Monday, May 31, 2010

Ethiopic makes Washingtonian's Cheap Eats/ Best Bargains list

The June issue of the Washingtonian highlights the top 100 bargain restaurants in the Washington metro area. Most of the list highlights places in various suburbs, but Ethiopic (401 H St) represents H Street.

The Washingtonian touts Ethiopic as a "light-filled newcomer to the area's Ethopian-restaurant scene [that] doesn't tone down its spices. The chef, an alum of Zed's and Dukem, spikes her dishes with healthy doses of jalapeno, ginger, and garlic." They recommend the butcha, doro way, kifto, and vegetarian sampler.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

City Gallery Presents “Out at Night”; Opening reception June 5, 6-9 pm

City Gallery (804 H St) will host an opening reception for Garyle Krughoff's "Out at Night" photography exhibit on Saturday, June 5, from 6-9 p.m.
City Gallery is pleased to present the work of noted Hill photographer, Gayle Krughoff in a show entitled “Out at Night.” About this show Krughoff says, "I am drawn to photographing at night, or early morning, or dusk—when the absence of light can add mystery to what is already beautiful. A scene can be trasformed by the minimal light that is available. And I enjoy the quiet and being removed from the day-to-day that night-time offers.”

Krughoff has been a professional photogapher in Washington, D.C. for nearly thirty years, specializing in children, families, weddings, politicos and the occasional entertainment glitterati. Her photographs have appeared in numerous publications. She is a long-time member of the Capitol Hill Art League and has served on its board and as its chair. Krughoff is a frequent exhibitor in juried shows on the Hill and other galleries throughout the Washington, D.C. area. She studied at the Maine Photographic Workshops, Art New England, Photoworks in Glen Echo and the Smithsonian.

“Out at Night” will hang from June 5-27, 2010.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fritz Hahn: Biergarten to open June 11

In this week's Washington Post Going Out Gurus online chat, Fritz Hahn said Biergarten Haus will open June 11 for the beginning of the World Cup.

Q. H St Biergarten

Any update on when the H St Biergarten opens? Thanks!

– May 26, 2010 12:01 PM

A.Fritz Hahn writes:

Got a phone call from one of the parties involved yesterday, and he said the new set-in-stone, this-time-we-mean-it date is June 11 -- the start of the World Cup. There's not much wiggle room there, with Germany playing on Sunday. We will see.

– May 27, 2010 1:08 PM

Thursday, May 27, 2010

H Street Country Club First Anniversary Party Tomorrow Night

Join H Street Country Club to celebrate their first year in business tomorrow night when they'll run happy hour specials all night and various food discounts.

100% of mini golf sales go to the Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund.

Congratulations to one of H Street's best new businesses and one of the most fun spots in the city.

More details follow:

Time flies when you are enjoying good food, great drinks and unique games. Our first year anniversary is tomorrow, May 28 and we'd like to celebrate with you. Join us at 5pm and enjoy happy hour all night. We'll be serving refreshing Dos Equis beer for $3 and savory margaritas for $5. We'll also have food specials all night and a chance to taste some new dinner creations that will be available this summer.

The party is our way of saying thanks for the warm reception to our crazy concept. We'd also like to use the celebration to raise awareness and funds for the clean up effort going on in the Gulf of Mexico, so all proceeds collected from mini golf sales will be donated to the National Wildlife Federation to help address the immediate and long term needs of the Gulf habitats impacted by the massive oil spill. So visit us again and let's celebrate and golf for the Gulf.

Evolve Urban Arts: Nature Transforms opening June 5, 4-8 pm

Evolve Urban Arts Project (1375 Maryland Ave) presents

Nature Transforms: Alex Zealand, Wess Brown, Jessica Van Brakle

June 5 - July 24, 2010

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 5, 4-8pm

The Evolve Urban Arts Project is pleased to announce the second of two exhibitions exploring the intersection between visual arts, architecture and nature. Nature Transforms features the work of painter Jessica van Brakle, photographer Wess Brown and a site-specific installation by mixed-media artist Alex Zealand.

With a nod to print and television media (Life After People; The World Without Us), Nature Transforms will examine the unique ways in which three Washington, DC-based artists explore the oppositional forces of the natural world and manmade architecture. The exhibition provides, through several artistic mediums, a view of what the urban landscape might look like if nature reasserted itself and claimed predominance over the land.

Jessica van Brakle's current body of paintings explores these opposing forces through slick use of geometric architectural patterns overlaid with a latticework of plant life and other natural materials. According to the artist, her work features, "the balancing of familiar opposites: feminine with masculine, strong with fragile, industrial with organic." In this exhibition's context, the paintings, replete with construction cranes intertwined with botanicals, provide a studied, yet slightly whimsical vision of how manmade objects and the natural world might interact absent human intervention. Van Brakle received a BFA from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in 2007.

