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14th & T Post Office Site: What Kind of Businesses?

by Borderstan.com November 4, 2011 at 9:55 am 0

Borderstan, The Post Office, Chow Down Inc., ANC 2B, Luis Gomez Photos

1407-1409 T Street NW: The former U.S. Post Office and the lot to the east will be transformed into a pair of two-story buildings. (Luis Gomez Photos)

DC Mud reports construction may begin as early as the next few weeks at the former Post Office site at 1407-1409 T Street NW. After an initial outcry back in May over a bar-restauarnt — to be called “The Post Office” — going into the space, developer Ron Eicher with New Legacy Partners, plans to develop two individual two-story buildings.

The building permit is ready, but is the neighborhood amenable enough to a ‘restaurant serving beer and wine’ to make the second option a possibility? There are some scorching comments in the bottom that indicate ‘some people’ believe ‘other people’ will oppose anything on the street.

The original plans came before Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2B) on May 11.  ANC 2B voted to protest the liquor license application for “The Post Office.” The two buildings are zoned commercial and while they face the Room and Board store across T Street, everything else on the 1400 block of  T Street is residential, and close by at that.

The plans for the bar-restaurant were from local entrepreneur Blake Kimbrough. He was working with John Dempsey with the New York-based chain of trendy, affordable eateries, Chow Down, Inc. Chow Down owns such well-known establishments as Therapy, Barrage, El Centro, Hell’s Kitchen and Vynl.

Moreover the Post Office location is in the area served by ANC Commissioner and nearby resident Ramon Estrada. Estrada — elected to a fifth term in November — represents District 09 on ANC 2B.

Over the past decade, Estrada has built a reputation in the Dupont-Logan area as a neighborhood activist that developers and owners of restaurants and nightclubs often have to deal with when they want to set up shop. (See Saint-Ex and Bar Pilar Saga FINALLY Over at 14th & You and A Story About ANCs, Small Businesses, Liquor Licenses and More.) Shortly after the original plans for “The Post Office” were announced this spring, fliers were distributed on the evening before the ANC 2B vote. The fliers warned that T Street was going to become like Adams Morgan and were distributed by Estrada’s partner.

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