Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year's Eve parties around the neighborhood: Colony Club, Midlands, Looking Glass, Derby, more


New Year's Eve is finally almost here. Thank god. A lot of spots in our area are doing things (or, in some cases doing nothing on purpose.) Check them out:

Colony Club at 3118 Georgia is having a party with no cover, a food truck, beer deals, karaoke, face painting, DJs, a funk band and more.

Looking Glass also has no cover with a free whiskey shot at midnight, $20 champagne bottles, $6 beer and shot deals and tributes all night. Here's their Facebook invite.

No cover at the Midlands too with live music starting at 9 pm.

Wonderland has a toast at midnight and DJs, plus brunch all day and a $10 cover, or $15 for couples. 

Little Coco's at 14th and Randolph is doing two seatings for dinner, a 3 course and 5 course option. It sounds delicious.

The Red Derby is doing a "Decades of Decadence" party: 1977 upstairs and 1997 downstairs with deals and decade-specific drinks and shots. No cover and a free champagne toast at midnight! They have an 80s brunch from 11am-5pm on the 31st too.

For a more relaxed vibe, Room 11 is just doing their regular thing, as is Lyman's.

El Chucho is doing an "all you can Mexican" New Years with unlimited tacos plus tips and salsa for the table and elote for each person, and drinks for $56.17, and I think also unlimited margaritas and draft beer.

Thip Khao is also doing a prix-fixe meal from 5-8 pm.

Any other good options? Leave them in the comments!

Friday, December 23, 2016

In town? Celebrate Festivus tonight at the Airedale with holiday cocktails and grievances


The Airedale, the cool European pub at 14th and Spring, is hosting a Festivus party today which sounds awesome:
Just wanted to let you guys know that we’ll be celebrating Festivus here again at The Airedale on December 23rd! 
Just like last time we will have a Festivus-inspired pre-fixe menu and themed cocktails all night (Feats of Strength, Cosmo Kramers) . We also invite you to air your grievances around our authentic Aluminum Festivus pole (and experience its excellent strength-to-weight ratio).

There will be no tinsel. We find it distracting.
Happy Festivus!
Festivus, in case you aren't familiar, is a hilarious fake holiday invented on Seinfeld. And even if you are familiar, this is still funny.


They're at 3615 14th Street NW, here's their Facebook page and the event page for Festivus.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Gift ideas from local small businesses for the holidays


The holidays are coming up, and I was thinking about local options for buying gifts from local small businesses in our area. Here's what I've come up with, and let us know in the comments if you have others!

  • Coffee bags from Qualia Coffee or Harrar Roastery, both on Georgia Avenue. Both roast their beans themselves. Room 11 also carries coffee beans and Colony Club also has lots of coffee equipment for sale like French presses, pourovers and aeropresses.
  • Gift cards to local bars and restaurants
  • Odd Provisions, the new cool convenience store, has high quality food and drink as well as gift cards
  • Willow, the funky clothing and gift shop on Upshur Street also has a pop-up on 11th, lots of neat and fun gifts, clothes and more
  • 826DC has the Astounding Magic Supply Store in the Tivoli with fun gifts
  • Books! Upshur Street Books has lots of cool books and other gifts and Walls of Books on Georgia has tons of used books
  • Booze! D'Vines on 14th has a nice selection of alcohol and beer and I always liked the folks at CC's on 14th and Newton and Lion's on Georgia
  • Donate to local charities like the Latin American Youth Center, DC SCORES, Casa RubyMary's Center and others
  • There are some nice vintage stores in the area too, like Mom n Pop on Georgia, and Bentley's and Fia's Fabulous Finds on Upshur -- you could get a gift certificate or find something interesting. Attic DC is also selling gift cards that works at numerous vintage stores.
Any others I missed?

Photo by Andrew Buttita

Friday, December 16, 2016

New takeout restaurant Zippin' Chickin' & Fish, open at 2910 Georgia: fried chicken and waffles, po'boys, catfish and more



There's a new food option in the area, as Zippin' Chickin' and Fish has just opened at 2901 Georgia, at the corner of Georgia and Harvard. The space was previously A&H Catering (which is owned by the same person, DJ Jordan) and they have renovated the inside and outside.

The menu is pretty big: fried chicken, chicken and waffles, fried catfish and shrimp, crusted fish filet, chicken and fish sandwiches, shrimp po'boys and more. Sandwiches run from $3.50 to $8 and entrees are the same, so pretty reasonable. They also offer combo meals up to $12 and sides: crispy french fries, fried rice, cole slaw, collard greens, onion rings, mac & cheese, potato salad, and a vegetable of the day, plus corn muffins or hush puppies. Sounds pretty delicious.

Here's more about the spot, which also has a food truck. They're also planning to open a patio in the Spring.
This is to announce the Grand Opening of Zippin' Chickin' & Fish.  We had our "soft" opening during the month of October 2016.  We've fine tuned some things and at 11:00 am on Wednesday, 14 December 2016, our take out windows are up to take your order.  Take a look at our Special Board, posted right in the front and on the side of the building.  We offer a Chickin & Fish special daily, as well as a Chickin & Seafood soup, daily.  We will operate on Winter Hours during the months of December 2016, January, and February 2017.  Starting the 15th of January 2017, we will start taking call-in orders.  And in March 2017, we will start our Saturday and Sunday brunch service, featuring Shrimp & Grits and Chickin & Waffles. 
Our menus are up, so check them out on the building or on our web site, "zippinchickin.com" and like us on Facebook - "zippinchickin"  Follow our food truck and see where it goes.

