Friday, September 30, 2011

What to do with the H Street treeboxes?

The following message is from the H Street Construction Company's Community Relations Specialist Margaret Gentry.

DDOT Invites Community Views About Proposed Changes In the Treebox Cobblestones On H Street N.E.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is inviting comments from the H Street N.E. business community and ANC Commissioners and civic leaders about proposed changes in the placement of cobblestones in the H Street treeboxes. [photographs illustrating the options and full description below.] 

The H Street Reconstruction Project plans called for treebox installation of the 4-cubic-inch cobblestones at an angle to facilitate drainage, and this has been done in most of the treeboxes in the project area. But in mid-June, vandals pulled a cobblestone out of a treebox and hurled it through the window of a 1300-block business establishment. A few days later, there was a similar incident in the 1000 block, except that the business owner was able to stop the vandal before the cobblestone was thrown.

To protect H Street businesses and prevent such incidents in the future, DDOT project managers initiated a study of design alternatives that would secure the cobblestones more firmly into place so they could not be pulled up easily and used to cause damages and injuries. Project designers presented various alternatives and cost estimates.DDOT is providing descriptions of these options to determine H Street community preferences.

OPTION 1: Reset the angled cube (4x4x4) cobblestones flat within the perimeter of the jumbo (10x7x4) edge cobblestones. Place the cube cobblestones less than 1/4-inch apart & fill gaps with a 50/50 sand/soil mix. The top of the cube cobblestones will be flush with the nearest jumbo edge stones. Provide an approximate 2-foot x 3-foot mulch area around the tree trunk.

OPTION 2: Remove the jumbo edge cobblestones and replace with cube cobblestones. Install all cobblestones flat and flush with the sidewalk and curb. Place the cobblestones less than 1/4-inch apart & fill gaps with a 50/50 sand/soil mix. Provide an approximate 2-foot x 3-foot mulch area immediately around the trunk of the tree.

OPTION 3: Completely remove the cube cobblestones from the treeboxes and replace with mulch. Leave the jumbo edge cobblestones in place without change.

Which option do you prefer? DDOT wants to know. Please share your views no later than 10:00 pm Tuesday, October 4, by e-mail, telephone, or personal contact with DDOT’s H Street Community Relations Specialist: Margaret Gentry,, 202.320.8534

Thank you.

Photos and more info after the jump

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Theatre Alliance @ H Street Playhouse & Rorschach Theatre @ the Atlas Season Kick-off Event Monday, Oct. 3 @ Red Palace

Theater Alliance

Exciting things are happening at Theater Alliance.
We are very happy to announce the newest member of our staff
Lee Daugherty.  She is coming on as our Managing Director.
We are very lucky to have her and would like to give you an
opportunity to meet her.

 OCT 3rd!

Lee and Colin have been working very hard to prepare a thrilling,
and adventurous season for 2011/12. In just a few short days we
will be announcing our new season.
But we wanted to invite you to a special event on OCT 3rd.

          Theater Alliance & Rorschach Theatre
                 2011/12 Season Kick-off Event

Helen Hayes-nominated theatre companies' Rorschach &
Theater Alliance join forces to announce their 2011/12 Seasons.
Grab a drink and catch excerpts of the exhilarating work coming
to H Street this year. Theater Alliance at the H Street Playhouse
celebrates the addition of Colin Hovde as Artistic Director
and Lee Daugherty as Managing Director. Rorschach, led by
Jenny McConnell Frederick & Randy Baker are thrilled to be
settling in to their new home at Atlas Performing Arts Center.

OCT 3rd
1212 H Street NE
7:00 - 9:00
red palace
Rorschach Theatre
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Link roundup

Young and Hungry picks up on Chef Mike Isabella of Top Chef and Graffiato fame talking about his desire to open a pizza spot on H Street.  Isabella clarified that this is still in the conceptual phase and he does not have a lease on a space or any firm plans yet.   

We Love DC has a mixed experience at Tru Orleans and is tough on the food, though happier with the space and the service.

Fork It has a nice write up on another great meal at the Atlas Room

NBC4 says men's clothing shop Durkl has been squeezed out of Chinatown and is likely to reopen on H Street.

Prince of Petworth posts a picture of the updated design plans for 1309-1311 H St.  We'll have more on these plans soon, but in short the new owners is adding a second story to 1309 H and doing some updates to the facades on both.  These are the two of the "Meads Row" buildings, which were rehabbed and sold last year.  

The Washington Business Journal says movie theatres are taking a close look at the Uline Arena at 3rd and M.

CHAMPS announced the nominees for the 2011 HILLY Awards.  H Street is well represented by the Atlas Room (Best Restaurant), Granville Moore's, Queen Vic, the Pug, and Little Miss Whiskey's (Best Bar/Tavern), Metro Mutts (Retailer of the Year), Spot on Training (Home Service of the Year), H Street Playhouse and the Atlas (Arts Business of the Year), SOVA and Sidamo (Cafe of the Year), Toki Underground and Queen Vic (Best New Business), Inspire BBQ (Community Service Award), and Beth Baldwin, Sharkey, and Ellen Cornett (Artist/Artisan of the Year).