Wess Brown gives us visual proof of these diametric forces at work in his documentary photographs of Washington, DC's old McMillan reservoir site. For the majority of the twentieth century, the McMillan reservoir served as the District's source of clean water. Shuttered in 1985, the concrete and brick structures have deteriorated, making way for grasses and trees to shape the landscape. Brown has a long-standing fascination with capturing architectural forms on film and here his black and white images capture the battle between forces of nature and manmade structures. Brown's straightforward style implies that, left unmolested, nature will continue to "take over" the old reservoir site. Brown's education in photography includes study at the Corcoran College of Art + Design and the Smithsonian Institution.

Alexandra Zealand's work is a study in the trans-formational use of found materials into "natural" forms which seek to overrun traditional borders and infest the gallery space. Zealand uses a variety of trash objects (burnt matches, grapefruit piths, used coffee filters) bound together to create ethereal sculptures noteworthy for their visually repetitive shapes. For Nature Transforms, Zealand is creating a site-specific installation that will inhabit the Project's main space and confront the viewer with an impression of what the Pierce school building would look like should it be left to battle nature on its own. Zealand received an MFA in sculpture from the Pratt Institute in 2003.

Nature Transforms will run through July 22.

The Project space is located in the Pierce School Lofts at 1375 Maryland Avenue, NE, in the H Street Arts and Entertainment District. Hours for the Project are:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 1-7pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 1-4pm
Saturday: 11am -2pm

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Streetcar funding restored by amendment, back on track with no delay as Council passes budget

Council Chairman Vince Gray just announced that funding for streetcars has been restored, moving an amendment to provide $10M in capital funds in 2010 and $37M in 2011 for streetcars on H Street. The immediate funds go to purchasing additional streetcars.

CM Jim Graham said it was a "splendid relief" that demonstrates a "strong commitment" from the Council to streetcars.

CM Harry Thomas, Jr. said he read many emails that came in today on the issue and that he was "always a supporter" and was complimentary of Gray's role in funding it.

CM Marion Barry said he thought funding was restored "because of some emails or whatever" and said he'd vote for the amendment, but that he was not going to thank Jim Graham or Tommy Wells because he had other priorities. He later asked "What about us?"

CM Phil Mendelson asked about the planning connected to the funding and agreed that returning the funds made sense.

CM David Catania said he was "really pleased with the resolution" and noted there had been some mistatements made by his colleagues regarding the Council's history with streetcar planning. He added that he believed streetcars were the "future of transportation" in DC.

CM Tommy Wells stated clearly that Council was "restoring the funding for the H Street-Benning Road line" and that the immediate funds were going to purchasing additional cars to run along that line. Wells explained that planning regarding wires, turnarounds, and other implementation matters would be addressed by the Council in the near future. He applauded the Council moving ahead with streetcars on H Street without delay.

CM Muriel Bowser noted that she was surprised to note that there was no funding for streercars at the budget when she arrived at work this morning and that she was "anxious for H Street to proceed so that the next corridors to proceed will go even more quickly."

CM Jack Evans asked whether the funding would fit within the debt cap and was told that it would.

At 4:20, Chairman Gray moved the amendment, the 2010 & 2011 budget acts by voice vote. CM Marion Barry requested that he be recorded as voting no.

At 4:30, Chairman Gray presented an amendment to flush out some of the details involving the turnaround at the eastern end and the connection to Union Station. Not clear if they are familiar with the details DDOT presented to the public on those matters at a meeting earlier this Spring. Jim Graham emphasized that the planning for implementation should not hold up the immediate funding for the new streetcars. Phil Mendelson continued to make noise that suggests he is trying to oppose streetcars on H Street at every turn and has not been following the process closely in recent months as DDOT has shared more details about how the project will work, but the amendment passed by voice vote.

At 4:40, the amended emergency bill passed by voice vote with Jack Evans recorded as opposed and thereafter the Council passed a temporary measure to accomplish the same by the same voice vote.

And at 4:45 the streetcar funding that was there by all accounts until the Chairman released a bill at 2 am saying it was gone was restored. $47 Million for Streetcars on H Street!

Great work and thanks to all who called, emailed, cajoled and otherwise weighed in to support this project!

WP: Gray expected to announce funds available for streetcars after all

from one of the WP blogs. Unclear if he will be supporting Tommy Wells amendment or what. Keep the calls and emails coming in the meantime.

D.C. streetcars coming back?
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) is expected to announce Wednesday that the city has found enough money to restore funding for street car service in the District. Earlier Wednesday, the council approved taking $49 million from the streetcars to use to balance city's budget and help fund other projects. That vote effectively delayed the launch of the streetcars by two years.

