Much like last year, Borderstan saw its fair share of winners at the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s annual awards gala, known as the RAMMYs. With the vibrant theme “Restaurants in Bloom,” many finalists, awardees, and gala-goers alike showed up in garlands, boutonnieres and floral prints. It was in this festive atmosphere that our neighborhood was honored multiple times over.
The burgeoning 14th Street Corridor and its rapid transformation into a revitalized restaurant destination was a running theme throughout some of the acceptance speeches, most notably from the team from Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene winner Bar Pilar, who commented “when we first were doing the build-out for Bar Pilar, we had pimps come into the restaurant and ask, ‘what are you doing?’ And we’d say ‘building a restaurant.’ And they’d ask, ‘For who?’ Now we know.”
Neighborhood RAMMY Winners
The following Borderstan restaurants were winners last night:
- Upscale Casual Restaurant – Estadio
- Casual Restaurant – C.F. Folks
- Neighborhood Gathering Place – Nellie’s Sports Bar
- Hottest Bar Scene – Bar Pilar
Borderstan also saw its fair share of nominees. Joining Estadio in the Upscale Casual category were fellow 14th Street neighbors Birch and Barley and Cork; and C.F. Folks had to squeeze past Bar Pilar for its Casual Restaurant award. Additional nominations also went to Dupont Circle newcomers Boqueria and DGS Delicatessen, and Estadio’s manager, Justin Guthrie.
Taking home the big prizes last night were Blue Duck Tavern for Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year, Mintwood Place for Best New Restaurant, and Fabio Trabocchi for Chef of the Year. Congrats to all the winners!
Put on a sombrero, listen to the mariachis and get into the Cinco de Mayo spirit this Saturday, April 27. It is not going to be like climbing the moon or sun pyramids in Mexico, but you will have fun tasting a different 12-ounce pour or Margaritas along the way during the Margarita March.
The Margarita March check-in is from 12 to 4 pm at Alero at 1301 U Street NW. You will then make the rounds, in the order you choose, to the other venues. The tasting tour will last until 10 pm, no need to rush through those margaritas.
Get your tickets here and do your Margarita March as you visit Alero, Bar Rouge, Ben’s Next Door, Judy Restaurant, La Villa, Nellie’s Sports Bar, Tabaq Bistro and Stoney’s.
On Tuesday, October 23, Nellie’s will host an evening of Drag Bingo from 8 until 10 pm to benefit The Trevor Project. Chanel Devereaux will host an over-the-top edition of drag bingo on the first floor; attendees can choose to join in on the game or hangout with friends on the roof deck.
There will be a suggested donation of $10 at the door, all of which goes to the Trevor Project, and proceeds from Nellie’s beers will be donated all night (from 5 pm until close).
The Trevor Project is a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page. Nellie’s is at 900 U Street NW.
Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.
If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.
From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.
Flames doused, skimpy Speedos tucked away and the strain on Grindr servers curbed – all signal the end of the 2012 London Olympics. While the John Williams-NBC Olympic theme is still ringing in my ears and faces of seemingly constipated Olympic divers miring my memory, I cannot help but wonder: What if Borderstan hosted the Olympics? Let us explore and while at it, let’s keep it British and play the tunes of Willy Wonka’s ‘Pure Imagination.’
The Olympic Village
The Olympic spirit is alive and thriving in and around the Borderstan district. It is home to five circles with Dupont and Logan being the most well-known. They symbolize the five Olympic Rings — need I say more? Not to mention that coordinating a parade of nations is simple with neighboring Embassy Row. The French Embassy can take the lead in organizing with their inexhaustible events.
Now, the Olympic Village is a very crucial element, and for this, it will be a grand idea to have it at Crew Club. This old, gay bathhouse is a classic like the Olympics. Like at the Olympic Village, condoms are free. Plus, aren’t bathhouses very Greco-Roman? As for the Olympic Village Food Hall, it is fitting to convert the nearby Commissary to feed those ten thousand calorie per day athletes. Supplies will be coming in from the Whole Foods across the street, and as for victory party margaritas, we have Tortilla Coast.
Driving through Dupont Circle is an Olympic sport by itself. Dodging unruly cabs and clueless pedestrians who have perfected hand gestures that would make your granny blush requires skills and tactics. This is why the Dupont Circle fountain should be the final resting place of the Olympic flame. Besides, it will bring back the memories of the Sydney Olympics when the flames rose from a circular pool of water. We will have the Batala all-women percussion band bang their drums as the winner of last year’s Dupont Circle Drag Heel Race lights the cauldron.
