Monday, October 31, 2011

Ben's Chili Bowl buys 1001 H St; WestMill Capital (Miller Brothers) buy 1351 H St

Housing Complex's Lydia DePillis breaks the news that the Ali family, owners of Ben's Chili Bowl & Ben's Next Door succeded in their quest to purchase 1001 H Street from George Parker, the long time owner of George's Place. Mr. Parker is retiring with a $900,000 check for the double wide building on the SE corner of 10th & H. 

Another H Street property changed hands this month too. 1351 H Street was purchased for $825,000 by WestMill Capital, run by Ben and Dan Miller. WestMill Capital is the new owner of the large plot that currently houses AutoZone and a surface parking lot and has plans to invest in several smaller projects along the corridor.  DePillis previously reported that this property would be put to a restaurant use of some sort with a farm-to-table concept, a Red Rocks pizzeria, or a Bon Chon South Korean chicken style venue all considered possibilities. We'd welcome any of the three. The building is one of the last ones in a well-used stretch of H Street that is full of restaurants which is bookended the Atlas Performing Arts Center and SOVA and is located immediately in between Rock n Roll Hotel and Star and Shamrock.

Free Dangerously Delicious Pie via Scout Mob today

Scoutmob loves H Street. Today they're rewarding us with 1 free slice of sweet pie from Dangerously Delicious Pies (1339 H St) redeemable any time this week.

To get your very own FREE slice of deliciousness, download the app on your iPhone, Andriod or Blackberry or sign-up for their email list right here

And even if for some odd reason you don't like pie (of if you do and you also love shawarma and lobster rolls), you can take advantage of their other current promotions for half off at Liberty Tree (1016 H St) and Shawafel (1322 H St).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today is your last chance to vote for Hillys; tickets for Nov 13 event on sale now

Today is your last chance to vote for your favorite local spots for 2011 Hilly Awards.

The Hilly Awards are going to be held at the Atlas Theatre (1333 H St) on November 13.  Tickets to this fun event are now on sale.  Our friends at CHAMPS tell us this year's event is going to be bigger and better than last year, so stay tuned for more about the bartender of the year competition and other fun things. 

Please don't drink & drive: free sober rides home tomorrow starting at 10 pm

Together with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) SoberRide initiative, AT&T is proud to provide free taxi rides (up to $30) to anyone 21 and over in the Washington, DC area this Saturday night (10/29) from 10pm until 6am.  AT&T customers can call #TAXI to get a safe, free ride home, while others can dial 800-200-TAXI. 

WRAP's SoberRide provides greater Washington, DC residents a safe way home on high-risk holidays, including the December/January holiday season, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day and Halloween.  For more details on WRAP’s 2011 Halloween SoberRide program or information on WRAP, visit their website here.

AT&T customers dial #TAXI, or call 800-200-TAXI to get a free ride

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Putting the H in your Halloween *Appy *Allowen on H Sat. Oct. 29


Washington, DC, October 24, 2011On October 29, H Street NE invites you to put the H in your Halloween at a corridor-long series of activities called *APPY *ALLOWEEN. Over 20 participating businesses will take part in the FRILLS & CHILLS Halloween decorating contest and PUMPKIN PROMENADE carving contest, the winners of which will be determined by patrons who will vote by ballot.

From 5-8:30pm, patrons are invited to partake in a HAUNT HUNT, visiting each contestant’s business to view the décor and pumpkin carving. At each business, they will receive a special sticker with one letter in the word *ALLOWEEN. Once all of the stickers are collected, patrons can submit their ballots (with their votes included) in the ballot box located in the Auto Zone parking lot in the 1200 block of H Street, NE. Five HAUNT HUNT winners will be chosen at random to receive prizes with concert tickets, gift cards, t-shirts and more.

The winners of the FRILLS & CHILLS and PUMPKIN PROMENADE contests will be announced at 9pm. Winners of the HAUNT HUNT will be drawn immediately after.

Following the winners circle, at 9:30pm, Joy of Motion and Atlas Performing Arts Center present the annual THRILLER flash mob, along with several other dance performances and the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.

