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by Tim Regan — August 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Stein hoisting competition at Saufhaus, photo by Cristi Dobrescu of CID Photos

A Dupont Circle beer hall wants to find the greatest stein holder in all of the District.

Sauf Haus (1216 18th St. NW) is slated to host a series of weekly “stein hoisting” contests next month as part of its weeks-long Oktoberfest celebration.

Starting Sept. 17, the beer hall will begin staging competitions every Wednesday and Saturday. During the boozy feats of strength, participants will order a liter of beer, hold the stein parallel to the ground and keep it there, according to the rules. The competitor who holds their stein the longest without bending their arms or spilling any beer wins.

Each winner will automatically be entered into a championship round scheduled to be held on Saturday, Oct. 1. Competitors stand to win a handful of beer-themed prizes and have their photo forever placed on the “Sauf Haus Stein Hoisting Wall of Fame,” Sauf Haus said.

Other “Sauftoberfest” events scheduled to occur between Sept. 17 and Oct. 2 include a guided tasting of 16 German beers, a “Bacon, Brats and Bier” party and a “Mr. & Miss Sauftoberfest Pageant.”

Photo by Cristi Dobrescu of CID Photos

by Tim Regan — August 24, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

Metro display ads Aug 2016

Fully animated advertisements might soon catch your eye at Metro stations across the District and the surrounding area.

A national billboard and transit ad company is working to install brand new digital displays at key stations across the city, according to Metro.

“Over the next few weeks, our partner OUTFRONT Media will be replacing some existing, static advertising dioramas in the Metrorail System with new 65″ digital panels,” said Metro representative Morgan Dye.

The displays, which loop video advertisements in crystal clear quality, were recently installed at seven Metro stations across the District, including Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle and McPherson Square, Dye said.

Additional digital displays are set to be installed soon at Metro’s Farragut West and Foggy Bottom stations, Dye added.

Here’s Metro’s full list of the stations included in the project’s first phase:

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by Tim Regan — August 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm 4 Comments

Longtime opponents of a plan to redevelop St. Thomas’ Parish (1772 Church St. NW) have ultimately been “unpersuasive,” The District’s Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) said last week.

In an order published Friday, the panel granted developer CAS Riegler a zoning variance it initially requested roughly one year ago and elaborated on its decision against the parish’s redevelopment foes.

Some neighbors have opposed the plan to turn the St. Thomas Church site into a religious center and apartment complex on the grounds that the new building would be too tall, would deprive locals of public space and would be incompatible with the surrounding historic neighborhood.

However, the plan’s opponents have seemingly failed to win D.C.’s governing bodies to their side. The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) last July voted to approve the project. Similarly, the BZA voted to give its blessing to the plan earlier this year in January.

The BZA wrote in its order that it found the “argument made by the parties in opposition to be unpersuasive.”

The board continues:

Much of the opposition was related to the loss of the park that the community has enjoyed. However, the park is actually the private property of the church, and the community does not have a right to use that space. Furthermore, both the CSN and the DCCA expressed concerns regarding the application’s compatibility with the historic district. However, the Board notes that in granting concept approval, the HPRB was required to find that such compatibility existed. And while the Board is not compelled to accept the HPRB conclusion, the evidence in the record clearly corroborates its finding.

In other words — at least in regard to grievances over lost green space — it’s private property, and the church can do with it as it pleases.

As Dupont ANC 2B chair Nicole Mann pointed out on Twitter, the BZA’s latest opinion may not bode well for opponents of developer PN Hoffman’s plan to build a seven-story mixed-used building at SunTrust plaza in Adams Morgan.

Foes of that plan have said the building would deprive locals of a community space. In response, developer PN Hoffman has said the plaza is private property.

Sound familiar?

h/t ANC 2B’s Nicole Mann for sharing the order with us

by Borderstan.com — August 22, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Saxbys Coffee is back in Dupont Circle with complimentary small cups of cold brew today.