ZIPPINCHICKIN.COMfacebook - "zippinchickin"
Here are their hours:
Our Winter schedule is as follows:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm 
After 1 January 2016:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm 
Regular hours starts on 1 March 2016:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am – Midnight

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant gains official "Main Street" status: $200,000 for improvements and more


This is great news! The Columbia Heights Initiative and other local groups have been working for some time to become an official, city-recognized Main Street organization, and a few weeks ago they got it! Which means they get $200,000 in grant funds for improvements, staff, cleanups, facades and more for our area. The city describes the goal of the Main Street program as:
Though our ten independent, nonprofit neighborhood Main Street programs, we revitalize communities by retaining and recruiting businesses, improving commercial properties and streetscapes, and attracting consumers. Leaders in these neighborhood organizations assist businesses and coordinate sustainable community-driven revitalization efforts in their neighborhoods.
Here's what Brianne Dornbush, director of Columbia Heights Initiative, had to say about some ideas:
As for general plans, we will continue to host community events that bring people together, work with local businesses to connect them with resources and support to grow and thrive in the neighborhood, and work to continue to build unique partnership across sectors. We will be working with both Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights to serve and connect both neighborhoods- while maintaining and celebrating their distinct identities.
Here's more about the Main Street program from the city. Dupont, Shaw, Barracks Row and H Street are other areas with Main Street groups.

The area where the Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant Main Street will operate is Mt. Pleasant Street from Harvard to Park, 14th from Harvard to Spring, 11th from Kenyon to Park Monroe, Irving from Mt. Pleasant to 11th, Park from 14th to 11th, and Kenyon from 14th to 11th. (See the map I made below.)

Here's more info from their press release:


Community Nonprofit Earns Main Street Designation, Funding for Neighborhood Development

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Columbia Heights Initiative has been announced as the newest designee of the DC Main Streets program by the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD).  Their Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant Main Street will join eleven other DC Main Streets programs that have been accredited through DC Main Streets and the National Main Street Center, Inc. As a DC Main Street designee, Columbia Heights Initiative will implement programs and services to support the growth and development of neighborhood businesses and the revitalization of the commercial corridors of Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant.

The Columbia Heights Initiative, responsible for the eleven-year running of the Columbia Heights Day festival, took major strides to develop into a stronger community organization over the past year. In 2016, the Columbia Heights Initiative volunteer Board of Directors hired Brianne Dornbush as the nonprofit’s first Executive Director. Under their collective leadership, the organization profoundly expanded its presence and impact in the community by introducing a series of new community events, creating monthly volunteer and networking opportunities, developing a business and nonprofit network, and building an enthusiastic and active volunteer corps.

The $200,000 grant from DSLBD will allow the Columbia Heights Initiative to provide technical assistance to support capacity building, business retention, program design and implementation, and commercial-revitalization planning to maintain the traditional and unique character of the distinct neighborhoods included in the Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant Main Street boundaries. DC Main Streets, managed by DSLBD, is the coordinating agency that oversees the locally designated nonprofit Main Streets organizations. Funding is made possible through the Commercial Revitalization Assistance Fund. The grant will be matched with private-sector funds raised by Columbia Heights Initiative. Columbia Heights Initiative’s commitment to the community and intentional relationship development has garnered broad community support, ideally positioning the organization to manage this new Main Street Program.

In celebration of this award and the impact of the organization over the last year, the Columbia Heights Initiative is hosting its inaugural Columbia Heights Night gala fundraiser on Friday, December 2nd at 7pm.

“We invite all our neighbors from across DC to join us as we celebrate this tremendous achievement,” says Dornbush. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve our community as a DC Main Street and we welcome all who want to see the good work of the Columbia Heights Initiative continue to come out for a night of fun at our special event.”

The evening will feature a “Taste of Columbia Heights” buffet catered by some of the neighborhood’s beloved restaurants, live local music by the Harry Bells, a silent auction, and specialty gifts and raffles. The proceeds from this event will go toward supporting the continued growth of the organization as it works to build a successful DC Main Street Program in Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant. Tickets can be purchased for $75 through the Columbia Heights Initiative website at cohidc.org.

Read DSLBD’s Official Announcement: Special Notice

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tchoup's Market closing Dec. 23, owner Alex McCoy to give up lease in May (despite saying earlier he was staying)

Well, this came out of nowhere.

The City Paper reports that celebrity chef Alex McCoy is closing Cajun spot Tchoup's Market on Dec. 23, and will be giving up the lease when it expires in 2017. They'll be hosting various private dinners and pop-ups until then.
This is the exact opposite of what McCoy said when Alfie's closed in June, which was frustrating to its fans. At that time, McCoy said they love the neighborhood and are not leaving. Here's a comment on that blog post in response to someone saying McCoy doesn't like Park View:
Quite the opposite, actually. We love this neighborhood. Extended our lease and are staying longer. Our team, both FOH and BOH will be staying with the new concept and i can't tell you how excited we are for what we have planned to replace Alfie's and for what we have planned at Upshur. Alfie's was always planned to be a temporary popup and the choice to move downtown was only made because the facilities at Upshur are not adequate nor will we have the space to build a full kitchen. Our partnership has been active in the community & plans to continue to be. So, if you are looking for someone who loves Parkview and wants to partner with the community to keep the neighborhood thriving, you dont need to look much farther. We are already here and have been here. Looking forward to serving you! Alex from Alfie's
And on Twitter, he said at the time that they're not leaving and love the neighborhood, plus something similar on Facebook. I guess the "not leaving" and "love" parts only extend until May 2017.

