Monday, April 29, 2019

Wonderland's 15th annual Sundress Fest is May 5th: food, music, fun all for charity

It's that time again: local mainstay the Wonderland Ballroom is holding their 15th annual Sundress Fest, a block party with food, music and deals, and where anyone wearing a sundress get discounts.

The event benefits DC Central Kitchen, and they'll be selling sundresses at the fest in case you don't have your own. The fest is always a blast, and I'm looking forward to it.

Here's more form Wonderland:
Mesdames et messieurs, boys and girls, the Wonderland Ballroom is very proud to announce that it will be holding its FIFTEENTH Sundress Festival on the fifth of May this year.  
Sundress Fest, DC's best beer-infused block party, is a celebration of summer that takes place at the Wonderland Ballroom every first Sunday of May with proceeds benefiting DC Central Kitchen.

Literally all the stops - and there were honestly very few stops to begin with - have been pulled for Sundress's quinceañera. Last year we ordered two swimming pools' worth of beer, and this year we have four. DC Brau is coming out in force to serve them to you. Last year we got half a day of sun; this year we've already been assured by our only Wiccan regular that we'll have beautiful weather. We have three bands. We have the fantastic Maddy Brannon and Kate Flaherty emceeing affairs from the stage, and we have the mellifluous musical stylings of DJ Keenan Orr until the streetlights come on.

Mark your calendars for Sunday May 5, and be sure to save this event on Facebook to get all the details on the day's festivities as they become available!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Councilmember Nadeau holding public safety meeting April 30

Just got this from Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau. Read on, and I'll update once they sent out a location.

4th Annual Ward 1 Public Safety Meeting

Join me for my fourth annual Ward 1 public safety meeting. You can learn about how DC agencies are working to address crime in Ward 1, as well as meet your MPD officers.
We’ll have a new format this year based on feedback from previous years.
We’ll open at 6:30pm with an open house featuring representatives and brief remarks from MPD Commanders, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, Collaborative Solutions for Communities, the Ward 1 NEAR Act Study Group. Each representative will have a table and residents can mingle and ask questions.
Then at 7:30pm, we’ll be joined by neighborhood MPD officers for those who would like to meet an MPD officer who works in their neighborhood.

What: 5th Annual Ward 1 Public Safety Meeting with Councilmember Brianne Nadeau
When: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
6:30pm: Open house with brief remarks
7:30pm: Meet neighborhood MPD officers
Where: Ward 1 Location TBD

I want to make sure all residents feel welcome, which is why we have a new format that strives to strike a balance. MPD plays an important role in maintaining public safety in Ward 1, but based on feedback from residents last year we have reduced the number of officers who will be present during the open house portion of the evening. That said, I’m aware that many residents appreciate the opportunity to meet their neighborhood officers, which will happen during the second half.
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide childcare due to the limitations of how Council funding may be spent, but children are welcome and we'll have a coloring corner for the big kids.  
We will provide pizza for dinner.

Mark your calendars!

Brianne K. Nadeau
DC Councilmember, Ward 1

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Whoa! Korean BBQ with tabletop grills coming to 14th and Monroe, former Jenkins BBQ & Ruby Tuesday space

This is awesome news: a Korean restaurant with tabletop grills is coming to 3364 14th Street NW, the big space at 14th and Monroe that was the short lived Jenkins BBQ and slightly longer lived Ruby Tuesday.

Washingtonian has the story, it will be an outpost of the Iron Age Korean BBQ chain, which has 8 other US locations (including two in Virginia and two in Maryland) and one in Thailand. According to Washingtonian:
Iron Age is known for its affordable all-you-can-eat menus ($20-to-$25 per person in the Washington suburbs) and industrial red-and-black decor. DC diners can expect the same, though some locations have slight menu variations.
That sounds awesome. There will be about 35 tables and the opening date is uncertain -- the article mentions it could take a year to finish buildout, and also suggests permits may be tricky. What else is new, right?

It sounds like a great addition to the area, and I hope it's more successful than the other two. I would suggest they advertise and are open regularly, unlike the mysterious Jenkins (pictured above).

