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by Andrew Ramonas — September 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm 1 Comment

PorchFest (Photo via Facebook/Adams Morgan PorchFest)(Updated at 11:55 a.m. Sept. 28) Stoops and porches around Adams Morgan once again are set to become intimate venues for jazz, rock and other music this weekend.

PorchFest, Adams Morgan’s annual fall music festival, is slated to return with three dozen free concerts in front of a dozen homes and businesses in the neighborhood Saturday, according to organizers. The performances are scheduled to run from 2 to 6 p.m.

The music is set to include Afro-Brazilian female percussion band Batala and “blues, jazz, rock, soul, folk and much more,” PorchFest co-founder Nathan Ackerman said in an email. Additional details on the performers weren’t immediately available.

Festival organizers will have maps for the concerts online and at 18th Street and Columbia Road NW Saturday.

Started in 2013, PorchFest is put on by the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District and Cultural Tourism DC.

Photo via Facebook/Adams Morgan PorchFest

by Andrew Ramonas — September 22, 2016 at 10:40 am 15 Comments

A developer once again has failed to win over community leaders in its bid to put a new mixed-use building in the heart of Adams Morgan.

In a 2-1 vote last night, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C’s planning and zoning committee recommended that the full ANC continue its fight against PN Hoffman’s plans to redevelop the SunTrust property at 1800 Columbia Road NW.

The panel’s decision came amid the developer’s campaign to garner the support of the District’s Historic Preservation Review Board, which must sign off on the project before construction can begin. Echoing concerns the ANC had about a previous version of the proposed building, HPRB members in June expressed dissatisfaction with the structure’s aesthetic and size.

PN Hoffman then revised its plans. But ANC members said yesterday they still weren’t satisfied.

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by Andrew Ramonas — September 21, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

Jack Rose Dining Saloon at 2007 18th St. NW (Photo via Facebook/Jack Rose Dining Saloon)

An Adams Morgan bar is set to mark its fifth anniversary with a “bourbon-fueled bash” that will include gratis whiskey, punch and appetizers tonight, according to the watering hole.

The “5 Years Finished” celebration for Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th St. NW) is scheduled to run from 5 to 8 p.m.

A Facebook event page adds:

Open to the public and free to attend, the bourbon-fueled bash will treat loyal guests to a complementary bourbon punch, ½-ounce tastes of five different ‘finished’ bourbons which have further matured in casks such as sherry, cognac and Spanish brandy. Jack Rose will also resurrect rare barrel-finished beers and popular cocktails from the past, with deals on $5 draft beers and wines by the glass. The anniversary bash will also serve as the launch party for the bar’s exclusive new single barrel from Tennessee’s Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery – a cask-strength 10-year Belle Meade bourbon finished in sherry casks.

Jack Rose also will have “swag bags full of goodies from us and some friends” for the first 25 people who stop by, according to a post on the bar’s Facebook page.

But the birthday festivities won’t end tonight. The celebration will continue until the weekend, with $10 Dram & Grain bourbon cocktails tomorrow, a free opportunity to dip Maker’s Mark glasses with red wax Friday and discounted Pappy Van Winkle whiskey Saturday.

Photo via Facebook/Jack Rose Dining Saloon

by Andrew Ramonas — September 19, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0

1500 block of Columbia Road NW (Photo via Google Maps)A thief in Columbia Heights learned over the weekend that a gun isn’t necessarily enough to rob somebody who is unable to hear.

The gun-wielding robber had to use his cellphone to type a note with his demands when he encountered a deaf man on the 1500 block of Columbia Road NW about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, police said.

“Give me your bank [card] and money and your pin number,” the message said, according to authorities.

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by Andrew Ramonas — September 19, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Insomnia Cookies at at 2318 18th St. NW

A Philadelphia-born purveyor of late-night cookies and ice cream has come to Adams Morgan.

Insomnia Cookies has opened its first outpost in the District at 2318 18th St. NW, according to the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District. The location is above Wash Hydro.

An Insomnia Cookies representative wasn’t immediately available to comment.

The shop, which offers delivery, closes at 3 a.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and 4 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. It opens at 9 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends.

Founded in 2003, Insomnia Cookies has locations in more than 30 states, including Colorado, Illinois and New York, in addition to Pennsylvania.

by Tim Regan — September 19, 2016 at 10:25 am 0

Freddy Da Firetruck Sept 2016, photo courtesy Mindy Moretti

Behold! “Freddy Da Firetruck” lives!

Workers pulled the tarp off of the brand new play firetruck a few days ahead of schedule Saturday morning. The truck was originally slated to arrive some time this week.

The new Freddy is an “exact replica” of the truck that D.C. Department of General Services workers mistakenly dumped in the trash last month, officials said during a special event earlier this month.