What else is strange is that the City Paper says the move is so they can focus on the new location of Alfie's, but they still don't know where it will be. McCoy will instead be popping up Alfie's in New York, London and Bangkok in the future.

Tchoup's has also been the home of the Nok Noi Thai noodle pop-up on Wednesdays and Thursdays. That will presumably also be going away.

The article also doesn't mention the British sandwich place he was supposedly opening on Upshur Street, just that he owns the building. That doesn't seem like a great sign either.

If you like the Tchoup's food or vibe, better check it out soon. Or don't, he doesn't seem to care either way.

UPDATE: On Twitter they told me they're currently working on the British sandwich place on Upshur, so at least a small bright spot.

Zombie Coffee and Donuts has closed


Well, there's one fewer coffee option in the hood: PoP reports that Zombie Coffee and Donuts has closed.

To be honest I always forgot about this place and I've never been, but I know some folks are fans. Anybody miss it?

I wonder what will come next? This spot was formerly Tasti D-Lite, a frozen custard place that didn't last very long. Maybe Julia's Empanadas will make a return to our neighborhood?

If you need a coffee fix, Tynan across the street is pretty solid, as is Coffy Cafe up the street, Qualia, Harrar, Heat da Spot and Colony Club.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ruta del Vino, new Latin American restaurant on Upshur, now open; WaPo critic loves it

Upshur Street and Petworth have been blowing up lately with new restaurants and bars, and another new one seems to be a hit: Ruta del Vino, a Latin American restaurant that opened earlier this month at 800 Upshur, the old Riyad Market.

Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema wrote about the spot earlier this month, saying it had "all the makings of a neighborhood hit." He raved about the grilled octopus, ceviche, carne asada, roast chicken, and more. He wasn't a fan of the Cubano sandwich though, which was echoed on Yelp.

He also liked the wines and reasonable prices for cocktails and happy hour deals -- for example, the spot has happy hour with $5 cocktails of the day, $4 glasses of wine and $2 snacks like fish tacos, pupusas or masa fries from 5-7pm, which is pretty great. See below for the info.

The Post article also has some nice photos; the place looks great inside.

It was opened by Justin Logan, a trained chef who formerly worked at the Cato Institute but loved Latin American food.

Yelpers love it too, with 4.5 stars so far from only 6 reviews.

Have you been? I'll have to check it out. They're open Mon-Thurs 5-10pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm, with later hours each day for the bar. They're closed Sundays.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Ugly sweater party at Union Drinkery on Dec. 18


Union Drinkery, the great new bar at 3216 Georgia from the A&D and Sundevich folks, is doing a fun event on Dec. 18, an ugly sweater party from 7-11pm.

The spot, if you haven't been, is an awesome, chill neighborhood cocktail bar with good prices and food from the neighboring Small Fry -- things like BBQ, poutine, sandwiches and the like.

It's a great spot with a good vibe, plus a nice outdoor area. Definitely worth swinging by.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Checking out Odd Provisions: cool spot, lots of nice groceries, food and drink plus premade items


Last night I popped into Odd Provisions, the cool new corner store from Room 11 alums Jess Woods and Rachel Mowrer at 11th and Lamont, and I really liked it. It's a one stop shop for a lot of things, and they have really good quality stuff.

They have a lot of produce, beer and wine, snacks, and lots of groceries from local and craft vendors, as well as nice frozen items, baked goods and in-house premade things like sandwiches and salads. There's also a lot of kitchen staples like olive oil, pasta and pasta sauce, and a lot more.

Woods said the premade sandwiches and salads have been popular, especially a pimento cheese sandwich that was selling so well they started selling just the pimento cheese separately. The baked goods are from Paisley Fig, which also makes them for Room 11 -- other things available were quiche, the pot de creme from Room 11, cheesecake and more. I plan to go back for one of those sandwiches soon.

I didn't snap a good photo of the produce but it looked pretty nice too, and there was a wide range of things, plus eggs and dairy items. They also have ice cream from Milk Cult -- remember them, they had a tasty coffee, breakfast sandwich and ice cream sandwich popup on Georgia Avenue a couple of years ago. It looks like they re-used some of the old refrigerators from the former tenant, Arthur's Grocery.

There was also a nice beer and wine selection, I picked up some Ghost White IPA from Three Stars. The beers ranged from six packs to bigger bottles of fancy craft beers, a lot of it local or from small breweries.

Woods said planned to start offering coffee in January, as well as possibly longer hours too. Currently they're open 11am-9pm.

It's definitely a neat, convenient spot, and they have a lot of what you're probably looking for. Also sounds like a good spot for a tasty to go lunch or dinner. They also have an online shop on their website.

More photos below!