Here's their website.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Wow: Meridian Pint is closing and moving to Arlington on Sunday; building for sale

This is pretty crazy and unexpected: Meridian Pint is ending its 9 year run at 11th and Park and will be closing Sunday, April 21 and moving to Arlington.

I didn't receive a press release about it, but on Twitter they say "It's with a heavy heart that we will be saying goodbye to Columbia Heights," and DCist reports on a press release sent to PoP:
"During the last 9 years a lot has changed in regards to the evolving needs of our staff, our customers, our lives and our city,” owner John Andrade wrote in an announcement published by Popville. “With change comes new opportunities for us all to grow in different directions. Therefore, we are very excited to announce that Meridian Pint will be moving to Arlington, VA to expand our passion for American craft beer into Northern Virginia.
They will be having a final Easter Brunch on Sunday and will close at 4 pm.

I didn't see this coming, the place always seems to have a good crowd. Then again, Andrade has closed places before and reopened them -- he owned Asylum on 18th Street, then closed it and reopened as Smoke & Barrel (which is also good.) Maybe there is more money in Arlington, rent increased, or something else. I've reached out for more info, and for info on what else might go into that space.

11th Street has seen a lot of change lately: Maple and the Good Silver closed, though both are being replaced: Maple will become Ossobucco Ristorante and Queen's English is filling the Good Silver space.

Meridian Pint is survived by Brookland Pint on 12th Street NE, Smoke & Barrel in Adams Morgan, and some places in Virginia.

UPDATE: I just found that the building is for sale. That might have something to do with it. The building is currently owed by an LLC related to District Design and Development.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Union Drinkery closing, to be replaced by wine bar from Midlands folks

Sad news for fans of neighborhood cocktail bar Union Drinkery at 3216 Georgia: they will be closing April 27th. DCist has the news, which includes word that the replacement is a wine bar called Saint Vincent, which includes one of the owners of the Midlands.

I was always a big fan of Union Drinkery, which had tasty, reasonably priced cocktails and a nice back area, but I wonder if they shot themselves in the foot when they closed the first floor bar. It always looked like the place was closed and empty, and in response to the news on Twitter, multiple people said they had no idea there was an upstairs, and didn't think the place was open. I heard they were renovating the downstairs bar, which was my favorite place, but it never seemed to make any progress. They also had pretty subtle signage, so if you didn't already knew it was there, you probably wouldn't know otherwise.

Fans of neighborhood cocktail spots are not at a loss though, right up Georgia is Reliable Tavern, which is a great place. Go check it out.

The new spot is inspired by Bacchanal, a combination wine shop and bar in New Orleans where you can buy a bottle and take it with you or drink it at the bar or out on the patio. I've been to Bacchanal, it's pretty awesome, so that's a good sign.

Union Drinkery is owned by Ali Bagheri, who also owns A&D in Shaw, Sundevich and formerly Small Fry, both of which used to be next to Union Drinkery, later closing. Bagheri says he will focus on the other Sundeviches in the area. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Do we have everything in Columbia Heights? What are we missing? Let us know

Do we have everything in Columbia Heights?

For the years I've been running this blog, I've been running an occasional "What we're missing" series where I talk about things I think we need, many of which are suggested by readers. Past posts have included things like bookstores, a movie theatre, a coffee shop on Georgia Avenue, and so on. However, most of the things in the column have come to pass -- there's Loyalty Books on Upshur and Walls of Books on Georgia. There's Suns Cinema in Mt. Pleasant and Atlantic Plumbing nearby. We have Colony Club, Heat da Spot, Qualia and Harar Coffee on Georgia.

So, what else do you think we're missing? I've been trying to think about it, and most things we already have -- tons of restaurants, services, even some shopping. Foodwise, we now have bagels (Call Your Mother), Italian food (Sonny's, Maple's replacement), Chinese with the coming Queen's English, fancy cocktail bars, beer gardens, even some shopping.