The Philadelphia-based chain began its first day at 1303 19th St. NW this morning. The location is two doors from its old home at 1309 19th St. NW, which closed in June.

In addition to the gratis java, the coffeehouse is giving out free travel mugs to the first 10 customers it gets every hour until 6 p.m.

Jim Hilson, co-owner and general manager of the new Saxbys, said the day has turned out “absolutely amazing” so far. The coffeehouse has had several customers who were happy to see that the shop was back in business, he said.

“We love how the cafe came out, and we’re happy to be in the neighborhood,” Hilson said.

Photos of shop’s interior courtesy of Saxbys Coffee 

by Tim Regan — August 17, 2016 at 11:05 am 0

Dupont Chillers update signCool air could flow through Metro’s Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations in a matter of days or not at all this year.

That’s the latest news from Metro, which earlier this week updated riders on the status of those sweltering stations’ “chillers.”

The chillers, which use water to help cool air pumped into the stations, stopped working last summer due to leaks in a 40-year-old pipe that feeds water into the system.

Metro originally estimated it would repair those leaks and turn on the chillers by July 1, then again by July 16 and beyond. As of this morning, the two Red Line stations were still much hotter than normal.

But relief might be on the way, Metro said.

“Additional parts have been ordered from overseas and we are currently awaiting delivery, ” the transit agency said in a statement Monday. “Once the parts arrive and are installed, crews will again attempt to pressure-test the pipe.”

If the test is successful, the stations could have cool air “within days,” Metro said. But if the tests fail, “crews will likely need to excavate Connecticut Avenue NW for further repairs.”

“In that eventuality, chilled air service will not be restored this year,” officials added.

by Tim Regan — August 17, 2016 at 10:15 am 0

There’s more to being a drag king than putting on fake facial hair and lip syncing.

Pretty Boi Drag — the outfit behind the soon-to-be-bimonthly F*CK BRUNCH! show — hopes to prove it by hosting a free “drag king workshop” at Bier Baron Tavern (1523 22nd St. NW) Saturday at 11 a.m.

For the uninitiated, a drag king is a female-bodied person impersonating or dressing as a male, explained Pretty Boi Drag co-producer Chris Jay. Drag king performers usually take on hyper-masculine alter egos and strut their stuff on stage or in front of an audience. In essence, it’s the opposite of a drag queen, Jay added.

This weekend’s workshop will give locals the chance to learn more about the art form.

“You can learn a little bit of history as to how we came be,” Jay said. “You’ll also learn about changing your mannerisms to be more masculine.”

During the introduction, attendees will be made up to look like drag kings and learn how to speak, act and look the part. And that includes interacting with members of an audience, Jay said.

“We go into how to pick out what songs to perform and how to interact with the audience,” Jay added. “You’ll also develop a new character or alter ego or persona during the workshop.”

The class will also include lessons on tying a tie and a photograph of the group, post-transformation.

Though the introductory session isn’t an audition, it could lead to a more permanent role with Pretty Boi Drag. The group’s first workshop in April led to four performers and a handful of stage crew coming aboard, Jay said. And if someone wants to come and simply observe the workshop, that’s okay, too.

“If somebody really just wants to come and observe and we don’t have any more registration spots, they can shoot us an email and let us know,” Jay said. “We don’t have any problem with expanding a little bit for people like that.”

Attendees are encouraged to arrive with a small mirror, a pair of scissors, some makeup and of course, a rough idea of their ideal drag persona.

Class size is limited, however. As of this article’s publication, there were only four workshop spots remaining, Jay said.

The next free Pretty Boi Drag workshop will take place in roughly three months.

Photos courtesy Pretty Boi Drag

by Tim Regan — August 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Photo via Facebook : Heurich House OktoberfestA historic house and museum in Dupont Circle is gearing up for its annual celebration of brats, pretzels and local beer.

Heurich House (1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW) is set to celebrate Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 1-4 p.m., according to a press release.

