D.C. Historic Preservation Office Backs Building Plan for SunTrust Site — The D.C. Historic Preservation Office has advised the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board to approve PN Hoffman’s proposal to construct a mixed-use building on the SunTrust property at 1800 Columbia Road NW. HPRB is scheduled to vote Thursday on the developer’s plan, which didn’t get the support of Adams Morgan’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C. [UrbanTurf]
Early Voting Begins in D.C. — D.C. residents now can cast their ballots for the 2016 general election at the Old Council Chambers at One Judiciary Square (441 4th St. NW) from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Nov. 4. Other early voting centers will open around the District Saturday. [NBC Washington]
Bus Riders Create Group to Lobby for 14th Street Express Buses — Public transit users have joined together to form the “14th Street Bus Riders Alliance” to advocate for express buses on the road. [Petworth News]
A Peek Inside H Street’s Apollo — Washingtonian takes a look inside the H Street corridor’s new Apollo building, which will have apartments for rent, a Whole Foods, a Wydown Coffee Bar and a Daily Rider bicycle shop. [Washingtonian]
Bloomingdale Resident Reports Spooky Happenings in Home — A Bloomingdale resident has reported hearing unexplained footsteps and finding her dream catcher mysteriously damaged in her home, which a neighbor said sits on an old cemetery. [WAMU]
Working fire 1300 block Park Rd NW. Fire basement restaurant in 3 story row dwelling. pic.twitter.com/inaexegHvT
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) October 23, 2016
A Columbia Heights eatery known for pupusas and Mexican food caught fire early this morning, according to D.C. Fire and EMS.
Flames broke out inside El Rinconcito Cafe, located on the basement level of a building at 1326 Park Road NW, around 3 a.m. this morning.
One firefighter suffered “relatively minor injuries” while fighting the blaze, D.C. Fire and EMS said. That firefighter was taken to the hospital.
Fire 1300 blk Park Rd NW under control. Fire contained to restaurant basement & 1st floor. Treating 1 injured FF. pic.twitter.com/4IZwYaCS7c
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) October 23, 2016
Investigators believe the cause of the fire was electrical in nature.
Photo via Twitter / D.C. Fire and EMS
A new residential building could soon occupy a currently empty lot on 17th St. NW in Dupont.
Developer CAS Riegler seeks to build a a new three-story building on the vacant lot at 1500 17th St. NW, according to plans shared with Borderstan. The building would hold two residential units and include a penthouse and basement, the plans show.
A representative of the developer revealed the company’s plans during a Dupont Circle ANC meeting last Thursday. Though the neighborhood commission supported the plans, its members recommended several design changes to “better incorporate this project into the historic character of Dupont Circle.”
“The project as proposed feels somewhat out of place and has a very sharp — almost jarring — contrast into its historic context,” the commission wrote in its resolution.
Recommended changes include redesigning the building to include different materials, making the windows on the east elevation smaller and moving the penthouse west so it doesn’t appear as large from P Street.
CAS Riegler is slated to present its plans to the Historic Preservation Review Board later this month or early next month.
h/t ANC 2B commissioner John Kupcinski
A lot in NoMa will be transformed into a festive pumpkin patch next week as part of an annual fall celebration.
The NoMa BID is set to kick off this year’s “PumpkinPalooza” event at Storey Park (1005 1st St. NE) next Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 5 p.m.
The event will include food trucks, a bluegrass band, pumpkin carving and a chance to pet some animals, the BID said in a press release. Additionally, the BID will provide pumpkins and carving tools for the first 200 people who show up for the party.
PumpkinPalooza will also have a pet costume contest, a moon bounce, face painting and a class on making terrariums.
More information from the BID:
A gym coming soon to Logan Circle has opened a pop-up workout space on 14th Street.
Cut Seven, which is due to open soon at 1101 Rhode Island Ave. NW, turned the former Timothy Paul space at 1529 14th St. NW into a temporary studio for fitness classes about two weeks ago, according to co-owner Alex Perrin.
Over the next two months, Perrin, along with her husband, Chris, will oversee training camp classes designed to give locals a “total body sports conditioning experience.”