The only thing that I could come up with was good Thai food, and maybe a thrift store like Goodwill or Salvation Army. Maybe a good traditional deli? What other ideas do you have in mind? Let us know in the survey below.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Femme Fatale DC, new pop-up shop and events space open on 11th; lots of workshops coming up

This is pretty neat: Femme Fatale DC describes themselves as a "a platform for womyn creatives and entrepreneurs to collaborate in sharing their passions" anthey just opened a new pop-up at 3224 11th Street NW, where the Willow pop-up was before. The shop hosts events and serves as a shop for entrepreneurs and artists, with things like art, clothing, crafts and more. Here's more from them: 

We just opened our pop up shop at 3224 11th St NW in Columbia Heights. We wanted to introduce ourselves to you and your community. We are Femme Fatale DC, a platform for womyn creatives and entrepreneurs to collaborate in sharing their passions. We build meaningful friendships through creating spaces & experiences that amplify, foster and sustain an ecosystem of womyn who empower each other. We just opened our forth pop-up shop featuring over 30 different local womyn entrepreneurs and artists. We are so excited to be in the Columbia Heights neighborhood and have been loving it. We have a bunch of upcoming workshops that we would love to invite the Columbia Heights neighborhood too.

Felted Succulent Workshop with Rock Paper Plant- April 4th 6:30-8:30pm- Do you want a houseplant without the hassle of actually keeping it alive? Felted succulents can in survive even the most inhospitable climates and look really cute on your desk. In this two-hour class, you’ll learn the basics of how to create felted structures all while creating your very own needle-felted cactus. 

Tipsy Terrariums with LOVERS Plant Studio- April 5th 6:30 - 8:30pm- Emily will guide you through the process and art of creating a beautiful and lasting container garden- a sweet micro-environment that is super easy to maintain! Emily will share her tips for terrarium design, planting, and care.

Pout for a Purpose with LIPP Beauty- April 7th 4-7pm- Join LIPP Beauty for an event benefitting the Alzheimer's Association. 100% of your $10 ticket goes to directly to the Alzheimer's Association and you get a $10 coupon to shop LIPP Beauty's cruelty- free lipstick line.

Full Moon Circle: Myth Busters with Untethered Strength April 22nd 7-9pm- Join Untethered Strength for a Breathwork Meditation. We will discuss our personal myths- the stories that we tell ourselves, the thoughts and beliefs that we incorporate into our actions on a daily basis (sometimes subconsciously). We will discuss ways to dispel these myths followed by a Breathwork Meditation to release negative thoughts, patterns, and habits from our bodies.

On our full calendar on our website you can see all the events we have for the next few months. We also have a free happy hour every Thursday featuring a mystery cocktail and tarot readings that we would love to invite the community too. We are open 

Wednesday- Friday: 3-9
Saturday- Sunday: 12-9
Monday- Tuesday: Closed

We have wifi and invite anyone into the shop to come do work, chat, or just relax. 

Hong Kong Chinese restaurant Queen's English coming to Good Silver/Kangaroo Boxing space on 11th

This is a welcome development: a Chinese restaurant called Queen's English is coming to 3410 11th Street NW, formerly where The Good Silver and Kangaroo Boxing Club were. Eater reports the chef is Henji Cheung, formerly the executive chef at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. A sign in the door says now hiring, and mentions Hong Kong style cuisine.

The menu looks pretty interesting, with bar food and lots of drinks. The menu is below, with things like smoked trout roe, pigs ear, a half chicken, and Eater adds things like "crispy rice with fried shrimp, steam egg and caviar, naked scallop dumplings, and bamboo salad." They'll also have Hong Kong-inspired cocktails as well as wine and beer. 

I think this is a great addition -- there isn't much Chinese in our area that isn't the takeout variety, so I'm excited to check it out.

Since they're hiring now, they may be opening soon.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Thanks for putting up with our April Fools posts

April 1st is over, and we're back to our regularly scheduled programming. Thanks for bearing with this site's regular April Fools posts. We've been running them for about ten years (at least, when April 1st is during the week) and I hope you enjoyed them.

