Friday, May 26, 2017

Video: Potter's House cafe on Columbia Road has neat pay it forward campaign

This is a little out of our area, but pretty cool. Potter's House, the cafe and bookstore at 1658 Columbia Rd NW, has a "pay it forward" option where you can pay for someone else's coffee or meal, donating when you buy your items. The proceeds pay for a pay-what-you-can meal program. 

Ad 2 DC, a local advertising group, put together a neat little ad about it as well as a documentary about the spot, which has been around since 1960. (They also have good coffee, it's a nice place.)

Here's the ad and their press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Adams Morgan Reminded to Pay It Forward in New Advertising Campaign for The Potter’s House

The Potter’s House, in collaboration with Ad 2 DC, is proud to announce its newest advertising campaign, “Pay It Forward.” Launched April 15, the campaign showcases how donating to The Potter’s House’s long-standing Pay It Forward program brings the Adams Morgan community together. Donations to the Pay It Forward program directly fund the corresponding Pay What You Can program, where Adams Morgan neighbors can visit The Potter's House and receive a nutritious meal regardless of income, and be served with dignity.

One of the highlights of the “Pay It Forward” campaign is a cinema-quality commercial showing a glimpse into the radical hospitality that happens every day at The Potter’s House, a coffeehouse, bookstore, and community hub in Adams Morgan founded in 1960. The spot was filmed onsite at The Potter’s House, and it depicts patrons of all backgrounds coming together over food in the space’s welcoming atmosphere.

Ad 2 DC also produced two mini-documentaries celebrating The Potter’s House’s history and mission, as well as the Pay It Forward program, with exclusive interviews from The Potter’s House’s board members, employees, and patrons.

“One of the goals of the Pay It Forward program is to have a starting point for connection,” says Tim Kumfer, The Potter’s House’s general manager. “We’re really seeking to re-weave the fabric of the community and bring people together. Through donations to Pay It Forward, we’re able to serve 25 meals a day through the Pay What You Can program, and as that number grows, we’ll also need to grow the support accordingly.”

The Potter's House's video commercial is featured on NBC4, News Channel 8/ABC 7, and YouTube. Other components of the multimedia campaign, which runs through June, can be found on iHeartRadio’s DC partner stations (WASH-FM, WBIG-FM, WIHT-FM, WMQZ-FM, WWDC-FM), in print in El Tiempo Latino, online on, on Digilant Media’s partner sites, including, and in-store at The Potter’s House at 1658 Columbia Rd. NW, Washington, DC, 20009.

Donate to the Pay it Forward Program through The Potter’s House’s Go Fund Me page and learn more at

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cool: Odd Provisions has iced coffee with frozen coffee ice cubes

Today I stopped into Odd Provisions, the cool little market at 11th and Lamont, and noticed they had iced coffee -- but with pre-made frozen coffee ice cubes.

Pretty clever idea -- the cubes were already in a cup in the freezer so you don't water your iced coffee down as you drink it. They used to do something similar at Zombie Coffee and Donuts, so maybe that was the inspiration.

If you haven't been, Odd Provisions has a lot of nice produce, food, drinks, beer and wine as well as delicious pre-made food like sandwiches, pimento cheese and a tasty buffalo cauliflower salad.

It's not traditional corner store stuff, most of the items are pretty high quality or locally made. I like it for a lunch bite or some dinner ingredients. Good beer and cider too.

Whoa, free bottomless mimosas and micheladas at Lou's for brunch

This is a pretty sweet deal at Lou's City Bar at 14th and Irving: free bottomless mimosas or micheladas (a Mexican drink, like a Bloody Mary but with beer) if you buy a brunch item. It starts this Saturday and goes until 6/25, from 11am-2pm.

Below is their brunch menu.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Short Eats, new Sri Lankan breakfast pop-up at Ten Tigers, is awesome

Today I checked out Short Eats, the new pop-up inside Ten Tigers Parlour, which offers Sri Lankan roti, a flaky stuffed pastry sort of like empanadas and Compass Coffee. And they are pretty delicious.