The pre-made cooler:
Dairy items and frozen items:
Beer and wine, plus cooking supplies:
A bit of the produce, they had a lot more:
Zooming in on the cooking supplies and ingredients:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ten Tigers Parlour, Asian tea house, restaurant and cocktail bar, opens Saturday in Chez Billy space


In October we learned that the replacement for Chez Billy was going to be Ten Tigers Parlour, an "Asian street food lounge" from chef Tim Ma and the Hilton brothers, who run the Gibson and many other spots around town. And now we know when: the Washingtonian reports it's opening Saturday.

The place looks amazing from their photos, and sounds pretty cool too: they'll feature soup dumplings, inexpensive cocktails, and other Asian inspired fare for dinner, as well donburi rice bowls, skewers, bao (buns) and noodle dishes, which will be available for lunch and dinner both. They'll also be open during the day with tea and coffee.

The prices seem reasonable too, like $12 for the handmade pork, chicken or veggie soup dumplings and $11 for Marco Polo noodles, an Italian-Chinese fusion dish. Drinks and beers will also be reasonable with things like a gin and tonic for $5 or $6 up to $10 for a Thai whiskey manhattan, plus lots of "aggressive" happy hour deals.

The City Paper has more on the menu, with items like a variety of pan fried dumplings and other dishes, all ranging from $7-$12 -- three types each of soup dumplings, skewers, noodle dishes, bao, and rice donburi with a few veggie options.

The pricing sounds like they learned a lesson from Chez Billy, which had to drop their prices after being open for a while.

"We’re trying to make it flexible for the neighborhood," Ian Hilton said to Washingtonian. "I feel good about the fact that they’ve told me what they want."

During the day, they open at 11am with free wifi and plugs for laptops and things like Vietnamese and French press coffee, Thai ice tea, and bubble tea. Eventually they'll add Chinese sweets and pastries too. Sounds like it could be a great spot for folks who work from home.

The City Paper says the interior will look "unrecognizable" to fans of Chez Billy, but to me it's pretty similar with more old timey Asian art like tapestries, though they have changed the layout somewhat.

They're open 11am-2am Sunday-Thursday with food service til 9, and 11am-3am on Friday and Saturday with food service til 10.

They're at 3813 Georgia Avenue NW. Their website is up but there's not much on it. Photos from their Instagram.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Help DC SCORES by eating Chipotle today! 50% of proceeds go to great local nonprofit


Here's an awesome way to help DC SCORES, the local nonprofit that provides after school programs for kids with poetry and soccer.

And all you have to do is eat at any Chipotle in the city and bring the above flyer, show it to the casher on your phone, or just tell them you're supporting DC SCORES!

Pretty awesome! It runs from 10:45am to 10pm and they'll provide 50% of the proceeds to DC SCORES.

Here's more about DC SCORES.
DC SCORES has a team-based approach for providing youth with the arts, athletics, and academics that will engage and enrich their lives. DC SCORES builds teams through after-school programs for 1,500 low-income DC youth at 44 schools by instilling self- expression, physical fitness, and a sense of community. DC SCORES accomplishes this in an innovative model combining poetry and spoken word, soccer, and service-learning year-round. We have worked with over 8,000 students since our founding in 1994 and we aim to serve EVERY child in the District deserving of a team who does not have one.
DC SCORES is an affiliate and flagship of America SCORES, the nation’s largest inner-city soccer and literacy program with programs in 14 cities. For more information, please visit www.DCSCORES.org

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hearings on Bruce Monroe plans, food distribution, community potluck and more this week

There's a lot of events this week, and the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force has compiled them here. Check it out -- a hearing on the Bruce Monroe and Park Morton plans, food distribution, a holiday potluck and some community parties:

Monday December 5th  & Thursday December 8th at 6:30pm: Bruce Monroe/Park Morton PUD Hearings
The Zoning Commission will hold hearings on the requested zoning changes for the Bruce Monroe Park on December 5th and on the Park Morton site on December 8th. You are welcome to testify at the hearing from 6:30-9:30 pm at 441 4th St NW (Jerrily R. Kress Memorial Hearing Room). The hearing is an opportunity for you to voice your views about the project.  If you can’t testify in person, you can still voice your opinion by sending a letter to the Commission via email by Monday, Dec. 5 at 2:00 p.m. 
 
Free Food Distribution – Monday December 5th & December 19th from 5-7
The Christ Embassy Church will host a food ministry at the Emergence Community Arts Collective – 733 Euclid St. NW on the first and third Mondays.  Anyone is welcome to pick up an assortment of free fresh fruits and vegetables during these hours.  RSVPs are helpful, but not required.  Distribution will be first come, first served until the food runs out. To RSVP, contact Sylvia at (202) 462-2285 or sylvia@ecacollective.org  We will also need volunteers to help with unloading and distribution from 4-7pm.
 
Wednesday December 7th: Park View UNC Holiday Pot Luck
Meet your neighbors, learn more about UNC activities and celebrate the close of 2016 from 7-8pm at the Park View Rec Center at Warder St. and Otis Pl.  Bring a dish to share!
 
Pleasant Plains Holiday Party—Saturday December 10th
Join the Pleasant Plains Civic Association for the annual holiday party on Saturday December 10th at the Banneker Recreation Center from 12-2pm.  For information or to RSVP, contact Darren Jones at colroadman@yahoo.com or (202) 723-0119
 
Georgia Ave Holiday Party—Monday December 12th
The Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force will host the Georgia Avenue Holiday Party at the ECAC—733 Euclid St. NW from 6:30—10:00pm featuring food from Georgia Avenue businesses, and DJ Dwayne B.  Come by and eat, dance and meet your neighbors.

