Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Link roundup

Today is election day in DC for the special election to fill the At Large seat that was vacated when Kwame Brown assumed the position of Council Chair and which is currently filled by Sekou Biddle on an interim basis.  There are a few attractive candidates in this race and one decidedly unattractive candidate, but the only unacceptable option is failing to vote. 
Bikeshare announced several new stations proposed to open this summer, including stops to fill in the gaps along the middle of H Street and on NE Capitol Hill.  Some of these are new, while others were promised back in October of last year. 

The Washington Post touted late night eats in DC, including H Street options Dangerously Delicious Pies and Taylor Gourmet.

The Post's Tim Carman checked out Khan's.
The Post's Fritz Hahn also had a really nice write up of Church & State
The City Paper has this piece on the opening weeks at Toki Underground.

The Washington Post recommended Blues for an Alabama Sky at the Atlas Performing Arts Center through May 8.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CM Tommy Wells office hours at Sova Tomorrow, 8-9:30 a.m.

Councilmember Tommy Wells will host his H St. Community Office Hours this Thursday, April 21 at Sova Espresso & Wine(1359 H St) from 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Link roundup

The Hill is Home reports on a Capital Breast Care Center photo exhibit/benefit at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St) tonight at 6:30.  Tonight is also the Ward 6 candidates forum for the April 26 special election for the at-large seat.  Early voting has already begun at One Judiciary Square.

Fruit Bat (1236 H St) rolled out their spring cocktail menu and it looks good.

Queen Vic (1206 H St) is hosting a Royal Wedding Celebration on Friday, April 29, with a host of themed specials, disounts, and other fun things.  The Going Out Gurus tout a few menu items and the Sunday roasts.  We've only tried a few items off the menu so far, but recommend the oysters and thought the fish and chips were really outstanding. 

Prince of Petworth heard a rumor that Fly Lounge might be opening a spot in one of the buildings being renovated by Evolve on the 1300 block of H Street.  We haven't heard this rumor and the building does not appear to have changed hands, so we suspect it would be a lease, not a sale.  We did hear a rumor that there would be another dance venue likely to open on this block, but do not think it is affiliated with that building.  Frozen Tropics says that there is a tenant slated for the building and that it is affiliated with the Fly Lounge owners, but that the concept is going to be more akin to Tryst, an Adams Morgan coffee shop/bar with wifi, all day brunch, and small plates available.

WeLoveDC checked out Queen Vic (1206 H St) and rates the oysters & burger very highly.  We've tried and enjoyed both as well and also recommend the fish n chips, which are fantastic.

The Hill is Home has this nice review of The Weir, which is currently running at the H Street Playhouse (1365 H St).
Frozen Tropics says a Denny's is coming to Bladensburg Rd.  Bladensurg Road is already home a terrific diner in the Capital City Diner (1050 Bladensburg Rd), which is where we expect locals will continue to go for the breakfast, brunch, and late night eats. 

The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema reports that Watershed by Todd Gray (1225 1st St NE) will open for dinner this Friday, April 22.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ward 6 At-large special election candidates town hall tomorrow, April 19 at E Mkt. #Four26

The Ward 6 Democrats will co-host the final special election candidates forum of the season on Tuesday, April 19, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, at the North Hall of Eastern Market. It’s your last chance to see the candidates before Election Day on Tuesday, April 26th

RSVP and Submit Questions in Advance Herehttp://bit.ly/W6At-LargeCandidatesForum

The forum will include all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, and we have two outstanding moderators – Bruce DePuyt, host of News Talk on News Channel 8 and TBD, and Martin Austermuhle, senior editor of www.DCist.com.

The Ward 6 Forum co-sponsors are:

Ward 6 Democrats
Hill Rag
Capitol Hill North Neighborhood Association
Capitol Hill Public School Parents Organization
Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association
North Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association

Don’t see your organization? There’s still time. Let us know if you want to co-sponsor by sending us an email at ward6dems@gmail.com.