The city will celebrate Freddy’s return with another “fun day” in the park this Wednesday from 4-8 p.m., according to a D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation flyer.

Like the last “fun day,” the event will include free snacks, a real firetruck and an inflatable slide. The party will also include DPR’s “skatemobile,” which is described as a “mobile roller rink.” And of course, kids will be able to climb atop the newly built Freddy.

Photo courtesy Mindy Moretti

by Andrew Ramonas — September 17, 2016 at 9:10 am 0

Crime tape (Photo via Flickr/nullvalue)(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) A man was shot on the H Street corridor and another man was stabbed in Adams Morgan overnight, according to authorities.

The shooting happened on the 700 block of H Street NE about 12:15 a.m. The stabbing occurred on the 1700 block of Kalorama Road NW about 12:30 a.m.

In the stabbing, the victim was driving a taxi with a passenger just southwest of the Adams Morgan Harris Teeter when the rider stabbed him three times in his chest with a knife, robbed him and fled, according to authorities.

The cabbie was brought to a local hospital for treatment.

Police arrested 23-year-old Johnwann Elliot of Southeast D.C. in connection with the crime. Information on his lawyer wasn’t immediately available.

Details on what led up to the shooting on the same block as Po Boy Jim, Crown Fried Chicken and other businesses weren’t immediately available from authorities. But the shooting victim was brought to a local hospital for treatment, police said.

Police put out this tweet about the suspects after the crime:

Photo via Flickr/nullvalue

by Andrew Ramonas — September 16, 2016 at 12:15 pm 1 Comment

Rendering released on Sept. 13, 2016, for PN Hoffman's mixed-use building at 1800 Columbia Road NW (Image via ANC 1C/PN Hoffman)

A key Adams Morgan community leader told Borderstan today he is “heartened” by a developer’s decision to revamp its plans for a controversial mixed-use building in the heart of the neighborhood.

PN Hoffman last week withdrew a zoning application for the redevelopment of the SunTrust property (1800 Columbia Road NW), which the Adams Morgan Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C said had problems with height and scale. The developer, which has released new renderings for the project, is taking a “step in the right direction,” said ANC 1C commissioner JonMarc Buffa, who leads the commission’s planning and zoning committee.

“This is a huge win for the neighbors,” said Buffa, who called the developer’s previous proposal illegal. “As I have always said, I will support a project on this site if it complies with the law and addresses community concerns.”

To address concerns about its former plans for the SunTrust site, PN Hoffman lowered sections of the building on 18th Street to five stories, reduced the development’s height by five feet and bulked up the front of the structure, cutting the size of its proposed plaza by five feet, according to the developer.

PN Hoffman CEO Monty Hoffman said in a statement that his company works to bring a “balanced mix of thoughtful design and sensitivity to the neighborhoods.”

“We have done our very best to listen to all parties and optimize this site for the neighborhood accordingly, within the limits of regulations and commercial viability,” he said. “We believe our plans are a substantial improvement over what exists there today. We are honored to continue to be part of this community’s future.”

Buffa declined to comment on the specifics of PN Hoffman’s changes. But the ANC commissioner said he intends to share his opinions on them at his panel’s public meeting Wednesday night. Representatives of the developer are expected to attend.

“We need more details to fully understand this new iteration of the plans,” Buffa said.

Image via ANC 1C/PN Hoffman

by Tim Regan — September 16, 2016 at 10:15 am 0

Update at 5:39 p.m. – Pop’s SeaBar has reopened, management tells us. Read our original story below:

A seafood restaurant and bar in Adams Morgan is closed for now after a food safety and hygiene inspector reported finding a “heavy infestation of vermin” there, according to the D.C. Department of Health.

Pop’s SeaBar (1817 Columbia Rd. NW) can’t serve customers until further notice for “operating a food establishment with gross insanitary occurrence or condition that may endanger public health but not limited to heavy infestation of vermin,” the DOH said in a notice yesterday.

A sign posted to the front door of the business says the seafood bar is closed for an “emergency maintenance issue.” Pop’s also tweeted about the closure yesterday:

“We noticed a couple weeks ago that holes had opened up in the wall we share with the vacant property next door,” a representative for the bar’s management said. “We did exercise bad judgement in not getting them fixed right away.”

The representative said health inspectors found rat droppings near the holes, which led the shutdown.

“No rats or roaches were noticed by the inspector,” the rep added. “We had our pest control company out and … no dead rats or live rats could be seen.”

Employees fixed the holes last night and the restaurant could reopen later today, the representative said.

The DOH didn’t immediately provide any further details about the closure. The agency typically releases full reports on restaurant closures within a week or two of its inspections.

Photos and additional reporting by Andrew Ramonas

by Andrew Ramonas — September 13, 2016 at 5:00 pm 0

Quara Ethiopian Restaurant at at 2406 18th St. NW

Another Ethiopian eatery has arrived in Adams Morgan.