In past years, I moved to Gaithersburg and reviewed all the Chili's there, we learned that Wonderland was getting replaced by a Taco Bell, I became a nudist and changed the blog to Nude Columbia Heights (which featured a nude happy hour at Bad Saint), there's a new real estate firm focused on adding cell phone stores, banks and 7-Elevens to our area, Banneker Pool became a private Crossfit gym, and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn was taking over The House strip club and changing it to "The Champagne Room."

There were also lots of DCUSA empty space-related jokes, such as Disney opening a hotel there, a new curling ice rink opening, the parking garage adding luxury micro-unit condos, and Tim Horton's going in. I wish a few of those were true.

And then there's my favorite: "hey, check out this door."

Monday, April 1, 2019

Mayor's proclamation: rebranding Columbia Heights the CoHi Landing Technology Corridor

With all the news today from 11th Street and technology, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Ward 4 Councilman Brandon Todd have issued a proclamation. For one, they’ve announced our area will be henceforth called the CoHi Landing Technology Corridor. The rebranding will include the area from 16th Street to Georgia Avenue and Spring Road to Florida Avenue.

“With the coming Amazon HQ2, we believe that 11th Street NW and the Columbia Heights area should be given a new name that matches the businesses on the street, as well as the city’s commitment to technology, bitcoin, the cloud and block chains.” wrote the proclamation. “We think this rebranding will help us attract visitors and technology firms to the previously underutilized 11th Street storefronts, and hope that many new tech firms will open soon on the street and many Amazon employees will move to the area. Also the cloud is involved.”

They also revealed a new logo for the neighborhood, which will be hung as banners from light posts around the area.

The proclamation also included an honorary street name for 11th Street: Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Boulevard. The signs will be installed shortly. Like other honorary street names in the city like Abe Pollin Way near the Capitol One Arena and Rev. Dr Edward Thomas Way at 13th and Fairmont, the old street names are still official, but you can send a letter to the honorary ones. So Bad Saint could be at 3226 Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Boulevard. Unclear if that needs a NW or not, as there is already one in SW. They included a mockup:

In addition, Councilmember Brandon Todd introduced a bill to appoint a city blockchain and cloud mayor to work as a liaison between cloud, blockchain and Bitcoin businesses and local residents. Councilmember Jack Evans also said he can help connect blockchain businesses with the Council through his non-council job.

11th and Park dog park to be replaced by Bitcoin mining company

Lots of technology news today in the area. A real estate developer has announced that the dog park at 11th and Park, sometimes called 11th and Bark, will be replaced by a new facility for bitcoin mining.

The property surprisingly went up for sale a few months ago, leading to an effort to buy it to make sure it would remain a dog park. Those efforts didn’t succeed, and the building will be used for mining Bitcoins, which involves computers doing math problems. The proposed facility will be named 11th and Bitcoin, a reference to the area and the park.

The mining operation, a joint venture between a Chinese industrial conglomerate and startup entrepreneurs from California, sent out a press release:

“We are excited to come to the neighborhood. This property was not previously used for anything productive, and Bitcoin and its incumbent blockchain technology is a great fit in the blossoming CoHi 11th Street technology corridor. We also believe that with the coming Amazon HQ2 development in Arlington, the cloud is involved. Plus you can use Bitcoin down the street at Wonderland.”

The building is planned to have no windows, to lower heating and cooling costs, and also to limit access to any potential Bitcoin thieves. They also included a couple infographics about how bitcoin mining works.

In addition, I reached out to the 11th and Bitcoin people about it they planned anything for dog owners who formerly used the park. They suggested downloading an app called Woofr, which is “like Uber for dog parks.”

Wonderland now accepting only Bitcoin

This is interesting. Local nightlife mainstay Wonderland has announced they will only be accepting cryptocurrency like Bitcoin going forward. The idea grew out of the difficulty of using cash and credit cards at the bar, especially late at night.

They announced in a press release: "No one uses cash anymore, and after 11 pm basically everyone forgets their credit card. Cryptocurrency will allow us to make sure people pay their tabs when they leave, or if not, pay them automatically."

When asked about how it will work, staff said "I think there's like a wallet or something with numbers you have. You tell us the numbers and it gets processed. It's really easy. I think it takes a few hours to go through."