The itemized schedule is as follows:

5-8:30pm: H Street, NE from 4th to 15th
Over 20 participating businesses will take part in the FRILLS & CHILLS Halloween decorating contest and PUMPKIN PROMENADE carving contest, the winners of which will be determined by patrons who will vote by ballot. Patrons are invited to partake in a HAUNT HUNT, visiting each contestant’s business to view the décor and pumpkin carving. At each business, they will receive a special sticker with one letter in the word *ALLOWEEN. Once all of the stickers are collected, patrons can submit their ballots (with their votes included) in the ballot box located in the Auto Zone parking lot in the 1200 block of H Street, NE. Five HAUNT HUNT winners will be chosen at random to receive prizes with concert tickets, gift cards, t-shirts and more.

9:00PM – 12am: 1200 block of H Street, NE

  • 9:00 - WINNERS CIRCLE and PRIZE PATROL: The winners of the FRILLS & CHILLS and PUMPKIN PROMENADE contests will be announced. The 5 winners of the HAUNT HUNT will be drawn immediately after.
  • 9:30 - DCypher Dance Performs
  • 9:40 - Thriller dance flash mob
  • 9:50 - Time Warp dance presentation
  • 10:00 - Costume Contest for BOTH Thriller and Time Warp
  • 10:15 - Urban Impact Performs
  • 10:20 - DCypher Dance Performs
  • 10:30 - 12:00am Rocky Horror Picture Show shown on large film screen

Ballot maps for FRILLS & CHILLS, PUMPKIN PROMENADE, and HAUNT HUNT will be available at and on Friday, October 28 and hardcopies will be available at all participating locations throughout the event.

John Stone Reggae in the Courtyard @GalleryOonH Saturday, 7:30-10

Reggae Halloween at Gallery O on H Saturday, October 29 from 7:30pm to 10pm

Attend the last Music in the Courtyard concert of 2011 at Gallery O on H (1356 H St) and view the gallery’s permanent collection. All profits from the Gallery O on H Music in the Courtyard series covers the cost of the musicians and the remainder benefits the H Street Social Aid and Pleasure Club, a local non-profit whose mission is to promote music and art as a way of building community, expanding awareness of local talent and to create easily accessible cultural opportunities.

There is a $5 cover charge for this event. Beer and Wine will be available at the bar. The musical performance comes to you courtesy of the John Stone Reggae band. For more information about the music, visit the band’s website at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

*Appy *Allowen on H Street: Thriller & other Hallowen fun Sat., October 29, 5pm-12 am

Link roundup

Express Night Out's annual awards are out and Toki Underground (1234 H St) and Dangerously Delicious Pies (1339 H St) are both winners.

DC Urban Turf takes a shot at updating our post on all the bigger developments coming to H Street.  They do a nice job, but post is missing Capital Place (200 blk H south side) and 1115 H St (16 residential units over 2 retail bays) as well as the likely development of the Murrys lot (600 H) and the Autozone Lot (1207 H).  We'll have our own long-overdue update soon.

The Washington Post gives a great review to Can't Scare Me: The Story of Mother Jones at the Atlas (1333 H St)
DC MUD shares a few details and one of the design drawings (work in progress) for the new building coming to 1115 H.  Groundbreaking expected this summer on 16 residential units with 2 retail bays on the ground floor.

DC Style is Real adds to the growing list of recommendations for Ethiopic.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Upcoming events at Hill Center (921 Penn Ave SE)

*Kartemquin Films Event
Monday, November 7 -- 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
John Phillip Sousa Hall
Gordon Quinn and Justine Nagan, Artistic Director and Co-Founder and Executive Director respectively of documentary powerhouse
Kartemquin Films explore the role documentary film plays in journalism, investigating and reporting events, and the power of docs to build awareness and
initiate action that can inspire change on a local as well as global level. The conversation will be interspersed with clips from Kartemquin's vast archive as
well as works in progress. Among Kartemquin's best known films are HOOP DREAMS, the recipient of every major critics prize and journalism award;
AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR; THE INTERRUPTERS and A GOOD MAN. For over 45 years, Kartemquin Films has been making documentaries that examine and critique society through the stories of real people. A proud recipient

of one of eight international 2007 MacArthur Awards for Creative and Effective Institutions, Kartemquin has been described by the Chicago Reader as a
“documentary powerhouse” and in 2010 was honored with the Altgeld Freedom of Speech Award for “unflinchingly holding up a mirror to American society.”