The Washington Post has this piece on the terrific work that NOMA BID has done in building that neighborhood.  We'd like to H Street establish a BID as well. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

South side of 600 block of H St sold for $51.5M to Jair Lynch Development (via @HousingComplex)

The City Paper's Lydia DePillis has this big development story in her Housing Complex blog.  601-645 H St property has been slated for development for a handful of years now and recently received an additional two year extension of time prior to commencing construction on a large mixed use building that would fill in the parking lot in the middle of the block, place hundreds of parking units below grade, and add residential density above the existing buildings.  Jair Lynch paid $51.5 million to purchase the block long property earlier this month.  The prior developer had been having difficulty obtaining financing and DePillis reports that the new owner Jair Lynch "has access to the capital you need for these kinds of things," so this should be very good news for neighbors who have been wondering when they would see some of the long promised progress at that site.  No word yet on whether the new ownership plans to modify the development plans or maintain them as approved in the PUD.

We understand the property across the street that currently houses Murry's is changing hands soon as well and we look forward to seeing the plans for the full development of that site soon as well.       

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Half off at Khans via What's the Deal

So What's the Deal is offering half off at Khan's (1125 H St).  $12 for $25 worth of food and/or drink. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Link roundup

Boogie Babes is now hosting events for kids at the Atlas (1333 H St) every Friday. 

The City Paper's new Young & Hungry Columnist Chris Shott was pleasantly surprised by how good the food is at the Queen Vic (1206 H St).  We thought they had some of the best eats at the Festival and are looking forward to seeing more of what the new chef has up his sleeve. 

Found by a Friend has a nice piece on the fried oyster starter at Queen Vic, calling it "one of the best morsels of food I've ever had the chance to put in my mouth."   We like it as well and have been known to order it there, though we're also fans of getting an order of fish n chips for the table as a starter to share since we think it's an absolute must try item. 

The Hill is Home has a nice photo slideshow up from flickr users who took pictures at the Festival.

Eater gets a tour of the building that will soon house Taylor Charles Steak & Ice (1320 H St) and has a few more details on the cheesesteak & house made water ice concept:
It's a cheesesteak place, but there are going to be other options, too: chicken cheesesteaks, a "really killer" but secret-for-now hot dog of some sort and a couple of vegetarian options that could include eggplant and mushroom variations on the classic sandwich. Patten says they're also testing a hamburger that would be deconstructed into the shop's rolls rather than a bun. There will also be fries with Old Bay, onion rings, and house-made water ice with seasonal flavors like kumquat. Beyond Whiz, they'll be stocking provolone, American, mozzarella and an American cheese sauce.
As for the space, Patten explains that they wanted to recreate the feel of a Pat's or a Geno's, the iconic Philly shops where you eat outside. 
Huffington Post reports on some cool things coming to Taylor Gourmet (1116 H St), including a couple new types of cookies (the chocolate chip ones they already have are terrific), soups, and special hoagies of the month.

Frozen Tropics reports on problems with moisture in units at H Street Storage.  It seems like something is always astray there. 

Rob Pitingolo reports in the Post's Local Blog Network on "The Rise of H Street NE."  He says
After last year’s festival I wrote that the neighborhood still looked like a wreck, and I tried to imagine its future. In only 12 months, it’s amazing how much things have changed.  If I had money to invest in real-estate, H Street, or Near Northeast, or whatever people are labeling the area, is definitely where I’d buy." 
The Big Board (421 H St) is getting ready to open and was quietly welcoming neighbors during the H Street Festival.  They've taken the paper off the windows and the place shows nicely and very differently than it has recently.  We especially like the newly exposed brick back wall.  There's a menu posted in the window offering a variety of salads, beef burgers, a tuna burger, and two veggie burgers.  Urban Daddy took a peek inside and says we can expect them open in a couple weeks.  We're looking forward to it.

District Cuisine stopped by Pho Bar & Grill (1360 H St) at the Festival and reports that they'll be open soon and posted photos of their menu.

The Examiner
has a nice story on the partnership between CHAMPS's Julia Robey Christian & HSMS's Anwar Saleem, which manifested itself in a very successful H Street Festival.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Atlas Room offers summer garden in front with tasty hot & cold treats & drink specials

Some yummy stuff on the Atlas Room's list of specials for today's Festival.  The Cosa Nostra cocktail is our favorite cocktail around and a must try for anyone who likes bourbon/rye/manhattans. 

Chilled Melon Soup w/Flounder Ceviche ($8)
Pork and Sausage Fritters w/Creamy Mustard Sauce ($8)

White Sangria ($8)
Cosa Notra Cocktail ($9)
DC Brau ($6)

The full story on the H Street Festival today 12-7 #HStFest

September 17: The 2011 H Street Festival: One Street. One City
The 2011 H Street Festival sponsored by Steuart Investment Company and 360° H Street, will take place on September 17, 2011 from 12 to 7pm. The 2010 Festival drew upwards of 35,000 attendees and this year’s Festival is expected to top that. Designed to showcase the unique qualities of the vibrant H Street NE Corridor, the 2011 H Street Festival includes but is not limited to:

Over 30 musical and dance performances
An exhibit of art cars sponsored by Gallery OonH
Four live performance stages including one dedicated to kids’ performances and one dedicated to Gospel music

Atlas Performing Arts Center / Joy of Motion dance floor

Fashion shows

The Ink + Ego tattoo competition sponsored by Brittish Ink and Gallery OonH

A pie-eating contest sponsored by Dangerously Delicious Pies and
Gallery OonH

A dedicated kids area featuring activities by
Living Classrooms, the Museum of Unnatural History, Guitars Not Guns, and various children’s performersAn adult games area featuring DC United, DC Rollergirls, Washington Nationals, Kostume Karaoke, an officially sanctioned boxing ring and more

