Thursday, September 30, 2010

Smith Commons update (1245 H St)

H Street Festival patrons enjoyed Smith Commons (1245 H St) Angus Burger (Grilled Portabella Mushrooms, Scallions, Miso Mayonnaise), Grilled Tiger Prawns (Watermelon Virgin Dressing), and Tequenos of Queso Blanco (Avocado Dip).  Jerome Bailey, Sheldon Robinson, and Miles Gray now hope to open Smith Commons (1245 H St) in October (or soon thereafter).

The trio have planned a modern bistro grill with Chef Frederik De Pue (of Belgium descent) at the helm. De Pue is currently running a local catering company 42 degrees and was previously chef at the Reserve (1426 L St NW).   Alex Odent, also from Belgium, recently came stateside to serve as Chef de Cuisine.

The menu is varied with plans to serve some higher-end items such as porterhouse, dry-aged ribeye, tiger prawns, scallops, and lobster, but also a variety of more casual items such as Roast Chicken, Fish and Chips, and Penne Carbonara. 

The kitchen will open at 5:00 pm daily. The wine and beer programs are serious with a menu of 70 domestic and international wines and bottled beers, with 12 craft beers, including offerings from Ommegang and Flying Dog on tap.  Talented sommelier Andrew Stover from Oya and SEI is responsible this impressive wine list, which is characteristic of Stover in that it includes a wide swath of various region's wines, including several from Virginia. 

They are now shooting to open within the next two months. In the meantime you can follow Smith Commons on Facebook and They've posted a few photos of the ongoing buildout on their facebook.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Last Shows at Palace of Wonders

The Palace of Wonders will close their stage after the Grand Finale Show tonight and another show tomorrow and two DJ nights this weekend.  It will reopen on October 15 as the Red Palace having combined forces with the Red and the Black.   The bar will remain open during the work.  Red Palace will feature music performances when they open on October 15 with the Palace's first performance on October 21.  The combined venue will have a larger performance area which will allow them to host even better acts. 

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
The Grand Finale Show!!!
Doors 6PM, Show 9PM
Price: $10
This is your chance to bid adieu to the Palace of Wonders – as we’ve known and loved it for the past four years!
We are bidding farewell with great acts and memories before turning a new leaf! Sideshow, Comedy, Dance, Burlesque,and more!
A cavalcade of performers, past and present, and your favorite place for freaks and the people who love ‘em!

Thursday, September 30
Manko’s Mutant Muse presents…The League of Mutants.
6pm doors; Show 9:00 Price: $10
Allow these striking mutants send a shiver down your DNA. They will hypnotize you,intrigue you, dazzle you as they engage you in fire, dance and seduction.
This is the last chance to catch a show at Palace of Wonders. Bring yourself to coming out one last time.

Friday, October 1: TEMPTATION returns
6pm doors; Dj 9pm; No Cover 21+ to enter

Dj Mellie Mel is back with her 80's Alternative music vinyl collection. Music stylings of the Smiths, Siouxsie and the banshees, Erasure, Front 242, Madness- okay okay and maybe some Prince...JUST DANCE

Saturday, October 2: MUSIC IS BULLETPROOF
6pm doors: Music 9pm

Time to CELEBRATE LIFE with friends and also contribute to a worthy organization.
Four years ago, DJ Key-K was a victim of violent crime in our very own H Street corridor. On October 2nd, MUSIC IS BULLETPROOF will be an anniversary event to celebrate being a survivor with his community. DJ Key K will be stepping up to the decks and bringing you a unforgettable dance party celebration.

There is no cover - If affordable, Dj Key K is asking asking for a $5 + suggested donation for THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE FUND.

ANC Candidates Update

The North Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association (NLPNA) will host a Candidates "Meet & Greet" for the candidates for ANC 6A on October 5, at 7:30 p.m., at the Lane Memorial CME Church, corner of 14th & C Sts NE.

Adam Healy is running for ANC6A01 (north H Street to Florida Ave along the eastern end of H St out to 13th) and posted this statement on Frozen Tropics.  Healy had a booth set up at the H Street Festival and is hosting a meet and greet tonight at the Pug (1234 H St). 

Sharee Lawler is running for ANC6A05 (between C St and E St from 10th St to 16th St) and posted the follwing statement on the Rosedale Citizens' Alliance site.  She recently held a meet and greet at Fruit Bat (1236 H St) and has another one scheduled at SOVA (1359 H St) on Saturday, October 2, from 3-5 p.m.  Lawler has been endorsed by outgoing 6A05 Commissioner Mary Beatty, former 6A Commissioner Cody Rice, former ANC6A Chairman Joe Fengler, and current ANC6A Commissioner Drew Ronneberg. 

Drew Ronneberg is running uncontested for re-election to ANC6A02 (south of H Street from 8th to 13th).  Andrew Hysell is running uncontested for election to ANC6A06 (eastern end of H Street, south of Florida Ave, north of E St).

