Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Whoa: city closing Georgia Avenue to vehicular traffic for a day on Oct. 5 for Open Streets DC event

Wow, this is pretty neat. Curbed reports that the city is planning to close Georgia Avenue from Missouri Avenue NW to Barry Place NW to vehicle traffic for a day, as part of a new Open Streets DC program. The city describes it like so:
Open Streets is a program that temporarily closes streets to motor-vehicle traffic and opens them to people for healthy activities suitable for all ages and abilities. Open Streets help inspire people to think differently about their streets by encouraging physical activity, creating recreational opportunities, and fostering community building and education.
Sounds pretty neat. Other cities do this as a kind of festival. Bogota, for example, does something called a Ciclovia where people ride bikes on major streets, and it's very popular. In other places it is more like a street festival with kids events, recreation, performances and so on. New York City's events attracted 300,000 people, for example.

One block on either side of Georgia are also closed for the event, which will be from 6am-5pm. They are listed here:
Howard Place NW; Euclid Street NW; Fairmont Street NW; Girard Street NW; Gresham Place NW; Harvard Street NW; Hobart Place NW; Columbia Road NW; Irving Street NW; Kenyon Street NW; Keefer Place NW; Lamont Street NW; Morton Street NW; Park Road NW; Newton Place NW; Otis Place NW; Princeton Place NW; Quebec Place NW; New Hampshire Avenue NW; Rock Creek Church Road NW; Quincy Street NW; Randolph Street NW; Shepherd Street NW; Taylor Street NW; Upshur Street NW; Kansas Avenue NW; Iowa Avenue/Varnum Street NW; Webster Street NW; Allison Street NW; Buchanan Street NW; Crittenden Street NW; Decatur Street NW; Delafield Place NW; Emerson Street NW; Farragut Street NW; Arkansas Avenue NW; Gallatin Street NW; Hamilton Street NW; Ingraham Street NW; Jefferson Street NW; Kennedy Street NW; Illinois Avenue NW; Longfellow Street NW; and Madison Street NW.
The city's order says "All building, health, life safety, and use of public space requirements shall remain applicable to the Special Event Areas designated by this Order." which I assume means things like emergency vehicles can still go through.

Stay tuned for more details.  

Friday, July 19, 2019

Columbia Heights residents get $500 to renovate their homes

This is a sponsored post from remodelmate

Every homeowner in Columbia Heights knows how stressful, unpredictable, and costly home renovations can be. Enter remodelmate.

This local company makes remodeling as simple as “push button, renovate.” Founded on the goal of creating a better renovation experience, remodelmate uses technology and transparency to bring you renovations that are completed in half the time for half the cost.

No onsite appointment

Gone are the days of in-home consultations. Remodelmate is all virtual. Get a great price and a transparent timeline for your project without ever having to take time off from work.

Milestone payments

Book for $0 and pay as work is completed. You only have to pay when you’re satisfied with the work completed by your installer.

Concierge-level service

Our Concierge team is your renovation assistant. Get expert help with design and let them deal with the stressful stuff like ordering, delivery and returns for a small fee. 

Remodelmate is simply the better way to renovate. So much so that they’ve been featured inThe Washington PostWashington Business JournalForbesFast Company, and Remodeling Magazine

For a limited time, New Columbia Heights readers get $500 off remodelmate’s exclusive Concierge service. Simply use the code COHI when you book a project for free on www.remodelmate.com. Hurry! This offer expires on August 30, 2019. No project minimums. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Heat emergency: City pools open til 9 pm, shelters and cooling centers open

It's hot out there. Super hot. The city declared a heat emergency yesterday, which means that pools will stay open later, and there will be cooling centers and shelters open as well, all through Sunday.

In our area, that means Banneker Pool on Georgia Ave is open until 9pm Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (they're closed Thursdays) and Upshur Pool at Upshur & Arkansas is also open until 9pm every day (they're closed Mondays.)

There's a full map of cooling centers and shelters here, as well as spray parks for kids.

ABC7 has more info, and to see the city's full plan here.

Flower shop She Loves Me open at 808 Upshur Street NW

This is neat: there's a newish flower shop, She Loves Me, on Upshur Street, where you can stop in to get a bouquet, subscribe to a monthly flower service, or get flowers for your wedding or event. It opened in a former shoe repair shop, and is next door to the new location of Lemon Collective, a coworking and art space which has classes and events.

Here's more from She Loves Me. Sounds cool! Always nice to see more retail in our area.
She Loves Me is a flower shop of wonders in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC, founded by Holley Simmons and run by a team of strong women. We offer flowers by the stem and custom-built bouquets using buds from our favorite local growers; we also carry a wild collection of botanical-based goods for your home and body. She Loves Me offers a subscription flower service for those who love having fresh blooms delivered right to their doorstep every month; sometimes we even send love notes to our subscribers! 
Within our space we encourage exploration and asking questions. Our mission is to provide unique blossoms and, in the process, spread enthusiasm and appreciation for the world around us. 
The She Loves Me team also offers monthly botanical-themed workshops ranging from dried wreath-making to Plant Parenthood 101 in their coworking space next door, The Lemon Collective. We offer our classes off-site as well, making them the perfect party treat for your next birthday, wedding event, or night in!

Photos by Megan Graham

Monday, July 15, 2019

First look at Hook Hall, beer garden, cafe and event space opening Thursday, July 18 in Kraken Axes space

A few weeks ago we learned at the new spot coming to the Kraken Axes space at 3400 Georgia Avenue NW is called Hook Hall and would be a big beer garden, indoor bar and event space. I was able to visit last week and talk with owner Anna Valero and also learn more about the space. It's opening on Thursday, July 18, and I'm pretty excited.

