by Andrew Ramonas December 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm 0

An Adams Morgan building is set to open this weekend to visitors who can pay to escape its “Cat Kingdom” and prison once they are inside.

Omescape is slated to begin operations at 2406 18th St. NW on Saturday, bringing a real-life puzzle experience in which people must try to break out of rooms, according to a banner outside of its building. The business, which will be the first of its kind in Adams Morgan, will occupy the second and third floors of the building, which was the former home of NYNY Diva.

For $35, Omescape customers can register online to escape the Cat Kingdom, “Saint Temple Prison” or another space called, “Room Ω.”

In the Cat Kingdom, visitors must compete in a tournament to “select the wisest cat in the kingdom” after they accidentally arrived for the competition, according to Omescape’s website.

As for the prison, Omescape customers must get out of a “cramped cell” where “The Night Stalker” died, the company’s website says.

And in Room Ω, visitors have to find out how a professor studying time travel disappeared from the space.

“Omescape has a perfect combination of puzzles, up-to-date electronic technology, mechanical movement, decoration, and service,” according to Omescape’s website. “No wonder Omescape has been the most successful ‘room escape game’ provider in Asia and the only international brand in Chinese Room Escape Industry.”

Photo of Omescape room via Facebook/OmescapeDC

by Tim Regan November 17, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

A San Francisco-based clothing retailer opened its doors on 14th Street last weekend.

Marine Layer, which bills itself as a “a San Francisco-based premium casual apparel brand,” is now open at 1627 14th Street NW.

The shop sells “absurdly soft” T-shirts, button-downs, sweaters, pants and accessories for men and women, and a sign near the door urges customers to “touch everything.”

Most of the company’s clothing sells for roughly $40 to $100, and is offered in offbeat sizes like “marge” and “larger.”

by Andrew Ramonas November 6, 2015 at 1:05 pm 0

Le Labo products (Photo via Le Labo)

(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) The smell of perfume that costs several hundred dollars is on its way to a new retail and residential complex in Shaw.

A sign advertising perfumery Le Labo has appeared on the window of The Shay on Florida Avenue NW between 7th and 9th streets NW. The shop, which has locations in New York, Paris and other cities, aims to bring “soulful fragrances” to its customers, according to its website.

For Le Labo’s Noir 29 and Santal 33 perfumes, that soulful smell will cost $820 for a 16.9-ounce bottle or as low as $70 for a half-ounce. The perfumery also has $45 bars of soap and $70 candles, among other items.

Local blog Left for LeDroit first noted Le Labo’s plans to open in The Shay. But it wasn’t immediately clear when the perfumery would begin operations in Shaw.

The Shay also has become the second D.C. location for designer clothing store Steven Alan, which opened this morning.

The retailer, which also has a location in Georgetown, sells men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories.

“We’re excited to join the community,” said Scott Sanford, Steven Alan’s U.S. director of retail.

Glen’s Garden Market is set to arrive in The Shay next month, too.

The local and organic food purveyor tweeted today that it’s 29 days away from opening its second location in the District in Shaw. Its shop in Dupont Circle currently is its only location.

When Glen’s arrives, it will join Warby Parker, The Tie Bar and several other businesses that already are open for business.

Photo via Le Labo

by Andrew Ramonas November 5, 2015 at 10:35 am 0

Some of The Tie Bar's neckties (Photo via Facebook/The Tie Bar)

Holiday shoppers in search of gifts for men might find what they need in Shaw at a pop-up store that is set to open this week.

The Tie Bar is slated to begin selling its neckties, socks and other men’s items tomorrow in The Shay. The pop-up, which is scheduled to stay open through December, will take over a space on 9th Street NW, near Warby Parker.

The Chicago-based company is using its temporary location in Shaw to see if there’s demand for a permanent store in the District, according to a post on The Shay’s Facebook page.

Started in 2004 online, The Tie Bar’s only permanent location is in Chicago. It also has pop-up shops in Chicago and New York.

Most of its ties are $19, while socks are $8. The Tie Bar also sells pocket squares, cuff links and other men’s dress accessories at various prices.

Photo via Facebook/The Tie Bar

by Andrew Ramonas October 29, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

A new retail and residential complex in northern Shaw is set to get busier in the coming days.

At least four stores are slated to open by the end of next week in The Shay at Florida Avenue NW between 7th and 9th streets NW.

Urban lifestyle purveyor Chrome Industries and eyewear retailer Warby Parker are scheduled to open tomorrow, representatives of the businesses said yesterday. Custom men’s clothing company Read Wall and another menswear store, Frank & Oak, are slated to open late next week, officials with the shops said.