In ANC6C (which covers the western end of the H Street corridor), Jennifer Zatkowski announced her candidacy for SMD 05.  The SMD for 6C05 covers H Street East to 8th Street and extends roughly from F Street to the south to K Street to the north.  Zatkowski is the owner of Pawticulars on 8th St SE and the mother of three DCPS children.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Copper Pot - new vendor at H St Farmers' Market

Copper Pot (pasta, sauces, preserves) joined the H Street Farmers' Market (625 H St) a week ago and will be there every other Saturday along with all the weekly participants.  Copper Pot is a popular FreshFarm markets vendor with fresh pastas, sauces, and preserves, from Chef Stefano Frigerio.  Frigerio was lured to the U.S. by Chef Fabio Trabocchi to help lead the kitchen at Maestro Restaurant in McLean, Virginia as his Sous Chef and later ran the kitchen at Mio downtown.  Catch him at the H Street Farmers' Market every other Saturday between 9 and noon.  Copper Pot returns to the market this weekend.  HSGS can vouch for the high quality of his duck confit ravioli as well as the blueberry-ginger and bourbon-peach jams. 

Link roundup

The Pint Glass checked out the H Street Festival and conludes that "yes, it IS a great street.

Flying Dog Brewery put together this video of scenes from the Festival.

HStreetDC reported that Musa Ulusan has changed the name of his pizza restaurant, which is to open at 1387 H Street to Slice of Life.  This is the corner spot that the owner previously considered using for an Angelico La Pizzaria and later planned to name Desperados.  HStreetDC said he also plans to open a restaurant next door to Taylor in the old Birdland space at 1118 H Street.  Details on this new spot remain uncertain, but the owner discussed possibly doing food from his hometown of New Orleans.

East City Art shared news of the latest show at City Gallery (804 H St): Maria Margarita Panas's Action Painting.  This Abstract Painting exhibition is being hung this week and City Gallery will host an opening reception this Saturday, October 2, from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

The Washingtonian included several H Street businesses in it's Best of Capitol Hill feature.  Under the Dining Section: Granville Moore's, Liberty Tree, and Ethiopic are touted under "Cozy and Casual," Sidamo is a featured "Weekend Brunch" spot, and Taylor Gourmet and Dangerously Delicioous Pies are both  highlighted "Quick Bites."  In the Fun After Dark category, Rock and Roll Hotel is the place to "Discover a Hot Band," Biergarten Haus wins for "Sip Big-Gulp Beers," The Pug is "Good for Groups,"  Stick Rice is "Fun and Games,"  Palace of Wonders is tops for "People-Watching," H Street Country Club" is "Something Different," and Little Miss Whiskey's wins for "Dance Party."  Kudos to the Washingtonian for recognzing so many of our great businesses.  They perhaps understandably missed Argonaut for its brunch, which was and will be delciious when they have their kitchen back.  Star and Shamrock is a great place for a sandwich or to see casual live music.  Sova has great bluegrass and craft cocktails.  And Souk is great for fun ethnic food.  Washingtonian may have to come back and do one for H Street alone with all the great new businesses we have...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ethiopic and Toyland adding outdoor patio seating

Ethiopic (401 H St) has received a public space permit for outdoor seating on the 4th Street side of the restaurant. There will be as many as 18 two-top tables on the patio, which will be open from 5 – 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and noon through 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.  Outdoor seating is available immediately and was enjoyed by many patrons this past weekend. 

Toyland (421 H St)  has also requested outdoor seating on its 5th Street side.  The request seeks 18 seats and would be open until 10:30 p.m. on weekdays, midnight on weekends. ANC6C voted to support each of these public space applications.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tommy Wells Community Office Hours Tonight 5:30-7 at Fruit Bat (1236 H St)

Tommy Wells resumes his H Street Office Hours this Thursday, at H Street's newest business Fruit Bat (1236 H St).  Stop by to catch up with Ward 6's Councilmember or to try one of Fruit Bat's tasty cocktails or South American streetfare.  Their food is every bit as good as their drinks and they specialize in fresh fruit juice, so there are good options for those who are not imbibing as well.

Please join Councilmember Wells this Thursday evening September 23rd from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. for a Special H Street NE Community Office Hours at Fruit Bat, 1236 H Street NE (formerly the Martin Lounge, located next to The Pug). Come out and meet with Councilmember Wells and bring your community concerns.

In order to provide accessibility to residents who cannot attend the morning office hours, Councilmember Wells will periodically host H Street Community Office Hours in the evening.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Link roundup

Frozen Tropics rounded up some bloggers reviews of various H Street venues.

Your Truly already rounded up a lot of praise for and photos of this year's H Street Festival.

We Love DC likes, but does not love the food at Biergarten Haus (1355 H St).

Biergarten Haus (1355 H St) kicked off Oktoberfest with eleven additional taps devoted to various Oktoberfest beers.

The Washington Post has Sticky Rice (1224 H St) on their list of Best Bets for Meatless Fare, highlighting their Garden Balls (vegan rice-and-veggie-stuffed bean curd pockets) and G.I. Jane roll (cumumber and cream cheese roll deredged in crushed wasabi peas).  The online version of the list also touts Ethiopic (401 H St) for their Vegetarian Sample Platter, which is outstanding. 

The Argonaut (1433 H St) announced that they would have the famed Lobster Truck on hand on Friday night.