A dog beach sponsored by Metro Mutts and Spot On Training

A larger than life boombox shaped DJ booth featuring some of the hottest DJs on the east coast 20+ extended restaurant patios serving the finest foods & craft beers H Street has to offer
Tons of Arts and Crafts vendors

A special Green Street exhibit, sponsored by Taurus Development, showcasing the latest and greatest in green living

Performances by the Baltimore Rock Opera Society

A speed chess challenge

Chinese dragon dancers
A fleet of food trucks

Friday, September 16, 2011

Aren't there some zany contests involving tatoos, Dangerous Delicious pie eating & mustache contests?

Need a few more fun reasons to come to the Festival?

Pie Eating competition!  Who doesn't love eating tons of Dangerously Delicious Pies? 

Tatoo competition!  British Ink is back, so if you've got a good one or two come ready to show it off.

Mustache & facial hair competition!  Little Miss Whiskers and the DC Brau guys are bringing this one for the first time this year.  Have a friend with a killer 'stache?  It may pay off for them tomorrow.

More H Street Festival Details: 8th & 14th St stage lineups

8th Street Stage Lineup, feauting Chuchito Valdes
With Special Host, Daniel Mushala
12:00-12:30                   Sharp Music - Doowop
12:45-1:15                     Michelle Raymond Band - acoustic pop
1:30-2:00                       Rio Garage Band - afro brazilian
2:15-3:00                       Lucky Dub - reggae/dub
3:15-3:45                       Live DJ
4:00 - 4:45                     Nu Era & Trilogy – R&B/ hip hop
5:00-5:45                       Black Alley & Phil Ade - go go jazz & hip hop
6:00 -7:00                      Chuchito Vald├ęs - afro-cuban latin jazz, bebop, danzon, cha-cha-cha, son montuno

8th Street Stage Lineup, feauting BoomBox
12:00-12:50PM             Little Red and the Renegades - Zydeco
1:10-2:05PM                 The Pocket - Reggae
2:30-3:30PM                 Elikeh - Afro Pop
4:00-5:10PM                 Suttle Thoughts - Go-Go
5:45-7:00PM                 BoomBox - Electronic Jam

Doggy Beach Party via Metro Mutts, SpotonTraining & Baltimore Rock Opera

“End of Summer Doggy Beach Party”, produced by local businesses Metro Mutts, Spot on Training, and the Red Hook Lobster Pound (aka the Lobster Truck) will join the H Street Festival this year.

The special play area will include a swimming pool to cool dogs down, a sandbox for the dogs to find buried prizes, a “mutt mister,” and more. To complete the beach theme, Red Hook Lobster Pound will be parked on the “shore,” so festival goers of the human variety can enjoy lobstah rolls, whoopee pies, and fresh squeezed lemonade while the canines soak in the fun.

“We’re really excited to work together with Metro Mutts and the Lobster Truck to produce this unique element to the festival,” said Spot on Training owner Heather Morris. “It will be the first of its kind at a festival and we’re sure it will be a huge hit with the 2 and 4-legged circuit”

The Doggy Beach will be located next to the R.L. Christian library building on the corner of 13th and H, NE.

The Baltimore Rock Opera Society will again be featured this year. The H Street Festival is September 17, 2011 from 12-7pm on H Street, NE from 8th to 14th.
Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) is the next evolutionary leap in Baltimore’s musical theatre scene–a highly energetic troupe of actors, writers, musicians, and artists founded in 2007 with the sole mission of producing original, live rock operas in Baltimore. Driven by a vision to unite the talent and energy of amateur and professional artists in the area in pursuit of producing an art form unlike any other available in Baltimore or beyond, BROS has embarked upon a mission of epic proportions.

Essentially plays interspersed with rock songs, Baltimore Rock Opera Society performances maximize production value within a “do-it-yourself” budget. Homemade set pieces and costumes create an awe-inspiring visual context in which actors and musicians tell the story. Each song in a BROS rock opera drives the plot while drawing viewers in through interaction with performers. BROS invites artists, musicians, designers, and technicians from all backgrounds to add their talent to productions, making the highly involved and face-melting qualities of these rock operas possible.

Sponsored by Gallery OonH, BROS will be located at the intersection of 10th and H, NE and perform throughout the afternoon at the following times:
·         12:30 PM
·         2:00 PM
·         3:30 PM
·         5:00 PM
·         6:30 PM

What about out of bounds spots, like Tru Orleans Ethiopic & Argonaut

If one of your favorite spots isn't within the 8th to 14th Stretch, you need not worry.  The Festival organizers found space for them to come join us. 

Tru Orleans will be set up near 10th & H by Mason's Baber Shop. 

The Argonaut will be open for business as well as dishing up their terrific fish tacos/burritos at a summer garden within the festival grounds in front of the H Street Playhouse. 

Ethiopic will be hosting a live Ethiopian dance performance as well. 

Not yet open Sweet Charleston's (from the owner of Carolina Kitchen) will be serving up southern fare in front of the building they've leased at 1348 H St (next door to the new Evolve headquarters).

