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 DecadeI 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 OpenCorporates.com is owned by a Lynn Yaudes.
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.
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.