“We have a lot of fun unique equipment that D.C. just hasn’t seen yet,” Alex Perrin told Borderstan. “We combine that with functional movement, interval training and total body workouts.”
Each workout focuses on one of seven major muscle groups. During classes, attendees crawl, tug on resistance bands and pull sleds, then come together for something called “seven minutes in heaven,” Perrin explained.
“It’s essentially a finisher,” she said. “A really hard challenge that the team brings everyone through. Everyone is cheering each other on and you feel really empowered and accomplished at the end of the class.”
And the gym isn’t just for those who want to “get cut,” either. People of all fitness levels can participate in Cut Seven’s workouts, Perrin said.
“You feel like you’re walking into a group of friends,” she added. “No matter how hard it gets in the workout, the team will bring you through.”
Classes cost $20 or $15 when purchased as part of a package.
Police Investigate Shaw Gunshots — Someone fired a gun near the 1300 block of 7th St. NW around 9 p.m. last night, according to D.C. Police. Authorities did not locate a victim but found shell casings in the area, said MPD Lieutenant John M. Hedgecock. [D.C. Police]
Blagden Alley’s Last Artist — Bill Warrell, 63, is Blagden Alley’s last remaining artist. Now, he’s being priced out of the neighborhood once known for its underground art community. [Washington City Paper]
Bye, Bao Bao — One of the National Zoo’s most popular giant pandas is moving to China. Bao Bao, who was born in 2013, is being sent away in winter 2017 as part of a breeding agreement the D.C. zoo has with a wildlife conservation group in China. [Washington Post; DCist; WAMU]
MLK Library Transformed in New Renderings — The District’s Martin Luther King Jr. Library could have a slide, an in-house coffee shop and a green roof as soon as 2020. [DCist]
Deadspin Visits Ben’s Chili Bowl — Deadspin’s new video series, Foodspin, tackled Ben’s Chili Bowl this week. [Facebook / Deadspin]
(Updated at 5:07 p.m.) Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is calling for an investigation into an incident that led to an arrest of a teen at the Columbia Heights Metro station Tuesday.
A video shared by the District’s Black Lives Matter group this week shows Metro Transit Police Department officers tripping an 18-year-old in handcuffs at the station. As reported by DCist and The Washington Post, officers arrested the young woman after she refused to throw away a lollipop and a bag of chips at the Metro stop, where consuming food is prohibited.
The video shows three Metro cops ordering a teen, who is handcuffed, to sit down. When she refuses, one of the officers trips her, knocking her to the ground.
The young woman was arrested for unlawful entry and taken to a D.C. Police station. Police later decided not to pursue charges, a Metro spokesman told the Post.
In a letter to Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld today, Nadeau said the video “indicates an excessive use of force for a violation of consuming food in a metro station.”
“I am extremely concerned that WMATA police officers took the measures they did in detaining this young woman,” Nadeau wrote. “Please conduct an investigation into the conduct of these officers. Please also describe to me what training WMTA police undergo for de-escalation tactics.”
According to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel, Metro police review use of force “whenever there is a public concern raised.”
“In addition, Metro GM Wiedefeld specifically asked MTPD Chief Pavlik to initiate such a review in this case,” Stessel continued.
The first-ever Georgia Avenue Fall Fest is scheduled to take over Bruce Monroe Community Park (3000 Georgia Ave. NW) from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, according to a Facebook event post.
The food vendors include:
- Ana’s Restaurant (Salvadoran and Mexican cuisine)
- Bjorn’s Bakes (gluten-free baked goods)
- Bravo Bar (hot dogs and cold beverages)
- Harrar Coffee & Roastery (hot and iced coffee and coffee beans)
- Heat da Spot (Ethiopian cuisine)
- Kokeb (Ethiopian cuisine)
- Morgan’s Seafood (fried shrimp, hushpuppies and ice cream)
- Petworth Cafe (Indian & Pakistani cuisine)
- Alfie’s (Thai papaya salad and Isaan sour pork sausages)
Georgia Avenue Thrive, which is organizing the event, is looking for volunteers to help set it up, run the children’s activities and assist with cleanup after the party, ANC 1A commissioner Rashida Brown said in an email to locals. Interested volunteers are encouraged to email the organization for more information.