International Broadcasting Centre
The organizing committee won’t even have to spend a dime in constructing this venue as Nellie’s Sports Bar is made for this event. Move aside Bob Costas, we will have the ever-vivacious Shi-Queeta Lee host the primetime lineup. In between live events, she will be spearheading the drag queen’s roller skates relay on 14th Street with Tatianna, Ba’Naka and Lena Lett.
The amount of eye-shadow, leotards, glitter, sequence, ball juggling and twirling apparatuses make Town Danceboutique the quintessential venue for gymnastics — artistic and rhythmic. Apart from that, we have the go-go boys performing their floor exercise and some weird acrobatics during their WTF parties. Walking from the bar to the dance floor with a drink on one hand while being buffeted from side-to-side by tipsy Homo Sapiens is much like the balance beam. And must I not forget to mention the amount of straight women here ogling at bodies they wish their hubbies have.
There is no arguing on this. Hands down, Vida Fitness should and must be the site for the aquatic center. The amount of watersports in this joint is quite unparalleled. Records have been broken, and forget about the pool size, there are cabanas here which make us look forward to Rio 2016. Don’t even get me started on the amount of Brazilian butt lifts per square foot here, which I’m supposed to believe are from extra lunges.
With traffic circles, leotards and Brazilian butt lifts, I hereby declare the London Olympic Games closed and welcome those of Borderstan.
From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.
When is the last time you enjoyed Judo, para-sailing, and badminton? As it’s obviously not recently, we are all in luck as this Friday it is the start of the 2012 Olympics. It’s that time in the decade when these relatively less well known sports (some of them only played in high school gym class, i.e., handball) become interesting and people actually watch them.
For those of us feeling a little out of it due to the heat, the 2012 Summer Olympic games are beginning and thanks to great technology and NBC’s desire to cover it all, every single game/match/trial is available live from London either online or on the NBC family of networks.
The Best Part of the Olympics
What I always loved about the Olympics is that it seems to bring a lot of non-regular sports fans into the fold. The games are loaded with patriotism, rich stories of success and failure, and even a global orgy hangout. The Summer Olympics also tend to be a lot more popular as these sports are better known and don’t include some obscure skiing-rifle-shooting-hybrid. This is not to say the summer games don’t have their fair share of odd events, in the Equestrian category, for instance (if you ask me, the horses should be required to be from the country, just like the rider).
So, as you go through the next two weeks, glance at your newspaper and check the medal count, watch two people compete their hearts out for a 3rd place medal, or just guess the real age of the gymnasts.
What to Watch for at the Olympics
Here are some things to watch for, as well as some local ideas to enhance your Olympic experience.
Opening Ceremony: After China’s 2008 performance, the bar has been set pretty high. The show is directed by award winning director Danny Boyle and will include Sir Paul McCartney and, hopefully, a slew of awesome performers. It airs on NBC this Friday at 7 pm, but it will be a tape delay showing, so don’t check any social media, if you want to see/hear it fresh.
Are Phelps and Bolt still the best? Four years ago we watched a man-fish win 8 Gold Medals in swimming, and a speedster blow away the world records by not even trying that hard. Both U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt are back to retain their titles in respective fields. Both have looked a bit rusty and vulnerable. Track and swimming are always great at the Olympics, mainly because this is their biggest stage and these athletes want to show the world the best.
Pro Athletes Offseason: Soccer, basketball, tennis. These sports have fully functioning, popular, and well marketed professional leagues. All of them are taking time off and doing the world a favor by showing us their talent. Yes, it will be fun to see US basketball destroy the competition, but ultimately the Olympics is a 2nd-tier championship for these guys (World Cup > Olympic Gold). The part that I am looking forward to most is the tennis, as it’s being played at Wimbledon. But the all-white dress attire will not be in effect and that will give it a different feel.
Plenty of DC Bars to Enjoy the Olympics: NBC Washington did a list of Top 10 places to watch games at and some spots in our ‘hood made the list. Let me take this opportunity to double down on Buffalo Billiards, which made the list, as well as Nellie’s Sports Bar at 9th and U Streets NW. Think of all the screens and event-related ADD you could have. This is also a good opportunity to try some ethnic bars, root for a different nation, and maybe even learn some new anthems.
I am looking forward to a fun London-centric week with a healthy side of jokes made in my mediocre English accent. For a list of all the events, times, etc. check here. The Washington Post also has a great guide to the games. In general, wear some red/white/blue and enjoy the games!
Learn This Guy’s Name, NOW
ROBERT GRIFFEN III. This man is two months away from taking over the District.
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
- Google is about to change the world, again.
- Olympics and politics don’t mix.
- NASA is dying, slowly, and it hurts us all.
From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.