-- Nikita Stewart

URGENT: Council to vote on amendment to fund streetcars today CONTACT THEM NOW

Vince Gray pulled streetcar funding at the last minute in the budget. Tommy Wells and Jack Evans opposed it earlier today. Tommy Wells will be offering an amendment to restore it this afternoon, but residents need to contact the rest of the Council to tell them we are counting on them to support the amendment to restore the funds.

Email addresses for every councilmember:;;;;;;;;;;;;

Other contact info for calls.

Vince Gray attempts to cut Streetcar funding at the last minute

Per Greater Greater Washington.

It seems the Council Chair may not be serious about trying to get elected Mayor or thinks he can do so without support from Wards 5 and 6. This is a very bizarre move in that it comes at 2 am the morning of the Council vote and one that will hopefully be overturned, but that is underhanded and ill-advised. Politically it seems like a terrible move for Gray who just alienated an awful lot of voters who have been counting on the streetcars being funded for some time. Eliminating a popular project at the last minute in the dark of night does not seem to fit with his good, clean, transparent governing mantra. Tommy Wells, Harry Thomas, Kwame Brown, Mayor Fenty and others have all been strong supporters here and Gray has professed support previously, so maybe he will see the light and undo this.

Click here to contact the Council or call Vince Gray's office to let him know that he just lost your vote and that he should restore the funding at 202-724-8032.

Washingtonian Food Critic Todd Kliman: Ethiopic "is putting out some of the best Ethiopian food right now in the area."

Washingtonian Magazine Food Critic Todd Kliman recommends Ethiopic (401 H St) as the place to go for Ethiopian food, saying that it "is putting out some of the best Ethiopian food right now in the area."

We had their lamb tibs on a recent visit and they were as good as any dish I've ever had on H Street. The vegetarian samplers are another great menu item and allow you to try a variety of fresh veggies.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Link roundup

DC Urbanturf reports that DC area housing values increased more than any other area in the country over the past year.

DCMud takes note that the demolition has begun in conjunction with the Dreyfuss Development's Capitol Place mixed use project planned for the south side of the corner at 3rd & H Street.

The Hill is Home celebrated their first anniversary. Congratulations to all the folks behind one of my very favorite blogs.

DC Condo Boutique highlights the gorgeous Landmark Lofts at Senate Square units.

DC Food Junkie declared that "H Street has come into its own as a foodie destination."

Monday, May 24, 2010

What a difference a year makes

One year ago today, H Street Country Club had yet to open it's doors. H Street has come a remarkable way over the past year since H Street Country Club opened in late May 2009. Among the great new businesses whose openings over the past year represent the revitalization of the H Street corridor:

H Street Country Club (1335 H St)

Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar (1104 H St)

Souk (1208 H St)

Studio H (408 H St)

Conner Contemporary Art (1358 Florida Ave)

Industry Gallery (1358 Florida Ave)

Capitol Fine Wine & Spirits (415 H St)

Toyland (421 H St)

Capital City Diner (1050 Bladensburg)

City Gallery (804 H St)

G Fine Art (1350 Florida Ave)

Ethiopic (401 H St)

Liberty Tree (1016 H St)

Metro Mutts (508 H St)

Dangerously Delicious Pies (1339 H St)

Star and Shamrock (1341 H St)

It's been an amazing year and it will be a lot of fun watching what happens this year. Biergarten Haus (1355 H St) may still be a couple weeks away, but they'll be open before long. Rita's Water Ice (1014 H St) is not far behind and there should be a handful of more spots coming in the months thereafter as well.

Streetcars update

At the recent streetcar display, Councilmember Tommy Wells and Kwame Brown who is the frontrunner in the campaign to tbe the Council Chair spoke passionately in support of putting the streetcars in place on H Street as soon as possible (pictures below).

Mayor Fenty has been a strong supporter of Streetcars on H Street and across the city and his DDOT Director Gabe Klein has made it a top priority and installed a senior aide to direct the project.

Now comes news via Tommy Wells and other prominent streetcar supporters that Councilmember Phil Mendelson is opposed to funding the streetcar project. Click HERE to contact DC Councilmembers to urge them to fully fund the streetcar project.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Digital Capital Week and H Street Pop-up Lab June 11-20

News from the DC Office of Planning:

Digital Capital Week, the District’s first-ever digital arts and technology festival, will take place June 11 – June 20, 2010. Residents and community leaders are encourage to participate.

The festival will feature workshops, hands-on projects and networking. It will bring activity to various neighborhoods, support small business development and entrepreneurship, and create more supportive infrastructure for innovation and idea-sharing. H Street residents can get involved in a number of ways, including attending festival events and proposing activities for a pop-up lab at the R.L. Christian Library at 1300 H Street. The pop-up lab is intended to serve as a hub where the community and festival attendees can collaborate and work on digital arts and technology projects, including those that support H Street revitalization and design.

You can provide suggestions on activities for the pop-up lab by contacting the DC Office of Planning: Jennifer Hughes ( or Sakina Khan (, or at 202 442-7600 by May 28.