What: Ward 6 Candidates Forum for At-Large Council Special Election
Date: Tuesday, April 19th
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Location: North Hall of Eastern Market (accessible by Metrorail, Metrobus, Bikeshare and by foot!)

We know some people will be out of town or unable to attend. If you can't be there, please submit your questions in advance at http://bit.ly/W6At-LargeCandidatesForum.

As always, join us after the forum for the debate about the debate, and a little social fun, across the street at Tunnicliff's on 7th Street, SE.

Please note: This forum is open to all candidates and has several non-partisan co-sponsors. As such, the Ward 6 Democrats will not be holding an endorsement vote or straw poll, ensuring the event is open for all and for information purposes.

DCMud: Steuart breaking ground on 360 Degrees H Street in July, with Giant open in 1.5 yrs

DC Mud has this update on Steuart Development's 360 Degrees H Street development, which will hold a Giant grocery store, another retail outlet, and a few hundred apartments on the north side of the 300 block of H Street.  DC Mud says ground breaking is expected by July 1.  We noticed they'd cleaned up the site a bit in recent weeks and look forward to seeing construction started.  According to the story, the residences should be available within 18 months and the Giant would open soon thereafter.
360 Degrees H Street

Friday, April 15, 2011

To do this weekend: HR-57's open, H Street Farmers' Market returns Smith Commons Sat brunch & Argonaut patio garden

HR-57 is officially open at 816 H Street and ELEW (Eric Lewis) is perfoming this weekend with two shows at 9 and 11.  Advanced tickets purchase advised 202-667-3700.

The H Street Farmers' Market reopens for the season tomorrow morning at 9 am (and closes at noon) at 625 H Street.  There will be some new vendors this year and all the semiregular vendors will be present for the grand opening.

Smith Commons (1245 H St) launches their full Saturday brunch service tomorrow at 11 am after a couple previews.  Smith Commons' brunch will be available on Saturdays only initially.

New planters adding beauty to the Argonaut's patio
Other fun ideas for the weekend are enjoying the patio at the Argonaut (1433 H St) where they've installed a host of planter boxes to add to the attractive garden feel of the patio, checking out the Weir, which is getting good reviews at the H Street Playhouse (1365 H St), grabbing Sunday brunch at the Atlas Room (1015 H St), or picking up a Dangerously Delicious Pie (1339 H St) to share with neighbors and friends at your place.

Development of the vacant lot at 1216-1218 H St in the middle of the 1200 block

We've been asked what's going on with this vacant property in the middle of the 1200 block of H Street a few times lately and have only been able to come up with a partial response.  Here's what we know:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Metro Mutts one year anniversary celebration Sun, April 17, @ the Pug

Happy Anniversary to Metro Mutts!  Join them on Sunday at the Pug from 6-8 and stop by the store between now and then to pick up a bracelet for open bar and to make a purchase and be entered in their anniversary raffel. 

Metro Mutts turns ONE!!

Time flies when you're having fun, and the past year has been a blast for all of us at Metro Mutts.  We have really enjoyed getting to know you & your pets and want to personally thank all of you for supporting YOUR local pet shop!  With that in mind, please join us in celebrating our ONE YEAR anniversary on the evening of Sunday April 17th. 

Where:  The Pug (1234 H ST NE)
When:   6 PM, Sunday April 17th
Full Details after the jump: 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

H Street FreshFarm Farmers' Market reopens Saturday

Here are the details on the reopening of the H Street Farmers' Market (625 H St) this Saturday, at 9 am.  It should be a fun market with lots of vendors, including a few new ones, for the opening week.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Link roundup

Frozen Tropics has this nice note on what's happening on the Capital City Diner (1050 Bladensburg) noting thatt a back patio has been constructed and that there may also be a bar on the back patio available on weekends for events.

DCist has this complimentary, but constructive write up on Toki Underground (1234 H St).

The Washington Post says Liberty Tree's (1016 H St) buttermilk pancakes are among the few best in the greater DC area.