Upshur Street Art & Craft Fair this Saturday from 11-4: vendors, food, music, kids' events, more

If you're looking for holiday gifts, or just some neat stuff for yourself, head up to the 800 block of Upshur Street on Saturday, just to the east of Georgia Avenue. They're hosting their 11th annuals Art and Craft fair with businesses, vendors and restaurants all offering items, as well as live music, food vendors and local artists and crafters. There's also a kids' fair at CrossFit Petworth just down Upshur, next to Annie's Ace Hardware, which is selling trees!

Here's the full press release about it, sounds fun:
The Petworth Business Association (PBA) will host the 11th Annual Upshur Street Art & Craft Fair on Saturday, December 10th, from 11:00am until 4:00pm. Come shop along the 800 block of Upshur Street NW in Petworth, where businesses and restaurants will be open and vendors will be lining the street selling one-of-a-kind handmade goods. 
If you get chilly, you can pop inside for more unique items at Willow DC or Fia's Fabulous Finds. You can also pick up a new read at Upshur Street Books, find a vintage treasure at Bentley's Vintage Furniture & Collectibles or have a bite to eat at Timber Pizza CompanyHank's Cocktail BarPetworth Citizen or Slim's Diner if you need a warm-up. Lighthouse Yoga Studio will be hosting their annual open house. And don't forget to head to Annie's Ace Hardware to pick up your Christmas Tree. Score a great gift for your pet this holiday season at Fido and Kitty's World This year the annual holiday market features 50+ local crafters, artists, and food vendors as well as live music performances from some of DC’s hottest locally-grown bands recruited by Listen Local First.  
The Upshur Street Art & Craft Fair began 11 years ago as indoor market organized by Kera Carpenter owner of the now closed Domku. Nathan Hill of Petworth based Nh.d studio has designed artwork and helped organize the fair for the last 8 years. In 2014, Julie Wineinger, the owner of Willow took the reins and expanded the fair to include a music and food lot behind Petworth Citizen. Wineinger says, "The Craft fair is my absolute favorite day of the year on Upshur Street. The Petworth community is incredibly supportive and we have such a fun time hanging out with neighbors while supporting some fabulous artisans."  
The 3rd Annual Kid's Fair will be at CrossFit Petworth and feature a bounce house, kid crafts and tree decorating! As is the tradition, the Petworth Public Libary will host its annual book sale the same day.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Want to buy a Christmas tree? Here are a few local options


The holidays are around the corner, and if you want to get a Christmas tree (or other tree for your holiday) there are a few local options I've heard about. If you know others, post them in the comments!

Two local schools are selling trees as a fundraiser: Bancroft Elementary in Mt. Pleasant and West Education Campus in 16th Street Heights (at 14th and Farragut.) Bancroft is selling trees this Saturday and are also hosting a holiday celebration, while West is selling trees this weekend at their school. I am not sure the hours for West.

In addition, there's a local company called DC Tree Delivery which does just that -- delivers trees to you.

Here's the details for Bancroft: they're selling trees this Sunday from 10am-4pm at the parking lot of McCormick Paints in Mt. Pleasant, at Kenyon and Mt. Pleasant Street NW, and they're holding a holiday celebration at the same time at the Lamont Park, just up Mt. Pleasant Street. The celebration has some fun events too: a puppet show from 11:30am-noon, Santa from noon to 2pm, and food, cocoa and face painting from 11am-4pm.

And here's more about DC Tree Delivery:
We deliver Premium Fraser Firs to homes, apartments, and businesses within the Beltway, and every tree comes with delivery, a tree stand, and cleanup included. Our customers can choose between a simple tree delivery to their doorstep or the full setup of their tree within their home. Either way, we always vacuum up the needles to help take the hassle out of the holidays. Now in our second year, we are excited to bring some much needed holiday cheer to the area. Our mission is to make enjoying a fresh cut Christmas tree easier than ordering a book from Amazon.
Know of any other sales? 

Neighborhood cleanup Saturday on Georgia Ave with free beer from Midlands!


Georgia Avenue Thrive has their next neighborhood cleanup this Saturday starting at 10 am at the corner of Georgia and Morton, and they're providing all the equipment you'll need.

And afterwards, Midlands will give all volunteers one free beer up to $7. Can't beat that!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Odd Provisions, corner store with prepared foods from Room 11 alums, opening Friday at 11th and Lamont



I've been excited for this: there's a new store coming to the old Arthur's shop at 11th and Lamont. Former Room 11 staffers Jess Woods and Rachel Mowrer are opening Odd Provisions this Friday, a corner store with convenience-type goods as well as food and produce from local farms, craft beer and prepared foods like rice balls made by Seki from Izakaya Seki, the tasty little Japanese spot on V Street NW.

Jess told me via email that they were very sad to hear Arthur's, which had been in business for decades, was closing but glad that they wanted to bring in another local business for the space. "We look forward to maintaining the spirit of the space and continuing to offer friendly and convenient service to our neighbors in Columbia Heights," she said. She also found some neat historical artifacts from Arthur's when renovating -- more on that soon!