Click here to learn more about the overall festival and to sign up for events.

Interested in learning more or checking out the old Library site? Join them for the "kiosk cleanup" tomorrow from 10 am - 2 pm at 1300 H St.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Khan's BBQ - Mongolian BBQ coming to 1125 H St

Khan's BBQ hopes to open this summer at 1125 H Street. Khan's is a mongolian BBQ restaurant where you select ingredients from a buffet and a sauce to be included in your stir fry, watch them cooked on the griddle, and take your freshly cooked meal to your table. This location is the SW corner of 12th & H and is next door to XII.

Khan's has applied for a liquor license, so they intend to have a small bar area as well and also intend to provide a full breakfast service all week long. Khan's hopes to use the sizable outdoor patio space to seat up to another 40 people along along the sidewalk that runs south from the corner of 12th and H, but needs to seek a public space permit in order to do so and may well open the restaurant inside the building and seek to expand to the outdoor patio thereafter.

Khan's joins a growing list of spots expected to open along the H Street arts and entertainment district between 10th and 14th Street in coming months.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Investment opportunities: buy a building, open a business, or develop on H Street

There are a number of opporunties out there currently for lease or sale in prime H Street locations. H Street is an obvious target for investment currently, but it is unclear how many property owners are serious about selling. Those who do not, run the risk of facing higher vacant property tax rates this fall.

As previously reported, 1309 H Street is available for lease and next door to the Atlas Performing Arts Center.

1318 H Street is available for lease as well. This building is directy across the street from the Atlas Performing Arts Center.

1337 H Street is for sale for $1.2 million. 7,902 SF
This building is conveniently located between Dangerously Delicious Pies and H Street Country Club

1351 H Street is also for sale at $950,000. 4,196 SF
This building is also well located between the Rock and Roll Hotel and the Star and the Shamrock.

The Granville Moore's building at 1238 H Street is available at $1.15 million.

1012 H Street is home to Spoiled and Rotten and listed at $1.3 million.

1421 H Street is available for a comparatively modest $629,000.

The lot at 904 H Street is for sale at $300,000. This is across from the H Street Connection which is preparing to undergo a remarkable transformation, so it could be a great spot to invest.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Link Roundup

DC Beer finds lots of good beer on and provides a beer guide to H Street.

The Hill is Home's Sharee Lawler reports on the plans to redevelop the former R.L. Christian Library site (1300 H St). The long-term plans call for a four story mixed use development with residential above retail. The old library kiosk is quite small, but the lot it sits on stretches a full block north making it a prime location for redevelopment.

Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill (410 H St) announced free and discounted classes as part of this week's DC Yoga Week.

The Washington Post reports that DC is asking developers to contribute to the costs of the larger streetcar system, noting that the streetcars will provide a great boost to surrounding property values.

The Washington Post reports that DC housing inventory is down and home prices are up over the past year. This certaily fits with what we are seeing and hearing anecotally in the area just south of H Street along the northern edge of Capitol Hill where many houses are going under contract within the first week or so of listing.

DCMud was on hand for the line of applicants looking to land a spot in the artist housing at the Loree Grand, which will provide 200 housing units (with 30 set aside for artists) and retail at 3rd and K Streets NE some time this summer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Biergarten Haus Grand Opening expected soon

The Biergarten Haus fan page on facebook says the opening of Biergarten Haus is close.

Bier Garten GRAND OPENING has been moved to the 21st due to DC and their permit people.

It will be a blast!

UPDATE: I am getting reports that this "fan page" is simply that and that the May 21 date is inaccurate. Sounds like we will have to wait a bit longer:

They do not anticipate being open this weekend.

Cabaret re[ReVoltaire, Night II tonight

Cabaret [re]ReVoltaire, Night II
Washington Project for the Arts and The Pink Line Project present:
Cabaret [re]ReVoltaire, Night II curated by Alberto Gaitán
Monday, May 17, 2010 6-9pm

(doors at 6, performances begin at 7)
EMCEE: Dodi DiSanto
HOUSE BAND: Bob Boilen

Performances by: Karin Abromaitis with Kristina Bilonick and Tzveta Kassabova (theater/dance), Bradley Chriss (performance art), Kristin Garrison (theater), Happenstance Theatre (Mark Jaster & Sabrina Mandell), James Hesla, Reuben Jackson (spoken word), Matthew Pauli (performance), and Prosser Stirling (performance)

Videos by:Anarchy in the Kitchen, Vin Grabill, Ayo Okunseinde, Champneys Taylor, and original footage of Cabaret Re-Voltaire from 1992

Gallery O/H (1354 H St)

Food by Dangerously Delicious Pies
Tickets $20 (does not include the price of food and drink)

Friday, May 14, 2010

At-large CM Phil Mendelson opposes streetcars; should be opposed for re-election

Via CM Tommy Wells' twitter feed.