H Street Festival: What's going on for kids? Kids Zone at 10th & H #HStFest

There's no need to leave your kids at home to enjoy the Festival. 

There's a kids play area called Kids Zone that will be open before the festival even begins in the H Street Connection parking lot area near 10th & H.  Look for face painting, moon bounce, crafts, petting zoo and more all right there.  Come before or after nap time.  And if they like dogs or if your a dog person, but not a parent, drop by the Metro Mutts/Spot On Training doggy beach with Red Hook Lobster Pound over in the AutoZone parking lot on the 1200 block of H. 

Kids also love Rita's Water Ice (1014 H St) and the Festival as a whole should be family friendly.

The Daily Rider -- cool urban bike shop at H St Fest & hopefully opening soon

The Daily Rider is attending the H Street Festival with hopes to open a shop on H Street soon.  These guys have all the best in urban bike gear.  No not spandex pants with big padded rear ends that you'd want for the Tour de France, but all the best gear to commute to and from work or to stroll around your liveable, walkable, bikeable neighborhood.  And while they're still finalizing plans to open on H Street, they will be at the Festival with some of their very cool helmets and more.  We're planning on picking up one of their helmets this weekend and looking forward to seeing this exciting new retail option open on H Street soon.  It should hopefully not only be the first bike shop on H Street, but also the first truly urban, stylish bikeshop of its kind in Washington, DC.  In the meantime, find them appropriately placed near bike loving Councilmember Tommy Wells on the 1200 block of H Street tomorrow.
Twitter: @TheDailyRiderDC
Facebook: The Daily Rider

Tasty H Street Festival Specials @ Queen Vic

We fondly remember tasting some of Queen Vic's offerings at last year's festival.  We weren't sure we were that excited about another pub on H Street that seemed to be adding little new besides British fare, which didn't sound exciting.  Then we had their burger, and an Indian chicken dish.  And then we went back and tried another item.  As everyone now knows, Queen Vic is a terrific spot for a pint, but an equally great place to have dinner.  We're always interested to try something new there and keep an eye out for some of their specials, often involving offal or other items you might not see if they didn't do all their own butchering in house. 

This year's Festival menu looks like another winner with pasties, chargrilled oysters, pork sausage and maple pork belly pops and roasted sucking pork pops.  We'll be the folks walking around with the suckling pop in our right hand and the maple pork belly pop in our left.

H Street Festival @ SOVA: summer garden w/ Great Lakes Brew Co

SOVA's going to have a beer garden in front of their building on Saturday as well.  Frank's lined up one of our favorite breweries, Cleveland's Great Lakes Brewing Co. for the afternoon.  Great Lakes will have four beers in draught: 

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Burning River Pale Ale, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, & their seasonal and hard to find Oktoberfest. 

We're sure Frank will have something good to eat available as well. SOVA is conveniently located near the popular 14th St stage, which will have some of the biggest performances of the Festival.

Toki Undergound & The Pug are sharing a tent & offering specials for the Festival

The Pug reports that they'll have Natty Bo draft on the patio and the limited edition DC Brau Atlas Festbier Lager inside. They're also grilling product from 13th street Meat Co all day, and will have whoopie pies for desert.

Toki will open up outside with them and has some of the DC Brau Atlas Festbier, OB cans, PBR, veggie dumplings, pork dumplings, and the return of one of their popular specials: Kimchi Porchetta, which Erik's prepared a lot of so hopefully we'll get to try it this time. 

They've also got shochu lemonade to drink and will be rolling out limited time specials all day on twitter @TokiUnderground

H Street Festival @ Smith Commons w/ FlyingDog, Ommegang & DC Brau

This Saturday, Smith Commons will host an outdoor beer garden from 12:00 to 7:00 pm as part of the H Street Festival. Ommegang and Flying Dog breweries will be onsite pouring frosty brews for $5.

The $5 food menu will feature a Kobe Beef Hot Dog, Pork Belly Yakatori, Confit Chicken Egg Rolls, Braised Short Rib and assorted gelatos and desserts.

They've also got three taps of DC Brau going currently.  Last time we checked they had the Belgian Pale Ale, the Heffe, and we're betting they got their hands on some of the Atlas Fest Bier too.

Po Boys Kitchen seeks liquor license to open restaurant at 709 H St

This is the first we've heard on this.  Looks like they want to serve po boys and drinks, inside and out, for lunch and dinner.  I believe this would be the first new restaurant to open on that block.


Posting Date: September 16, 2011
Petition Date: October 31, 2011
Hearing Date: November 14, 2011

License No.: ABRA-87903
Licensee: Po Boys Kitchen LLC
Trade Name: t/a Po Boys Kitchen
License Class: Retail Class C Restaurant
Address: 709 H Street NE
Contact: Rebecca Antoine, 301-776-7208

Notice is hereby given that this applicant has applied for a license under the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Act and that the objectors who are entitled to be heard before the granting of such license on the hearing date at 10:00 am, 2000 14th Street, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20009. Petition and/or request to appear before the Board must be filed on or before the petition date.