Here's a bit more from Jess, and Washingtonian has a bit too, like that they were inspired by cool corner stores in Brooklyn. They're opening at 5 pm on Friday, and there's more on their website too.
Odd Provisions will be a contemporary corner market offering a mix of traditional convenience items, specialty foods by local artisans and produce from local farms as well as craft beer and wine. We'll be offering a small assortment of prepared foods, including stocks and broths, grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, with made-to-order sandwiches coming next year. We'll also be partnering with local chefs to offer their dishes in a convenient take-home form.
I'm pretty excited that there's a cool replacement for Arthur's, and that we're getting more retail in the neighborhood. I think that's something we are really lacking.

They had a preview on Saturday, here are a few more photos from that via their Facebook.




Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Twisted Horn changing name to Hank's Cocktail Bar, tweaking menu options and lowering prices


This is interesting news from Upshur Street: cocktail bar and restaurant Twisted Horn is changing its name to Hank's Cocktail Bar, to reflect that it's part of the Hank's Oyster Bar family, and also lowering prices. According to Petworth News, they wanted to be more of a neighborhood restaurant.

They recently lowered prices and added some new menu items, which will remain, and some of the decor will change, specifically the animal horns will come down. To be honest I didn't even know they had food, so it sounds like this is a pretty good idea. (I've only been once or twice, admittedly.)

Here's more from their press release:
Hank’s Cocktail Bar will continue to offer the same seasonally focused, high-quality food and drink menu, the same affordable prices, and the same great neighborhood vibe that guests have come to know and love at The Twisted Horn as well as JL Restaurant Group’s sister venues, Hank’s Oyster Bar & Hank’s Pasta Bar.
Anyone here a fan, or not a fan?

Hank's Cocktail Bar is at 819 Upshur Street NW.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

BBQ restaurant, Jenkins Capital BBQ, coming to old Ruby Tuesday space

We now know what's coming to the old Ruby Tuesday space at 14th and Monroe, and my guess of Red Lobster was wrong (sorry, lobster and cheesy biscuit fans.) The tenant is something called Jenkins Capital BBQ according to a now hiring sign posted in the window that a reader sent me. (It actually spells it "Captial" but I assume it should be "Capital".)

I can't find anything about this place online -- there is a Jenkins Quality BBQ in Jacksonville, Florida and another called Tom Jenkins BBQ in Fort Lauderdale, but I can't confirm if they're related to this restaurant. The website listed on the flyer, jenkinsbbq.com, doesn't work, nor does the email address listed or another I found online.

Oddly none of the domain name registration services I looked at have that site listed -- so it seems that nobody actually owns that website. One actually offers it for sale, even.

So, we shall see what happens. You'd think a business trying to hire staff would have their email working, but maybe this is a brand new business.

Ruby Tuesday, if you recall, closed in late 2014, and the space has been empty since. I hope this place is successful, and tasty.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Work in old Ruby Tuesday space, developer says restaurant coming: my guess is Red Lobster


Looks like we are finally getting something into the empty space where Ruby Tuesday was. A reader tweeted me that some work was happening inside, and a few days later another reader emailed that they had called the developer, Rappaport, who said it was a restaurant, but declined to say which one. Apparently they are waiting to reveal it to another blogger.

It's good news that there's something finally coming -- Ruby Tuesday was ok but didn't get many people, so I hope the next place does. I would assume this has to be a major chain, something like a "national, S+P rated tenant" which is something many lenders require -- which is also the reason we got a 7-Eleven at 14th and Spring, the bank required one of those kinds of tenants rather than a local business.

Here's some of those tenants, and another biggest list of those rated tenants, a lot of which will look familiar from DCUSA and the area: IHOP, Chipotle, Panera and the closed Applebee's. Other restaurants on the first list that might be similar to Applebee's would be Red Lobster and Cracker Barrel, while the second list includes Joe's Crab Shack, Outback Steakhouse, PF Chang's, Chili's, Applebee's, Benihana, and so on.

As you may remember, the space across 14th Street was supposed to be a TGI Friday's, which never ended up happening. Here's the whole saga from that.

Any chain restaurant you'd like to see in this space? My guess is it's going to be a Red Lobster.

Friday, November 18, 2016

New Belgium, Acre 121 launching beer to support DC voting rights tonight!


Beer time! A few weeks ago we heard about a new beer brewed by New Belgium (the folks who make Fat Tire) and the staff from Acre 121. The beer is called WetHopnation Without Representation, referencing DC's lack of voting rights in Congress, and considering it's made by New Belgium it's probably pretty tasty.

Sadly the event was delayed before, but now it's time! The event is happening today starting at 5 pm at Acre 121 and a portion of the proceeds go to DC Vote, the nonprofit that advocates for voting rights.