Modern man has invented some remarkable products to better help us deal with one of the things we can’t control in life: the weather. Advance materials and ways of sewing have brought forth concepts like dry-fit for both hot and cold climates. While I enjoy that and many others, there is only one thing that brings me immense joy and comfort: central air conditioning. And in DC, can you imagine summers without AC?
I shudder to think of a world where people went from place to place, sweating everywhere with no relief except hoping it got dark or a storm would come. Honestly, we praise Henry Ford and Eli Whitney for innovations to the world, but why isn’t the man who invented AC a household name?
If you haven’t noticed the heat recently, maybe you’re a cactus. For the rest of us, it has literally been the hottest (worst) summer in DC ever on record, making doing just about anything outside awful. The idea of even walking to Bethesda Bagel on Connecticut Avenue over the weekend was a serious discussion of “Is there enough shade on the walk?” and “We need enough water for there and back.” One of the only ways to beat the heat (stupid Lebron) is to not go outside and enjoy your AC. It’s like having a car in DC. If you don’t have it, make friends with people who do and never leave their nicely cooled living rooms. I am fortunate enough to have mine cranking as you read this post, but I understand it is a luxury.
Get Out for a Beer and Watch Some Sports
We can’t stay inside forever (as much as we may want to) and sometimes you need a beer or a place to watch a sporting event. So here is just a handful of places in Borderstan with excellent air conditioning. They may not be as good as some other bars as sport watching venues, but if the aim is to stop sweating, stop in these places.
- Buffalo Billiards: Tons of TVs, tons of space and always pumping AC. Also because it is underground it is not being blasted with rays of sun, which helps.
- Nellie’s Sports Bar: Great sports bar with fully functioning 21st century central air. Also, there is the option of the outdoors with Nellie’s large rooftop deck — that is, if it is not 105 degrees.
- Solly’s U St Tavern: Brick building insulates well and blocks heat. Also their AC and HDTVs are in fantastic working order.
- Your Own Apartment: Stay home. No wait time, always a seat and you can control the temperature.
Beware of any places with large glass windows, huge patios and a constant swinging of the front door. Yes, atmosphere, drink selection and price are important for choosing a bar. But, this time of year only go to places with temperatures similar to a fridge.
In the Hopper
- The London Olympics are in three weeks. Get your American flags ready…
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
- Inventor of the first “electronic‘ football game has passed away.
- The History of Rock, in 100 cords. Worth watching all 12 minutes.
- Cookie Monster’s version of “Call Me Maybe”.
From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.
Whitman-Walker Health (WWH) is gearing up for AIDS Walk 2012, which is set to take place on October 27. Join them this Thursday, April 26, at Nellie’s Sports Bar on U Street for their kickoff party starting at 6 pm.
Enjoy a beer (or soda) and some fries on the house if you register for the walk. The registration fee is also waived — but that night only.
If you can’t make it to Nellie’s for the kickoff, you can also register register online starting April 27.
WWH is a community health center that specializes in health care for the LGBT communities and those living with HIV/AIDS. They are based in the neighborhood and 14th and R Streets NW.
- Whitman-Walker’s Annual Awards Ceremony April 19
- Whitman-Walker Health Sustains $2 Million-Plus Budget Surplus
City Dogs Rescue was outside Nellie’s Sports Bar on U Street last Saturday with three dogs up for adoption: Hans, Lucky and Meme. If you missed them, look for them again tonight, April 11, at Nellie’s — it’s SmartAss! Trivia and Dog Night. The games begin at 8pm, and the dogs will be upstairs.
City Dogs Rescue was formed in September 2011 as a volunteer-based, non-profit organization (with pending 501(c)(3) status) to rescue adoptable dogs in overcrowded and high-kill shelters where resources are severely limited. Many of the dogs that City Dogs Rescue takes in are just days and sometimes hours away from being euthanized, for no reason other than lack of space. Since September, 32 dogs from City Dogs Rescue have been adopted by individuals and families in the DC metro area.
How to Help
- Anyone interested in volunteering, adopting, or learning about community events can join the City Dogs Rescue mailing list by going to the organization’s website.
- Foster homes are urgently needed to enable City Dogs Rescue to accept more dogs. In you are interested, please email [email protected].
- City Dogs Rescue is looking for additional community sponsors and any interested business should contact [email protected].
- Make a donation.
- You can also follow City Dogs Rescue on Facebook to get more information, as well as on Twitter@CityDogsRescue and Pinterest.
Last Saturday, neighbors came together to lend a hand to Garrison Elementary School at 1200 S Street NW. Volunteers from Nellie’s Sports Bar, Anywhere Goes and the Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) raked, weeded, mulched and shoveled away in the schoolyard from 10 am to 1 pm. Garrison serves students from pre-K through 5th Grade.