*Salute to Hill Center —Flag Raising, “Fence Raising” and Open House
Saturday, November 19, 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Listen to music, sip apple cider, tour the building and meet our program partners for a sampling of the programs, classes, and activities you’ll find at Hill Center.

Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave SE) passed along word of these events. 

*Community Bulb Planting
Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Bring a spade and join your neighbors (as well as Marines and a Boy Scout Troop or two) to help plant thousands of daffodils in Hill Center gardens.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Help the Sherwood Neighborhood Volunteers beautify the Sherwood Recreation Center, this Sat. Oct 22, 10 am-1pm

The Sherwood Neighborhood Volunteers are holding their fall work day on Saturday, from 10 am - 1 pm.  Join your neighbors and help continue the beautification work of the past year at the Sherwood Recreation Center (640 10th St NE). 

The work session includes planting bulbs, mulching the new flower beds, and doing other fall cleanup activity.  As an added incentive, there will be Sidamo coffee and breakfast treats to enjoy. 

Sherwood Neighborhood Volunteers
Twitter @SherwdVolunteer

Neighborhood Discount on Watershed Fish Fry w/ DC Brau Fri, Oct. 21

Watershed (1225 1st St NE) is offering a great deal for neighborhood residents on their Friday Supper Series.  This month, join DC Brau for live jazz, terrific local beer, and enjoy your fish fry supper for a buy one get one free for local residents from the greater NoMa neighborhood (the 20002 zip code).  So for $75 all inclusive, you get a full meal for two paired with local beers and live jazz at a great neighborhood restaurant.  Watershed is also boasting a new chef who just came over from Equinox, which has been revered as one of DC's best restaurants for years, so this is a good excuse to get in and see what they're cooking up. 
The full menu for Friday is after the jump

Link roundup

The Washington Post released Tom Sietsema's Fall Dining Guide. Ethiopic was featured for the second year in a row and the Atlas Room was added to the guide, which lists the top 40 restaurants in Washington where Sietsema wishes he could be a regular. The Atlas Room was also upgraded to 2.5 stars in the guide. Congratulations to Sam, Meseret, Matt, Bobby, and Mark on the well-deserved recognition!

Toki Underground hosted Baohaus from NYC for a bao pop up. We were sorry to miss it, but TPWP was there along with tons of others and it sounded delicious. 

DCist notes that the Atlas Performing Arts Center celebrated being added to the National Register of Historic Places recently. We hope it's the first of many such designations on H Street over the coming years.

The Washington Post has this write up on "After The Quake," which is being performed at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.

DC Style Is Real's Joel Church enjoyed his first trip the Big Board (421 H St).   DC Style is Real also reports on a cool photography exhibit at SOVA (1359 H St) with a photographer even on October 25.

The Post also previewed two more plays that recently opened on H Street.  “Can't Scare Me: The Story of Mother Jones” runs through Oct. 30 at Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Sprenger Theatre and "Greek" runs  through Nov. 27 at the H Street Playhouse.

Urban Daddy has details on an upcoming Haloween Ode to Offal Dinner at the Queen Vic (1206 H St) on Sunday, October 30.  Haven't booked seats yet, but I want in! 

The Post's Jonathan O'Connell (@OConnellPostBiz) reported on the development plans for the south side of the 600 block of H Street.  Lydia DePillis reported previously that there were new owners who dropped over $50 million for the site and that they had access to capital.  It seems she's right and that they plan to fill in the gap between the two larger buildings closer to the corners of 6th & 7th Streets with groundbreaking on the new residential building with ground floor retail some time next year.  Relevant to neighbors, this appears to mean that they do not require neighborhood sign off on their plans as the property was previously reviewed by the local ANCs and approved for this kind of development. 