CM Phil Mendelson is already notorious for killing any and all anti crime legislation through his role as the Chairman of DC Council's Public Safety and the Judiciary Committee. As the Police Union Spokesperson put it, "there's soft on crime, there's softer on crime, and then there's Phil Mendelson." Mendelson recently naively claimed that crime is "not a legislative problem."

Now CM Mendelson who is up for re-election for a District-wide At-large seat is speaking out against streetcars for H Street. Mendelson is facing a serious challenge from former DPR Director Clark Ray. ANC6A's Kelvin Robinson is also announcing his candidacy for the race. Mendelson's record on public safety issues already amply justified opposition to his re-election, but his recent opposition to streetcars dictates that any reasonable voters in Ward Six and the city's other eastern Wards should work hard to elect his replacement.

Streetcars on H Street have been strongly backed by Mayor Adrien Fenty, CM Tommy Wells and Council Chair candidate Kwame Brown. Mendelson's opposition appears to be the first attempt to stand in the way of the continued progress of the project along H Street by one of the city's elected leaders. It should not be forgotten at the polls in September.

Sherwood Recreation Center Garden Planting and Cleanup Saturday, May 15, 10 am-1 pm

Sherwood Recration Center Garden (640 10th St)

A work session is planned for Saturday, May 15 from 10 am to 1 pm. Tools will be provided. Gardening experience is not necessary. Come and help beautify our community. Call Ej at 546-7638 for questions as needed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Atlas Room: Modern American fine dining coming to 1015 H Street

Via HStreetDC on Twitter:
The Atlas Room at 1015 H hopes to open in July. Modern American food by chefs experienced at some of best in town. Great addition to #HSt.

This is the building that was formerly home to Napa 1015 and is directly across the street from Liberty Tree (1016 H St). Rita's Water Ice (1014 H St) is also expected to open on that block next door to Liberty Tree early this summer.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Biergarten Haus will NOT open this weekend.

Biergarten Haus was planning to open this Friday, May 14, but will be unable to do so after a series of DCRA-related delays. A message from Biergarten Haus management explaining their plans to get everything right before they open follows.

To All Our Future Biergarten Haus Customers

Thank you to everyone for all the support and wonderful feedback in anticipation of our Grand Opening!!!

We had high hopes of tapping our first keg this coming weekend, however have decided to postpone in order to perfect D.C's first, long awaited, German Style Beer Garden.

To ensure that we provide the best top notch service and quality environment we will be taking just a bit more time before opening to the public. But, we assure you we will be ready to serve in the coming weeks.

We can hardly wait to meet all our future customers and look forward to serving you in the years to come.

Please continue to check the website for updates and information.

We will also be sending everyone on our email list a special gift soon !

Thank you again

Biergarten Haus Management

Link roundup

DCFoodies offers this preview of what should finally come Friday (DCRA permitting...) and The Hill Newspaper has another preview of Biergarten Haus.

Travel and Leisure highlights the new energy brewing on H Street, recommendings Taylor Gourmet, Industry Gallery, Granville Moore's, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, and Toyland for an DC walking tour along H Street.

Tommy Wells twitters that DC landed a $2 million federal grant to fund the building of a hybrid-powered streetcar for our coming streetcar lines by United Streetcar in Portland, OR. The battery-powered aspect of the new cars will be critical to the extension of the lines past Union Station and through downtown.

Continental's In Flight Magazine encourages DC visitors to "Feel the Vibe on H Street" touting Stick Rice, Palace of Wonders, Little Miss Whiskey's, H Street Country Club, Rock n Roll Hotel, and the Argonaut.

The Atlas Performing Arts Center announced a town hall meeting with the Washington Post "Voices of Style" on May 19, at 6 pm.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Upcoming Community Meetings this week

May 10 H Street Main Street Board Meeting.
7:00 pm at HSMS (961 H St)

May 11 PSA 102 monthly meeting featuring H Street businesses.
7:00 pm at Sherwood Recreation Center (640 10th St)

May 12 Future of the former RL Christian Library Bldg (1300 H St).
7:00 pm at Sherwood Recreation Center (640 10th St)

May 13 DCPS re: Ward Six middle schools.
6:30 pm at Elliot Hine (1830 Constitution Ave)

May 14 ANC6A Monthly Meeting.
7:00 pm at Miner Elementary School (601 15th St)

Cabaret [re] ReVoltaire opens tonight at Gallery O/H (1354 H St)

Washington Project for the Arts and The Pink Line Project present Cabaret [re]ReVoltaire, curated by Alberto Gaitán. Join us for four evenings of art, poetry and performances. Cabaret [re]ReVoltaire celebrates the historic Cabaret ReVoltaire series that was presented by WPA in 1992.

Cabaret events will take place in the courtyard at Gallery O/H (1354 H St), located in DC's thriving Atlas District. In the event of rain, performances will be moved indoors.