The space, if you recall from Kraken Axes day, is very large, both inside and out. Valero, who also owns Kraken Axes at its new location downtown as well as local event firm Drink the District, has a lot of plans. Originally, the building was a Peoples Drug (now CVS), then Murry's grocery store, an indoor mushroom farm, then finally Kraken.

Normally Hook Hall will be a cafe during the day with Vigilante Coffee, though it will only be open in the evenings to start. It will transition into a bar in the evening, with both indoor and outdoor bars and 32 taps overall.

They don't have a kitchen but will have pastries and such, and Valero says she plans to have a food truck at times outside as well as having rotating food vendors -- for example the types of places you might see at food halls or food incubators. There are TVs and wifi, plus a separate front patio that also opens up on the main indoor bar, kind of like Pearl Dive on 14th Street. She thought it might also serve as a walk up coffee bar during the day, which sounds great.

They also plan to hold various events and festivals there, including classes from Sweat DC, yoga, regular events and things of that nature. It can also be used for neighborhood meetings and various classes, such as Drink the District cocktail or beer events, tastings, classes, cooking demos and so on. In the long term Valero hopes to add a commercial kitchen outside in a shipping container.

Outside, Valero aims for an upscale beer garden with a big bar, a synthetic lawn and 10 reservable covered cabanas for 12-15 people each. Pets will be allowed outside too. It's catty-corner from the Midlands, another beer garden, but considering how crowded that place is I'm sure it will do fine.

The space has five rentable areas for events, which you can also combine (you can see a floor plan below.) There will be large movable dividers so events can be separate or even happen during regular working hours. I can picture wedding receptions, cocktail hours, meet-up events, and so on. She also plans to have smaller spaces for work meetings and such too. For events, there are teams that can help with furniture, security, valet parking, A/V and so on, with room for 700 people inside and 675 outside.

The space looks nice inside, with the original brick exposed and what Valero called industrial nautical  -- hence the name, Hook Hall. There are copper pipes from the former District Distilling on U Street, plus touches like murals, anchors and metal chandeliers. She says she was partially inspired by Houston Hall, a pretty awesome beer hall in New York. They've also added some big roll up doors to let in more natural light as well as a big mural wall that can also be used for projecting movies onto.

The bathrooms are very nice and quite large, able to accommodate a lot of people. I definitely appreciate that, it stinks to wait in bar bathroom lines. That should be good for big events too.

I'm pretty excited to check it out. Here are some photos from last week (so still not quite set up.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Eater names Call Your Mother one of the best new restaurants in the country

Well, the line at Call Your Mother may be getting longer soon. The "Jew-ish" bagel spot at 3301 Georgia Ave NW, was just named one of the country's 16 best new restaurants by Eater. They highlight the quality bagels, "offbeat" items like the challah cheesesteak, and the Argentine touches from chef Daniela Moreira. They also do an occasional supper club.

CYM is the only DC-area spot on the list, joining others from New York, LA, Philly, Chicago and other big cities, plus a few smaller spots like Newport, KY. Previous list included other local spots, such as last year with Maydan on Florida Ave NW, Himitsu in 2017, Pineapple & Pearls in 2016, and Maketto in 2015.

It's nice to see restaurants in our area get noticed. Bad Saint has also been recognized all over the place, such as being the #2 best new restaurant in the country in 2016 according to Bon Appetit.

Photo by anokarina

Monday, July 8, 2019

Georgia Ave changes: Marrakech Moroccan restaurant closed after 2 months, Mr. Braxton bar coming, Tsehay Ethiopian now open

Lots happening on Georgia Avenue -- Marrakech, a Moroccan restaurant formerly on P Street in Dupont, opened at 3632 Georgia Avenue a couple of months ago without much fanfare, and now they're gone. The replacement has permits in the windows, which will be Mr. Braxton Bar and Restaurant.

And next door at 3630 Georgia, Tsehay Ethiopian Bar and Restaurant is also open. I walked by the other day and it smelled great. If you recall, this place had some strange permits a while ago for restaurant, beauty shop and skating rink. I am guessing someone just picked the wrong code. Tsehay has great reviews on Yelp so far. They're open for lunch and dinner.

Mr. Braxton next door is coming to the seemingly cursed space at 3632 Georgia, pictured above. That space was formerly Blue Banana, Park View Patio, Walter's Sports Bar, and finally Marrakech. One of the problems before was that they didn't have a full kitchen, and Park View DC reports that Marrakech added one, so that's good for Mr. Braxton.

Washingtonian has an article about Mr. Braxton, here's how they describe it:
The newest addition to Park View, Mr. Braxton, will have a little bit of everything: Burgers. Paella. Taco Tuesdays. After it’s up and running in early June, you’ll be able to drink CBD cocktails and enjoy the occasional live music in a lounge area, or head out to the colorful, greenery-covered back patio for a local brew.
They also mention watermelon soup, rack of lamb, tacos, mussels and more. The name comes from owners Shannon Cunningham and Booker Parchment's son. Cunningham formerly was manager of Brick Lane in Dupont, and Parchment is a businessman.

Marrakech was a mysterious one to me -- it never really looked open and they never responded to me reaching out about their business. You'd think they'd want to get some press. They opened with what seemed to be a temporary permit, then disappeared as quickly. I emailed them today and they said they moved to Eastern Market.

Hopefully these new spots succeed!