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Tag Archive | "U Street corridor"

8 PM Robbery with Force, Vermont and V NW

"gun robbery"

Crime news from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

DC Police reported a robbery involving the use of force around 8 pm tonight, December 18, one block north of the U Street corridor near Duffy’s Irish Pub. The crime was at Vermont Avenue and V Street NW.

From DC Police Alerts: “HB 3051 CONFIRMED A Robbery Force at Vermont and V St. NW. LOF (5) B/Males, black jacket, blue jeans. DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/EVENT #I20120633443. Sent on: 12/18 19:54.”

From DC Police Twitter feed: “Robbery Force at Vermont and V St. NW. LOF (5) B/M’s, black jacket, blue jeans. 6972.”

Police Alerts, More Information

You can sign up for alerts through Alert DC and get alerts  by e-mail, cell phone, pager or wireless PDA. When signing up, you can select alerts on crime, transportation, utility outages/issues, government closings, breaking news, DC-sponsored events and Amber Alerts. You can follow the DC Police on Twitter @DCPoliceDept.

You can get more information about crime in the Borderstan area through the MPD listservs for the Second and Third Districts on Yahoo! Groups.

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Holidays on [American] Ice on V Street


Head to American Ice to warm your body and spirits. (Rachel Nania)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 

While some dream of a white Christmas, all I need is an Ice Christmas. That’s right, whether I need to get in to the spirit, or just get a spirit, I head over to American Ice to warm up my body and soul from the inside out.

American Ice — a somewhat hidden spot at 917 V Street NW — is a cozy little bar, just steps away from the 9:30 club. The exposed brick walls, abundance of flannel shirts and mason jar cups make it seem a tad hipster, but don’t let that scare you away. After your first sip or two of craft beer (the menu lists over 20 varieties), you will soon forget about all of the cool kids. Not a fan of beer? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of whiskey to take that chill right out of the air.

What American Ice is really known for is its barbecue. The limited food menu is limited for a good reason. They make a few things, and they make it right. Diners can choose from pork, chicken or brisket, served on a bun or on a platter with slaw and beans. There are other things, such as nachos, pickles, chili and veggie chili, but the barbecue is the star of the show.

The restaurant/bar also has a large patio for outdoor seating (picnic table style) with heating lamps for mild nights or crowded evenings.

So I recommend, if you are on edge this season or are frazzled with holiday shopping, you pop into American Ice to slow down the pace of life a bit with a cold beer and a hearty sandwich, both of which will melt your troubles away.

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U Street Temporarily Changes Its Bus Stops


Temporary change of Bus Stops on U Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Due to the U Street NW Streetscape Project, temporary bus stops have been established during the installation of bus concrete pads. The concrete pads were installed on Saturday, November 10. There are three bus stops that have been affected while the installation and curing of the concrete pads in underway, including the following:


1.       U Street & Vermont Avenue NW –  North side of U Street NW & East side of Vermont Avenue NW. Temporary Stop: North side of U Street & East Side of 10th Street NW.

2.       U Street & 11th Street NW – North side of U Street NW & East side of 11th Street NW. Temporary Stop: North side of U Street & East Side of 12th Street NW.

3.       U Street & 13th Street NW: North side of U Street NW & East side of 13th Street NW. Temporary Stop: North side of U Street & East Side of 12th Street NW. 

The temporary stops will be in place until Friday, November 16. Routes affected are 90, 92, 93, 96 and X3.

More information is available at UStreetProject.com.

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CAUSE: DC’s First PhilanthroPub


Cause: DC’s Philantropub at 1926 9th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos and courtesy of Cause)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com

DC’s U Street area is no stranger to the city’s latest and greatest bars and restaurants. But no other bars, as of yet, possess a business model quite like CAUSE, a “PhilanthroPub” set to open sometime this fall on the U Street corridor.

That is because this American cuisine-style restaurant and bar (the brain-child of Nick Vilelle and Raj Ratwani) will donate its dining and drinking proceeds to charitable organizations. The designated charities (a mix of local and international) will rotate quarterly, and the patrons of CAUSE will decide where they want to donate their dining dollars.