The group also is accepting online donations for Fall Fest.
Image via CrowdRise/George Avenue Thrive
‘Power Dining’ in D.C. — Unsurprisingly, D.C.’s rich and powerful residents like to eat at places like Le Diplomate in Logan Circle and Fiola Mare in Georgetown. [New York Times]
Actually, Though, ‘Power Dining’ Isn’t Real — The thing is, the District’s big shots have to eat somewhere. And, as it turns out, they like to eat good food. To quote Washingtonian’s Jessica Sidman: “Of course politicians and pundits are dining at Fiola Mare and Le Diplomate. Anyone who gives a damn about food in D.C. is also eating there. There’s no grand conspiracy that brings ‘important’ people to the same bowls of pasta.” [Washingtonian]
Metro Transit Officers Take Teen Down Over Chips — A Metro Transit Police officer brought a young black woman to the ground at Columbia Heights Metro station Tuesday afternoon. Why? She apparently refused to put away a bag of chips. [DCist]
‘Tis the Season for Christmas Bars — All three of Derek Brown’s Shaw bars (Mockingbird Hill, Southern Efficiency, and Eat the Rich) will transform into the Christmas-themed “Miracle on Seventh Street” starting on Friday, Nov. 25. [Washingtonian]
Man Arrested in Fatal Columbia Heights Shooting — D.C. Police have arrested and charged Daryl Thompson, 27, in connection with two shootings that occurred in Southeast and Columbia Heights earlier this year. [Washington Post]
Downtown BID Looks to Levy Residential Buildings — Residential units might soon be asked to join the Downtown D.C. business improvement district. [Washington Business Journal]
Locals will be able to play with canines in colorful costumes during Shaw Dog Park’s annual “Howl-O-Ween” event this Saturday at 11 a.m.
During the event, humans and pets alike will compete to win in three costume contests: best big dog, best little dog, and best owner/dog combo costumes. The party will also have refreshments, T-shirts and a raffle with prizes from local businesses.
Last year, Howl-O-Ween drew nearly 50 dogs and pet parents, according to Steve Oatmeyer, a member of the Shaw Dog Park board.
“We are hoping for a larger turnout this year,” Oatmeyer said. “With donations last year, we were able to replace the gate latches and repair the fence.”
Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward park improvements like removing dead trees, repainting tree boxes and getting a new fountain.
Photo courtesy of Shaw Dog Park
(Updated at 4:06 p.m.) A new business is slated to start selling leather journals and custom notebooks from a storefront in Dupont Circle.
Online store Jenni Bick Custom Journals is set to open a new brick-and-mortar location at 1300 Connecticut Ave. NW this December, according to co-owner Robby Bick. The new shop will occupy the space that formerly held Riccardi Clothier, which moved to Georgetown last June.
When the store opens, it will sell a variety of handmade journals, albums, notebooks and sketchbooks bound in leather and other materials, Bick said. The store will also carry items from larger manufacturers such as Moleskine and Epica.
“We’ll have far and away the best selection of journals, photo albums and sketchbooks that you’ll be able to find, certainly in the area, but probably anywhere,” Bick said.
Additionally, the store will carry pens, cards, and stationery, and will have a hand-operated embossing machine for custom orders, he added.
Bick, who lives in Martha’s Vineyard with his wife and company co-owner, Jenni, is no stranger to living and working in D.C. In the ’90s, he operated Adams Morgan bookstore Bick’s Books. He’s also managed or worked at a number of book and record stores in the District over the years.
For the Bicks, the new store will serve as a kind of homecoming.
“Both Jenni and I grew up here, and for family reasons, wanted to return,” Bick said. “My first job was in my Uncle’s book and record store at 1342 Connecticut Avenue, the same block we are moving into, back in 1969.”
Pampered pooches are set to have the opportunity to sleep like a president, or at least like a first family’s dog, at a high-end pet hotel coming to Adams Morgan next year.