May 10, 17 & 24, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; May 31, 3:30-7:30 p.m.

May 10, 2010, 6:30 - 9:30pm (doors at 6:00pm)
dinner style seating, food and drink available for purchase
ticket price: $20 (50 available tickets)

EMCEE: B. Stanley
HOUSE BAND: Kid Congo Powers
Performances by: Quique Aviles (spoken word), Michael Horsley (music/multimedia performance), Maida Withers with: Steve Hilmy, Anthony Gongora, Tzveta Kassabova & Giselle Ruzany (dance),
Lee August Praley (theater), and Silvana Straw (spoken word)
Videos by: Anarchy in the Kitchen, Vin Grabill, Ayo Okunseinde, Champneys Taylor, and original footage of Cabaret Re-Voltaire from 1992
Food by Biergarten Haus

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Souk has beer and wine, doubled seating area with new back room

Souk (1206 H St) has installed their bar in the front dining room and opened their back dining area last night. The back room is at least as large as the front, so they have doubled their dining capacity. They are still adjusting to the new service, so they may not have their full menu of beer, wine, and liquor available tonight, but you can now have a glass of wine with your meal and a much better chance of being seated without a wait. The back room looks great and the wine list is varied and reasonably priced with a few Lebanaese offerings. If you haven't been to Souk recently, they have also expanded the menu adding some new kebobs another lamb entree and a couple other dishes that weren't available when they first opened.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Today is Streetcar Day: Celebrate streetcars all day long

Tune in to CNN’s American Morning show (6 – 9 am) to see Councilmember Tommy Wells who will be on to talk about streetcars coming to H Street.

At lunch time, tune in and call in to Kojo Nmadi. Tommy Wells will be on WAMU’s Politics Hour today from 12:30 – 1:00 pm to talk streetcars in DC. Tune in at 88.5 FM, or stream it online. Call into the show at 1-800-433-8850 or send your email/comment in advance to to show your support.

After work, check out the streetcar display and get on the Trolley with Tommy Wells. End your day with a tour of the new streetcar on display downtown (9th & H Sts NW) at 5:30 pm. Trolleys wil run from the Atlas (1333 H St) to the streetcar display from 4-5 pm. Tommy Wells, Kwame Brown, and DDOT Director Gabe Klein will lead a tour of the streetcar display.

After the tour, hop on board for a special trolley ride back to the H Street Corridor for a happy hour special event at SOVA Espresso & Wine (1359 H St) and it will also have a drop off point in front of Toyland (421 H St). Margaret Holwill has posted a slew of Streetcar themed happy hours that the H Street businesses are putting on as part of the celebration on Twitter @HstreetDC. Among the highlights are $4 Stella Artois at Granville Moore's (1238 H St) in honor of the Brussels streetcar system, which is one of 10 largest in world (til 7 PM) and $6 22 oz Sapporos at Sticky Rice (1224 H St) in honor of Tokoyo's Arawaka streetcar line.

And the full list so far:

Star and Shamrock: $4 pints of Shock Top Belgian White from 5 until 8
H St Country Club: $3 Dos Equis, Bud Light, Stella Artois and $4 golf from 5 until 8
Red and Black: $3 Abita and $3 Red Beans and Rice
The Pug: $2 Natty Boh from 5 until 8
Rock and Roll Hotel: $3 Bud Light until 7 PM
Sticky Rice: 22 oz Sapporo for $6 from 5 until 7
Granville Moore's: $4 Stella Artois until 7

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Meeting on future use for old R.L. Christian Library site at 1300 H St

Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development (ODMPED), DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), Office of Planning (OP), and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) are convening a public meeting to discuss interim and long term ideas for re-use of the R. L. Christian Library Site at 13th and H Street NE and the proposed use of the lot at 1215 Wylie Street NE. The Wylie Street location has been proposed as a powering station for the Streetcars. The library was recently linked to Affinity Labs for use as a technology incubator.

The meeting will occur Wednesday, May 12, 2010 from 7:00-8:30 pm, at the Sherwood Recreation Center (640 10th St NE).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gallery Exhibit openings May 15, 6-8 pm from Industry Gallery, Conner Contemporary Art, and Studio H

Industry Gallery (1358 Florida Ave), Conner Contemporary Art (1358 Florida Ave), and Studio H (408 H St) all have new exhibits with opening receptions Saturday, May 15, 6-8 pm. Details follow.

Industry Gallery (1358 Florida Ave) will open “If I told you one time …” the first solo U.S. exhibition for New York‐based designer Chris Rucker..