The roti are designed to be eaten on the go, which is traditional in Sri Lanka: they come in a little paper sleeve so you can take them with you. They're open 7am-10am Monday-Friday and offer pork sausage, ground turkey, and veggie, all with potatoes, poached eggs and spices, plus optional pol sambol, a spicy condiment. I got the sausage, it was nice: a crispy, brown pastry with a bit of kick and all the ingredients. I almost got a second but decided not to.

I spoke with owner Yohan Ferdinando, who organized it along with Jonathan Beyoghlow, who said that the sausage is their nod to American breakfasts while the veggie is the most traditional. Ferdinando was born in Sri Lanka but moved to the US as a kid. DCist writes that he's using his family's traditional recipes.

Along with the rotis, they have Compass coffee, cold brew Ceylon ginger tea, mango juice and water. The rotis are $5.50 or $7 with a drink. They have wifi too.

They're also selling them at the Petworth Farmers Market, Saturdays from 9am-1pm.

Ferdinando said they'd see how business goes until the end of June, and might also keep serving at Ten Tigers.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Meeting on Thursday about redevelopment of old Hebrew Home building at 1125 Spring Rd

The old Hebrew Home building at 1125 Spring Road NW has been empty for some time and the city is planning to redevelop it as housing. If you want to learn more or let your voice be heard, there's a community meeting this Thursday at 6:30pm at Raymond Rec Center.

I've written about it a fair amount before, some people want the development to have more affordable housing, while some want less or none at all. It's been fairly acrimonious, there are groups advocating for or against affordable housing, with each claiming the others aren't actually from the neighborhood.

The last I heard, the plan was for the building to have 200 units: about 80 in the Hebrew Home building at 120 more in a new building on the site, where the Robeson School is currently (that weird modern building.) Each building will be 30% affordable units, according to these plans.

The building itself was built in 1925 and sold to the city in the 1960s, and it's been vacant since about 2008. Here's the city's page about the project.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Dinosaur-themed toga party tonight at Ten Tigers Parlour

Well that's something you don't see every day: there's a dinosaur-themed toga party tonight at Ten Tigers Parlour from 10pm-3am. Called Animal House Rules, there will be DJs (Godbrother, Raptorstein and the amusingly named The Barber Streisand) spinning and there's no cover. Togas are optional, but who goes to a toga party without a toga?

I love this neighborhood.

(Ten Tigers, part-owned by the Hilton Brothers from Thievery Corporation, hosts a lot of DJ nights and house music dance parties, check them out.)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DC rapper Wale has a song called "Colombia Heights (Te Llamo)" (sic) on his new record

I've written about D.C. rapper Wale a few times before, he's done a few videos in and around our area -- including one with a virtual Lady Gaga at Cardozo High School.

His latest record Shine has a track called "Colombia Heights (Te Llamo)" (sic, that is Colombia and not Columbia. The song features J. Balvin, who is from Colombia the country, so it's a play on words.

Here are the lyrics -- it doesn't talk directly about our area, but still but kind of cool to see the neighborhood in music.

My favorite Wale record was his first mixtape, 100 Miles and Runnin', which featured Mark Ronson and had remixes of Justice, Lily Allen and others. He also did one about Seinfeld, The Mixtape about Nothing. Apparently him and Jerry Seinfeld are buds.

Then again, there's also a song called "F*CK WALE" by a local rapper called DC Jay that prominently features the buildings on Columbia Road between 14th and 13th. So, maybe not everybody likes him.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Help Powell Elementary this Saturday at their Spring Carnival: dunk tank, fun for kids, raffles & more; Annie's Ace donating too

This Saturday, Powell Elementary at 1350 Upshur is holding their Spring Community Carnival, a fundraiser and fun event for kids and adults. It's at the Roosevelt High School field across from Annie's Ace Hardware from 10am-3pm.

And along with that event, Annie's is holding a fundraiser for the event -- they'll round up any purchase you make on Saturday:
Annie’s Ace Hardware in Petworth supports a number of schools in the area but we have a special partnership with Powell Elementary which is right down the block from us.  Our employees happily volunteer to be judges at their spelling bees, participate in Dr. Seuss reading days, and host tours of our store.
 This Saturday, May 20, the Powell Carnival will be held at Roosevelt High School’s athletic field.  As part of this event, Annie’s Ace Hardware will do a “round-up” fundraiser.  What this means is that all customers will be asked if they would like to round-up their purchase to support the Powell Padres, the parent organization for Powell Elementary.  If your total comes to $13.49, you will have the opportunity to “round-up” to $14.00 and 51 cents will be donated to Powell. We appreciate your support of this event!