Also of note, this will require a new home for the H Street FreshFarm Farmers' Market.  We've heard Sherwood Recreation Center (10th & G) suggested as a possibility.  We're not sure of where else might work, but agree that the neighborhood needs to make sure to find a spot for it to continue without disruption.

Monday, October 17, 2011

NE Book Club at NE Branch Library (7th & Maryland) Nov. 7, 7 pm

Join us for the LAUNCH EVENT: Northeast DC Book Club
Monday, November 7, 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Open to All

RSVP and Info:
Featured Book: Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C.*
Meet your neighbors. Learn a little about DC. Engage in dynamic discussion. Join us for the launch of the Northeast DC Book Club!
All are welcome, no matter how much or how little of the book you have read. There will be time at the end of our discussion to determine the next book and location for our book club meeting, so come with your ideas!

Questions? Contact:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ANC6A second meeting on possible cap on liquor licenses on H Street Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Sherwood Rec Ctr

Dear ANC6A Community:

The next meeting regarding a possible cap on alcohol licenses in ANC6A will take place on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7pm at the Sherwood Recreation Center located at 10th and G NE. This is the second in a series of three planned meetings. The agenda is pasted below and can be found online here.

Thank you.


Commissioner, ANC 6A01
Chair, ANC6A ABL Committee

Friday, October 14, 2011

Free trees for your home via Pepco & Arbor Day Foundation

Pilot Program to Provide 3,000 Free Trees to Customers
WASHINGTON – Pepco, in cooperation with the Arbor Day Foundation, is providing 3,000 free trees to Pepco customers in the Washington, D.C., area. The cooperative effort launches the Arbor Day Foundation’s pilot energy efficiency program called Energy-Saving Trees aimed at helping conserve energy through strategic tree planting.

The trees will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, with 1,000 trees reserved for District of Columbia customers, 1,000 trees for Montgomery County, Md., customers, and 1,000 trees for Prince George’s County, Md., customers.

Pepco customers can reserve up to two free trees at from September 26 to November 12, 2011. The free-tree distribution is being handled through the Arbor Day Foundation. In return for the free trees, customers agree to plant them in a recommended location on their property and care for them. The planting location will be recommended based on its potential to create shade as the tree grows in height to reduce energy consumption.

East City Art Weekend Events Roundup

Weekend East City Art Event Round Up: October Super Saturday Edition

Friday October 14

Studio H (6pm to 8pm)

Studio H is celebrating its second anniversary with an afternoon happy hour. The H Street Gallery will display two concurrent solo exhibitions Slurry and Autumnal Equinox by Katherine Mann and Pam Rogers respectively. Both painters, Mann and Rogers create dreamlike works influenced by botany and the natural world. For additional details, click here.

Studio H is located at 408 H Street NE, second floor

Tubman-Mahan (6:30pm to 8:30pm)

Like Studio H, the Tubman-Mahan gallery at the Center for Green Urbanism is also celebrating an anniversary- its first. The Ward 7 gallery opens Recreate:H2O a group show seeking to raise awareness of worldwide issues concerning potable water. For additional details, click here.

The Tubman-Mahan Gallery is located at 3938 Benning RD NE

Saturday October 15

Art Enables and Off-Rhode Studio Gallery (2pm to 5pm)

Art Enables and Off-Rhode Studio Gallery join forces this year for the annual Art-Enables Outsider Art Exhibition. Galleries, artists and co-operatives from all over the country, coming from as far away as Hawaii, have been selected by jury to participate. For additional details, click here.

Art Enables and Off-Rhode galleries are located at 2204 Rhode Island Ave NE.

The Fridge (7pm to 10pm)

The Fridge presents new work by J. Miller and Lisa Helfert entitled Interactive Kinetic Sculpture and Photography. Miller, an engineer, and Helfert, an artist, have collaborated to realize work that blends both Miller’s mechanical skills and Helfert’s artistic imagination. The exhibition includes kinetic sculptures such as an “emotional clock”.   For additional details, click here.