The Hill is Home noted a lot of local businesses are in the running in the Express's Best Of 2010 Polls and ran a Best Coffee on the Hill Poll (which is clearly being manipulated by the folks at Ebenezers).  In a fair poll, Sidamo would be spelled properly and they'd be neck and neck with Peregrine with Ebenezer's a distant third or fourth.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Best. Festival. Ever.

If you missed this year's H Street Festival, you missed out.  By all accounts, it was the biggest and the best one yet.  Mark your calendar now for the H Street Festival 2011: Saturday, September 17, 2011.  Next year, it wont coincide with Yom Kippur, so the attendance should be even better than this year's.  No official turnout estimate has come in yet, but many are predicting that the number of people in attendance exceeded 30,000, which is twice the number of 2009 attendees, which was three times the 2008 turnout of 5,000.  It certainly felt like there were twice as many people as last year and the great crowd was a real sign of progress on H Street and a tribute to the neighborhood and its many wonderful and diverse small businesses many of whom really went all out to do great sidewalk cafes, provide special menus and performances and events, and to promote the Festival.

TBD,  DCist, The Hill Is Home, and Frozen Tropics all have great pictures up.  Julia Christian of CHAMPS snapped one of our Mayor-elect (to be) Vince Gray who I'm told grew up just north of H Street.   

It was a truly beautiful day and there was a great crowd to enjoy the many, many fun and tasty offerings.  Our existing businesses brought their best, and soon-to-open spots like Toki Underground, Smith Commons, and Queen Vic showed why H Street is on the verge of becoming one of DC's best dining destinations.     

A hearty congratulations and a huge thank you to all the organizers and planners who volunteered to make the Festival possible.  Margaret Holwill (who can be followed at handled overall logistical coordination and media relations and, in particular, deserves great praise and appreciation for volunteering countless hours to make the Festival a resounding success as she does many things on H Street.  Holwill also identified the following people as playing leadership roles in pulling things together along with H Street Main Street:
Mary Ellen (Dolly) Vehlow, owner of Gallery OonH, and president of Pensare Design, an award-winning graphics firm, that also does the graphics for the Cherry Blossom Festival, Pew Foundation, Downtown BID, and many other groups.  Creative genius and muse for the Festival.  She also provided the Festival website which now includes design continuity.  Dolly and her husband Steve Hessler have long been involved in H Street.  They sponsor the Art Car exhibit which is conducted as a juried event.  They also sponsor the Speed Chess, Oral History tent, and many of the artists who show at the Festival. They contribute generously to H Street causes especially the Festival.

Steve Lambert, Talent Buyer for Rock and Roll Hotel and head of Hood Booking, one of the Top 10 music bookers on the East Coast.  Steve books over 100 bands a month from the 1000s he listens to until his ears bleed. He books the stage talent for the Festival and coordinates with the production company.

Julia Christian, Executive Director of CHAMPS. She is a "corporate loan" from the Board of Directors of CHAMPS to organize the applications process, day-to-day graphic, production of the Festival program, and other invaluable items.  Julia can do anything.

Gail Montplaisir, Taurus Design, who specializes in environmental design.  Gail organized the Green Street Exhibit and obtained grant money from DC Arts and Humanities to cover the costs of some of the artists who performed at the Festival.

Leonard Howell, Donohoe Companies, commercial real estate, who organizes vendors.  He orders all of the equipment necessary to stage the Festival and oversees its installation within a few wild and crazy hours on the morning of the Festival.  Leonard also arranged extended service for the H Street Shuttle and added a route from Eastern Market for the Festival.

Cody Bateman, the sound producer from National Events LLC  the professional production company that provided all of the stages, sound equipment, mechanicals, and technicians.

Charles Allen, Chief of Staff to CM Tommy Wells, who provided a government liaison nexus, helping with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Metropolitan Police Department, DC Fire and EMS, DDOT, DCRA, and other.  Tommy Wells' office also facilitated the free bike valet in addition to lending us the services of Charles Allen - right in the middle of a political campaign.  We are really grateful.

There are others that did stuff but that's the main crew in addition to, of course, the business community who all worked to provide special offerings and to help promote the event.
It was awesome.  Thanks all!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Atlas Room at the H Street Festival (& coming soon to 1015 H St)

The Atlas Room (1015 H St) wont be officially open in time for tomorrow's H Street Festival, but like other coming soon H Street businesses, including Smith Commons (1245 H St), Queen Vic (1204 H St), and Toki Underground (1234 H St, 2nd Fl), they plan to participte.  Atlas Room owner, Chef Matt Cordes will be on hand for the festival and will dish up a version of a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich with a smoked duck mousse.  Sounds delicious.  Check out their cooking tomorrow and look for the Atlas Room to open on H Street soon.  

Follow these links for previous posts on the Festival participation of Queen Vic, Smith Commons, and Toki Underground (via Frozen Tropics).

The H Street Festival runs tomorrow from noon until 7 p.m. and various events inside H Street restaurants, galleries, performing arts venues, and bars will continue into later into the night.  