The event will feature mugs of beer from local brewers such as DC Brau, Atlas Brew Works and Hellbender. The party will also have German-style soft pretzels from Das Pretzel Haus, grilled sausages from 13th Street Meats, and sauerkraut and pickles from Number 1 Sons.

This year’s Oktoberfest will have “the same format as last year” but will include some new vendors and a special VIP tasting of the sold-out Heurich’s Lager, said Emma Stratton Bray, Director of Public Engagement at Heurich House.

“Heurich’s Lager is a limited release beer that is currently sold out, so we are thrilled to be able to offer it to our guests,” she added.

Der Germutlichkeits will play festive music during the event, Stratton Bray said. And of course, there will be dancing.

Tickets are $60 per person for general admission and $75 for VIP admission. All proceeds go toward the Heurich House Museum.

Photo via Heurich House

by Tim Regan — August 12, 2016 at 7:00 am 1 Comment

Connecticut Ave and S St NW

(Updated at 9:47 a.m.) Someone shot and wounded two men in Dupont early this morning.

Gunfire erupted on the 2000 block of S St. NW. just before 2 a.m., police said. The area where the shooting occurred is nearby several popular bars and restaurants including Thaiphoon, Glen’s Garden Market, Russia House and McClellan’s Retreat.

Two men were wounded in the shooting, according to authorities.

Officers found one of the men on the 2000 block of S St. and the other on the 1700 block of Connecticut Ave. NW. Both victims were conscious at the scene of the crime, police said.

One person was arrested shortly after the crime occurred, according to D.C. Police spokeswoman Karimah Bilal. Authorities have not yet released that person’s name.

A Dupont resident wrote on the neighborhood listserv that they heard a “volley” of gunshots and several “speeding cars” in the area around the time of the shooting.

Police closed several roads in the area for a few hours earlier this morning to investigate the crime. Those roads were all reopened by about 6:30 a.m.

by Tim Regan — August 8, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

Embassy Camera Dupont

A longtime camera shop and photo supply store will leave Dupont Circle later this month.

District Camera — also known as Embassy Camera — is set to close its location at 1735 Connecticut Ave. NW by Aug. 20, according to store employee AJ Glover. He added that the store will reopen at another address in the District, but the store’s owner, Saed Taliverdi, has not yet decided where.

The shop will sell much of its merchandise at a discount until Aug. 20, Glover said. Cameras, lighting equipment, memory cards and flashes are all included in the storewide sale.

According to District Camera’s website, the family-owned company was founded in 1978 “on a foundation of excellent customer service and even better prices.”

The camera shop also has an outpost in Burke, Va.

by Alyse Mier — August 5, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

A newly rebranded Japanese kitchen and bar has opened its doors to the public in Dupont Circle.

Rakuya — formerly known as the sushi eatery, Raku — quietly reopened at 1900 Q St. NW with a newly remodeled interior and a revamped menu last week. Though the restaurant isn’t serving lunch yet, diners can currently order from a partial dinner menu, according to partner Marcel The.

A walk through the new menu reveals Japanese inspired cuisine such as Shiokoji fried chicken with truffle parmesan mayo, braised beef tongue and bowls of ramen. The menu also includes fried skewers and inventive sushi like “fish and chips” and “wicked spicy tuna” rolls.

The restaurant’s new drink menu offers a long list of sake, wine, Japanese craft beers and cocktails.

“We’ve always wanted to do something that focuses on more specific cuisine rather than broad Asian. So we chose to specifically work with Japanese food,” The said. “It’s something we think we could do very well.”

The new eatery will begin serving lunch and an expanded dinner menu in about two weeks, The said.

by Alyse Mier — August 4, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

VR headset in use (Photo courtesy of Notion Theory)

(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) Zombies are slated to arrive in Dupont Circle this month. But only virtual reality gamers in an office building will have the opportunity to fight them.

Tech company Notion Theory is set to transform a six-person office in the neighborhood into the District’s first arcade for people who want to defeat monsters and perform other tasks in virtual reality.