Vilelle and Ratwani, co-founders of CAUSE, teamed up with restaurant veterans John Jarecki and Dave Pressley of The Light Horse in Old Town Alexandria. Additionally, former Queen Vic chef Adam Stein will work as the executive chef for CAUSE. With a deep passion for local farming, Stein will focus on utilizing seasonal local foods in the menu, including a number of vegetarian options.

CAUSE is at 1926 9th Street NW. For more information, visit the website.

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Sunday: Pleasant Pops to Host Sidewalk Party

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com.

"Pleasant Pops"

This Sunday is Pleasant Pops’ Grand Opening Celebration. (Luis Gomez Photos)

In celebration of its grand opening on Sunday.

Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market and Café will host a Sidewalk Party this Sunday, October 7,  from 2 to 5 pm in honor of its official grand opening at 1781 Florida Avenue NW (the corner of California Avenue and Florida Avenue NW).

DC Mayor Vincent Gray will participate on the ribbon cutting on Saturday, October 6, at 1 pm as a  start of the weekend celebration of Pleasant Pops grand opening.

The pop shop will have free samples of its own Opal Basil Lemonade pop, plus goods from local vendors its store now carries, including Route 11 Chips, Gordy’s Pickles and Langdon Wood Whiskey Aged Maple Syrup. The party will also have music, cornhole and other games, prizes and the shop’s full menu café drinks and eats for sale.

The café offers not only an array of seasonal popscicles, but also a full café bar, sandwich and salad menu and baked goods. Local business such as Blind Dog Café, Soupergirl and Goldilocks Goodies are just some of the few featured brands in the café’s mini-market.

The Farmhouse Market and Café had a soft opening on September 15 and is open seven days a week. Official hours and updates can be found on their website and Facebook page.

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ANC 1B-12 Candidate Forum Covers Variety of Topics

"ANC 1B"

ANC 1B includes most of the U Street corridor. 1B-12 is in the southwest corner. (ANC 1B website, with boundaries in effect for the 2012 election.)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

Candidates in the four-way race for Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B’s Single Member District (SMD) 1B-12 gathered for a forum last week to introduce themselves and give attendees a chance to ask questions. The forum was sponsored by the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA) and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association. (See New Citizens’ Organization Seeks Different Path for 14th and U about SDCA).

The four candidates are Erling Bailey, John Green, Zahra Jilani and Dan Wittels. Organizers also invited Noah Smith, the candidate from neighboring SMD 2B-09 (Dupont) which falls into the boundaries of the SDCA, and is running unopposed for the seat being vacated by 10-year incumbent Ramon Estrada.


SMD 1B-12 is a new, additional district for ANC 1B and includes blocks from 12th Street NW to 14th Street and from S to V Streets, plus a panhandle composed of the blocks on the north side of U and south of V Street from 14th to New Hampshire Avenue. Due to a large growth in population in the U Street corridor, ANC 1B-02 was essentially split into two parts to create the new SMD 12. Incumbent Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling is not seeking a full term in ANC 1B-02.

The SMD is home to some high-profile restaurants and landmarks including Ben’s Chili Bowl, the Black Cat, Busboys & Poets, Cafe Saint-Ex and the Lincoln Theater. The area also includes two large residential development; a apartment building currently under construction at 14th and Wallach Place, NW and a proposed apartment at 13th and U on the site of the Rite Aid drugstore.

Forum Topics

Doug Johnson, an SDCA Board Member, moderated the evening and had three pre-arranged questions for the candidates. At the start of the forum Johnson pointed out that candidate Dan Wittels is also a Board Member of the SDCA, but was removed from planning for the forum. Johnson also allowed attendees to ask questions of the candidates.

Questions during the evening covered topics such as experience with DC agencies, communication strategies and views on business development. Responses to questions on business development brought up the topic of the liquor licences and diversity of commerce in the area and highlighted the differing viewpoints of the candidates. The SMD includes the much discussed 14th and Wallach residential building and the JBG hotel-turned-apartment project on the Rite-Aid site at 13th and U Streets, NW.

Borderstan will be sending the candidates additional questions which will be published in the weeks leading up to the election.