Living Social: $39 for unlimited yoga at Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill (410 H St)

Today's Living Social Deal of the Day offers a significant discount on Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill (410 H St).  $39 gets you one month of unlimited yoga, which would regularly cost $175.  Bikram Yoga is Lady Gaga approved.  If you have been meaning to try Bikram Yoga, this is a great opportunity to do so.

H Street Festival 2010 - Bigger and better than ever & everything you need to know

This year's H Street Festival is going to be like this year on H Street -- better than ever. 

All your favorites restaurants, bars, pie shops, performing arts venues, art galleries and more are bringing their A game.  Many of the spots you have heard are coming and are excited to see open on H Street in the coming months will be there to give you a preview of great things to come. 

Thanks to the Rock and Roll Hotel, the two stages of live music will be back with shows all day long at 10th and 14th St.  The tattoo competition is on again thank to Gallery OonH and British Ink at 4:15 p.m. (register here).  The amazing Art Cars are coming back, thanks again to Gallery OonH.  So is the boxing ring, fashion show, and other urban sports.  There'll also be a Dangerously Delicious Pie eating competition at 2 p.m. (register here) and DC Roller Girls. The Atlas Performing Arts Center, the Joy of Motion, DC Greenworks, Community Forklift will have events and booths going all day long.  Biergarten Haus has been popular since it opened and will be the place to be for tomorrow's Oktoberfest kickoff.  City Gallery (804 H St) will be open all day with their latest exhibit from Ellen Cornett up.  This year's Festival will be bigger than ever -- running from 8th Street all the way to 14th. 

Excited for the Festival, but not lucky to live close enough to walk?  Thanks to Councilmember Tommy Wells, there will be a bike valet available at the 8th and H St.  The H Street Shuttle from Chinatown (7th & H NW) will begin running early Saturday in time for the start of the Festival and there will also be a shuttle running back and forth from Eastern Market for folks who live closer to the South side of the Hill and for those for whom the blue and orange lines of the metro are more convenient. 

The Festival is officially at noon, but the party keeps going on H Street with the new "DC8 Totems" Pole exhibit on the 300 block of H, an Art Exhibit opening right after at Studio H (408 H St), music at Gallery OonH (1358 H St), Oktoberfest at Biergarten Haus, and dinner, shows, drinks, and more at all your favorite venues up and down the corridor. 

In recent weeks, the H Street Corridor has hosted Lady Gaga and former Governor/prowrestler Jesse "the Body" Ventura.  If you don't already know and love H Street, this is the time to come and see all that it has to offer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Arboretum Place (1600 Maryland Ave) breaks ground, more development to follow

DCMud and DCUrbanTurf offer these updates on the ground breaking and plans for the new mixed use (retail-residential) development for Arboretum Place (1600 Maryland Ave) at the eastern end of the H Street Corridor near the Starburst Intersection.  The $36 million development will deliver 257 apartments, a 250 space parking garage, and 5,000 s.f. ground-floor retail with the first residencies targeted for occupancy in the spring of 2012.  UrbanTurf notes that the project has received the "luxury tag" and will include a pool, business center, gym, indoor half basketball court, entertainment space, and landscaped gardens complete with fireplace and “meditation courtyard.”  Arboretum Place will be near the Safeway and CVS at the Starburst Intersection and also the ALDI's which is being built at 1700 Maryland currently.   

Groundbreaking recently occured on two other medium-sized developments in the greater H Street area -- The Station (525 9th St) and The Firehouse (1341 Maryland) both historic renovations of old city service buildings.  Other projects have been planned for 200 block of H Street, the 300 block of H Street, the 600 block of H Street, the 800 and the 900 block of H Street.  At least three other plots along the eastern end of the corridor -- a lot in the middle of the 1100 block of H Street (though the plans for the 1100 block space have yet to be finalized), the old R.L. Christian Library (1300 H St), and the parcel that is currently home to Autozone (1207 H St) are expected to be slated for development before long as well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Smith Commons H Street Festival Menu

Smith Commons hopes to  open at 1245 H Street later this year.  In the meantime, they will join a number of other Coming Soon businesses on H Street for the Festival this Saturday.  Here is what they plan to offer: 


  • Draught Beer or Smith Sangria + 1/4 Pound Angus Beef Burger + 3 Grilled Tiger Prawns + Tequeno ($10)
  • Smith Sangria or Draught Beer ($4)
  • 1/4 Pound Angus Beef Burger + Tequeno ($3)
  • 3 Grilled Tiger Prawns + Tequeno ($3)


1/4 Pound Angus Beef Burger
Grilled Portabella Mushrooms, Scallions, Miso Mayonnaise

Grilled Tiger Prawns
Watermelon Virgin Dressing

Tequenos of Queso Blanco
Avocado Dip

draught beer and beverages

Ommegang Witte ABV: 5.1%
Style: Belgian White (Witbier) // Cooperstown, New York USA

Ommegang Abbey Ale ABV: 8.5%
Style: Abbey Dubbel // Cooperstown, New York USA

Flying Dog Raging Bitch ABV: 8.3%

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA) // Frederick, Maryland USA

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest ABV: 5.8%
Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen // Frederick, Maryland USA

Smith Sangria
White Wine, Cointreau
, Fresh Blueberries
, Fresh Strawberries, 
Fresh Oranges, 
Fresh Green Apples
, Simple Syrup

Link roundup

The Hill is Home reports on DC Greenworks and their plans to install green roofs along the H Street Corridor.  DC Greenworks is located at 1341 H St NE, which is also home to the Star and the Shamrock.