The front page of the Monday Washington Post had a piece on HR-57's move to 816 H Street with this great photo tour of the space.  The City Paper was there for the opening as well and describes the new venue as follows:
My wife once compared the atmosphere at 14th Street to "a thrift store with a bandstand"; I thought of it as a coffeehouse, a social hangout where the music was often ignored by the talkative patrons. By contrast, the new place was every inch a jazz club, where everything from the sound to the band's presence was stepped up from its predecessor.
Capitol Bop has a nice video of the new HR-57 space with some interviews of staff and performers.

A new Pho Restaurant appears to be coming to 1360 H Street.  Frozen Tropics has a short post on it and HStreetDC posted a photo of the sign for the business that popped up late last week.  This is across the street from SOVA.

The New Urban Network has this article noting a study showing the potential impact of the DC Streetcar system finding that it will increae property values, spur development and investment, create jobs, and generate substantial revenue.  Remember to save the date for the April 20 streetcar quarterly update meeting at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Smith Commons launches brunch this Saturday

Smith Commons (1245 H St) launches brunch service this Saturday, April 16 after doing preview service the past two Saturdays for those who follow them on twitter in an attempt to perfect their offerings and service by soliciting feedback prior to the first full run (a savvy move by some classy guys, we might add). 

Initially, they'll offer Saturday brunch only, but they plan to expand to Sundays after a month or so of service.  We made it in for one of the preview offerings and think there's a lot to like about the menu, including some really nice mimosas, a well executed stack of pancakes, a spicy bloody mary, and a terrific croque madam.

Friday, April 8, 2011

No one's shutting H Street down: federal workers welcomed & valued @ the Pug @ Fruit Bat @ Dangerous Delicious Pies @ Taylor...

Whatever happens with the impending shutdown of the federal (and local) government, H Street will remain open for business and many H Street businesses are looking out for furloughed federal employees.  Here's hoping you're able to enjoy some of these offers and to continue to work and be paid for it next week. 

You already know that the Pug is doing 10% off your tab with a federal ID.  That's now available to federal employees starting at 9 pm, even if the shutdown is averted. 

Fruit Bat is doing 10% as well with a government ID starting at midnight.

Dangerously Delicious Pies will offer half priced pies to federal workers with ID during a shutdown starting Monday.

and Taylor Gourmet will do 10% off for federal employees starting tonight at midnight.

HR-57 opens at 816 H Street tonight

HR-57 opens tonight at 816 H Street bringing one of Washington's best jazz venues to H Street.  The Antonio Parker Quartet plays tonight at 9 p.m.  Admission is $12 and HR-57 has a BYO wine policy for a small corkage fee. 

Capital Bop has a few more details on the opening.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Pug looks out for furloughed fed employees this weekend w/10% off

The Pug (1234 H St) will give 10% off to federal employees carrying their IDs this weekend if as expected the federal government shuts down.  Congressional staff are, however, exempted from the deal regardless of whether or not their offices deem them excepted, esstential, or send them home too.  If you end up furloughed, you might find our recent listing of weekday lunch options on H Street useful.

Streetscape contruction paving 8th - 13th starting today

DDOT Streetscape contractor MACTEC's Community Relations Specialist Margaret Gentry has the following great news that the south side of H Street between 8th & 13th is set to be paved and fully reopened for traffic and parking as 3rd through 8th Street were recently in the coming days.

Streetcars meeting @Atlas Peforming Arts Center w/ DDOT on Wed., April 20, at 6:30 pm

On Wednesday, April 20 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Interim Director Terry Bellamy and Scott Kubly, Director of DDOT’s Progressive Transportation Services Administration (which is managing streetcar implementation), will appear at a public meeting to update the community on progress toward completion of the first operational segment of the H Street-Benning Road streetcar line and other streetcar activities.  There will be an opportunity for community members to ask questions.