As for the volatility of Bitcoin, which can go up and down throughout the day, they'll have electronic screens that show the current price of Bitcoin in dollars and the current price of drinks, which will change as the exchange rate varies. There will be specials if Bitcoin plummets too. The cloud is involved too.

This is a new idea for the area, so I reached out to DCRA and the city's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, who regulate bars, to ask about using Bitcoin at Wonderland. One inspector told me "Yes, this is definitely fine." Another said "No, that is definitely illegal."

Blockchain store opening on 11th Street

Well, this is cool! A blockchain store is opening on 11th Street, in the space at the corner of 11th and Lamont that used to be the laundromat, bakery and takeout restaurant. The owners say in a press release that it will take advantage of DC's booming tech scene and the interest in blockchain in the area to make it easier for people to shop for and use blockchain. The current building will be renovated.

The store, to be called Block.Co (in a subtle reference to Columbia Heights) announced they're excited to come to the area:
We think D.C. has a lot of potential, and we are excited to bring the latest technologies to the city. It's a great opportunity for local residents and businesses to get involved, and we think the store will be a fun place to do blockchain.
The DC Tech Alliance was quoted in their press release:
This is an exciting opportunity for our city. Blockchain is a cutting edge technology and it makes sense for the city to get involved, as well as a popular nightlife street like 11th Street NW. It's another great reason why D.C. is a popular destination for technologies, as well as showing that we're a forward thinking place taking part in the latest and most written technologies of the last few years.
I reached out to the Tech Alliance to get more info on what blockchain technology is used for. "It can be used for a lot of things. You know, like buying things or making sure a person exists. The cloud is involved too. Let me get back to you.”

Block.Co also said they will start a podcast about blockchain from the store. They also passed along some infographics about blockchain.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Sonny's Pizza and No Kisses Bar now open on Georgia Ave; see pictures, review and menu

Sweet! Sonny's Pizza and the adjoining No Kisses cocktail bar open today. The spots, from the crew behind Colony Club, announced on Instagram that today's the day.

 I stopped by last week for their soft opening and enjoyed it. The menu consists of square pizza by the slice or a whole pie, Italian sandwiches on big focaccia bread like meatball, chicken parmesan and eggplant parm, and Italian salads and sides (garlic knots, meatballs, etc.) They also had beer, wine and cocktails. You order at the counter and sit down, and they bring it to you. There's also a small bar you can sit at.

No Kisses, which is next door down a little hallway, is also a really cool, cozy cocktail spot with interesting lighting. It kind of reminds me of the room at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The ceiling lights change colors too, it was blue one day and red another. I can see it as a great date spot or quiet place for hanging with your friends.There's also a big patio with a truck that also serves as a bar.

The prices are decent - it's about $4 a slice, which are pretty thick and about $12 for a sandwich. The whole pies are about $30, which seems a little high, but they're also a good amount of food. For example, my dining companion and I got four slices, meatballs, Caesar salad and garlic knots, and we  had two or three meals worth of food each. Another day we got sandwiches for take out, and two sandwiches plus the garlic knots were enough for three of us. The sandwiches were good, and the focaccia is awesome.

Check out below for the photos and menu.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Maple restaurant is closing March 30, to be replaced by Ossobucco Ristorante

This is too bad -- Maple, the tasty, understated Italian restaurant at 3418 11th Street NW, will be closing March 30. According to a press release from the owners, it will be replaced by another Italian spot, Ossobucco Ristorante. Maple's owners will be opening a winery in Virginia as well.
If you haven't been to Maple, check it out. They have a nice happy hour too (see below.)
Here's their full press release.
After seven years in business, Maple will close at the end of March. Our last day will be March 30. 
We are extremely grateful for all of the wonderful people who came through our doors over the years. Thank you to the staff, customers, sales reps and vendors, and fellow business owners in Columbia Heights. It has been a pleasure to be a part of this community. 
A new Italian restaurant named Ossobuco Ristorante will be taking over the space. We look forward to the opening after the new owners complete some renovations. 
We also are moving on to a new venture: opening a winery in Linden, Virginia. We hope to bottle the first vintage at SilverDog Vineyards in the coming year.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sonny's Pizza and No Kisses bar from Colony Club folks opening in a few days; soft opening this weekend

Pizza time! Sonny's Pizza and the adjoining No Kisses bar from the people behind Colony Club are close to opening. They sent out info for a soft opening starting Friday, and DCist reports they'll be open "within a week."