The general election is Tuesday, November 6. Check with the DC Board of Election and Ethics for information on registering to vote and voting locations.

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Yes, There’s Flooding In Borderstan, Too


Floridian at Vermont Avenue (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

With yesterday afternoon’s severe weather and heavy rains, many Borderstan residents and business owners were preparing for potential flooding. Previous problems have been in the U Street NW corridor and Florida Avenue NW area.

This summer’s notorious thunderstorms and derechos have impacted several DC neighborhoods, most notably, Bloomingdale (an area of Northwest DC that borders Florida Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue and Howard University). In early September, NBC Washington reported flooded basements, submerged cars and even the rescue of a man trapped in his car due to rising water on Rhode Island Avenue NW.

The flooding incidents in Bloomingdale eventually sparked local political action. Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie requested a relief fund for victims, while Mayor Vincent Gray established a task force to find a solution for the flooding in the neighborhood.

But this summer’s floods were not just limited to Bloomingdale; residents in the Borderstan area experienced similar damage.

According to one local resident who lives in the Rhapsody (at Vermont and Florida Avenues NW), the ground floor of his building flooded twice this summer, most recently over Labor Day weekend. A second resident in the same building confirmed damage from Labor Day weekend’s storm in the ground level, the parking level and the entrance and lobby.

The damage caused by the floods to the Rhapsody building required  water extraction and cleanup. Additionally, the carpets and the floors on the ground level need to be replaced (something the building is still in the process of doing). Two other buildings in the area, including the Floridian and the Beauregard (at 11th and V Streets NW) also had flooding problems this summer.

In response to a phone call yesterday, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham says he is doing various things in response to the area’s floods, including an engineering inspection at the Rhapsody after the last storm.

“Just today I’ve been on the phone with the General Manager of DC Water, and he has agreed to sandbag both buildings [the Rhapsody and the Floridian],” confirmed Graham. “We’re trying to take immediate action, but we’ve also got to have the results of these engineering studies so that we know where to go from there.”

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Small Plates, Big Taste: Izakaya Seki


Izakaya Seki at 1117 V Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Aparna Krishnamoorthy. Email her at aparna[AT]borderstan.com. Follow her on Twitter @aparnakris.

After a lazy evening spent watching the mouthwatering Jiro Dreams of Sushi (which recently made it to the Netflix Watch Instantly list), I was hungry and decided to go over to the newly opened Izakaya Seki at 1117 V Street NW.

So off I went looking for the red lantern on V Street — the only indication that the place is open! And thankfully it was. Did you know izakayas are sometimes referred to as akachōchin (red lantern) since paper lanterns are traditionally found in front of an izakaya?

The front of Izakaya Seki is nondescript and blends right in to the residential block that it is on. It sits next to the game-changing Tacos El Chilango, so this block is going to get crowded very soon.

They don’t take reservations (for parties less than eight people), and at 7:30 pm on a Wednesday evening, we were told there would be a 40 to 60 minute wait. We gave the hostess a phone number and then went over to American Ice Company which is just a couple of blocks away — 20 minutes later, our table was ready!

Run by a Japanese chef and his daughter, the first floor of the two-level space has 10 stools overlooking Chef Seki’s counter, and the second floor dining area accommodates up to 30 people.

Izakaya Seki’s authentic Japanese menu is exciting and slightly unfamiliar, grouped into sections by cooking method – raw, grilled,fried etc. They offer an extensive sake selection and some basic drinks. No cocktails.

We started off with the sashimi special for the night, which was toro. Fresh, delicious, melt in your mouth toro which was served simply with some sliced zucchini and soy sauce. Next up was the kyona salad –- an arugula salad elevated with savory tuna shavings and a slow poached egg that is beaten lightly by the server at the table and then poured over the salad.

Now on to the fried goodness. The cream croquettes with béchamel, crab and corn were sinfully creamy with a distinct flavor of fresh crab and went nicely with the crispness of my unfiltered sake.  The pièce de résistance however was the kushikatsu. Deep fried pork belly and onion. On a skewer. Need I say more?  The meat was perfectly cooked with a crisp panko breading, served with a light teriyaki sauce and mustard. Although the 2 skewers make for a sizeable portion, I did not want to share!