The Fridge is located in the Rear Alley behind 516 8th 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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Half off Inspire BBQ via So What's the Deal

So What's the Deal has this half off deal for Inspire BBQ with $10 buying you a $20 coupon for barbeque and sides.

Capital City Symphony Mahler & More, Sunday Oct. 16 at the Atlas

CCS Logo Banner
Mahler and More! 10/16
Tickets Now on Sale!
Ways to Support the Capital City Symphony
Online or By Check
Donate through the Combined Federal Campaign. Our CFC number is 90095.
and pick Capital City Symphony as the organization you want to support.
Ask your employer if they do Matching Gifts.
Watch for details of our upcoming
Online Holiday Auction!
CCS Photos!

Check out the NEW

And Welcome to the NEW Official Photographer of the Capital City Symphony,

CCS Logo Inverted

The Capital City Symphony strives to make great orchestral music approachable by presenting affordable concerts to the public, performing creative programs in a relaxed concert format, and providing appealing performance opportunities for talented amateur as well as professional players.
To support and encourage young musicians, CCS provides performance opportunities for winners of middle and high school level concerto competitions. CCS also frequently collaborates with other groups, and features numerous guest artists: instrumentalists, vocalists, and actors.
Tickets for children 16 and under are free for all main season concerts

Join Our Mailing List!

Find us on Facebook

Tickets Now on Sale! CCS 2011-2012 Season
Join us for our 44th season!
Tickets are now on sale.
Order a Season Package (by 10/16/11)
or click on the individual concerts to buy
single concert tickets.
October 16 at 5:00pm
* Lalo, Symphonie Espagnole, 1st movement ~
with Arec Jamgochian, Violin ~ Levine Cogen Concerto Winner
* Mahler, Two Songs from Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen ~
John Devlin, Conductor
* Mahler, Symphony No. 1
November 20 at 2:30pm & 4:30pm
Family Concert, with Guest Artist Oren Sandel
Including the popular Instrument Petting Zoo!
December 4 at 4:00pm & 7:00pm
FREE Carol Sing Concert
In partnership with the Congressional Chorus
and the Atlas Performing Arts Center
[separate tickets, available November 1 at]

Mahler and More!

Pre-concert lecture for ticket-holders at 4:35pm
(in the Concert Hall) by Jason McCool.

* Lalo, Symphonie Espagnole, 1st movement
with Arec Jamgochian, Violin ~ Levine Cogen Concerto Winner

* Mahler, Two Songs from Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
with Andrew McLaughlin, Baritone
John Devlin, Conductor

* Mahler, Symphony No. 1

Buy Tickets to this concert only.

Visit our Facebook Event Page.
Sunday, October 16
at the Atlas Performing Arts Center
4:35pm Lecture for ticket holders
5:00pm Concert

Half off at Biergarten Haus via Groupon

Groupon is offering $40 coupons to Biergarten Haus (1355 H St) for only $20.  The deal is available to be redeemed through next April.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2nd anniversary celebration with 2 exhibitions at Studio H Friday, Oct.14, 6 pm

Studio H will Host a Reception for its Two Concurrent Solo Exhibitions and celebrate its second anniversary on Friday:
Katherine Tzu-lan Mann

Read the Wade Carey Interview with
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann

Pam Rogers
Autumnal Equinox
Read The Wade Carey Interview with Pam Rogers here

Please Join us Friday October 14 from 6PM to 8PM
for a reception with artists in attendance.

Studio H is located at 408 H Street NE, Second Floor,
Washington, DC 20002.

For more information email us at info
call us at 202.468.5277 or
visit our website at

Adjustments to H Street treeboxes

DDOT Implements Community-Backed Option, Launches Work To Change Treebox Cobblestones On H Street N.E.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has adopted the community-backed option for changing the placement of H Street N.E. treebox cobblestones and directed its construction contractor to begin the work.