The group will head to Nellie’s Sport Bar (9th and U Streets NW) afterward for social time.
If you’re in the need of a sweet treat head to Hello Cupcake to pick up a new variety. Starting today, you can indulge in a sweet partnership between Hello Cupcake and Chocolate City Brewery — the DC Love Child. I got a taste of the Child at a preview Thursday night at Nellie’s Sports Bar on U Street NW.
This specialty cupcake is infused with Cerveza Nacional dark Vienna lager, covered in bourbon buttercream and topped with a chocolate-covered potato chip. Let’s be real, this is a silky, sugary dessert–and it is rich, but the malty hints make this the beer drinkers’ cupcake.
Hello Cupcake owner Penny Karas and Don Parker of Chocolate City Beer met at a Think Local First event and determined that their cupcakes and beer belonged together — thus DC Lovechild was born. Karas said she expects the alcohol-infused cupcake to do well, considering their Irish Carbomb flavor is already their best-selling specialty cupcake.
Hello Cupcake locations can be found in Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill. Chocolate City Beer is on tap at several locations in Borderstan, including Churchkey, Bar Pilar and the Boundary Stone among others.
From Michelle Lancaster
Two weeks ago we talked with Borderstani Julie Mason, White House correspondent, dog owner and neighbor — and she gave us some interesting insights into Logan Circle. For the second in our series on Interesting Bordertanis, we talked with Miss Shi-Queeta Lee. We will continue to profile some of the unique, inspiring and downright interesting folks that are all around you in the place you call home.
Meet Shi-Queeta Lee !
If you have yet to encounter the fabulous Miss Lee, you need to adjust your social calendar! You may have been entertained at TOWN Dance Boutique every Friday and Saturday (show starts at 10:30 pm). Perhaps your glimpse of her was at Nellie’s Sports Bar for Drag Bingo on Tuesdays at 8 pm or Drag Brunch on Sunday at 11 am.
Check out Shi-Queeta’s slide show at the bottom of the story.
She’s about to take the world by storm with her two shows for 2011 — “Spill Da Tea with Shi-Queeta-Lee”, a variety talk show on BlogTalkRadio, and Drag City DC: Hair and Paint Make a Man What He Ain’t, a reality show based on the Real Housewives series, but with six drag queens.
The diva, in her own words:
The victim of a Saturday-night mugging on the 900 block of U Street NW fought back with the help of two friends and caught the mugger, according to a friend who saw the incident. What ensued for the mugger was not pretty.
It also appears that the police might not have been involved at all. Since this occurred in Police Service Area (PSA) 305, I am asking MPD Third District if they have any additional information.
According to my source, the incident took place around 11:45 p.m. last night (Saturday the 19th). Three guys were walking along U Street between 9th and 10th Streets NW. Then the mugger appears and apparently accosted and grabbed something from one of the three guys. The three guys chased the mugger eastward on U Street and caught him in front of of Nellie’s Sports Bar at 900 U Street NW.
Here is my friend’s report:
I was a witness as this happened in front of us, along with a friend. Were were standing in line to get into Nellie’s, probably about 100 people. It could have been a little earlier than midnight, 11:45ish? It started approximately half a block west of Nellie’s, ending at the curb directly in front of Nellie’s.
Following the mugging, he and his friends were completely fearless in chasing the mugger on U Street, dodging cars. They knocked the thug to the curb in front of Nellie’s and started some serious punching, then kicking the thug as he cowered in the gutter. Serious beat down.
Nellie’s Sport Bar, 900 U Street NW. This is a mix of gay bar, sports bar and neighborhood restaurant. Nellie’s has TV screens everywhere so you can follow your favorite teams. During the weekends the rooftop terrace is the place to be: crowed, noisy and fun.
“Zero Hour” at the Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th Street NW: “Channeling Zero Mostel’s wild moods, crazy humor and righteous anger, Jim Brochu reintroduces us to this funny, fantastically contrary man whose penchant for truth-telling has been sorely missed.”
“Dublin Carol” at the H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St. NE: “Set in present-day Dublin on Christmas Eve, Dublin Carol relates the story of John Plunkett, a funeral parlor worker. John recounts memories of the drinking and womanizing of his youth with his younger assistant Mark. However, when his estranged daughter Mary arrives with sobering news, he is forced to face the more disastrous side of his past. Dublin Carol is a dark Irish comedy that follows John as he takes stock of his choices and their consequences–leaving us all more aware of our own lives and mortality.” – H Street Playhouse