Here's more about the carnival itself:
On May 20th, Powell Elementary School we will be holding their 3rd annual Spring Community Carnival at Roosevelt High School football field. This event is open to the public and all proceeds go towards funding field trips, classroom technology, classroom supplies and other school-support activities. 
Fun Activities to Expect:
  • Dunk Tank
  • Climbing Wall 
  • Moon Bounces for younger and older kids
  • Carnival Games and prizes for kids
  • Powell Teachers vs Parents soccer Classic
  • Sno-Cones, Popcorn, Hotdogs and other treats
  • Live performances!
  • Raffle for cash and an iPad!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Jenkins Capital BBQ opening in Ruby Tuesday space in a few weeks with sidewalk cafe; is mysterious

Well, I've written a few times about Jenkins Capital BBQ, which is coming to the former Ruby Tuesday space at 14th and Monroe. A reader just sent in a few pictures on the interior, and it looks to me like it's ready to go, there also appears to be a worker inside. I spoke to their lawyer, who said they are just finishing up some construction and should be open in a few weeks.

They applied for a liquor license a while ago including a 48 seat sidewalk cafe and 235 seats overall. I can't tell if they were granted it or not, and there was a protest by some ANC commissioners, acting as residents rather than as officials. I'm trying to find more about that.

However, it's a pretty mysterious spot, in my opinion. They don't have a website, Facebook or anything else I can find, and there's very little other info out there. The website on their opening soon banner,, doesn't work.

PoP wrote that he was told they're related to a Jenkins Quality BBQ in Jacksonville, but when I called that restaurant they said they weren't related at all, they only have three Florida locations. The lawyer for Jenkins Capital BBQ said said the same thing, they're not related at all.

If you're with Jenkins, please email me! I'd love to know more about your restaurant. I like BBQ.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ever see those kids fundraising for Roosevelt High? Odds are it's a scam -- but actual fundraiser today at Chick-fil-A

Every now and then on the Metro and elsewhere I've seen groups of kids, and sometimes adults, walking around saying they're fundraising for Petworth's Roosevelt High School, a Roosevelt sports team or something similar. They have a piece of paper, sometimes laminated, with info about the team. However, WUSA reports that it's a scam.

DC Public Schools say the Metro fundraiser isn't affiliated with the school, and that they only do fundraisers on campus. They also said to check the school's Twitter or call them, 202-576-6130.

The scammers had the misfortune of talking to both Petworth News blogger Drew Schneider and DC Councilmember Robert White, who both thought something was fishy. Pretty shitty of people to do this to people who think they're helping a local school.

However, there is an official, legit fundraiser today though -- if you eat at Chick-fil-A today and bring the flyer with you (or show them the flyer on your phone) the store will donate to the school.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Acre 121 has closed, to be replaced by cycling bar from Hilton Bros (Thievery Corp., 18th Street Lounge, Gibson, Ten Tigers, etc.)

More bar turnover! Acre 121, the southern spot at 14th and Irving in the Highland Park building, has closed. A couple of weeks ago, PoP reported that it would be replaced with a cycling bar from the Hilton Brothers, local businessmen and musicians. Known as Thievery Corporation for their musical endeavors, they've opened a series of lounges and spots around town, such as the 18th Street Lounge, the Gibson, American Ice Company and more recently Ten Tigers Parlour, often working with other restauranteurs, developers and such. The New York Times has more on the bros.

I recently spoke with someone from the developers of the building, who gave me more details about the spot. For one, they plan to rejigger the interior to make it a bit more bar-friendly -- currently the bar is off the side and behind some big posts, making for a somewhat awkward space.

They also plan to make the patio area more of a patio, as right now it's covered in a kind of plastic tent (see above) -- maybe more of a canopy that's open to the street, similar to the bars on 17th Street in Dupont.