The contractor, Capitol Paving of D.C. (CPDC) started work Monday, October 10, in the 300 block, and will proceed eastward block-by-block until the work is completed, probably by the end of October.
During work at each treebox, street parking spaces are likely to be unavailable for one or two days to provide a safe work area for the CPDC crew. On the nearby sidewalk, traffic cones and caution tape will guide pedestrians away from the work zone. Except for small areas around the treeboxes, the sidewalks will be completely accessible.

In accordance with the original design for the H Street Construction Project, the 4-inch cube cobblestones were installed at an angle to facilitate drainage. Jumbo cobblestones, measuring 10 x 7 x 4 inches, were installed around the treebox perimeter.

alter 2 - c Flush, croppedIn the new plan, shown here, the jumbo cobblestones will be removed and the cube cobblestones will be laid flat and even with the height of the curb. The cube cobblestones will be placed less than 1/4-inch apart and the gaps will be filled with a 50/50 sand/soil mix to assure drainage. Around the trunk of the tree, there will be a mulch area of approximately two feet by three feet.

Of three options presented in a community survey carried out between September 29 and October 5, this was the option favored by 59% of respondents. The survey was conducted by e-mail to H Street businesses and community leaders and more than 100 visits to H Street business establishments.
In initiating the survey, DDOT promised to implement the option favored by the majority. Of 81 respondents (65 businesses, 16 community leaders and residents), 48 (59%) voted for the plan DDOT is implementing, 20 (25%) voted for the option of laying the cube stones flat within the treebox and leaving the jumbo stones in place, and 13 (16%) voted for the option of leaving the jumbo stones in place, removing the cube stones, and filling the treebox with mulch.

DDOT initiated the survey, and is implementing the change, to solve problems that developed since installation of the angled cobblestones. DDOT received reports of two incidents (and a third attempt) by vandals who seized cobblestones and hurled them through windows, trip-and-fall incidents involving individuals getting out of cars parked next to treeboxes, and damage to car doors banging into jumbo cobblestones. The majority of the survey respondents expressed the view that removing the jumbo cobblestones and placing the cube cobblestones flat, flush with the curb, and firmly in place is the best option to solve all three problems.

This work is part of DDOT’s H Street Reconstruction Project. More information about the project is available on the DDOT website, at under the Ward 6 Projects.
As always, thank you for your patience, and please call on us whenever you would like additional information or assistance.

Margaret Gentry
Community Relations Specialist

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Link roundup

 Pho Bar & Grill is opening tonight at 1360 H St.  Thrillist has the inside scoop on their pho, bahn mi, and moreUrbanDaddy has a bit more, noting that they'll open at 11:30 am and stay open for late night traffic as well.  We don't have much to add here, but note that they do not currently have a liquor license though they have applied for one. 

The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema breaks the news that Watershed (1200 1st St NE) has a new chef de cuisine with the arrival of Equinox's current chef de cuisine.  Equinox is one of Washington's finest restauants, so this is pretty big news.  Note that Watershed has a fun monthly Friday night supper series going on with a fish fry (10/21), oyster roast (11/18), and goose roast (12/16) planned over the next few months.  DC Brau is also participating in the fish fry on the 21st. 

City Paper's Lydia DePillis spends a day with the WestMill Capital team who recently purchased the Autozone lot at 1207 H St and plans to develop that.  The piece notes that they also recently purchased a smaller building on H Street and have plans to invest in several smaller new retail and restaurant projects in the area.  Unfortunately, it does not note much progress in freeing the Autozone lot from the existing lease to Autozone who seems to be demanding a new nearby location in order to vacate the premise.  Note that the Maryland Ave lot mentioned is actually at 14th St (1400 Maryland Ave) and is not a likely option for a host of reasons. 

Frozen Tropics has word that Ross opened at the Hechinger mall along Benning Road. 

Kid Friendly DC touts Drumming with Dishes at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St).  The show runs through Saturday with performances Wednesday, at 10:30 am & 12:30 pm, Thursday, at 10:30 am, Friday, at 10:30 am & 12:30 pm, and Saturday, at 10:00 am & 11:30 am.

DC Urban Turf noted a new residential listing at 10th & E that hit the market at $419,000 and attracted immediate interest.  It looks like a good fixer upper opportunity and those have been going fast around here of late. 