Located at 3120 Georgia Avenue NW, next door to Colony, the pizza spot will be serving up homestyle square pizza either by the slice or whole, as well as Italian favorites like garlic knots, focaccia sandwiches which look amazing (such as meatball or eggplant parmesan) and salads. We previously heard they aim for reasonable prices too. DCist reports they'll be open at 5pm daily and closed on Tuesdays.

No Kisses is a cocktail bar in the back, which includes a big back patio featuring a vintage truck that is also a bar.

Both sound pretty great. I'm excited to go. DCist has a bit more, including a brief interview with the owners.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Rooftop pool bar, hotel planned for Atlantic Plumbing development at Florida and W

Wow, this is interesting. The folks behind the Atlantic Plumbing development are currently building a new building on Florida Avenue, just across from Duffy's. The building will have apartments, some affordable, as well as a 95 bed hotel, and most exciting to me, a rooftop pool and rooftop bar, both open to the public in the evening and on weekends.

The building is currently under construction -- you may have seen it, it has two towers with a skybridge between them. The hotel, pool and rooftop bar will go in the south tower, which sounds like it'll have some nice views. Here's more from their permit application:
During the daytime, the rooftop area will be reserved for use by hotel guests and building residents. In the evening and on weekends, the bar and lounge will become open to the public. The bar and lounge is located adjacent to the pool and roof deck, so that during the day hotel guests and building residents will be able to enjoy their drinks outside. During certain hours, roof deck and pool access will be extended to the other patrons of the bar and lounge.
They expect whoever runs the hotel, which they call "high-end", to run the bar as well. I am guessing this is something similar to the pool bars at the Capitol Skyline or Liaison Hotels.

The building(s) are 10 stories with 161 apartments, 21 of which are affordable, plus 20,000 square feet of retail, service and food and drink establishments, including a restaurant in the hotel. The same folks are also adding a rooftop bar to 2112 8th Street NW, but that's only for building residents and their guests.

Sounds pretty interesting. I'd be interested in a rooftop bar. Se below for pictures from their permit.

H/T to Urban Turf and @hgil for the heads-up.

Want to buy a hardware store? Old School Hardware is for sale

Old School Hardware in Mt. Pleasant, which has been open since 2010, is on the market. Owners Katie and Phil posted on Facebook that they're moving out of town and are looking for someone to buy the store and keep it running. Here's what they had to say:
Dear Neighbors, 
Since July of 2010, my wife Katie and I have owned Old School Hardware. We’ve been proud and honored over the years as our customers, neighbors and friends have helped us to make it one of things that makes Mt. Pleasant a special place. We have decided to pursue a new opportunity outside the DC area and will be selling the store. We’re hopeful that the next owners will share our love of this community, but also have a passion for continuing to make the store the best it can be. 
If you are interested in buying the store, we will be happy to speak with you to answer questions, to help with due diligence, etc. You can connect with me at
I've been to the store a few times and always had a good experience. There's a nice selection and friendly staff. Interested in keeping it going?

Old School Hardware is at 3219 Mt. Pleasant Street NW.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Shawarma Hut at 3657 Georgia Avenue NW is pretty tasty

About a month ago, Shawarma Hut opened in the old Petworth Cafe space at 3657 Georgia Avenue NW, next to Reliable Tavern. It's a mostly takeout spot with Middle Eastern and Indian food, including a tandoor oven. A friend and I tried it for lunch the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I got the shawarma platter which comes with two kinds of meat, rice and a salad, and he got the chicken tikka. The platter was massive (I got gyro meat and chicken) and could easily be two meals, and was quite tasty. With a soda it was $13, so not too expensive. The chicken tikka was also pretty big (also with rice and salad, plus chickpeas) though my buddy thought it was a little under-seasoned. We didn't get any sauce with it though, maybe that was the issue (make sure to ask.)