The dish that made my day, however, was the mero grilled with miso – a perfectly grilled sea bass, moist and flaky, served with pickled greens. I will go back just for this. We rounded off the meal with garlic fried rice and wasabi chicken tenders, both of which were very good. Throughout our meal, service was excellent but unobtrusive – my sake glass was never empty and our water was always refilled.

There was so much more on the menu that we wanted to try – the rice balls, fried chicken thighs, and for the more adventurous diner – pork trotters and monkfish liver. The menu is amazing, and I will definitely be going back for more. But for now, I am satisfied with the memory of the pork belly and the sea bass.

Izakaya Seki: The Details

  • Where Am I Going: 1117 V Street NW.
  • When Am I Going: Sunday/Monday/Wednesay/Thursday, 5 to 11pm. Friday and Saturday, 5 pm to midnight. Closed Tuesdays.
  • Paycheck Pain: Small plates cost between $7 to $12.
  • Say What?: Casual atmosphere, but you will be too busy focusing on the food.
  • What You’ll Be Eating: Authentic Japanese bar style food served in small plates.

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Pleasant Pops Opens at Florida and California NW

"Pleasant Pops"

Pleasant Pops owners Brian Sykora and Roger Horowitz. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Samanata von Ende. Follow her at @sammiwise.

Brian Sykora and Roger Horowitz are the new guys in town. Not literally, but their new specialty store, Pleasant Pops, just opened Saturday at its sole location at 1781 Florida Avenue NW, the corner of Florida and California.

Pleasant Pops is the brain child of Sykora and Horowitz, who met their freshman year in college at UNC and who’ve been known around the area the past couple of years for their delicious, seasonal popsicle flavors. Pleasant Pops, which previously served loyal customers out of a food truck, sources local ingredients from DC farmers markets, and has since its founding a few years ago as a single push-cart at those same markets.

When asked about Pops’ success and the principles behind its inception, Sykora remarked that the use of sustainable technology and fresh, local ingredients to make seasonally-rotating flavors seemed “an obvious choice.” Pleasant Pops’ environmental-consciousness — picture compost disposal bins and tablets as cash registers — is a reflection of the founders’ sincere love of the outdoors, and a commitment to sustainability.

Sykora and Horowitz remain committed to these original principles and have exercised this commitment in every aspect of their project. Pleasant Pops may specialize in popsicles but it also sells local, award-winning ceremony coffee, along with local maple syrup, dairy and egg products, nuts, noodles, honey and a slew of other items. Pops is proud of its community backing and is devoted to returning the support. The store boasts furniture, design, signage, and composting materials from local artists and vendors in line with its self-described “local first philosophy.”

Located directly next to a capital bikeshare station, Pleasant Pops is an enticing option for a late summer cool down. The restaurant offers ample indoor and outdoor seating and serves up salads and sandwiches alongside their specialty popsicles. Definitely make sure to get what you have come for though. Try the peach and ginger or cinnamon vanilla peach for fresh, straightforward, delectable complexity. It is like being suddenly transported to all of your favorite ages, all at once, in your mouth. Amazing. And an obvious choice.

Pleasant Pops is open seven days a week. For more information, visit www.pleasantpops.com.

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Suspects Sought in 3 Burglaries of Vinoteca


One of the suspects in the burglaries of Vinoteca. (Metropolitan Police Department)

DC Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying at least two suspects in connection with three burglaries of Vinoteca Wine Bar on the 1900 block of 11th Street NW. The burglaries occurred on Friday, August 3, Thursday, August 9, and Tuesday, August 14. The 1900 block of 11th Street is the first block south of U Street NW.

One suspect is described as a black male, late 40s to early 50s, wearing a dark short sleeve shirt, light colored shorts, light-colored sneakers with black tongues, and eyeglasses.


One of the suspects in the burglaries of Vinoteca. (Metropolitan Police Department)

The other suspect is described as a black male in his late teens to early 20s, wearing a light-colored T-shirt with partially visible lettering 4AR and dark-colored shorts.

Anyone with information about this case should call the police at (202) 727-9099. Anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s Text Tip Line by text messaging 50411.

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