At The Shay’s Chrome, the California-based company’s first D.C. location, customers will have the opportunity to design their own custom messenger bags to purchase and can buy clothing and accessories geared toward people who live and bike in cities.

Warby Parker, which began online and has a location in Georgetown, has eyeglasses starting at $95, including a pair with blue-mirrored lenses that is only available in the District. The Shaw location also will have an optometrist on staff.

The Canada-based Frank & Oak, which has made The Shay its first D.C. location, sells casual and dress clothes for men. It’s scheduled to open on Saturday, Nov. 7, with $50 gift cards for its first 50 customers.

Formerly of Georgetown, Read Wall is expected to open at some point in the coming days with tailoring services and menswear made in the United States.

“We’re pumped about the neighborhood,” Read Wall founder and CEO Read Wall said.

More businesses are expected to join the four stores at The Shay. They include Glen’s Garden Market, Lettie Gooch, Compass Coffee and a restaurant from Northern Virginia restaurateur Tim Ma.

by Tim Regan October 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm 1 Comment

1618 14th Street NW

(Updated at 10:03 a.m. on Thursday) Men may once again gather at an infamous address in Logan Circle … only this time, they’ll be shopping for clothes.

Clothing retailer J. Crew has plans to open a new men’s only clothing store at 1618 14th Street NW next year, said J. Crew PR Coordinator Annabelle Javellana yesterday afternoon. The company had set a tentative date to open the new retail location in May, Javellana added.

Despite yesterday’s news of a confirmed opening, a company representative told us this morning that there had been “confusion,” and that “the fact that [J. Crew] is opening there is not confirmed.” The representative did not deny the store may open or say whether that means the company is also eyeing other potential locations.

The building, once known for housing the infamous “wrestling club” and “men’s parties” events, was partially demolished two weeks ago, and has been the talk of the neighborhood for years. A man died there in 2009, prompting the city to file suit to shut the sex club inside down.

After the building’s owners decided to raze it in 2013, ANC 2F debated preserving the building before ultimately granting a conditional demolition endorsement one year later.

In February, the Washington Business Journal reported that the building’s owner was issued a permit to rebuild and repair the bottom third of the building’s façade.

by Andrew Ramonas October 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm 0

Barre3 class at BicycleSPACEFINAL (Photo courtesy of Alicia Sokol)

Locals can now try a workout that combines yoga, pilates and ballet barre before it officially comes to the 14th Street corridor.

The owner of a barre3 location under construction at 1832 14th St. NW is offering several free classes around the Borderstan coverage area before the studio is slated to open in January. Classes are an hour long and have strength training and low-impact cardio exercises.

The sessions include workouts at the Hamiltonian Gallery (1353 U St. NW) and Pacers Running (1821 14th St. NW) over the next several weeks.

“Teaching classes in these spaces has been a fun way to give people a taste of what barre3 14th Street will bring while highlighting neighborhood gems,” owner Alicia Sokol said in an email. “It’s especially fun when bringing people to spaces they have either not yet discovered or haven’t been to in a while.”

Founded seven years ago in Portland, Ore., barre3 has more than 75 locations across the country, including one studio in Georgetown.

Photo courtesy of Alicia Sokol

by Tim Regan October 16, 2015 at 10:15 am 0

CorePower Yoga on Connecticut

A planned CorePower Yoga appears to be one step closer to opening on Connecticut Avenue NW.

Workers covered the windows at 1150 Connecticut Avenue NW with a sign advertising the forthcoming Denver-based yoga company earlier this week.

As for what the studio might hold, the CorePower website says it’s slated to house “three large and luxurious yoga rooms, as well as a range of amenities including changing rooms with showers and private lockers.” The studio will also include a retail boutique selling “activewear and accessories.”

Though a representative from CorePower could not be reached for comment, the company’s website says the location could open by the end of fall.

by Tim Regan October 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm 0

Lettie Gooch Pop-up 2U Street boutique Lettie Gooch will have a new life in Shaw.

Though the boutique announced in August it would close its doors at 1517 U St. NW and host a weekend pop-up store in Union Market, the store announced today it will be back at The Shay (8th St. between T St. and Florida NW) in November.

“We’re so excited to unpack our bags and settle back into the neighborhood where we began in 2006,” reads the press release. “We are making big plans to celebrate our Shaw homecoming and reopening with YOU!”

When it opens in the mixed-use development, Lettie Gooch will join businesses such as Warby Parker, Kit and Ace, Glen’s Garden Market and Compass Coffee.

Photo courtesy of Lettie Gooch

by Tim Regan September 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm 2 Comments

1627 14th Street NW

A San Francisco-based clothing retailer is set to arrive on 14th Street.

Marine Layer, which bills itself as a “a San Francisco-based premium casual apparel brand,” is slated to open a location at 1627 14th Street NW in the “last week of October or the first week of November,” said company representative John Ferrin.