It's a pretty solid lunch option, and is also open very late, to 3am on Friday and Saturday nights -- good for a post bar snack. They deliver too via Grubhub and Seamless, and probably other services as well. They don't have a website, but here's their Yelp page.

And my favorite detail -- their logo looks like a certain pizza chain with "Hut" in the name.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

New owner at Upshur Street Books, now Loyalty Bookstore; lots of events coming up for kids, book clubs, feminist literature, more

Upshur Street Books, the nice store on its namesake street, was recently sold to a new owner, Hannah Depp, and renamed Loyalty Bookstore.

Depp describes herself as a career bookseller and the shop plans to focus on book clubs, workshops, having more children's books, and also expanding their stationery options, as well as connecting more with Petworth Citizen's Reading Room for events like the Literary Cocktails program.  

Depp also says they've refreshed the interior and added more seating for both kids and adults, as well as interactive displays. Sounds cool.

Here's a bit more from their website:
We are aiming to be the Mid-Atlantic’s neighborhood spot for wonderful books and unique home goods, gifts, and programming. Our staff and our selection highlight the diverse voices and creatives that make our communities great. When we think about what to feature in our store we focus on how we live in our homes. We provide books and goods for the home because, well, books are home.
And there are lots of events below, check them out! They're also looking to open a Silver Spring location in addition to the Upshur Street one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Help a little girl find her missing doll

If you've ever been a kid (I think that would be many of us) you probably remember having a favorite toy, maybe a bear or doll or other critter. A girl recently lost hers, let's help her out. A nanny walked for a while and lost the doll along the way.
The doll should be somewhere between the Mt. Pleasant library and Petworth. Our nanny was walking (via stroller) with my daughter and one other child. They walked from the Mt. Pleasant Library down 16th Street to Irving Street to the Columbia Heights metro, and then to the Petworth metro, and finally to our house on Quincy Street.

So… our little doll could be anywhere.
If you've seen the doll, email Drew.

h/t to Petworth News

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Sonny's Pizza and No Kisses Bar on Georgia looking close to opening, now hiring

I can almost taste the pizza. Sonny's Pizza (and the adjoining No Kisses Bar) at 3120 Georgia Ave NW from the Colony Club folks are looking really close to opening. The interior looks done or nearly done and their Instagram is posting lots of pictures of pizza, wine, etc. Both spots are also hiring, so if you're interested, contact them.

I'm pretty excited for it. Eater describes it as a pizza parlor and relaxed bar with booths, and adds that No Kisses also has a big patio area. They tried some of the square pizzas last month and they sound excellent:
The menu leads with signature square-shaped pies, served by the slice or whole (ideal for three to four people). One standout is the Pesky Mario, which includes tomato, mozzarella, sausage, roasted onion, hot pepper, and pecorino. Customizable creations are also available.
There's also chicken parm on house-made bread (see below, yum), apps, salads and Italian wine.

Photos from their Instagram 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Chili cookoff on Feb. 10 at Reliable Tavern: try chili, meet local businesses, or volunteer to help

This sounds fun! District Bridges and Georgia Avenue Thrive have organized a chili cook-off on Sunday, February 10th at Reliable Tavern, the great cocktail bar at 3655 Georgia Avenue NW. You can have a drink or snack, try a sample from the competitors and meet local businesses. Competitors include Looking Glass, Timber Pizza, Nu Vegan, DC Reynolds, Call Your Mother and Midlands. Bragging rights for local restaurants! 