New restaurant serving Po Boys Subs, light dinners and gourmet foods. Entertainment will include small bands featuring reggae and jazz on occasion. Seating capacity is 99. Total load is 129. Summer Garden with seating for approximately 30 patrons.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

East City Art Weekend Roundup: H Street Festival Edition

Weekend East City Event Round Up:  2011 H Street Festival Edition
All Events Take Place Saturday September 17, 2011

The 2011 H Street Festival Visual Arts Line Up (12pm to 7pm)

Art Cars, art cars and art cars!  Gallery O on H will curate the annual Art Cars exhibition at the festival in addition to hosting over a dozen artists and local gallery Art Enables.  Studio H (see below) will hold an opening during and an hour after the festival.  Later that evening, a gallery in Trinidad (see below) will keep the festivities going well into the night!  For the full visual arts line-up at the festival, click here.

The H Street Festival takes place between 8th and 14 streets NE on H Street NE.  Use Union Station Metro or catch a shuttle from Eastern Market Metro to get to there.

A Gallery Somewhere in Trinidad (9pm to 11pm)

The nameless gallery in Trinidad inaugurated their pop-up gallery in July with an Avant-garde photography exhibition that explored various themes in ‘80s TV sitcoms.  On Saturday, the space will show two concurrent exhibitions that explore adolescence, pop-culture and the desire to become “famous”.  Read more here.  Not to be missed, the owner/curator has requested we withhold the date until opening day.  Check back on East City Art for the exact address.

The Exact Location of “A gallery somewhere in Trinidad” will be announced on Saturday September 17 on East City Art

Porch Projects (4pm to 7pm)

Also on Capitol Hill, Porch Projects, one of the newest art spaces to open in East City, will be showing two concurrent solo exhibitions by Annie Albagli and Megan Mueller entitled All in All.  In All in All, the two artists plumb the depths of the divide between two and three dimensions through the use of spare materials combined with imagery borrowed from the natural world. Their works hint at the secret, creeping force of Nature that at times seems counter to, yet always encompasses and includes, our own human activities.  Please be mindful that this event is held at someone’s home.  For more information including how to obtain the event location, click here.

Porch Projects is located at a private residence on Capitol Hill.  Please email the organizers at to obtain the exact address.

STUDIO H (4pm to 8pm)

Studio H will open two concurrent solo exhibitions by DC based artists Katherine Mann and Pam Rogers.  Read more about the exhibition and the artists here. Mann, who will be showing at the (e)merge festival next weekend, creates mixed-media painting in which both the real and the imagined collide into a whirlwind of color and form.  Her first solo show since ending her fellowship at Hamiltonian Gallery, Slurry promises the viewer Mann’s large works as well as some smaller pieces, including woodblock prints.  Rogers’ Autumnal Equinox explores man’s manipulation of nature.  Her mixed media paintings use inks she has created using plant pigments from around the country and hand-made paper made from local invasive plant species.  Not to be missed, Rogers has created site specific installations of bound and tortured plant materials.

STUDIO H is located at 408 H Street NE, second floor.

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grants now available for those opening retail on H Street

Looking to open a retail business on H Street?  There's now grant support for you.  Grants up to $85,000 are available for those who will bring new types of retail to H Street. 

Eligibility is fairly broad and available to anyone with H Street frontage and over 1200 square feet.  Liquor stores, restaurants, bars, hair spots, and cell phone stores are ineligible.  Priority is given to innovative ideas.  We've heard a couple good ones already.  The program is also open to existing businesses that would expand, so long as the expansion would add new jobs 

There will be two rounds of grants.  Applications for the first round are due by October 26.  A portion of funds will be reserved for the second round of applications, which are due January 4, 2012.  The Deputy Mayor's Office for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) will host an info session on September 21, 5:30 p.m. at Smith Commons (1245 H St). 

Taylor Charles Steak & Ice coming to 1320 H Street this winter

Casey Taylor Patten & David Mazza -- owners of Taylor Gourmet -- will open Taylor Charles Steak & Ice at 1320 H Street this winter. The Washington Post's Tim Carman broke the news today in a Food Section story about the depths that these guys have gone to prepare to bring the perfect cheesesteak to DC at Taylor Charles.  They'll also be serving homemade Italian Water Ice with seasonal offerings. 
1318-1322 H St all renovated over the last year
Taylor Charles will open in the green building
 The restaurant will be located next door to Shwarma in a building that has been undergoing substantial renovation in recent months. The building is owned by Sam Chung, who also owns 644 H St where Akari Sushi & Sake is expected to open soon. It's one of three buildings in a row to be renovated over the past year at 1318-1322 H St. The block has seen a lot of improvements over the past year. Evolve Property Management renovated two other buildings a few doors east and another is currently being renovated to house Impala, the Mexican restaurant successor to the popular pop up taco stand Tacos Impala. By our count there are now at least 4 restaurants planned to open on that block over the next year.
1318-1322 H St prerenovation

ANC6A explores how many liquor licenses are appropriate for H Street at public meetings this fall

ANC6A's fall ABL meetings will focus on discussion of a possible cap on
the number of alcohol licenses on H St NE. The first meeting (Sept 20)
will be informational where the Alcohol Beverage Regulation
Administration (ABRA) director and ANCs from other parts of the city
with caps will talk about the process and the pros and cons of a cap.
The following two meetings will be focused on receiving community
input on whether or not a cap should be put in place and what
restrictions would be included in any cap. Below is the schedule for
these meetings. Any changes to the schedule will be posted to the website and otherwise publicized..