The Hill is Home also checked out the H Street Farmers' Market for its latest "market meal." THIH left impressed. No surprise here -- the H Street Market may be smaller than Eastern Market, but the quality of the produce being offered is high with fresh, organic, locally-farmed and raised fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, and poulty. Eastern Market's Farmers' market offers too much that is not locally-farmed and could otherwise be purchased at the grocery store. H Street's Market is from FreshFarm, which requires that everything be local and is producer-only. Stop by the market, Saturdays from 9 until noon.

The website for the 2010 H Street Festival is up and running with the schedule of events and registration forms.  The Festival is this Saturday, September 18 from noon til 7 p.m. and will cover the 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, and 1300 block of H Street. 

Today is DC's primary election day.  If you did not early vote, this is your last chance to cast a ballot in the primaries.  Check out if you have questions about your registration status or polling location.

Friday, September 10, 2010

H St construction update: barriers being moved to south center lane tomorrow

Here's the latest from DDOT (slightly edited).  If all goes according to plan, you will see three paved lanes running out to 13th St prior to the Festival next Saturday, September 18. 

H Street Construction Contractor To Move Jersey Barriers Saturday, September 11,
In Preparation For The H Street Festival

The District Department of Transportation has authorized the H Street construction contractor, Capitol Paving of DC (CPDC), to move the H Street jersey barriers on Saturday, September 11, in preparation for the H Street Festival on Saturday, September 18.

The northernmost bank of jersey barriers from 3rd Street to 13th Street will be shifted south next to the southernmost bank of jersey barriers. During the September 11 work, the northernmost jersey barriers will be replaced with orange traffic barrels for the next few days, while CPDC completes backfilling and clean-up work to make the south center lane usable as a traffic lane.

Then the barrels will be removed, and a lane switch will be put in place with new directional signs. In the new traffic pattern to take effect on or before September 18, the north curb lane will be restored as a parking lane except during morning and afternoon rush hours. There will be three full-time traffic lanes – two for westbound traffic, one for eastbound traffic – and all three will be to the north of the jersey barriers.  The south curb lane – currently serving as the eastbound traffic lane – will be blocked to traffic to accommodate renovation of the roadway and installation of streetcar tracks.

For the H Street Festival on Saturday, September 18, DDOT and its construction managers, MACTEC Engineering & Consulting, and CPDC worked closely with the Festival sponsor, H Street Main Street, to assure that construction activity, barriers, equipment, and signage will not hamper Festival activities.

Festival tents, displays, and entertainment activities will take place on H Street from 8th Street to 14th Street, which will be closed to traffic during the Festival. In the 1300 block, the Festival will have full use of all H Street lanes. In the 800 through 1200 blocks, the Festival will have the use of all lanes except the south curb lane.
The work is part of the District Department of Transportation’s H Street Reconstruction Project. More information about the project is available on the DDOT website, under the Ward 6 portion of the “Projects and Planning” section.

Tommy Wells volunteer opportunity tonight with Argonaut gathering

Ward Six Councilmember Tommy Wells is seeking volunteers tonight to flier the neighborhood with door hangers as part of his get out the vote effort in advance of DC's September 14 primary. Interest parties should meet at Wells' campaign headquarters (621 Pennsylvania Ave SE), tonight at 6:00 p.m. If you are grateful for Tommy's leadership on H Street or his office's assistance in your community, this is a great opportunity to show your support. Volunteers will work their way north towards H Street, distributing door hangers about Tommy's vision for the city and our neighborhood, leaving fliers urging people to remember to vote. Volunteers will reunite at H Street's favorite neighborhood gathering spot, the Argonaut to join Tommy for drinks to celebrate the hard work that has made his campaign successful.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Art openings this Saturday on and near H Street

There are 5 opening receptions for new exhibits on and near H Street this Saturday evening. If you haven't checked out all of the galleries that have opened in recent years, this is a great opportunity to see a few of them at once. Phil Hutinent of Studio H, City Gallery, and East City Art has already summarized them at his blog, with the pertinent information reproduced below:

Evolve Urban Arts Project (1375 Maryland Ave) presents “What We Leave Behind” featuring encaustic collage artist Marty Ittner and painter Michele Cormier. The opening begins at 4 p.m. and closes at 8 p.m.

Over on Florida Ave, see three exhibits door-to-door. First, G Fine Art (1350 Florida Ave) presents Julia Oldham “Strange Readings” an exploration of physics and art. The opening show runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Conner Contemporary Art (1358 Florida Ave) launches three concurrent shows. The first is John Kirchner “Infinity”, the second is John Stark “Mercurius Duplex” and Third Susam Macwilliam: Video. Doors open at 6 p.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Above Conner, Industry Gallery (1358 Florida Ave) presents two new designs by architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino entitled “Data/ Nature.” The show run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

CITY Gallery (804 H St) opens “Night Goat and Other Flights of Fancy,” new work by Ellen Cornett. The opening reception begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m.