They're also looking for volunteers to help with the event, if you're interested, contact Jordan Pearlstein at

Details are below:
On Sunday February 10, local restaurants will be competing for bragging rights in the Second Annual Lower Georgia Avenue Chili Cook-Off. District Bridges' Lower Georgia Ave Main Street and Georgia Avenue Thrive have organized this free event where neighbors can try samples of each dish and vote on their favorites.  
From 2:00pm to 4:00pm, Reliable Tavern will be hosting the Chili Cook-Off on the basement level (stairway entry). The featured local Lower Georgia Avenue restaurants are DC Reynolds, The Midlands, NuVegan Café, The Looking Glass Lounge, and a mash-up with Timber Pizza Company & Call Your Mother Deli. The competing chefs will each prepare a unique entry that is not available on their regular menus. A distinguished panel of judges will also be weighing in for the coveted Judges Choice Award. 
This is a family-friendly event and all ages are welcome. Chili samples will be served as long as supplies last. Purchase of alcohol requires photo ID. The event is made possible through funding support from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development and neighborhood volunteers. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Bar Roubaix hosting popup Cajun restaurant, Sim's Creole Kitchen

This sounds cool. Bar Roubaix at 14th and Irving is hosting a pop-up with New Orleans-inspired food, cocktails and other drinks. There's a soft opening tonight and it will run until Mardi Gras, which this year is March 5.

Read on for the full details. Bar Roubaix, if you haven't been, is the cycling themed spot that replaced Acre 121. They have pretty awesome happy hour deals and good European food, when not hosting the pop-up.


WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 23, 2019) — Bar Roubaix is throwing a month-long fete for fans of Cajun flavors, king cakes, second lines, and fleurs-de-lis, with Sim’s Creole Kitchen.  Located at 1400 Irving Street, NW, in Columbia Heights, the pop-up kitchen opens this week and will feature classic creole cuisine from the family recipes of New Orleans Chef Sim Bates.

Chef Sim’s cooking is meant to warm you up and stick to your ribs. Guests can expect Red Beans & Rice, traditional and vegetarian Jambalaya, Grilled Oysters, and of course Grandma Bates Gumbo, with small plate options throughout.

“My food is a celebration of life from my Mississippi and New Orleans roots.” says Chef Sim. “When my grandmother and mother were in the kitchen, they were like magicians to me, and I had the awesome opportunity to learn from them -- and taste every delicious creation before the rest of the family!”

Sim’s Creole Kitchen pop-up runs through Mardi Gras with beignets, brass bands, second line dances, and New Orleans cocktails and beers all making appearances.  The experience kicks off at the soft opening Wednesday night with 50% off the new menu and happy hour from open to close, and in traditional Crescent City fashion, happy hour won’t end till Fat Tuesday!  For more information, please follow the team on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) @RoubaixDC.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Belly dancing! Marrakech restaurant coming to old Walter's on Georgia now open; same as P Street Marrakech

Do you like belly dancing? A few months ago we heard that Marrakech, a Moroccan restaurant and tavern, was coming to the old Walter's Sports Bar space at 3632 Georgia Ave NW. I walked by today anf it had a now open sign. I wasn't sure if it was related to the Marrakech on P Street in Dupont that closed earlier this year and was planning to relocate. That spot was famous for its ambiance and ornate interiors (plus sitting on couches) and belly dancing shows. And now I think the new location at 3632 Georgia is in fact the same people and concept.

I found a few official documents for this restaurant with the name Abdelmjid Boucham, which was also mentioned on documents for Marrakech at 2147 P Street NW. Their liquor license also says "Live Entertainment, Dancing, and Cover Charge." The reviews of the old spot were middling, but it seems like the service declined a lot last year. Maybe that will be addressed in the new spot.

They have a website without much on it, which describes it as a Moroccan Mediterranean restaurant. Previously we heard they'll have 82 seats total, including 20 outside. I assume that would be out back.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Slim's Diner closes for good on Sunday, no word on replacement

Bad news for breakfast fans, Slim's Diner will be closing on Sunday. The spot, which faced some issues with service when it opened, has been losing money over the past two years, according to owner Paul Ruppert in an email to Petworth News.

Both DCist and Petworth News report that Ruppert, who also opened Room 11, Petworth Citizen, Upshur Street Books, Crane & Turtle and other spots in the area, will be considering what will go in the space, maybe something else from him or maybe something opened by another business (similar to how Crane & Turtle replaced Himitsu.) This is the third closure recently on Upshur Street, though Petworth News argues it's not a trend.

What would you like to see go into this space?