Quara Ethiopian Restaurant opened at 2406 18th St. NW on Friday, a representative of eatery told Borderstan. The restaurant is in the former NYNY Diva space below the Omescape escape room.

The restaurant’s owner wasn’t immediately available to comment.

A menu posted outside the eatery lists several traditional Ethiopian dishes, including spicy meat and vegetable stews called wot and sauteed beef, chicken and lamb pieces known as tibs. The food all costs less than $20.

With the addition of Quara, Ethiopian restaurants on 18th Street now include Adams Morgan Restaurant & Coffee, Asmara Restaurant and Ababa Ethiopian Restaurant, which opened in June.

by Andrew Ramonas — September 12, 2016 at 11:35 am 0

Future home of FunkyPiece at 2116 18th St. NW

An online business that says it has the “latest and funkiest glass and smoke accessories for the true connoisseur” is set to open its first brick-and-mortar location in Adams Morgan.

FunkyPiece is slated to arrive at 2116 18th St. NW in early October, owner Matthew Bebawy told Borderstan this morning.

“We’re just a big fan of the area,” he said. “I think it’s a good fit for us.”

The Adams Morgan storefront most recently was occupied by Crooked Beat Records, which left in May. The record shop’s owner said he moved his business out after he developed “serious respiratory problems” from working in the store.

Bebawy said he found that bugs and other problems created an “unbelievably dirty” space. But he said he cleaned it up and feels safe working there.

“The place is looking great,” Bebawy said.

Founded in 2012, FunkyPiece sells “everything from hand pipes, dab rigs, water pipes, bubblers, rolling papers, apparel, grinders, lighters and so much more,” according to its website.

by Andrew Ramonas — September 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm 11 Comments

1800 block of Belmont Road NW (Photo via Google Maps)Adams Morgan community leaders last night urged District transportation officials to consider whether two residential roads in the heart of the neighborhood could transform into one-way streets or benefit from other changes in the area to ease traffic congestion.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C unanimously approved a resolution that asks the District Department of Transportation to study the effects of ending two-way car travel or making other alterations to traffic on or near the 1800 blocks of Belmont and Kalorama roads NW.

The streets have “significant traffic volume, cut-through traffic, traffic noise, traffic accidents and dangerous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists,” according to the resolution. Drivers often side-swipe cars parked on the roads and “honk and engage in verbal and/or physical confrontations in their attempt to proceed through the blocks, disturbing residents at all hours of the night and early morning hours,” the measure notes.

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by Andrew Ramonas — September 7, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Future home of Different Pizza at 1764 Columbia Road NW

A new pizza place is set to come to Adams Morgan in the coming weeks.

Different Pizza is scheduled to open in the former O’Tasty space at 1764 Columbia Road NW later this month, owner Ghulam Karimi told Borderstan yesterday. The Chinese restaurant closed earlier this year.

“It’s a good location,” Karimi said.

It wasn’t immediately clear what will make the pizzeria different than the various jumbo slice joints in the neighborhood.

Karimi didn’t have a menu ready for Borderstan to review. But he said he was planning to serve pizza, fried chicken and other food for customers to eat in the eatery, carry out or order for delivery.

The pizzeria, which is classified as a fast food restaurant, will have seating for 35 people, according to a D.C. government-issued certificate of occupancy posted on a window of the eatery.

by Andrew Ramonas — September 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm 1 Comment

Adams Morgan Day (Photo via Facebook/Adams Morgan Day)

Adams Morgan’s annual neighborhood festival is slated to bring crowds to 18th Street NW for food, music, art and games this weekend.

Like in 2015, the road won’t shut down Sunday during Adams Morgan Day, which runs from noon to 6 p.m. But the sidewalks and open spaces nearby will host bands, basketball matches, artists and local businesses.

“We think the day is a great opportunity to showcase our neighborhood’s great outdoor, public spaces and also drive people to explore our variety of restaurants, bars and shops,” Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe co-owner Alisha Edmonson said in a statement.

Here are more details from a festival news release distributed today:

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by Tim Regan — September 6, 2016 at 12:05 pm 0

3300 block of Mt Pleasant St NW, photo via Google Street ViewA thief armed with a switchblade knife robbed two men in Mount Pleasant over the weekend, according to D.C. Police.

The robbery happened on the 3300 block of Mount Pleasant St. NW around 9:15 p.m. Saturday night.

According to a police report, two men were walking along the street when a man approached them from behind and asked, “what’s in your pockets?” while pulling out a closed switchblade knife. One of the men responded, “are you serious?” to which the robber said, “I’m dead-ass.”

The robber then went through the victims’ pockets and stole some money and an iPhone, police said. The robber also took a backpack from one of the men.

The thief was last seen headed south on Mt. Pleasant Street, according to authorities.

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