A walk through the company’s website reveals “absurdly soft” T-shirts, button-downs, sweaters, pants and accessories for men and women. Most of the company’s clothing sells for roughly $40 to $100.

“We sell through our website and our retail stores in San Francisco, LA, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, NY and Miami (and expanding),” reads a recent Craigslist job posting. “We are a fast-growing company whose success has been built on a small, passionate team that works hard and has a lot of fun.”

by Tim Regan September 30, 2015 at 11:30 am 0

2100 Connecticut Avenue NW, photo via Street ViewA planned sushi restaurant is one step closer to opening near Adams Morgan.

A public hearing notice for a new liquor license application appears to show that the restaurant, Sushi Ogawa, is planning to move in soon at 2100 Connecticut Avenue NW.

According to the application, the restaurant would serve “traditional Japanese sushi and washoku sushi in addition to fish and vegetables” with seating for 56 people.

PoPville noted that the forthcoming restaurant had installed a sign roughly one year ago.

The restaurant’s listed contact, Yumiko Stegner, was not immediately available to comment, but Sushi Ogawa appears to have a Twitter account advertising a fall opening.

Photo via Google Street View

by Tim Regan September 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

A new cafe is now open on U Street.

Amsterdam Cafe and Lounge opened for business last week in the former Indulj space at 1208 U Street NW.

Co-owner Belay Abere told Borderstan last week that he wants the eatery to be more low-key than the once-notorious Indulj was.

“We’re concentrating more on the cafe than the bar,” Abere said. “We hope people are looking forward to a nice coffee shop where they can bring their laptops, sit down and be comfortable.”

The cafe’s menu includes chicken wings, burgers and sandwiches — all $10 — and a long list of hot and cold drinks and smoothies. The bar will  also serve cocktails, beer and wine when it receives its liquor license, said Abere.

Additionally, Abere said he will turn the building’s second floor into a lounge area and open a rooftop deck when the bar receives its liquor license.

by Jennifer Currier September 3, 2015 at 4:50 pm 0

Alicia Sokol

A national fitness studio chain is coming to 14th Street.

The studio, which will open under the barre3 banner, is set to arrive at 1832 14th St. NW in the two floors above Floors on 14th early next year.

Barre3 is a national fitness studio brand that blends yoga, pilates and ballet barre workout styles. The company was founded seven years ago in Portland, Ore., and has grown to have more than 75 locations across the country.

The fitness company has one location in Georgetown, but owner Alicia Sokol says her forthcoming studio is one of two more barre3 studios currently being developed in the District. The other is planned 2nd Street near Union Station.

The building’s second and third floors will be home to two studio rooms, changing rooms and childcare during classes, a service that costs $5.

“Just walking into the studio, you feel lighter,” she said. “It’s clean, sleek and comfortable and the people are so friendly.”

Classes are an hour long and include strength training and low-impact cardio exercises.

“I love how the workouts are individualized and can be modified for the specific needs of a client,” she said. “It’s all about turning your thoughts, focusing on your own body and making it work.”

The studio will be open seven days a week and offer membership and walk-in packages.

Sokol’s first experience with barre3 was as a client at the company’s Georgetown location. Shortly after, she was approached about becoming an instructor, a position she held for the last two years. As she began teaching more classes each week, she decided to bring her work to D.C. and take on barre3 full time.

“I walked into the space and fell in love,” Sokol explained. “It seemed kind of meant to be, with the original exposed bricks and windows that give so much natural lighting. I’m so excited about it.”

by Tim Regan September 2, 2015 at 4:15 pm 0

A new escape-the-room business is set to open this fall in Adams Morgan.

Omescape Room Escape DC, a real-life puzzle experience similar to Escape Room Live DC, will open at 2406 18th St NW “in the next two or three months,” said co-owner Lana Jin today.

According to a description on its Facebook page, Omescape Room DC is an attraction where “a group of players are physically trapped in a room for an hour, and they need to escape by exploiting their surroundings.” The real-life puzzle will occupy the second and third floors of the space, Jin said.

This will be the first such business in Adams Morgan, Jin added.

“[The neighborhood] is full of young people,” she said. “There are so many restaurants around. There’s a nightlife there. It’s quite crowded.”

Photos via Facebook / OmescapeDC

by Tim Regan August 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

Cell phone provider T-Mobile is trading one Connecticut Ave. NW storefront for another.

Moving crews could be seen earlier today removing boxes and retail fixtures from the T-Mobile store at 1330 Connecticut Ave. NW, and a sign on the door says the location is relocating to a space inside the office building at 1150 Connecticut Avenue NW.

The newly relocated store will open on Oct. 15.

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