Here's the details and their Facebook event page:
Acre 121, in collaboration with New Belgium Brewing, is excited to announce the release of our own special pilot brew, WetHopnation Without Representation, using only the freshest wet hops and red malts. Designed by the staff at Acre 121, this limited release will only be available for short time! Join us for the tapping party this Friday and grab a pint starting at 5pm when we open and going until supply runs out, and a portion of the proceeds will go to support DC Vote! 
We’ll also have the New Belgium seasonal Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough on draft, and New Belgium will be giving away free samples and swag.wethopnation-launch_coverOur Friday night live music will begin at 10:00pm with a two amazing bands who will bring the house down:  The Perfectionists and Fellowcraft!  Get your free tickets and RSVP now for that show here, otherwise tickets will be $5 at the door.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Anti-Trump organizing meeting happening today at St. Stephen's Church, 16th and Newton

If you were opposed to Donald Trump and want to do something in the neighborhood, here's an option: a local social justice group called The Movement is organizing a planning session at St. Stephen's and the Incarnate Word Church:
Let's take a few days to grieve and reflect.
And then let's meet on Wednesday to brainstorm what we, activists and organizers, can do in the next months and years to not just resist fascism, but to continue making our country a more progressive, just, democratic place.
The meeting is from 7-9 pm at 1525 Newton and here's the Facebook invite. 846 people are interested  already!

The church is a frequent meeting place for progressive groups and others, so I don't expect this to be a religious event.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New pickup and delivery laundry service in the area, Cleanly, is pretty cool


I don't like doing laundry -- lugging it around, waiting around having to fold it and all that stuff. Sure, there are worse things in the world, but there are also a lot of other things I'd rather do.

A new laundry service named Cleanly reached out to me the other day and offered a trial, so I gave it a shot -- and I liked it.

They pick it up, return it within a day or two, and do wash and fold as well as dry cleaning. They'll do non-clothes too, things like bedspreads, tablecloths and sheets.

The rates are pretty straightforward, $1.99 per pound for wash and fold, $2.75 for laundered shirts and then other rates for different kinds of items: a dry-cleaned shirt is $6, for example. There's a $4.99 delivery fee if you have an order less than $30, otherwise it's waived.

In my case, the two guys showed up promptly when they said they would and returned the items also when they said they would -- something that I can't say for when I tried Washio a couple of years ago.

I had about two hampers full of various wash and fold laundry and 6 button-up shirts which I figured would go in wash and fold, but when the driver arrived, they separated them. This meant it cost a bit more and also added a day to the return. I was ok with that, but when I asked the customer service person about it, she said I could have asked for them to be wash and fold instead -- they aren't formal shirts or anything, so I would have been fine with that. I'll do that next time.

The folks who came (two friendly guys) brought some garment bags and such for me to keep and use, we filled them up and they were on their way.

Then they were back in two days right on time, and everything was clean, pressed and hung or folded with a light fresh smell. The wash and fold stuff was kind of interesting, it came tightly packed in some plastic, but wasn't wrinkled from what I can tell. The laundered shirts were on hangars and pressed.

The total was $49, but would have been a bit less if I had done the laundered shirts as wash-and-fold.

It's not inexpensive, but it's definitely convenient and they did a nice job. Your rates may vary if you send out a lot of dry cleaning with them.

Here's a photo of the hanging shirts and the bag that the wash-and-fold came in:


Monday, November 14, 2016

Second annual Tamal Fest, big Latin American tamale and cultural festival, coming to Columbia Heights Dec. 4

Whoa! This sounds awesome. Last year local nonprofit Hola Cultura organized Tamal Fest DC to bring people together to sample the many varieties of the Latin American dish, the tamal (also called tamale) with meat or other fillings inside corn dough.

There's a wide variety too, from the moister Central American varieties to the flakier Mexican kind, plus tons of other options for filling and sauces -- Peruvians include pork, olives and boiled eggs, for example.

The event was a huge hit, so much so that they ran out of tamales. So this second version is planned to be bigger, located at Bell High School in the Columbia Heights Education Campus at 16th and Irving on Dec. 4.

As well as the food, there's also contests, stories and more. Sounds like fun.

Here's more info.

WHATSecond Annual TAMAL FEST DC
WHO: Hosted by Hola Cultura, a Columbia Heights-based nonprofit group and online community. Please visit us on the web: http://www.holacultura.com
WHENSunday, Dec. 4, 2016,  1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Bell Multicultural High School, 3101 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20010
GETTING THERE: Metro: Columbia Heights; Buses: S2, H4, 42
TICKETS: $12 online before the Fest or $15 at the door
ONLINE TICKETING VIA OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGNhttp://kck.st/2fu4HhJ 
SOCIAL MEDIA: FB: HolaCulturaDC   T: @dccultura

TAMAL FEST DC
Part culinary fiesta; part cultural exchange
Tamales have been around for centuries. It is a truly a pan-American dish passed on for generations across Latin America—and more recently in the United States, where Latino immigrants and other tamal lovers are establishing new traditions.

Last year HOLA CULTURA had the idea of bringing residents of Washington DC together for a new twist on a tamaliza, or tamal party. The first annual TamalFest DC took place on April 19, 2015 at St. Stephen’s Church in Washington's traditionally Latino Columbia Heights neighborhood, and featured tamales from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, and Colombia.

The outpouring of public enthusiasm was an inspiration. Before selling out, we served 400 people, twice the number initially estimated. Still, TamalFest organizers had to turn away hungry people lined up around the block despite the springtime rain. This year, we're holding an even bigger and better TamalFest on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. We’ve lined up a stellar group of local tamal makers—both amateurs and professional chefs—who will complete for People’s Choice Awards! Stay tuned to www.holacultura.com for our interviews with the participating cooks in the coming weeks.