The Big Board opened at 421 H St.  We popped in for one of the neighborhood previews and liked what we ate and saw.  The burgers were very good and the place looks great and very different than it did a year ago.  Big Board is owned by a couple H Street residents and the food comes courtesy of alums of the quality kitchens at the Queen Vic & Granville Moore's if you need more reasons to try out the latest neighborhood spot.  They are closed on Tuesday, but open for dinner Wednesday-Monday and for lunch on weekends.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thanks to the H Street Festival organizing committee & volunteers

A ton of work went into pulling together the H Street Festival, which was bigger and better than ever again this year.  Here's some (slightly edited) notes from our friend Julia and others on the Committee who did so much to make a great day possible.  Be sure to buy them a drink next time you see them in the neighborhood and let them know if you're willing to volunnteer with them to take next year's Festival to even greater heights.

Thanks all.  It was an awesome Festival and an excellent showing of all the things that make H Street great!
Main Committee (from the start): Anwar Saleem (HSMS) & Julia Robey Christian (CHAMPS) the main festival organizers for lack of official term.  Jen DeMayo said "Anwar and Julia were truly phenomenal those last few days. I don't know how they do it."

Dolly Vehlow - deserves great credit for churning out all of the print collateral for the Festival one after another. She also was instrumental in programming a lot of the activities including the art cars, artists, kids zone, adult games, pie eating contest, tattoo contest, hair show ... she basically picked up the pieces and made things happen.  I think Dolly can't been thanked enough. And her husband Steve Hessler too.  They pay for the art cars to all come here. They put the artists up in a hotel. Part of the reason the festival has taken this fabulous turn for the funky is definitely due to their participation and dedication. Steve also booked the 14th Street Stage and sponsored it.

Roger Caruth - was amazing. He not only booked the 8th Street stage, but he jumped in whenever asked and worked hard no matter what it was. In the final days when he knew that Anwar and I were struggling to stay awake and alive, he would just show up and ask what needed to be done and do it, no questions asked. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to know him now!

Sara Loveland - took over organizing and programming the Green Street area and also jumped in as needed to support the rest of the committee.

Mark Thorp - was the sanity meter of the group. As soon as anyone would get out of line, Mark would get us back on track. He also pushed us to think big, to think about spectacle and challenged us to come up with things that would be unique and interesting and would be things we could build on year after year. He was kind of like the mental rock of the group. He also made the Kostume Karaoke stage, the DJ Stage, and the pedal powered trolley car happen.

Jen DeMayo - handled coordinating the Atlas open house, JoM stage, Gospel Stage etc. Also handled vetting of and organizing of volunteers and was generally our queen of positivity. When things got heavy or dramatic, Jen was always the one to throw a light hearted comment in that would break the ice for people. Just this aspect alone was crucial for us to get through some of the difficult times we all faced. She also, I might add, was very impressive as we walked around at 7pm and single handedly broke down everyone's patio so we could all get out of there. She and I were throwing barriers, tables, chairs like we were made to do it. In a word, she was a ROCKSTAR. She also managed the Gallaudet group.

additions to the committee: (after the jump)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Serious construction project at 403-407 H St

The western end of H Street has undergone some dramatic changes over the past year.  Ethiopic made good use of a facade grant and restored 401 H Street with very good success.  Tru Orleans added a second story to 400 H Street in the form of an enclosed patio with decorative ironwork.  Steuart Development broke ground for 360º H Street, which will house a Giant grocery store with a few hundred residential units above it in a building that runs the entire north side of the 300 block of H Street.  But some pockets of blight have remained. 