The exhibition will run through July 3, 2010, and features 10 limited edition works and one installation all created during the past nine years. Rucker’s design ethos is rooted in the use and reuse of simple and humble material. His principal medium, oriented strand board (OSB), an engineered wood product made from fast‐growing trees, is usually used for flooring, walls, ceilings and other construction purposes. OSB is a composite sheet material like plywood, but with less structural integrity. His design aesthetic weds the asceticism of Donald Judd with the rule‐based principles of Sol Lewitt, to yield what Rucker calls “a rectilinear vocabulary.” (Rucker also cites Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra and Mathew Barney as influences). In 2007, he began making cushions and quilts from packing blankets. His construction process utilizes plywood box construction, which involves dados, miter joints and working with a table saw. He operates within the confines of a relatively simple equation: apply basic plywood box construction principles to strand board to create minimal, functional furniture with structural integrity.

Conner Contemporary Art (1358 Florida Ave) is pleased to announce two concurrent solo exhibitions featuring new video and photographs by Janet Biggs (New York, NY) and performance and video by Mary Coble (Washington, DC). Nobody Rides for Free is Biggs' first solo exhibition with the gallery; Source marks Mary Coble's third exhibition with the gallery.

In new video and photographs, Biggs delves into the desire to explore remote lands. To create this work, the artist embarked on an expedition in the high Arctic, traveling aboard an ice-class, 2-masted schooner, built in 1910. During the voyage, Biggs filmed Fade to White, focusing on a crew member as he navigated the ship through iceberg filled seas, and paddled a kayak past glacier walls and polar bears.

In Source, Coble presents three new videos, mixed media work, and a live endurance performance (to occur in the gallery courtyard during the exhibition opening). In all of these pieces, Coble addresses themes of purification and renewal in actions focused on the element of water. In her videos, the artist explores subjective states of uncertainty and futility. In her performance, she will raise social awareness about water quality and availability in the local and global communities.

A full preview of Conner Contemporary's new exhibits is available on their website.

Studio H (408 H St) presents Ellen Cornett's "Juxtapositions." Cornett's work begins with words—often short stories, operas or fairytales. But once she begins painting or drawing, she ceases thinking in terms of written or spoken language and allows her subconscious to dictate the content and direction of her work. She enjoys the contrast between very precisely executed drawings of people and objects and their improbable juxtaposition.

In this juxtaposition of characters and objects, Cornett explores the uncertain and the illogical in life through her pastels and her drawings. A full preview of the exhibit is available at East City Art.

Mayor Fenty launches Streetcar Showcase today at 10:45 am

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Director Gabe Klein and DDOT’s Progressive Transportation Services Administration would like to cordially invite you to the Grand Opening Press Conference of the DC Streetcar Showcase

DATE: Wednesday, May 5, 2010
TIME: 10:45am
LOCATION: City Center (9TH & H Streets NW)

If you can't make it today, Councilmember Tommy Wells will be shuttling folks over on Friday evening and hosting a tour and reception then.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Atlas Summer Film Series: Thursdays and Saturday screnings all summer long

The Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St) Summer Film Series will be screening three different film series this summer which should have something for everyone from June 17-September 4, 2010.

Thursdays series will be Gay 101 – a series of films one must see to be a card-carrying Gay man. While most are not gay-themed all are embraced by the gay and lesbian community.

Saturdays will be Double Feature Days with the early show (5 pm) will be the 70’s Family Film Series featuring kid-friendly movies from the 1970s. From The Bad News Bears to The Wiz the series will please nostalgic parents and their kids.

Saturday evenings will be Cinema al Fresco featuring films either made or set in Italy starting at 8 pm. With beloved films like Cinema Paradiso and Roman Holiday, this “staycation” series will take audiences on a journey to Italy without having to pack a suitcase. Cafe concerts will be held in the lobby between shows and, for the grown ups, there will be tastings of Italian wines, chosen by Schneider's of Capitol Hill.

The films will be screened in the Sprenger Theatre, the Atlas’ largest black box space. Cabaret style seating will be available but audiences will be welcome to bring a lawn chair, a blanket or a stroller much like an outdoor movie festival. Beer, wine and snacks will be available or patrons are invited to bring a picnic instead.

Tickets will be $6 and will be available for purchase soon online, or at the box office, 202.399.7993 ext 2.


70’s Family Series aka the Gen X Nostalgia Series (5pm Saturdays June 19-September 4)
June 19 The Muppet Movie
June 26 Pippi in the South Seas
July 3 1776
July 10 Charlotte’s Web
July 17 The Bad News Bears
July 24 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
July 31 Bugsy Malone
Aug 7 Snoopy Come Home
Aug 14 Tom Sawyer
Aug 21 The Call of the Wild
Aug 28 Black Stallion
Sep 4 The Wiz

Cinema al Fresco aka Staycation Series (8pm Saturdays June 19-Sept 4)