The vibe would be European with a cycling theme, lots of beer, especially Belgian, and European street food; PoP had mentioned Doner kebab, which would be awesome. The District Karaoke league, which had competitions fairly regularly at Acre, will be moving to another bar.

Sounds like a good option for the space, which has had some turnover -- it was originally the delicious CommonWealth, a British gastropub from the Hank's Oyster Bar folks, who closed it to focus on Hank's, and then Acre 121. I liked the food at Acre but only went once or twice, and it was kind of an odd vibe. Hopefully the Hiltons and the developers can make this a cool spot.

Photo from Google Streetview

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sour beers from Indiana's Upland Brewery now available in our area

If you like sour beers, you have some new options. Upland Brewing, based in Bloomington, Indiana, is now distributing their brews in the area. I tried a few yesterday at a tasting event and enjoyed them.

They're still working on getting them into local bars, but currently are selling them in bottles at D'vines on 14th Street and working on getting them into Lion's Liquors on Georgia.

They're also available on draft at Jack Rose and ChurchKey, not far from us.

They're also doing a 20-tap takeover event at Jack Rose tonight and another on Thursday at RFD.

We tried five of their sours, from the lightest Iridescent to the dark Cursed Kettle, which was barrel-aged. I really enjoyed the Iridescent and the hopped Hopsynth, both of which would be really good warm weather beers, or with some cheese or a burger. I could see having a bottle on the porch. The Cursed Kettle and Black Prairie were also good, funkier and tasted stronger, even though all the beers are around 6% alcohol. They'd be tasty with some strongly flavored food, maybe a funky cheese or something rich.

Many are wood aged and the brewers talked about using 10-year old barrels that have their own strain of yeast to get them started, then finishing them in other barrels to impart different flavors.

In all, good stuff, and give them a look if you're at D'vines.

(Also, if you'd be interested in writing a guest beer column for this blog, let me know!)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Checking our Reliable Tavern, the new bar at 3556 Georgia: awesome, relaxed, good drinks and nice staff

I've been pretty excited about Reliable Tavern, the new spot on Georgia Ave just south of New Hampshire from Joe Englert, who has opened dozens of awesome spots about the city (DC9, the Pug, Big Hunt, Sticky Rice etc.) And I got a chance to check it out on Friday, their opening day. It's a good spot. You should go.

There's two floors, with a long bar upstairs plus tables and chairs, then a bar downstairs with two pool tables and more sitting/hanging out areas. It's all rustic and wood, which goes with their vaguely Tex-Mex theme. They had a good beer, cocktail and wine selection, and I really enjoyed the the bartender's choice, where you pick a category and a spirit and they make a cocktail -- in our case it had yellow chartreuse, ginger beer and I forget what else, and it was really delicious.

They also have snacks like kolaches from Republic Kolache, who also provided them at Small Chop, plus chips & salsa, "proper Texas queso," hummus and guac.

The bartenders were also super nice and we kept running into people we knew, which is always a good sign. Good jukebox too with a good Tex-Mex selection.

In short, it's awesome. See more pics and the menu below. They're open 5pm-2am every day except 5pm-3am on Friday and Saturday.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Good Silver from Kangaroo Boxing Club, Ivy & Coney folks opens Tuesday, May 9, replacing KBC

New bar time! Just got a press release that The Good Silver is opening May 9 where Kangaroo Boxing Club was at 3410 11th Street NW. KBC closed in January and the owners, as well as longtime bartender Carrie Dzwil and the folks behind Ivy & Coney have been working on it since.

The name refers to the good plates and silverware your mom would bring out for special occasions,  and the focus will be "quality food and drink in a casual atmosphere." There will be a lot of shrub-based cocktails and food from local ingredients, such as an organic buttermilk-brined fried chicken sandwiches and a half smoke burger with pickled radish and sweet, tangy tomato jam. The full menu is below.

It looks like they opened up the space quite a bit and moved the bar to the middle of the room, removing the small walls that were there before.

Here's more!