Video Booth: Last year, we were moved by the outpouring of excitement and the sharing of stories and memories people have about making or eating tamales at home or in their home countries. So this year, with the support of Humanities DC, we will launch "Hablemos del Tamal | Tamal Stories”, a Video Both at the TamalFest, where people can record stories, memories, comments, and family or community lore about this "comida típica" (traditional cuisine). After capturing these stories in the form of videotaped oral histories, Hola Cultura will process and edit the raw footage into a short bilingual video for publication on HolaCultura.com




Thursday, November 10, 2016

District Dogs doggie day care opening Nov. 18 in the old Petworth Liquor space: open house all day


Here's some good news: District Dogs will be opening Nov. 18 at 3210 Georgia Avenue NW, the old Petworth Liquors. The liquor store was a bugbear for neighbors for years with public drunkeness, public urination, customers harassing passersby and more. It finally closed when the owners, the Zuckermans, refused to renew their lease.

The new spot is really nice looking, too -- new paint and more.

District Dogs is a pet-sitting, boarding, doggie day care center and pet shop, and they're opening next Friday. They'll be hosting an open house event all day there with a 10% discount off retail items and free light refreshments.

Nice to see some new retail on the Georgia Avenue strip -- I hope we see more.

Here's more from them:
We’ve been talking about it for months and we are thrilled to announce that District Dogs’ brand new brick-and-mortar space at 3210 Georgia Avenue NW has cleared the final hurdles and will be opening next week! Read on for details about our open house celebration and the official start dates for daycare and boarding services. 
Our mission is all about helping busy owners provide excellent care for their furry family members and we look forward to bringing you the same level of thoughtfulness and attention you expect from District Dogs in a whole new environment. This new facility features separate play areas for large dogs and small (or senior) dogs, private feeding space, and a retail boutique stocked with necessities as well as thoughtful gifts and treats for dogs and dog lovers alike.

Join us Friday, November 18th from 9am till 9pm for an open house to celebrate our new space. Humans and dogs are invited to check out the new facility while enjoying light refreshments and a 10% discount on retail items purchased during the open house event.
We will begin taking daycare clients on Saturday, November 19th and for our first couple of weeks, we will only be taking daycare reservations. Boarding reservations will be available starting Thursday, December 1st. 
As a reminder, all dogs need to complete a two-hour evaluation before they can officially be registered for daycare or boarding services. This evaluation is complimentary and consists of a play period during which our staff can observe your dog play and interact with others. Not sure if daycare is a good fit for your dog? Check out our recent look at the benefits of daycare and schedule your evaluation today!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Don't forget to vote today! Our recommendations for who to vote for, and lots of events and deals around the neighborhood

Today is the last day to vote in DC! A lot of local establishments are doing things for it, either deals or just hosting a watch party.

In addition, here's my bigger post on who I recommend voting for. In short:

And on to the deals and events:

The Red Derby is doing a party with a big map, election games and specials.

Looking Glass, which recently dropped Yuengling after their founder's support of Donald Trump, is hosting a watch party and a new combo, the HRC: a Highlight and a shot of Old Overholt.

DC Reynolds has their normal Taco Tuesday.

The new Midlands beer garden at 3333 Georgia is doing an all night happy hour: one free Miller Lite plus $6 and $8 shot and beer combos starting at 5.

Morgan's Seafood is offering half off ice cream for folks with an I Voted sticker, plus free veggies.

Any other deals out there? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Preview: The Hilltop, American bar and restaurant on Sherman, opening Nov. 11 and it looks awesome


Last week we heard that The Hilltop, the bar and restaurant from Sam Jahabeen of the Saloon, had an opening date: Nov. 11 with a soft opening the day before. I've been looking forward to the spot for some time and Sam invited me to check it out last week. I was really impressed, it looks great.

The inside is a lot of warm wood and seats about 30, with about 30 more outside, at the bar and at some tables. There's also an upstairs area but that won't be open until later.

The original idea was that the spot would focus on German and Belgian beers, but Jahabeen said after he met with beer distributors and tasted a lot of really delicious local beers, he decided to go with mostly those. Some of the beers on draft when I visited were RAR's Nanticoke Nectar, an IPA, and one from Berley Oak, a sour-beer focused brewery from Maryland. There was also one from Victory, plus Erdinger, a German hefeweiss, plus more in cans and bottles like Striped Bass Pale Ale from Virginia's Devil's Backbone.

As for the food, chef Angel Franco, who formerly worked at Compass Rose and Minibar, has a wide-ranging menu with small plates like homemade cheese puffs and boquerones (fish similar to anchovies) and bigger dishes like a grilled cheese sandwich that Jahabeen raved over, duck confit, a brat, salmon pastrami and more. The prices were moderate, about $12-17 for entrees.

To begin with they'll be open for dinner every day except Tuesdays, opening at 5 pm and plan to start a brunch in the winter.

Jahabeen had some neat plans too, like finishing out the upstairs into a lounge and event space and holding block party type events on the patio in spring and summer -- he mentioning bringing out a smoker.

As for the long wait, Jahabeen said it was a combination of permit frustrations (a common theme in the city) and other management delays. He was formerly in a partnership with Kaleabe Getaneh, also of the Saloon, but now it's just Jahabeen.

The inside itself is really beautiful too -- sadly my pictures don't do it justice, but I really liked it. It looks like a good spot for a relaxed drink with a friend or date and a nice, but not too fancy, meal.

Their Instagram is @thehilltopdc. The first two pictures here are from there, the rest for me.