Boutique pet care business Life of Riley is planning to open a dog daycare and hotel with a “presidential suite” at 2222 18th St. NW in March, said Paul Abbott, who owns the D.C.-area company with his wife, Laura. The space most recently was home to Sawah Diner.
The Abbotts haven’t finalized plans for the suite. But the room and all of the hotel’s other suites will be “very fancy,” Paul Abbot told Borderstan today. At its only location in Rockville, Md., Life of Riley has suites with heated floors, Italian marble and crystal chandeliers, ranging from $65 to $95 per night.
“We will go all out on the fit out of all our suites,” he said.
In addition to boarding dogs, Life of Riley will provide grooming and a chauffeur service, which brings canines to and from their homes.
Abbott said he and his wife are “very eager” to expand to the District.
“We will be meticulously planning the most efficient design, layout and materials to use in the Adams Morgan property to best serve the community,” he said. “We will ensure our Adams Morgan location is homely, safe, clean, and staffed with professional and personable dog lovers.”
Photo via Facebook/Life of Riley
A huge mixed-use development could rise from the site of a historic landmark in Dupont Circle.
Developer Marx Realty seeks to redevelop a lot at 2200 P St. NW in order to build a new nine-story mixed-use development, according to plans shared with Borderstan today. The lot currently holds a Sunoco gas station that has a historic limestone building known as the Embassy Gulf Service Station.
As first reported by UrbanTurf, the developer looks to move the historic landmark to make way for its 34-unit development. The historic building would be restored and turned into a space for retail, the plans show. The development would also include two stories of underground parking.
More about the planned project, which is slated to go before D.C.’s Commission of Fine Arts tomorrow:
The proposed development is comprised of approximately 59,000 gross square feet above grade with approximately 20,000 gross square feet of below grade parking. The program includes approximately 56,000 sf of residential equating to approximately 34 units and 3,000 sf of retail space.
The site is currently developed with a one-story, neoclassical gas station built of limestone and completed in 1936 for the Gulf Oil Corporation. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a contributing structure to the Dupont Circle Historic District.
The applicant proposes to relocate the structure on the site and build an attached nine-story residential building. The gas station interior will be renovated for retail use and the exterior, which is largely intact, will be restored. The site will be remediated and underground storage tanks will be removed.
h/t ANC 2B commissioner Daniel Warwick
Cops Nab Man Suspected of Firing Gun Downtown — D.C. Police have arrested a man who allegedly fired a gun several times near Franklin Square last week. Though nobody was injured in the incident, several people ducked for cover when shots rang out. [Washington Post]
Restaurant Nora Chef Retiring — Organic food pioneer Nora Poullion announced yesterday she plans to retire and sell her eponymous restaurant at 2132 Florida Ave. NW. [Washington Post; DCist; Eater D.C.]
How the Sausage Gets Made — The half-smokes at Ben’s Chili Bowl come from a meat processing plant in West Baltimore. [Baltimore Sun]
What to Expect From The Line in Adams Morgan — When Adams Morgan’s newest hotel finally opens its doors next year, it will bring with it several restaurants from Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto and Spike Gjerde of Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen. Here’s what’s in store. [Washington Post]
RIP, Old Bear — A geriatric bear at the National Zoo has died. Workers euthanized Hana, a 21-year-old sloth bear, yesterday. [National Zoo]
Erik Bruner-Yang Creating Salad for Sweetgreen — Patrons at the fast casual salad eatery will soon be able to order a salad created by Maketto’s Erik Bruner-Yang. The salad will include roasted chicken, tofu, wild rice and ginger slaw, among other ingredients. [Washingtonian]
Stuffed Chicken Returned to Crisp Kitchen + Bar — The Bloomingdale restaurant’s stolen chicken mascot has returned. [Eater D.C.]
(Updated 4:50 p.m.) A video of a large rodent scurrying around inside a Dupont burger restaurant is making the rounds online.
The video, posted above, shows a rat running across a table inside the Dupont Z-Burger (2157 P St. NW) while a crowd of off-camera onlookers shouts and shrieks.
“This is f—–g disgusting,” says one person.
“We need the health inspector!” and “are you serious?” two other people shout.