•Tuesday, Sept 20; 7pm; Sherwood Recreation Center—Informational meeting on
how caps work and pros/cons
•Tuesday, Oct 18; 7pm; Sherwood Recreation Center—Community reaction to the
informational session and discussion about a possible H St cap
•Tuesday, Nov 15; 7pm; Sherwood Recreation Center—Consideration of any cap
proposal and recommendation to the full ANC6A

The committee and commission looks forward to community input.

Adam C. Healy
Commissioner, ANC 6A01
Chair, ANC6A ABL Committee
Twitter: AdamCHealy

The agenda for the first meeting is after the jump

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Link roundup

The Washington Times had a nice piece on the outreach that the H Street business community has done to welcome deaf patrons and Galludet students.  Nice job by the business owners and CHAMPS for educating themselves on how best to serve all their potential patrons.

City Paper's Young & Hungry returns to Toki Underground (1234 H St) and finds it better than ever now that the stock has had some time to grow.  We've been a few times recently and have been really impressed as well. 
Frozen Tropics posted a cool 1927 photo of the building that is now home to the Argonaut (1433 H St).

The Hill is Home has some nice photos of the first ever H Street Chalk Walk

The Washington Post reports that later this fall the city will issue an RFP for the 1300 H Street property it currently owns that was once home to a library and more recently housed the Temporium.

The Sherwood Neighborhood Volunnteers reported that the Sherwood Recreation Center field inside the track will be offline for a few months as part of a DPR refurbishing of it.  Other fields and Sherwood activities remain unaffected.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rolling out H St Festival Tidbits: DC Brau special brew & free Circulator from Eastern Market

There's far too much great info about this year's H Street Festival to include it all in one post, so we'll try to keep up and get you the highlights over a series of posts this week.  The Festival is this Saturday, September 17, beginning at noon.  It runs from 8th out to 14th Streets, though businesses along the entire corridor will be participating. 
How to get there

There will be bike racks at both ends of the Festival at 8th & 14th Streets.  There's also a FREE Circulator bus running from Eastern Market metro.  So if you don't live close enough to walk, bike or take the Circulator from Eastern  Market. 

What exciting food & drink specials will there be?  Lots.  There will be tons of them from all your H Street favorites and some H Street coming soons, but one fun one is a speciality brew from DC's first local craft brewery, DC Brau.  DC Brau makes a handful of great craft beers just east of H Street on Bladensburg Rd & is offering an Atlas FestBier, which will be available all afternoon at Little Miss Whiskey's (1104 H St).  Here's how they describe the special release brew:
Oktoberfest is here, and we have something spezial!
Atlas FestBier is our seasonal offering of a traditional German-style Spezial Helles, brewed only for Fall. Ours will be released just in time for the 2011 H St. Festival.
For more information on this tasty limited-release brew, check out the Our Brau page.

Speaking of the H St. Festival, we will have the Atlas FestBier Spezial Helles during the Festival, at Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar @ 1104 H St., from 1pm - 7pm. Brandon and Jeff will have a booth out in front.
To make ths Atlas FestBier extra-spezial, we only brewed one batch of this for the Festival... and this is your last chance to try some of this exremely-limited release

PSA 102 Meeting Tuesday, 6:30 pm @ Sherwood w/ noise forum

The PSA 102 meeting begins early this month with regular business starting at 6:30 tomorrow night at the Sherwood Recreation Center (640 10th St NE).  They plan to hold a noise forum during the latter part of the meeting (limited explanation after the jump). 

PSA 102 is the Police Service Area that covers most of the H Street neighborhood in the areas south of Florida Ave & north of Maryland Ave and meets the second Tuesday of each month upstairs at Sherwood. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

George's Place (1001 H St) is closing

George Parker opened George's Place (1001 H St) selling men's clothing on H Street all the way back in 1958.  He's run the store in multiple locations since then and has been at 1001 H Street for quite some time.  He's one of a relatively small group of businesses on H Street who can tell you what it was like on H Street before the riots and who lasted through them and until now.  So it's with some sadness that we report that Mr. Parker has decided to close George's Place.  He'll remain in business until he sells out his inventory, likely for another couple months. 

In the meantime, everything he has is available for 50% off.  Stop by and say hello to Mr. Parker.  He's not interested in talking to the press about his plans for the building he owns (near as we can tell it is still for sale at $1.4 million), but he's got other good stories to tell and he still has some good stuff for sale in his shop. 

George's Place is open until 6:30 on weeknights and 7 pm on Saturday, closed Sundays.  George told me he'd consider opening on some Sundays if there was interest and it helped close out the business.

East City Art Weekend Events Roundup

All Events Take Place Saturday September 10, 2011

H Street Chalkwalk (10am to 6pm)
The H Street Chalkwalk, sponsored by CHAMPS, H Street Mainstreet and East City Art, will begin at 10am when artists set up their installation all along the Street Corridor. From 3pm to 6pm, the public will get a chance to vote for their favorite creation. The event’s winner will be announced at an after party taking place at Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar (1104 H St) beginning at 6:30 pm.