The meeting is being hosted by Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 5B, 6A and 6C.  It will be held at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, which is located at 1333 H Street NE.  This location is accessible by Metrobus routes X2 and X9 and Capital Bikeshare (stations at 13th and H Streets NE and at Bladensburg and Benning Roads NE).

We encourage you to attend this meeting to help continue to demonstrate strong citizen support for D.C.’s streetcar system.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sidamo sidewalk cafe and evening hours with drinks coming soon

Sidamo's public space application to host a small sidewalk cafe has been posted.  They hope to have a couple tables out for patio seating in front soon.  This is well-timed as the parking on the street in front of Sidamo reopened last week and construction of the nearby streetcar stop is now complete.  Sidamo already has a lovely, larger patio area in back. 

Sidamo also plans to seek a liquor license to allow them to stay open later and to offer wine and some coffee themed cocktails soon.  Look for them to move ahead with that before long.  Kenfe wants to keep it family friendly without alcohol during the day, but expects this will allow him to keep Sidamo open later into the evneing, likely until 9 or 10 p.m.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Link roundup

DC Foodies has the comprehensive write up of recently opened Queen Vic (1206 H St).  Washingtonian's Best Bites Blog has a mouth watering piece with pictures of the burger, bangers & mash, and more.  Queen Vic offered a partial menu over the weekend and Eater reports that the full dinner menu will be rolled out over the next couple weeks.  We look forward to trying it as it looks terrific and we have fond memories of the burger they served at last fall's H Street Festival. 

We already rounded up lots of love for now open Toki Underground (1234 H St).  Add Thrillist's piece with a couple great interior photos and Brightest Young Things as well to the mix.  Waits continue to be significant with reports of long waits on both Saturday and Sunday nights, so we recommend arriving early and putting your name down.  We managaged to grab seats last week and were very impressed with our dumplings, ramen, and cocktails. 

Urban Daddy has their preview of Khan's (1125 H St).  We Love DC dropped by soon after they opened and seems enthusiastic about their first visit and a preview of things to comeThrillist has a nice shot of the bar and the fixings station for your Mongolian BBQ.  We enjoyed a recent visit.  Our only recommendation is don't skimp on the sauce as it's not overly strong and your stir fry will only be as flavored as the sauces you select. 

In local politics news, Mayor Vincent Gray released a proposed budget, which includes a capital budget to fund the next phase of development on the H Street streetcar line (p.260) and Councilmember Tommy Wells endorsed appointed Councilmember Sekou Biddle for election to the at-large seat that Kwame Brown vacated when he was elected chair last fall.  Biddle stands for election against a handful of others candidates on April 26. 

Washington City Paper recommends Scena's The Weir at the H Street Playhouse (1365 H St) through the end of the month.  DCTheatreScene speaks highly of the show as well.

DC Wineaux has this nice write up of a wine, cheese, and charcuterie tasting she did at SOVA (1359 H St).  SOVA remains and underappreciated gem for a nice spot to enjoy a drink or two and has one of the better lists of wines by the glass and cocktails on H Street.

DC Urban Turf touted a two bedroom plus listing on the 1200 block of F Street NE as it's Deal of the Week.

Mango & Tomato checked out Ethiopic (401 H St), where they recently began a signficant facelift to their building's facade, but remain open for business.

The Washington Post's weekend section had a nice write up on Star & Shamrock (1341 H St) whose first anniversary is fast approaching.  The review touts the consulting role of Chef Teddy Folkman noting that the brisket, corned beef, and pastrami are particularly good.

Smith Commons (1245 H St) welcomed their twitter followers for a complimentary preview brunch on Saturday as they test out their menu in preparation for brunch service later this month.  Jerome, Sheldon, and Miles continue to be class acts and provided guests a survey to share their constructive criticism of the experience, so they can be sure to get it right before opening for Saturday and Sunday brunch in a couple weeks.

And we had our first meal at Toki Underground and our first Sunday brunch at the Atlas Room and thought both were among the best meals we've ever had on in the neighborhood.