Must read: H Street Festival and neighborhood history

365 Things to Do in DC has this important interview with Margaret Holwill about the upcoming H Street Festival on Saturday, September 18. Holwill is a long-time area resident, who does PR for various H Street businesses, and is a leading organizer of the Festival. The interview includes lots of details about this year's festival as well as some great history about the H Street neighborhood. It is a must read piece for anyone attending the festival, but also for anyone with an interest in the neighborhood. Holwill shares great detail about the history of H Street going back to the 1930s. The historical review portion is reproduced below, but check out the full piece for the rest of the interview and exciting information about this year's Festival.
Q: You were eager to mention that in its heyday the H St. corridor was Washington's most important shopping district, please tell us more about that.

A: We’ve all become so accustomed to glitzy shopping centers that’s it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t that long ago that people shopped at local merchants – exactly what they’re saying now that they prefer. Local, authentic, and unique. Yes, H Street has always been amazing. It was second only to downtown as the place to go, yet it retained a decidedly neighborhood character. The 30s, 40s, 50s were something of a golden age for window shopping, having lunch, meeting your friends, looking long and hard before you purchased. Isn’t this social component what people are looking for now? The personal character of H Street with its small retailers has always fit that model and I think that our attention to that model is what’s driving our success. Tough economic environments are nothing new, yet H Street prospered through them just as it’s doing now. The single family homes surrounding it were mostly owner-occupied in its heyday, and that’s the most important thing driving the renaissance now: people truly caring about their own neighborhood. Despite that, there were major anchors. The first Sears department store in the District. Two large luxury car dealerships in a time when private vehicles were moving from dream to reality for ordinary Americans. Things that drew destination shoppers while still serving the local community with personal relationships. H Street has always had astonishing diversity. Old census records show that the people who lived adjacent to it were a serious melting pot that was reflected in the shops and restaurants of H Street. Greeks, Italians, Jews, Muslims, Germans, Jamaicans, and more. When the city’s Central Market at the site of the present National Archives was demolished in 1931, the wholesale market for the entire area moved to Florida Avenue. Many of Washington’s great buildings were built then using the skills of immigrants. The workers and their families lived and shopped on H Street. GIs during WWII poured out of Union Station and enjoyed the stores and restaurants, as did the federal work force that surged during the war effort. Can you imagine how vibrant all of those different people made life on H Street? Post-War recovery brought America a new prosperity and H Street was an important factor in a new optimistic spirit in Washington. This community was a wonderful place for everybody as you can hear in the stories of some of the older people who have added to the H Street Main Street’s ongoing oral history projects. The most difficult period for H Street coincided with the decline of America’s great cities as homeowners moved to suburbs and inner city neighborhoods became rental properties and began to deteriorate. Vacant building bred despair and the breakdown of the social fabric, culminating in rioting in the late 60s and early 70s in urban centers across the US. The four days of riots in Washington following the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King were the final death knell for what had once been the prosperous H Street Corridor. Few buildings were left unscathed and it would be decades before serious renewal would take hold.

Mister Mike's Music Together classes for parents and kids on H St this fall

Neighborhood resident Michael Showalter is starting a Music Together outpost on H Street with classes on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings this fall.  Classes meet for 45 minutes each week for 10 weeks. During the class period, children and their caregivers play with music and movement exploring a diverse range of sound and rhythm.  There will be three sections of the class: a Tuesday 9:20 a.m., a Tuesday, 10:20 a.m., and a Wednesday 9:20 a.m.  New Families: $200, Siblings: $160 Children 9 months and younger attend free with a registered sibling.  Registration is due by September 14.  Classes begin September 28.  More information available online.
My name is Michael Showalter and I'm setting up a small Music Together center on H street this fall at the Douglas Memorial Church at 800 11th Street, N.E. It's the big red church on the corner of H and 11th NE.

Classes meet for 45 minutes each week for 10 weeks. During the class period, children and their caregivers play with music and movement exploring a diverse range of sound and rhythm. Caregiver participation provides an atmosphere that allows children to freely explore music and dance. Music Together classes allow parents and young children the chance to explore their relationship in a musical way. In addition, the diversity of music provides a strong musical foundation for future formal instruction.

I've been involved in music for as long as I can remember. Once my wife and I had children I became interested in how children develop musically. Music Together classes are especially fun for parents because they provide us with a way to observe musical development in our children as they play.

If you're interested in registering for classes, please visit my website or feel free to call me at 202.251.7205


Mike Showalter

Early voting runs through this Saturday, September 11 at Hine Jr High (335 8th St SE)

Reminder that the DC primary election is fast-approaching on Tuesday, September 14 and that early voting is available at the old Hine Junior High School across from Eastern Market at 335 8th St SE through this Saturday, September 11. 

This election will determine if Mayor Fenty will be able to continue his push to further lower crime and improving DC's public schools, whether Tommy Wells will continue on as Ward 6's Councilmember in his relentless efforts to further livable, walkable communities.  It will also determine the new Chairman of the DC Council (Kwame Brown seems like the obvious choice and not just because his campaign office is on H Street), and who will serve for one of the at-large Councilmembers for the seat currently held by Phil Mendelson (who is best known for being "softer than soft on crime" and is opposed by one very credible opponent -- Clark Ray -- and one individual who has no business receiving votes, but appears to be getting many solely because he shares the name of another Councilmember Michael Brown).