Conner Contemporary Art (6pm to 8pm)
Conner Contemporary asks “Is Realism is Still relevant?” The gallery answers its own question with a resounding YES! See three concurrent solo exhibitions with new figurative paintings by Erik Thor Sandberg, Nathaniel Rogers and Katie Miller. In addition, the gallery will take advantage of its massive outdoor terrace with an installation by Conner *gogo special project artist Lauren Adams entitled Plunder.
Conner Contemporary Art is located at 1358 Florida Avenue NE

G Fine Art (6pm to 8pm)
G Fine Art begins its 10th anniversary season with There is No Rising or Setting Sun, new paintings and works on paper by Maggie Michael. Michael’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery features a group of mixed media (including spray-paint) paintings on paper executed this summer in Cetate, Romania.
G Fine Art is located at 1350 Florida Avenue NE

Industry Gallery (6pm to 8pm)
Industry Gallery will be launching its Fall 2011 design season with the first U.S. solo exhibition of work by innovative British artist and designer, Tom Price entitled meltdown. Specializing in modern furniture products, sculpture and lighting design, process plays a key role in Price’s work which has been bought by international museums, galleries and private collectors.
Industry Gallery is located at 1358 Florida Avenue NE

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

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Volunteer at the H Street Festival on September 17

Be a part of the best festival in DC!

The H Street Festival is looking for a few volunteers to help make the 2011 festival the best one yet.  We need folks to help with set up, assisting kid’s activities, floating helpers throughout the day and with clean up. 
All volunteers get an official H Street Festival Volunteer T shirt.

Want to help?  Email Jen DeMayo

Industry Gallery Presents 'Meltdown' by Tom Price beginning Sat., Sept. 10, 6 pm

Industry Gallery, 1358 Florida Avenue, NE Suite 200, Washington DC
new work by
Tom Price
Meltdown by Tom Price
Please join us and meet Tom Price at the opening night reception September 10th, 6-8 pm

This exhibition includes the premiere of a series of sweeping sculptures constructed out of plastic tubing referencing the shapes of the iconic DC cherry trees and their blossoms, inspired by Price’s last visit. They combine to create a unique immersive and site-specific installation, taking over an entire room of the gallery.
21st Century Design Gallery
1358 Florida Avenue, NE Suite 200
Washington, DC

Conner Contemporary opening reception for 'Is Realism Relevant?' w/ 3 artists in house Sat,. Sept. 10, 6-8 pm

IS REALISM RELEVANT?> opening 3 solo exhibitions with new figurative paintings by:

Erik Thor Sandberg: Reparatory Gestures
Nathaniel Rogers: When Disaster Strikes
Katie Miller : The Fancy of Babes
& with *gogo emerging art projects:
Lauren Adams: Plunder

opening: Saturday, September 10th: 6-8pm
to preview:

September 10 - October 22, 2011

1358 Florida Avenue, NE

G Fine Art kicks off 10th season Sat. 9/10, 6 pm w/ Maggie Michael's There is No Rising or Setting Sun

Michael’s 4th solo exhibition features The Danube Series – drawings created in Romania Summer 2011 and New Studio Paintings

G Fine Art begins its 10th anniversary season with There is No Rising or Setting Sun, new paintings and works on paper by Maggie Michael. An opening reception will be held Saturday, September 10, 6-8PM, and the exhibition will run through October 15, 2011. Michael’s fourth solo exhibition features a group of works on paper – the Danube Series – executed this summer in Cetate, Romania, following the artist’s recent completion of a large scale mural for the US Embassy in Bucharest, a commission from the US ART in Embassies Program. Paintings executed at the artist’s studio in Washington, DC will also be featured.

The new work sees a further evolution in Michael’s oeuvre following the introduction of text-based works in her exhibition All at Once (2008). In There is No Rising or Setting Sun, text is both obscured and evident: “I incorporate the negative and positive shapes of letters in areas of paintings for an abstract recognition and texture, no pun intended. Sometimes, these areas are not saying anything; however, the letter shapes/negative spaces are familiar and exist not to be decoded, but there.” The work and spirit of Samuel Beckett are predominant, whether in appropriated text such as: “no symbols where none intended” and “The tears of the world are a constant quality …The same is true of the laugh,” or in a text-less painting referencing the curiosity of Beckett’s character Watt (from the novel of the same name), who tries to understand an abstract image. “Like abstract painting,” says the artist, “Beckett’s works are experienced, heard, and understood on instinct, pressingly (depressingly) open; the viewer fills in the spaces.”

Speaking of the exhibition’s title, Michael said, “The sun reference is a way of noticing that perhaps the most inspirational phenomenon – day break or sunset – is not as it seems. The sun does not rise or fall; it is in a relatively fixed position. On the other hand, the sun will appear to always be rising or setting somewhere, according to multiple points and perspectives.”

All of the works in the Danube Series are on paper with ink and spray paint mixed with water from this storied, 1,770 mile-long river that courses through nine countries, from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. The use of the river water was both poetic and necessary – Michael had no running water in her studio, so she and a friend carried a heavy jug from the Danube. The artist used antiquated musical reproduction devices – vinyl records of works by Verdi, Diana Ross and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and piano rolls of Wagner – as stencils. “The piano rolls,” says Michael, “simply represent sound – a decodable analog, caught between mechanical and digital translations. Visually, for me, they represent the rhythmic vertical flow of rain, waterfalls, or windows lit at night in a skyscraper. Or horizontally, the piano roll stencil is a river current or an urban flow of pedestrians. Diagonally, a stronger momentum is implied, a celestial light or wind.”