“When you think of traditional classic arcades, you picture a room that has all these boxes with a bunch of electronics for a single game,” Notion Theory CEO Kristian Bouw said. “The VR arcade is a room people can walk into, but it only has a headset, controllers and sensors in the corners of the room. It minimizes the arcade experience.”

To create the arcade, Notion Theory will set up a 150-square-foot play area with sensors, he said. Gamers with an HTC Vive virtual reality headset and controllers then can move freely about the space as they try to stop a zombie apocalypse, defend a castle or cut up fruit, among other activities.

“You can’t really explain to someone what VR is,” Bouw said. “You give them the headset and give them the controllers, and before they know it, they’re shooting bows and arrows.”

The arcade is scheduled to open Aug. 15 in the 1200 18th St. NW MakeOffices co-working space, which Borderstan and other companies use. Sessions cost $30 per hour.

Registration begins Monday.

Photo courtesy of Notion Theory

by Courtney Brown — August 3, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) Dozens of locals stood outside a new Dupont Circle restaurant in hopes of snatching free burrito-sized sushi rolls this morning.

Buredo promised free giant sushi rolls to its first 200 customers who visited its new 1213 Connecticut Ave. NW outpost, which opened today.

A line started to form at least 30 minutes before the eatery welcomed its first diners at 11 a.m.

“I work close by, and I figured why not?” said Derek Hottle, a consultant, who had joined the queue. “I eat a lot of sushi, and I saw their opening sign.”

Grants manager Armaine Decastro and graphic designer Jazmine Johnson, who have had Buredo’s food from its other location near Franklin Square, also stood in line for its complimentary sushi meals.

“I love sushi,” Decastro said. “It’s different [at Buredo]. But it tastes really good.”

As of 11:45 a.m., about 25 people still were waiting in front of the restaurant for its free food.

Photos and video by Alyse Mier

by Andrew Ramonas — August 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

1000 block of K Street NE (Photo via Google Maps)Three thieves with guns robbed a man and tied him up with a cord and a shower curtain near the H Street corridor yesterday afternoon, police said.

The armed robbery occurred on the 1000 block of K Street NE about noon Monday.

The victim was outside a home in the area when one of the robbers came up to him, according to authorities. One, or both, of them then smoked a cigarette. But it wasn’t clear whether they knew each other.

The thief eventually left and returned with two armed individuals. The victim and the three people went inside the home soon after.

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by Tim Regan — August 2, 2016 at 12:05 pm 0

Buredo angle

(Updated at 7:31 p.m. to correct a misspelling) Massive sushi rolls are set to arrive in Dupont Circle tomorrow.

Buredo, an eatery that serves burrito-sized sushi, will open its second location at 1213 Connecticut Ave. NW tomorrow morning at 11 a.m., according to co-owner Mike Haddad.

The new location will serve Buredo’s menu of burrito-sized sushi rolls stuffed with fresh veggies, seafood and pork, and maybe a “few surprises,” Haddad told us earlier this year.

And here’s an added bonus: the first 200 customers through the door get a free giant sushi roll, the restaurant announced on Facebook earlier today:

The wait is over DC! We are opening our Dupont location tomorrow, August 3rd at 11 am. We have some new menu items in store for you, plus we are giving a free buredo and Spindrift Fresh sparkling water to the first 200 people to join us. Hope to see you tomorrow at 1213 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, DC 20036!

h/t to Jason Shevrin for checking our grammar

by Andrew Ramonas — August 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm 0

Rosebar Lounge at 1215 Connecticut Ave. NW

A man was slammed in the head with a table and hit there again with a broken piece of the furniture in a fight at a Dupont Circle club over the weekend, police said.

The attack happened inside Rosebar Lounge at 1215 Connecticut Ave. NW about 2:15 a.m. Sunday.

The man and someone else were fighting in the club when the person brawling with the victim hit him over the head with the table, breaking it, according to authorities. The attacker then grabbed a part of the table and whacked the victim in the head with it.

Two bouncers intervened soon after. The assailant then hit one, or possibly both, of them with a broken table piece.

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