June 19 Cinema Paradiso
June 26 The Godfather II
July 3 La Dolce Vita
July 10 Everybody's Fine (Stanno Tutti Bene)
July 17 Seven Beauties
July 24 Only You
July 31 It Started in Naples
Aug 7 The Talented Mr. Ripley
Aug 14 Nine
Aug 21 Three Coins in the Fountain
Aug 28 Romeo and Juliet
Sept 4 Roman Holiday

Gay 101 (8pm Thursdays June 9-Sept 2)

June 9 A Star is Born (Benefit for One in Ten)
June 17 The Women
June 24 Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
July 1 Breakfast at Tiffanys
July 8 Auntie Mame
July 15 La Cage Aux Folles
July 22 Valley of the Dolls
July 29 Where the Boys Are
Aug 5 All About Eve
Aug 12 Suddenly, Last Summer
Aug 19 Cabaret
Aug 26 Mommie Dearest
Sept 2 Steel Magnolias

Happy Hour at Studio H (408 H St) Thursday, 6-8 pm

Studio H (408 H St) will host a happy hour reception this Thursday evening, from 6-8 p.m. If you haven't already seen the current exhibit, this may be one of your last chances to catch it before it comes down.

Their current exhibit is
Rod Glover's Ungrounded.

Link roundup

Bacon Concentrate checks out Star and Shamrock (1341 H St).

Capitol Bites enjoys Dangerously Delicious Pies (1339 H St).

DC UrbanTurf reports that new grocery stores "make neighborhoods explode" and suggests that the one coming to the 300 block of H Street will be very good news for the surrounding community. They also highlight a lovely newly renovated 3 bedroom home just south of H Street as one of the best new listings. The house is located on a block with some beautiful old homes, most of which still have really intricate original details in their facades.

Capital Spice reports on the opening of the H Street FreshFarm Farmers' Market (625 H St) highlighting Dolcezza Gelato and Amish farmers Garden Path Farms who carries beef, lamb, chicken, and goat.

DC Express hops on the Liberty Tree (1016 H St) bandwagon with some details about the plans to get their patio open in time for some clambakes this summer.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tommy Wells to host streetcar tour Friday, May 7, at 5:30 pm

Wells to Host Special Tour of DC Streetcars Bound for H Street Corridor

This Friday, May 7, 2010, Councilmember Tommy Wells will join business leaders, ANC Commissioners, neighbors and advocates for a special tour of one of the District’s streetcars bound for the H Street Corridor and currently on display to the public.

“Streetcars represent the next generation of public transportation,” stated Wells. “Our Metro system, as wonderful as it is, was designed to move people in and out of the city. Streetcars are about connecting neighborhoods. I’m excited to join neighbors and others to get on board the streetcar and get a feel for what soon will be riding the rails on H Street and Benning Road.”

Councilmember Wells is organizing an exciting evening to celebrate not only the unveiling of the streetcar, but also the H Street Corridor and its wonderful small businesses.

4:00 pm – The Old Town Trolley will depart Atlas Theater (1333 H Street, NE) for the site of the DDOT streetcar downtown display. The Trolley will make regular shuttle trips between the sites approximately every 30 minutes. The H Street Shuttle will complement the Trolley service when it begins its regular daily service at 5 pm.

5:00 pm – Last Trolley departure from the Atlas Theater before streetcar tour begins.

5:30 pm – Councilmember Wells will lead neighbors and leaders on a special tour of the District’s streetcar on display downtown at City Center DC (Lot B, 9th & H Street, NW).

6:30 pm – Councilmember Wells and neighbors will board the last trolley departing downtown for the return trip to the Atlas Theater and a happy hour celebration at SOVA Espresso & Wine (1359 H Street NE).

7:00 pm – Councilmember Tommy Wells and other invited Councilmembers will address streetcar supporters.

The Downtown Streetcar Exhibit will be located on Lot B of Center City DC. The public entrance is located at 9th and H Street, NW. In addition to the Trolley and H Street Shuttle, the site is easily accessible from the Gallery Place Metro Station.

H Street FreshFarm Market Opening

The market was packed on Saturday morning for the kickoff of the 2010 season.

Red Apron Butchery was on hand with samples of their awesome pastrami and other charcuterie. They'll be at the first market of every month and may come more often depending on demand.

Dolcezza Gelato was there as well. They have a variety of creative, market-driven gelato and sorbetti made with fresh, seasonal produce. They will also be there for the first Saturday of each month.

Overall, the market was well-attended and a great deal of fun. Dangerously Delicious Pies was on hand with single serving size pies and there was another farm with various meats from Pennsylvannia that we thought might be new as well.

Many people took advantage of the opportunity to drop by Metro Mutts and Sidamo while they were out on the western end of H Street. Nouveau Fleur seemed to draw some interest as well, though it was closed when we passed through. Like the rest of the H Street Corridor, the Farmers' market seemed to have really come a long way over the past year.

The H Street FreshFarm Farmers' Market is every Sunday from 9 am - 12 noon at 625 H Street NE.