Local band Fear of Virginia playing at Rock n Roll Hotel this Sat, Sept. 10

Fear of Virginia ( a band made of DC residents whose drummer Sam Kussin-Shoptaw is a resident of the H Street corridor (8th & K) will be playing at the Rock n Roll Hotel (1353 H St) on Saturday, September 10.  They're from all over the District have been playing the DC Metro area for a few months now.  They'd like to have a solid showing from folks in the neighborhood.  Tickets are only $10 and Rock n Roll Hotel wouldn't have booked them if they weren't talented, so go check them out.  More from the band after the jump

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

H Street Chalk Walk line up for Saturday

The first ever H Street Chalk Walk and Brunch Around is this Saturday, September 10th starting at 10am. From 10am until 3pm H Street businesses and their artistic teams will be working on their creations in front of their businesses during the brunch hours.  From 3pm until 6:30pm, the chalk art will be displayed outside of their businesses for all to see.  At 6:30, the party starts at Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar (1104 H Street NE) & the winners will be announced by the panel of judges (including CM Tommy Wells).  The art will be drawn on canvas (to protect the beautiful new sidewalks), so the art can be displayed again the following weekend at the H Street Festival!  If the event is rained out, it will be rescheduled for October 9.

The confirmed participants include:

Link roundup

Metro Mutts (508 H St) announced that they are opening second outpost on Barrack's Row having acquired Pawticulars.  Congratulations to one of H Street's best retail shops owned by a few local residents!

The K Street Triangle blog went live & is soliciting input on what to do with the corner pocket park at 8th & K NE.  We made a few recommendations to them.  Have you?  Will you help beautify the space with public art, trees, bushes, flowers, or other donations & volunteer work?

Mike Neibauer noted the new DCRA vacant & blighted property lists are out.  The lists are bigger and include some additional H Street properties.  Others are still missing despite having been reported.  If you would like to report a vacant property, contact DCRA at 442-4332.  DCRA can order certain improvements on vacant properties & can subject them to higher property tax rates to encourage occupancy and/or renovations.

The City Paper & others noted that Taylor (1116 H St) has dropped their ban on mustard & mayo.  I can't think of a hoagie they make that needs either, but welcome the news nonetheless.  They're also offering whole wheat rolls and will be doing hoagie of the month specials.  Good stuff!

Young & Hungry picks up on Crunk Cakes.  They're around here a fair amount, including at the H Street Bakes gatherings.  Booze filled cupcakes & they're popular.  Look for them at H Street Bakes on Saturday at the Pug (1234 H St) during the H Street Chalk Walk

The H Street Chalk Walk is this Saturday.  East City Art has some background.  We'll post more soon, but the idea is brunch between 10 and 3.  Checking out street chalk art thereafter.  Drinks & awards for the best art in the evening.  Should be fun & lots of H Street businesses & local artists are participating.

Prince of Petworth notices the for lease sign at 1118 H St.  This is the old Birdland building.  It was previously thought to be leased to the guy who has the lease for a pizza spot at 1387 H.  It's one of several good properties listed for lease.  We've also notice 906 H St (double wide), 914 H St (needs lots of work, but has liquor license), 1000 H St and a few others with for lease signs popping up recently. 

Housing Complex's Lydia DePillis picks up on the sale of the Murry's site (610 H St).  We understand it's under contract with closing in November.  It will go from a taxi mangate (whose also the guy who owns the blighted property at 1400 Maryland Ave & a proposed Walmart site) to developers who want to put a big residential building over ground level retail.  In other words, this is very good news.  The site is quite large and extends from the corner of 6th & H all the way up to the H Street Storage building.  It also appears to include lots back along 6th St to I St.  We have more this that we'll share in a separate post soon.

East City Art also has news of a cool charity event this Friday, September 9, at SOVA (1359 H St).  It's a wine tasting & silent auction to benefit Empowered Women International & Peace X Peace. 

Granville Moore's (1238 H St) is doing another cool beer dinner on September 27.  This time with Flying Dog Brewery.  They've got great folks in the kitchen there and they love quality beer, so this is sure to be fun.  Plus you can reserve a spot so you wont have ot wait in line to get in.  Those guys really can't expand soon enough as far as we're concerned. 

Liberty Tree (1016 H St) is now open daily at 5 pm, weekends at 11 for brunch (ie, no more weekday lunch service, but opening earlier for weekend brunch).  We're sorry lunch is off for now, but there are a number of good lunch options on H Street these days and Liberty remains a strong dinnner and weekend brunch option.  Don't forget about their new patio & some specials they are rolling out like half priced burgers on Wednesday nights.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Is something happening at Murry's? New development coming to 600 blk H Street?

A reader asks about the 600 block of H Street property that currently houses a Murry's Food Store and if/when something will happen there. 

Here's what we know.  In July, the property owners (who own the large lot beginning at the NE corner of 6th & H that runs east up until the H Street Storage building) obtained permits to drill five soil borings to confirm soil strength down to a maximum of 80 feet or until auger refusal.  We've not spoken with the owners, but they obtained ownership of the near city block long property a year and a half ago for $3.4 million.  The property's current assessed value is $6.3 million.  We're uncertain of the terms of the Murry's lease, but it seems increasingly likely that the owners will seek to redevelop the property in the near future.   It is zoned C-2-B, which allows matter of right medium density development at up to 3.5 FAR for residential use, with height of up to 65 feet. 

The property across the street is already slated for redevelopment with a residential building with ground floor retail planned to fill the space between the two office buildings.  Perhaps in a few years both sides of that block will have new residential buildings replacing parking lots?