Ginger Root Design announced last week that they will be closing their lower level boutique at 1530 U Street NW in the middle of May.
Erin Derge and Kristin Swenson, owners of the GingerRoot Design, are ready to take upon another step in their carers: They plan to focus on their clothing designs and tailoring shop.
Focus on Design
“Our hearts are telling us that we want to be clothing designers,” said Kristen Swenson. “We want to make a difference in DC through our locally-sewn designs, and show the public what modern tailoring can be.”
Ginger Root opened in September 2010 and has been a key business for fashion in the area. They expanded the shop and started offering sewing classes last year. The store has attracted a clientele of customers and friends.
Derge and Swenson have been working on their new collection and plan to release a new and complete collection for summer 2013. The line, will be eco-friendly, and available for purchase in the tailoring shop, in their online store and at various markets and pop-ups throughout the summer
The new tailoring shop is by appointment only and is open Monday and Thursday through Saturday from noon to 7 pm.
DC Police reported a robbery with the use of force and violence shortly before midnight at 11:45 pm, April 5. The robbery occurred at 9th and U Streets NW; more details are below..
From DC Police Alerts: “ROBBERY FORCE & VIOLENCE 2345 HOURS 9TH & U STREET NW LOOKOUT FOR A B/M, WEARING A BLACK V-NECK T-SHIRT, BLUE JEANS, AND A WAVE CAP WITH SHORT BRAIDS DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/EVENT I20130153949, Sent on: 04/06 00:14.”
From the DC Police Twitter feed: “Robbery F&V //9th & U Street NW //LOF B/M, wearing a black v-neck t-shirt, blue jeans, and a wave cap with short braids //6559.”
Police Alerts, More Information
You can sign up for alerts through Alert DC and get alerts by e-mail, cell phone, pager or wireless PDA. When signing up, you can select alerts on crime, transportation, utility outages/issues, government closings, breaking news, DC-sponsored events and Amber Alerts. You can follow the DC Police on Twitter @DCPoliceDept.
From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B officially joined the ranks of the opposition to the proposed U Street liquor license moratorium last night, April 4. The vote was 10-0. Commissioners Juan Lopez, 1B-07, and E. Gail Anderson Holness, 1B-11, were absent and did not vote. ANC 1B includes the U Street area.
ANC 1B is now the third ANC to vote against the moratorium. It joins ANC 6E, which voted in February, and ANC 2F, which unanimously condemned the moratorium in a strongly worded resolution the previous evening, April 3. The remaining ANC within the borders of the proposed moratorium, ANC 2B, plans to vote at its May 8 monthly meeting.
ANC 1B Commissioner Jeremy Leffler, 1B-02, placed the resolution to oppose the moratorium in front of the full ANC. Leffler is the chair of ANC 1B’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Committee. He told the commission that the text of the resolution was very similar to ANC 2F’s resolution of the previous evening.
The vote came about two-thirds of the way through a marathon four-hour meeting. It was attended by more than 60 members of the public, most of whom were especially interested in the outcome of the moratorium vote.
Attempts to Delay Vote
The resolution weathered two attempts to delay the vote. This first was by Joan Sterling, President of the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA), during her presentation in support of the petition.
“I’m surprised we’re taking a vote today — there’s still time,” Sterling said.
The second attempt to delay the vote was by Commissioner Ricardo Reinoso, 1B-05. During the commission debate on the resolution, Reinoso proposed a motion to table the vote until the next ANC1B meeting in May. The motion died when there was no second from the commission.
Norman Questions SDCA’s Approach
After Sterling presented to the committee, Chair Tony Norman, 1B-10, questioned Sterling about the SDCA’s approach.
“Before you filed this, why didn’t you approach the commissioners?” Norman asked. “It would have been respectful to approach us before.”
Sterling said she was waiting for the petition to be accepted by the ABC Board.
“We don’t have to wait for acceptance from a board for neighbors to talk to each other,” Norman replied.
Local Opposition Cited
In a presentation about the March 20 townhall-style listening session on the moratorium, Commissioner Leffler noted that 135 people had signed in for the session. Of the listening-session speakers who identified themselves as 1B residents, he said 81 percent were opposed. In addition, Leffler said he had a petition signed by 87 1B residents against the moratorium. Finally, Leffler entered the online anti-moratorium petition from change.org into the record. This petition contained more than 1,200 signatures, Leffler said.