The Good Silver, from Ivy and Coney Team, Opening Tuesday, May 9th

The team behind Ivy and Coney (Josh Saltzman, Chris Powers, and Adam Fry) and new partner, Carrie Dzwil, are excited to announce The Good Silver, at 3410 11th St. NW in Columbia Heights, will open Tuesday, May 9th at 5pm.

Remember when you were a kid, and mom would break out the “good” plates? It pays homage to a time when the everyday was elevated, simply by caring a little bit more. Don't expect the finest forks or vintage China, but instead, a focus on quality food and drink in a casual atmosphere.

On the drinks side, Dzwil has incorporated some of her favorite seasonal flavors into a variety of shrub-based cocktails which bring out the best of local produce for some refreshing, tart and not too sweet offerings. A spring highlight is her Lemongrass Ice Pick, which combines lemongrass-infused Civic Vodka from local distillery Republic Restoratives, honey-ginger syrup, iced tea and fresh sage. It has kept everyone sane and hydrated after (or during) long, hot days of construction. The drink menu also includes a sparkling shrub punch for four, and a concise but excellent liquor and craft beer list that includes local distilleries and breweries.

Rounding out the team is Remi Gottheil, a graduate of Dartmouth, who ran off to join the circus (seriously, he taught trapeze classes) and worked under chef Danny Boylen. Gottheil has created a highly seasonal menu combining the best currently available produce (from farms such as Pleitez Farms and 76 Acres) with pickles, preserves and locally sourced proteins. Guests can choose from a selection of “handhelds,” starters and charcuterie. Highlights include the organic buttermilk-brined fried chicken sandwiches and a half smoke burger with pickled radish and sweet, tangy tomato jam.

The space feels as if your grandma's living room was converted to a tavern. The large horseshoe bar serves as the focal point, flanked by cozy tables with the comfiest chairs this side of your local barber shop. Aiming to be as welcoming as your home, we've framed photos of our own families over many generations (some going back to the mid 1800's) and will invite our regulars to share their own histories on the walls in the coming months. Opposite our family photos is an expansive mural painted by DC-born artist Chad Brady depicting The Knights Who Say Ni. (They require a daily shrubbery, after all, and we've found they accept shrub-based cocktails and PBR as an appropriate offering.)

The Good Silver will initially be open Tuesday-Sunday at 5 pm with plans to add weekend brunch and expanded weekday hours in the future. We look forward to welcoming everyone into our new home tomorrow.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Wonderland's 13th Annual Sundress Fest is Sunday!

Wow, we have an embarrassment of riches this weekend -- today is Cinco de Mayo, plus First Friday on Georgia Avenue, the new Reliable Tavern is opening, the Funk Parade is Saturday, and Sunday is the Wonderland Sundress Fest!

The fest, if you haven't been, is a big block party with proceeds going to DC Central Kitchen. It's called the Sundress Fest because they encourage everyone to wear sundresses, and those wearing them will get deals on drinks. They also have racks of them that you can buy for a small donation to DC Central Kitchen.

There's often music and lots of hilarity, and it's also a fun sight to see everybody in sundresses -- there's a lot of chest hair.

Here's their press release:
So You Want to Be a Philanthropist?Wonderland’s 12th annual Sundress Fest is calling. 
So you say you want to be a Philanthropist? 
Well, have we got a party for you, and all you need is a sundress and a sense of humor. If special occasions call for putting on your best dress, then the 13th annual Sundress Fest at The Wonderland Ballroom is certainly one of them!  As we celebrate over a decade in the neighborhood, Wonderland invites both the young and old to come out on the first Sunday in May to support a local charity by putting on a sundress and celebrating life. We’ll have an all-day happy hour for ANYONE in a sundress.   You can bring your own sundress, or get one at Wonderland. There will be racks of sundresses, and everyone will find a one that fits. This year we are raising funds for DC Central Kitchen, so c’mon, show a little leg. 
Situated on the corner of 11th and Kenyon St, NW, Wonderland became part of the neighborhood in 2004, back when the Columbia Height’s Metro stop was across from an empty lot. Now we’re on the southern goalpost of the neighborhood’s 11th Street strip, and a fine place for locals to find outdoor seating and familiar faces. 
But what’s so special about this place? We like to think it’s special because we have the nicest collection of Buddha’s and old signs anywhere in Columbia Heights. Or maybe it’s the dance parties upstairs. The 12 tap lines are cold, and the prices are right, so it could be that as well. But really we know it’s all the folks, the neighbors, the staff who hang out and get to know each other at Wonderland. 
Wonderland also prides itself on supporting local artists and community groups. The stage fills with trivia on Mondays, karaoke singers and DC Bocce players on Tuesdays, and live bands, comedy, and variety shows the rest of the week. DJ’s spin dance music way past midnight on the weekends. 
Please join us the first Sunday in May to help make our 13th Annual Sundress Fest a big one!  Whether you wear your own dress or get one at Wonderland, attend this charity in style. (But remember: don’t wear the same dress two years in a row!).Come along with us, follow the White Rabbit, and raise your glass in a toast:“Cheers! Here’s to being a Philanthropist!”