Monday, April 4, 2011

H Street FreshFarm Farmers' Market reopens on Saturday, April 16

The H Street FreshFarm Farmers' Market (625 H St) returns in just a couple weeks and there will be a handful of new producers joining our market this year:

Gepetto’s Catering will be coming with barbequed local meats (pulled pork and baby back ribs, smoked chickens, smoked brisket and homemade sides).

Mark’s Kettle-Korn is also new, and will be popping locally sourced popcorn on site. Mark sells only one flavor – salty-sweet, and trust me it is delicious.

Red Apron Butchery will be joining the market every week (rather than bi-weekly as they did last year), and will have breakfast sandwiches alongside its usual lineup of cured meats.

Copper Pot and Dolcezza will also come to market on a rotating basis, but will both be there for opening day!

There will also be a Chef at Market for opening day:

Suzanne Simon + Bettina Stern of  Loulies will be doing their first of a three part series: family Cooking with Loulies.

All the other usual producers will be back as well.  The market is open every Saturday from 9 am until noon, at 625 H Street NE.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Toki Underground opens tonight: preview link roundup

Toki Underground opens above the Pug at 1234 H Street tonight.  We've dropped by for one of the public soft openings and several others have produced nice previews already and it seems the final product is looking very good.  We had very high expectations and they were exceeded.  Our only initial concern is when we're ever going to be able to get a seat there again. 

The Washingtonian's Best Bites Blog is already drawing comparisons to David Chang's famed Momofuku in Manhattan(!) and has some great photos.  The piece offers serious praise, concluding with "Bruner-Yang cut his culinary chops working as a manager at nearby Sticky Rice, helping open Kushi in DC, and making pho dogs for U Street Music Hall. We’re guessing that soon enough there’ll be one more similarity to Momofuku: a line out the door."

The Hill is Home's Claudia Holwill (aka @brunchgirl) praises the food, drinks, and overall value of her first visit.

PoP has some good photos as well, including the drinks lists.

City Stream has this overview.

And TPWP Guide had us drooling in anticipation with photos and lines like these:
Let’s start with the d├ęcor: many establishments in DC and around the country pay tens of thousands of dollars to achieve what Toki Underground has done with creativity and many hours of hard work – and they did it all themselves...
The food at Toki Underground is also extraordinary – both in simplicity and execution...
Toki Underground exemplifies many aspects of our transforming city – for me it is everything I look for in a restaurant: unique imaginative interiors, soulful simple food, and a group of creative people who had an idea and worked hard to execute it to extraordinary standards.
We recommend getting there early.  Like a number of our most popular spots, they'll take your name and put you on a list and you can grab a drink at another nearby spot, like the Pug, Smith Commons, Fruit Bat, or Church and State while you wait for  a table.

East City Art weekend events roundup -- Sat opening @ Studio H

As the winter weather begins to retreat, a major exhibition at G Fine art closes this weekend.  While the camellias, daffodils and cherry blossoms announce the spring, Studio H opens its first show of the year and Art Whino will begin a monthly festival at the Yards Park.

Saturday, April 2
Today is the last day to view Local artist Linn Meyers’ The Adjacent Possible at G Fine Art.  Gallery Hours are 12pm to 6pm on Saturdays.  G Fine Art is located at 1350 Florida Ave, NE

From 6pm to 9pm Studio H opens their first exhibition of 2011 entitled Mannequin by world renown Ecuadorian artist Pablo Caviedes.  Caviedes’ paintings and sculptures refer to what Caviedes calls “fakeness”— often humorous commentary on societal fascination and obsession with virtual, artificial life that mimics natural human forms.  Studio H is located at 408 H Street NE, second floor.

Sunday, April 3
Art Whino will be organizing a monthly fair called Marcatus at the Yards Park in SE every First Sunday of the Month (except in July when it will be the second Sunday) featuring artists, craftspeople, food and music.  The Yards waterfront Park is located at 10 Water St SE, one block south of M Street SE between New Jersey Avenue and 3rd Street, SE.

Phil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook  or follow them on Twitter