to build a little box, put some books in there and people are free to check them out or put new ones in. Sounds like a cool idea and a way to get people reading more and build some community. The library boxes are for sale on this website.

The Petworth Kickstarter ends in 5 days and needs $230 our of $375 while the Columbia Heights one has 27 to go and needs $225 our of $500. I wrote to both organizers and they had all had nice things to say:

Swati in Petworth:
I lived on Capitol Hill previously and have seen a couple of the libraries there just by walking around. I thought it was a great idea - I love books and thought the idea of being able to pick one up while you are walking about in your own neighborhood was a great idea. We just purchased a house with a front yard, so this is the first time I've had the opportunity to put one up. The money is to purchase the library itself (after the Kickstarter campaign I've had someone from the neighborhood offer to help me build one; if that goes through, the money will go to materials). And any extra money will be used to purchase books for the library. I hope to have 2 shelves, one for children's books and one for adults. I'll probably fill the adult one with some fiction and non-fiction, but after that hoping that the community will actively participate and it will evolve into whatever everyone wants it to be. The purpose of the kickstarter campaign is not just to get monetary support but also to raise awareness, so community members will be aware of its location and hopefully enjoy the resource.
 Mike and Kate in Columbia Heights:
We first heard about the Little Free Library project online and read more about it on their website. We thought it would be a great thing to have in Columbia Heights as a way to build community and increase access to books, especially for young children since we live across from Tubman elementary school.

The money goes to the purchase of the library from the website ($300) and the other necessary materials for its installation. We're also planning to buy some starter books, although we would be grateful for donations -- especially books for children and teens.

The really terrific thing about this project is that it is what the community makes of it. It's take a book, leave a book. Our hope is that the community supports it and fills it with some great options. However, if the stock is dwindling, we're planning to supplement it as necessary.

It's wonderful that there is a similar project in Petworth. Hopefully more and more will pop up throughout our city.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thai Tanic II is now closed, Laotian restaurant Thip Khao opening there in the fall

A few weeks ago, we learned that Thip Khao, a Laotian restaurant from chef  Seng Luangrath, who runs the popular Bangkok Golden in Seven Corners, was coming to the Allegro building at 3462 14th Street NW. It would be replacing Thai Tanic II, the Thai spot. 

And it's making some progress -- a tipster emailed that Thai Tanic II is now closed, and the Thip Khao website reports that they're hoping for a fall opening.

The food sounds pretty awesome too: family-style dishes and other traditional items like laab (minced meat salad, pictured above) grilled meats, and a sticky rice serving basket, which is what Thip Khao translates to. For a hint at what the food would be, check out Chef Seng's website. Looks tasty.

There will also be cocktails: frozen drinks and Lao takes on classic drinks. This is all making me hungry and thirsty.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Columbia Heights Day announced: Saturday, Oct. 11 at Tubman School

Columbia Heights Day, our neighborhood's fun annual festival, is coming back for its 8th edition, and the organizers have announced the date: Saturday, October 11th at the Tubman Elementary School field, 11th and Kenyon.

Like previous years, there's a ton of events, arts, music, food and more, both for adults and kids. Here's the agenda so far. The adult tricycle races sound pretty awesome and the petting zoo and eating contests are popular events from previous years.

They're also looking for volunteers and sponsors, see that information below. The event is put on by the  Columbia Heights Day Initiative, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. I expect we'll hear more too -- last years had deals from local bars and restaurants after the event, for example.

2014 Festival Schedule & Information
Event: 8th Annual Columbia Heights Day Festival
Day: Saturday
Date: October 11, 2014
Festival Hours: 11am to 6pm
Location: On 11th St NW (from Park Rd to Kenyon St NW) & Harriet Tubman School Yard
Street Festival Schedule
12:00pm     Eidelweiss Bands begin – north stage
12:15pm     Harambe w/Baba Ras D. (kids performance) – south stage
12:45pm     Liz the singing Lizard (kids music) – south stage
1:00pm      Dog Show on the north stage
1:30pm      Emergence Community Arts Collective – south stage
2:00pm      Kids painted-face parade
2:15pm      Brazilian Samba – south stage
2:30pm      Dunk you local politician – dunk tank
2:45pm      Belly Dancing performance – north stage
3:00pm      Adult tricycle races – kids zone
4:00pm      Cup Cake eating contest – south stage
4:30pm      Pie Eating contest – north stage
4:45pm      Tamika Love Jones (jazz, R&B, funk) – south stage
5:00pm      Rochelle Rice (Jazz & Blues) – north stage
6:00pm      Festival closes
Family Fun Field Schedule
10:00am           Community Yoga
11:00am           Pre-Kindergarten Field Day activities
11:15am           Uno, Dos, Tres con Andreas – south stage
12:00-5:00pm  Local schools arts showcase
12:00-2:00pm  Harriet Tubman open house with Principle Amanda Delabar
12:00-2:00pm  1st-5th grade Field Day activities
2:00-5:00pm    Community school soccer tournament
All performances and activties are subject to change without prior notice.
Columbia Heights Day is a rain or shine event.
Other Activities
  • Check out dozen of local vendors
  • Screen print your own t-shirt with The Arcade
  • Learn how to fix your bike with The Bike House (12 to 3 pm)
  • Play bocce with DC Bocce
  • Plus, more to do all along 11th Street in Columbia Heights
Get Involved

Le Caprice on 14th now serving beer and wine, breakfast, lunch and dinner

Le Caprice, the fantastic French bakery and cafe at 3460 14th Street NW, is expanding their hours and offerings -- they're now open for lunch and dinner as well as breakfast, and are serving beer and wine for those.

Lunch and dinner offerings include salads, sandwiches (I had the brie and apple one the other day, pretty tasty) and both Mediterranean dishes like kebabs. Most will be made to order, but then closer to closing there will be pre-made offerings. Their website seems a little out of date, last time I was there there were a lot more things (you can also see their sandwich menu below.) The hours are Monday-Friday, 6:45am-8pm, Saturday 7:30am-8pm and Sundays and holidays 7:30am-7pm.

I've always liked the breakfast offerings, the breakfast sandwich on a homemade roll with egg, tomato, cheese and bacon is great, and their pastries are top notch. If you recall, the Erfani family that runs the shop moved from France, where they ran a bakery, so they know traditional French baking.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MPD to start issuing $75 tickets for littering

Littering is bad -- I think most people will agree on that. It's also illegal, and WJLA reports that MPD will start issuing $75 tickets for pedestrians and $100 for drivers they catch littering.

Someone could argue "doesn't MPD have better things to do?" but I assume this will be more in the usual course of their day rather than special littering stings or something.

And littering is sometimes a problem in our area, especially around the 7-Eleven and the Civic Plaza where people tend to congregate. That said, there are tons of trash cans around and folks generally seem to use them.

So, don't litter! You might get a ticket.