Whatever you do, do not forget to vote.  Early voting ends Saturday.  Polls open at your designated voting location Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Queen Vic at the H St Festival

One of the fun things about the H Street Festival is that it often provides a preview of exciting things to come.  Last year, folks enjoyed food from Biergarten, Ethiopic, and more even though those spots had not yet opened their doors.  The same will be true this year, with Queen Vic (1206 H St), the Atlas Room (1015 H St), Smith Commons (1245 H St), and Toki Underground (1234 H St, 2nd floor) all expected to be on hand to participate in advance of their coming openings. 

Here's what Queen Vic plans to serve at the Festival.  Anyone who visited Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar for their Beer Week pairing event -- or how saw Ryan Gordon's recently aired performance on Chefs v. City -- knows that Queen Vic's food will be as delicious as it is interesting.  They are in the midst of their buildout, so look for them between Philadelphia Water Ice (1204 H St) and Souk (1208 H St) later this year.

H St. Festival Menu for The Queen Vic

Assorted Pasties
Cornish, Chicken & Ham, Curried Potato & Pea

Mini Steak & Ale Pies
Pineland Farms All Natural Beef & Guinness

Lamb & Beef Sliders
With three onion jam

House Made Pork Sausage
With our English mustard & fresh pickles

Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)
Tandoori style chicken with pureed tomato, cashews, ginger & garlic

GaGa is gaga for H Street's Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill

Reliable Source has the following report that Lady Gaga visited Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill at 410 H Street today after her performance at the Verizon Center last night.

Start the countdown

10 days until the H Street Festival.  Bigger and better for 2010.  Saturday, September 18, starting at 12:00 p.m.

Hilly Awards: November 19, 2010, nominations being accepted now

The Second Annual Hilly Awards will occur on November 19Nominations are being accepted for restaurant of the year, bar/tavern of the year, coffee shop of the year, best new business, and more now.

The top five businesses with the most nominations will appear on the official ballot. Voting runs from October 4 through November 4 and the winners will be announced at the second annual HILLY AWARDS on November 19, 2010.

Last year the winners were mostly from the south side of Capitol Hill, including Frager's Hardware, Cava Mezze, and Hill's Kitchen. Indeed, Sharee Lawler (candidate for ANC6A05 and owner of Black Lab Advisory) who keeps an office on H Street may be the only H Street winner from 2009. Hopefully some of H Street's great businesses will be nominated and take home awards this year. Who are you nominating? Sidamo or SOVA for coffee shop? Which of our many new businesses is the best new business from the past year? Is the Argonaut your favorite tavern?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Neat event at the Atlas: Sunday, September 12, at 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.

Anna Shulman: Queen of H Street
This one-woman show tells the entertaining and true life story of Anna Shulman, a Russian-Jewish immigrant, her arrival in the U.S. and Washington, and her impact on the H Street neighborhood, where she was one of many Jewish merchants and shopkeepers during the 1920s and 1930s and the Great Depression.

Don't miss this one-time free public performance at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St)--one block from the location of Shulman's dry goods store--funded by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Registration required online, to, or (202) 789-0900.

Link roundup

The Examiner interviews Argonaut's Shareen Pine about their experience recovering from the fire and their current operations and plans for rebuilding the kitchen and downstairs.  The Argnonaut recieved and shared some good news this week on their website:  they were informed that both insurance companies have approved their estimate and they can start building in less than in two weeks.  They are hoping to reopen better than ever and plan to move the bar to the back of the restaurant and hope to obtain permission to use additional public space on Maryland Ave (where there were various games available) and elsewhere.  They also intend to have a wide selection of rums available and are taking suggestions.  How about 10 Cane, Flor de Cana 4 yr, and Zacapa 23 yr?

DCmud reported on the ALDI opening near the Safeway at the Starburst intersection on the eastern end of the H Street corridor.  According to the post, they will break ground today with Ward Five Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. 

Gallery O on H announced that they will once again sponsor artcars at this year's H Street Festival which is coming up on Saturday, September 18. 

WP Food Critic Tom Sietsema likes the Biergarten, but was less than enamored with their food.

City Paper's Tim Carman checks in with Teddy Folkman at Granville Moore's with an update on their expansion plans.  They are unclear on whether they will dig down or expand the first floor into the building to their east (historically this building owner has been hesitant to make his first floor reasonably available, but has escaped vacant property tax rates because he lives in its second level).  Either way, they'll add 26 seats and expand their tiny kitchen.  Good news.  On recent visits, we've found the food better than ever and have been lucky to avoid the lengthy waits.