Reliable Tavern opens tonight at 3655 Georgia: cocktails, pool, kolaches!

Whoa, this was a surprise: Reliable Tavern, from DC nightlife guru Joe Englert, is opening tonight just south of the corner of Georgia and New Hampshire, according to the Washingtonian.

I've been eagerly tracking it for a while now, as Englert has opened or run a lot of awesome places in the past: DC9, the Big Hunt, Cap Lounge, Pour House, Sticky Rice, Granville Moore's, Rock and Roll Hotel, and on and on.

According to the Washingtonian, it will be a relaxed, neighborhood place with pool tables and kolaches from Republic Kolache, who also supplied them to the awesome Small Chop coffee popup -- they're a type of Texas-Czech pastry with either a sweet filling (like sour cherry) or savory, like eggs and chorizo or brisket. They'll have other Tex-Mex snacks too, like guacamole, chips and salsa and  "proper" queso.

The spot was formerly a hardware store, hence the name and logo and is two levels, which I didn't realize before. There will be a jukebox and two pool tables in the basement.

Busy day on Georgia Avenue with First Friday happening too!

Photos from Reliable Tavern via Washingtonian 

First Friday on Georgia Avenue today: check out local businesses with freebies, performances, specials, more

Georgia Avenue Thrive is launching First Friday on Georgia Avenue today, a way to celebrate local businesses in the area with giveaways, freebies, deals and more. It's a neat way to learn more about all the cool stuff on the street. There's also things for kids, pets, and yoga enthusiasts!

The idea is that it will be a monthly event with lots of local spots participating. Pretty neat, I plan to check it out.

Here's more details.
The spring just got more exciting! We are launching the first First Friday on lower Georgia Avenue on Cinco de Mayo. Join us this Friday, May 5th from 6-8pm for our monthly celebration of the Georgia Avenue community with specials and live events at our local businesses, see list below. More to join in the future!  
The participating businesses are: 
Colony Club – 3210 Georgia Avenue NWLive music by Three Man Soul Machine 
Heat Da Spot Coffee Lounge - 3231 Georgia Avenue NWEnjoy a free cup of coffee as you choose from the many delicious offerings!
District Dogs - 3210 Georgia Avenue NWFind out why Jacob chose free hot dogs to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and the first First Friday and win a District Dog T-shirt in the raffle
Union Drinkery & Small Fry – 3216 Georgia Avenue NWEnjoy a $5 margarita and amazing sandwiches while you enjoy art… on the spacious back patio. Dogs and children are welcome!
Walls of Books - Washington, DC - 3325 Georgia Avenue NWEnjoy a complimentary glass of wine as you peruse the books. Check out the children’s section! Buy 5 get 5 free! Who can resist an offer like that?
The Midlands DC – 3333 Georgia Ave NWRelax in the beer garden with your dog and ask for the “First Friday special”. Surprise! 
Esencias Panameñas Restaurant & Catering – 3322 Georgia Avenue NWFish Fry Friday! One fish entrée at regular price, get second at ½ price
Yoga Heights – 3506 Georgia Avenue NWKick-start your weekend with this special Friday evening yoga class set to the teacher's favorite mix of Hip Hop, Dance, and R&B music. This class is a fun, powerful, and amped-up flow, promising to leave you sweaty and ready to dance the night away (perhaps after a shower!).