Although D.C.’s first Chick-fil-A opens tomorrow in Columbia Heights (3100 14th St. NW), about a dozen people were spotted lining up in front of the forthcoming eatery early this morning.
Why? Well, here’s one good incentive: The first 100 customers through the restaurant’s doors will win free chicken sandwiches for a year.
Still, to win the free food, you have to wait all day and night until tomorrow’s grand opening event. Is camping out on the cold sidewalk truly worth 52 free chicken sandwich meals?
Jeff Cousins, 60, said yes, it is. Cousins said he showed up with a blanket and a collapsible chair at 12:45 a.m. to be the first in line.
“I love Chick-fil-A. For us, it’s a family affair,” said Cousins, who added he took the day off and that being the first person in the fast food joint was on his “bucket list.”
Laura Bibbs, 34, also took the day off from her job to stand in line. “I’ve been waiting forever,” Bibbs said. “We’re really committed.”
Bibbs, who called herself “one of the biggest Chick-fil-A fans,” added she snagged the runner-up spot at 5:15 a.m.
But the prospect of standing around has already caused other early birds to chicken out, said several people waiting outside the eatery. Some who lined up earlier this morning reportedly left after they realized what they had to do to win the free food.
Shinola, a high-end retailer based in Detroit, celebrated the opening of its flagship D.C. location with a glitzy party Wednesday evening.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was among the high-profile guests to attend the opening of the new store, which is located at 14th and R streets NW in the former site of the Central Union Mission Shelter.
Shinola sells luxury American-made watches, leather goods, bikes and other accessories. The 5,000-square-foot store on the ground level of the Mission Apartments building has an open design with ceiling-to-floor windows along two sides of the store.
Guests at the invitation-only opening event perused the store’s watches and other accessories while sipping on cocktails, some of which included the brand’s own Shinola Cola. The event also featured desserts from Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown.
Shinola’s previous, temporary location at 1534 14th Street NW will be occupied by Shinola’s sister brand Filson and is currently being renovated.
The District’s second Francesca’s location will open for business at 1143 Connecticut Avenue NW this Friday.
The women’s clothing and accessory store is planning a soft opening on Friday and a larger grand opening celebration on Saturday.
The storefront is the former home of the Godiva Chocolatier that closed its doors in June.
Store manager Erica Ragland-McCall said the grand opening will feature an outdoor tent, a raffle and a 20 percent discount on all purchases made on Saturday only. Employees will also be handing out additional coupons on Wednesday to promote the event.
On Tuesday afternoon, city employees could be seen digging up the sidewalk in front of the new store to work on the plumbing.
Ragland-McCall — who was tasked with managing the Dupont Circle location after working as a manager at the boutique chain’s Montgomery Mall location — wasn’t worried about the ongoing construction and was told it’ll be finished by Friday.
“Once it’s done, it’s going to be beautiful,” she said.
On Wednesday, September 19, Meridian Public Charter School will open its brand new doors to the community during an open house celebration at the school’s new 13th and V Street NW location from 11 am to noon.
For about a year, Meridian has been renovating the 1890s-era Harrison school building in the heart of the U Street NW neighborhood. The $16 million project includes state-of-the-art instructional spaces, an enclosed playground and a 12,000 square-foot addition with a cafeteria, multipurpose room, and media room for the charter school’s 530 local students. Meridian’s former building was a 1930s Manhattan Laundry building on Florida Avenue NW.
“The old building served us well when we started out more than a decade ago, but now we need more space and specialized facilities to reach the next academic level,” said Chris Siddall, a strategy and operations consultant who serves on the Boards and building steering committees at Washington Latin and Meridian Public Charter School. “We could have found a good building for our students in another part of the city, but waited until the right one to come along so we could keep serving the community we grew up with.”
Meridian’s grand opening celebration will include a few speeches from school leaders, music and readings from the students and some words from some of DC’s leading political and education figures. Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilmember Jim Graham, School Board Member Patrick Mara and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton are expected to attend the opening event.
“With a lease of up to 50 years, Meridian will become a long term anchor for our thriving community,” said Siddall. “U Street has become an education hub with several related non-profits, community-based lenders focused on schools, after-school programs and traditional public and charter schools. I look forward to even closer collaboration with this community to meet the needs of the neighborhood, as well as the broader District.”
Meridian (2120 13th Street NW) is a co-educational elementary and middle school starting at early childhood and continuing through the eighth grade. For more information on the event, or to RSVP to the opening, contact Maggie Yue at [email protected].