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by Borderstan.com March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0

"Borderstan" "Louis 14th", JBG Cos., U, Street

Artist rendering of the Louis apartment-retail complex that is just getting underway on the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW. (courtesy JBG Cos.)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.

The real estate developer JBG Cos, has five large projects underway between 14th and S Streets and 7th and Florida Avenue NW. According to the Washington City Paper‘s Housing Complex Blog, all of them are in varying stages of development and approval by various councils and boards.

Among the stalled projects is the unnamed hotel at 13th and U Streets NW, which has been snarled by financing, Rite Aid’s long-term lease and neighborhood concern about the initial design, as well as the Louis project slated for 14th and U Streets NW ($1,500 studios that may come with a ‘limited service grocer’ and all kinds of amenities on the roof). You may have also read Alejandra Owens’ post about about Estadio owner Mark Kuller’s new Asian concept at 14th and S Streets NW.

However, yesterday local blog U Street Dirt had a post yesterday about JBG’s plans for a hotel: “Hotel at 13th and U? Naah. How About Rentals?” The post asked whether JBG is changing its mind about its plans for the spot. Emails to JBG and their spokespersons late yesterday afternoon were not returned. This morning Washington City Paper‘s Housing Complex blog had a piece on the possible switch to rentals from a hotel, with a comment from JGB’s Matthew Blocher that they are essentially still exploring mixed uses for the site. Apparently more info is to come on April 10 at JBG presentation at Busboys & Poets.

Basically, if you’re already concerned about parking in the area, things could very well get much busier in a hurry… or in a bit of time, if we know the local approval processes involved for several of the bigger deliveries. But then again, it also seems that many of the new residents in the area do not own cars. Am I right?

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by Borderstan.com March 20, 2012 at 10:00 am 3 Comments

"Borderstan" "all Soul"

7th and T Streets NW, future home of All Souls. (Tom Hay)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann..

Following on the heels of recent press releases of new restaurants and bars in the neighborhood comes the inevitable protest hearings on the granting of a liquor license by DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).

One battle, over a planned bar near 8th and T streets NW, has made it to the evening news. WJLA reported on neighborhood opposition to entrepreneur David Batista’s effort to open All Souls in a now abandoned storefront at 725 T Street NW.

Neighbors interviewed in the report cited the proposed tavern’s proximity to Cleveland Elementary School across the street as the cause for concern. The report indicates that Batista has agreed not to serve alcohol during school hours, but the protesters are not satisfied.

Batista is represented by Andrew Kline who guided Jamie Leeds through the effort to expand Hank’s Oyster Bar in 2010. The ABRA hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board for All Souls is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 4 pm. ABRA offices are located in the Reeves Center at 14th and U Streets NW.

Protest Over Kuller’s New Asian Themed Place at The District

Speaking of 14th Street… the liquor license application for Mark Kuller’s Southeast Asian themed restaurant at 14th and S Streets is being challenged by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B, subject to a voluntary agreement (VA) to address parking and hours of alcohol service on their outdoor patio. The vote to protest the application occurred at the ANC2B March meeting. Kuller’s latest venture is a few blocks north of his popular Estadio restaurant, and will be part of the large JBG apartment building currently under construction. The restaurant will be located in the portion of the project that includes the preserved facade of the former Whitman Walker Clinic building. The setback along the S Street facade will allow for outdoor cafe seating for 40 people.

It will be interesting to see if the restaurant’s location causes any reaction among S Street residents regarding hours — the 1400 block is entirely residential with row houses. There was pushback last year when a restaurant wanted to open on the 1400 block of T Street in the old Post Office Building.

Residents and community associations frequently protest license applications in the hopes of securing VAs with operators. The VA typically addresses concerns over hours of operation, trash and noise.

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by Borderstan.com February 13, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,032 0

"Borderstan""DC Condos""14th Street NW, Mark Kuller, Luis Gomez Photos

Restaurateur Mark Kuller will have a new spot on 14th Street in the residential-retail project under construction between Swann and S Streets NW.(Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.

The 14th Street corridor just keeps on growing. As it grows up, up and up, smart entrepreneurs and restauranteurs like Mark Kuller snatch it up for their own ventures.

You probably don’t know much about Kuller. You might have heard of his chef/partner in food crime, Haidar Karoum. But  you’ve definitely heard of his master of libations, Adam Bernbach. I’ve never met Kuller myself, but I’ve dined and drank at his restaurants many times — Estadio and Proof — and they are probably among my top 5 favorite places in DC.

Last week we heard news that Kuller, Karoum and Bernbach will be opening another spot on 14th Street NW, this time a restaurant with Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine. We can expect a 40-seat “curated cocktail bar” and a bevy of soups, noodle and skewer dishes sometime in late fall or early winter. The location of the restaurant will occupy the first-floor space of the District Condos project (although the project is now “boutique” with rental units instead of condos) on the 1800 block of 14th Street between S and Swann Streets NW.

“Chef Karoum and I, and the rest of our team, are grateful for the fervor with which our Logan Circle neighbors  have embraced Estadio and are excited to launch our second restaurant on 14 th Street,” Kuller told me via email. “Chef and I share a love for the cuisine of mainland Southeast Asia and we hope to create a unique neighborhood restaurant which showcases, on an affordable and accessible basis, the diverse styles and flavors of this region.”

When opening Estadio, Kuller and team has a keen interest in getting Spanish style, or at least inspired, food right, I have faith that Kuller and his team won’t disappoint with this new venture.

Now. What do I have to do to sell Kuller on opening a legit Mexican food joint? (And we all know how I feel about Mexican food in DC.)

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