The Washington Post spent 24 hours on Bladensburg Road at the Capital City Diner and Jimmy Valentines.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

50% off Star and Shamrock

Today's Living Social Deal of the Day offers $40 gift certificates to the Star and the Shamrock (1341 H St) for $20.  Get y your next reuben, latke, hebrew national, guiness, and more for 50% off. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Souk steps up with brunch and lunch

Souk (1206 H St) will opened for brunch today at 11 a.m. and will begin lunch service next week.  Souk has come along way since they first opened, but still offers delicious Morrocan/Middle Eastern food, now with a much wider and more varied menu.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Are you ready for some football?

The NFL regular season starts a week from tonight with Minnesota at New Orleans.  Last year, your best option for football on H Street was the Argonaut who showed most games on their many varied TVs.  This year you can add Biergarten to the list of great spots to enjoy a game and, if you are a Saints fan, also Little Miss Whiskeys who will show all New Orleans Saints games on their huge screen upstairs.  New Orleans native Adoria Doucette will be cooking some down home food to go with the game and LMWGD's awesome beer list. 

The Argonaut recently announced that they will feature Fat Face BBQ every Sunday starting next weekend, so they'll have your Sunday football eating options very well-covered while they are still operating a more limited menu pending the return of their kitchen post-fire.

ANC6A candidates

There will be at least four new ANC6A Commissioners in 2011. Kelvin Robinson cannot run for re-election while seeking a seat on the Council. Commissioners Mary Beatty, Raphael Marshall, and Bill Schulteiss have all decided not to seek re-election. Commissioners Drew Ronneberg, David Holmes, and Nick Alberti have not drawn opposition and are seeking re-election, while Commisioner Gladys Mack is facing a competitive challenge from Rosedale Citizens' Alliance President Nikki Bowens.  According to the latest, DC BOEE listings, the following candidates have obtained petitions and sought signatures to be listed on the November ballot for ANC6A seats.  Of those, Drew Ronnberg (6A02), David Holmes (6A03), Nick Alberti (6A04), Sharee Lawler (6A05), Andrew Hysell (6A06) and Gladys Mack (6A07) have already submitted petitions presumably having obtained the requisite 25 valid signatures of registered voters from within their SMDs. 

A few of the new candidates are well-known in their community and have been active within the ANC, which is well-known for its citizen volunteer-staffed committee system.  Sharee Lawler is a member of the 6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee (as well as a The Hill is Home contributor and the CHAMPS 2009 business volunteer of the year).  Andrew Hysell is a member of the 6A Transportation Committee.  Nikki Bowens is a member of the 6A Community Outreach Committee and the President of the Rosedale Citizens' Alliance.  Candidates have until tomorrow to submit petitions with signatures from 25 registered voters from within their SMDs in order to gain ballot access. 

6A01 Adam C. Healy 812 11th Street, NE 20002 556-0215
6A01 Angelia Rice 1100 K Street, NE 20002 674-3062
6A01 Lawrence Russell 821 Florida Avenue, NE 20002 410-404-8558

6A02 Drew Ronneberg 646 11th Street, NE 20002 431-4305

6A03 David Holmes 919 Massachusetts Avenue, NE 20002 251-7079

6A04 Nick Alberti 1330 North Carolina Avenue, NE 20002 329-1193

6A05 Sharee Lawler 1240 C Street, NE 20002 714-8422
6A05 William R. Mohring 415 11th Street, NE 20002 773-915-3356

6A06 Andrew J. Hysell 1364 Emerald Street, NE 20002 357-7560

6A07 Necothia "Nikki" Bowens 1770 E Street, NE 20002 486-4296
6A07 Gladys Ann Mack 703 18th Street, NE 20002 240-432-3494

6A08 Erica Anderson 423 18th Street, NE, #10 20002 422-6645
6A08 Lia Veenendaal-Selck 222 17th Place, NE 20002 917-859-7969

Giant confirms plans for location at 3rd & H St

Per Mike Neibauer in the Washington Business Journal.   The details seem a bit fuzzy and like perhaps Giant had not planned to confirm this yesdterday, but it sounds like good news on this positive development moving ahead.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Liberty Tree celebrates 6 months with happy hour specials starting tonight

Liberty Tree is celebrating six months in business on H Street, by rolling out some happy hour specials starting with tonight's Wednesday night specials: half-priced small plates and $4 Magic Hats from 5-7 p.m. at the bar. Stop by and congratulate Scott, Graig, and the rest of the staff on six great months.

Reminder: Ward 6 Council debate tonight

The Ward 6 Democrats are cohosting the Council debate tonight at the Christ Our Shepherd Church (801 North Carolina Ave SE). Stop by to ask questions of and share your concerns with Councilmember Tommy Wells, or with his challengers Kelvin Robinson and Jim DeMartino.

Please join the Ward 6 Democrats for a Ward 6 Council Democratic
candidate forum on Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 7:30 pm. The forum
will be held at Christ Our Shepherd Church - located at 8th & North
Carolina Ave SE (801 North Carolina Avenue SE, near Eastern Market
Metro) – and will be moderated by WTOP investigative reporter Mark

The Ward 6 Democrats are proud to co-host this forum with a group of partners that share many of the same priorities for our Ward and city, including the Defeat Poverty DC coalition and Fair Budget Coalition.

Please join us next Wednesday evening, TOMORROW, for a great
discussion about the future of Ward 6 and your choices on the
September 14th primary ballot.