We've noted before that 413 H Street recently hit the market and is available for sale.  Now we can report that the three storefronts at 403-407 H Street are undergoing a substantial renovation as well.  Plans for the space have not been made available and we speculate that the activity may be a mere attempt to remove the properties from DCRA's blighted lists, which will save the owner greatly in property taxes.  The buildings were previously marketed for bank use and appear to still be available to lease.  Some pictures of the transformation in progress are below. 
Recent shot of 403-407 H Street in the midst of renovation work focused on facade restoration
More before and after pictures after the jump

Neighborhood appreciation night at the Big Board (421 H St) tomorrow (Wednesday), 5 pm; Grand Opening Saturday, October 8

Tomorrow night at 5:00 pm, The Big Board (421 H St) is opening its doors for "Neighborhood Appreciation" night.  All menu items will be discounted by $1 and all neighbors are invited.  The Big Board will be open from that point forward with the Grand Opening set for this Saturday, October 8.

The Big Board comes to you via neighborhood residents Eric and Mark Flannery.  The menu was designed in consultation with Chef Adam Stein (formerly of the Queen Vic) and features a host of burgers, including a tuna burger, and two vegetarian options.  Big Board's kitchen will be in the good hands of Chef Mike Lunsford, who was until recently Sous Chef at Granville Moore's.  They'll have 8 taps running, including Guiness & DC's own Chocolate City Copper Ale. 

We're looking forward to checking it out very soon.

Link roundup

CHAMPS posted the Hilly Awards Nominees and H Street was well-represented by the Atlas Room, Granville Moore's, Toki Underground, Queen Vic, the Pug, Little Miss Whiskey's, the Atlas Theatre, H Street Playhouse, Metro Mutts, SOVA, Sidamo and more.  Don't forget to vote for your favorite neighborhood spots.

Eater updated their list of 38 Essential Washington Restaurants.  It's a good list and includes H Street's own the Atlas Room, Ethiopic, and Toki Undergroud.

So What's the Deal is offering half off at Souk.
Bloomspot has a big discout on massages from Healthy Motions (702 K St NE).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vote for your favorite H Street Hilly nominees

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).

Voting is now liveAtlas Room is the obvious choice for best restaurant as it is not only the only H Street representative in that group, but pretty widely recognized as the best restaurant for miles around here by others whose opinions matter much more than ours, like Tom Sietsema and Don Rockwell. 

Tougher choices must be made for Cafe of the Year where Sidamo and SOVA are both terrific and are up against another of DC's very best coffee shops in Peregrine. 

Good Bar/Tavern cases could be made for any of Granville Moore's (with its excellent kitchen and Belgian brews), the Pug (perhaps the area's best dive bar with the Tune Inn and Hawk n Dove closed), Queen Vic (a great new spot for a bite or a drink), or Little Miss Whiskeys (where you can quietly enjoy a craft beer with a neighbor on the back patio or dance away a late night upstair). 

Queen Vic gets a second nomination alongside Toki Underground for Best New Business.  Both have been terrific new additions and are well-recognized as good businesses.  Queen Vic seems to get beer, food, service, and the right mix of a family friendly spot to eat while still being a fun spot for a few beers.  Toki Underground may have generated more buzz this year than any new business across the city.  The food is creative and delicious.  The ambiance is unlike any other.  And they keep turning out creative specials almost every night. 

Metro Mutts is H Street's retailer of the year.  They're doing such a good job at home on H Street that they're opening a second shop on Barracks Row today. 

Spot on Training has won awards for its service across the city.  Will it win one locally?

For Arts venues, we're lucky to have two terrific theatres in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, which seems to get better each year with recent additions of movies and more recently a jazz series and the H Street Playhouse, which pulls in some really provacative shows.  Stefane Wremble's performance at the Atlas was one of the best shows we saw all year.  The reunion of local band the Jaynettes at the H Street Playhouse was one of our favorite neighborhood nights of the year.  We hope they're still planning on performing at the Hillys this year, which, by the way, will be at the Atlas on Sunday, November 13.  It's going to be a lot of fun. 

Aesthetic Answers is nominated for Professional Service of the Year and is a small design firm run on H Street by two neighborhood residents. 
Finally, Inspire BBQ does great work with young people in the community and a few local artists with H Street neighborhood ties are nominated for Artist/Artisan of the Year: Beth Baldwin, Shaun Sharkey, and Ellen Cornett.  Each is talented in their own respective art form. 

Vote for all your favorites here.