Presentation on Possible Zoning Law Changes
The vote on the moratorium was only a small part of ANC 1B’s marathon session. The evening started out with a presentation from the DC Office of Planning. This office is spearheading a major rewrite of DC zoning laws citywide. At the urging of ANC 1B Chair Norman, Deputy Director Joel Lawson’s presentation took only a fraction of the time that his boss, Director Harriet Tregoning, used to cover the same material at the previous evening’s ANC 2F meeting.
“This is the fastest I’ve ever given this presentation,” Lawson said.
Lawson noted two potential impacts of the zoning rewrite on the U Street area. The first was the creation of transit zones along the major thoroughfares of the district, including the Georgia Avenue, Florida Avenue, U Street and 14th Street corridors. New buildings in these zones would no longer be required to include parking spaces in their design and construction.
The second potential impact may be new rules facilitating the opening of corner stores in residential neighborhoods. Lawson mentioned the intersections of 13th and 11th Streets and Sherman Avenue with Harvard, Fairmont, Euclid and Clifton Streets as possible places that might benefit from this change in zoning rules.
Compass Rose Settlement Agreement Approved
Well into its third hour, ANC 1B heard presentations by aspiring liquor licensees in search of ANC endorsement. ANC 1B unanimously approved the settlement agreement for Compass Rose. This agreement was the subject of a lengthy discussion at the previous meeting of ANC1B’s ABC committee on April 2.
A few years ago, we polled our contributors to find out where they loved to spend a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning brunching with friends.
Since then, several more restaurants have joined the neighborhood, so we thought it was time to update the Borderstan Brunch List. Of course there are other great places to brunch in the neighborhood — tell us your favorites!
Oldies, but Goodies
- Cafe Saint-Ex, 1847 14th Street NW. On the menu: Fried Green Tomato and Ham Benedict.
- Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, 1517 Connecticut Avenue NW. On the menu: Filet ‘Oscar’ & Eggs Benedict, Berry Berry Berry Pancakes.
- Bar Pilar, 1833 14th Street NW. On the menu: Bulls-Eye Toast.
- Commissary, 1443 P Street NW. On the menu: Potato Pancakes w/ Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Sour Cream & Toast.
- Darlington House, 1610 20th Street NW. On the menu: Red Flannel Hash.
- Scion, 2100 P Street NW. On the menu: Bottomless Beermosa. Need we say more?
- Florida Avenue Grill, 1100 Florida Avenue NW. On the menu: World Famous Hot Cakes.
- Maddy’s Taproom, 1100 13th Street NW. On the menu: Huevos Rancheros with Refried Beans.
- Drafting Table, 1529 14th Street NW. On the menu: Sexy Egg Sandwich.
- Matchbox, 1901 14th Street NW. On the menu: Bloody Mary Burger.
- The Pig, 1320 14th Street NW. On the menu: Gruyère & Smoked Ham Waffle.
- DGS Delicatessen, 1317 Connecticut Avenue, NW. On the menu: DGS Pastrami Hash.
- Brixton, 901 U Street NW. On the menu: Indian Papaya Curry
Spring is here and it’s time to garden and plant for the spring and summer. Put it on your calendar: The 10th Annual Vermont Avenue Garden Party is Saturday, April 20.
Yes, you might be working a lot that day, doing some gardening. But what could be better than to spend a some time with neighbors and friends cleaning up, planting and mulching the quarter mile of street gardens along Vermont Avenue from S to U Street NW?
The meet up place is at the African-American Civil War Memorial on U Street and Vermont Avenue NW. Be there at 9 am — training, tools and lunch will be provided.
For more photos from last year’s Vermont Avenue Garden Work Party, last year see Shaena Fazal’s collection.
Rio, a black-and-white, 10-year-old pitbull mix is still missing. She went missing on March 19, just days after moving across the country.
Rio disappeared from 13th and U Streets NW, and was last seen around Howard University.
According to her owner, Rio is gentle and very smart. If found, please call 562-650-7085 or 202-576-6664. You can also email her owner at bringriohome[AT]gmail.com.
There is a reward offered for her safe return.
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 David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.
The protest by Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B against the liquor license application of the aspiring proprietors of the Fainting Goat Tavern was rejected on March 21, according to public documents.
In a letter to ANC1B Commissioner Marc Morgan (ANC Secretary and commissioner for district 01), DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) said that the protest letter had been denied “because of failure to file a timely protest.”
No one from ANC1B appeared at the ABRA Roll Call hearing on March 25 to contest the denial. The purpose of Roll Call hearings is only to identify the parties that have standing as protestants. A separate hearing is scheduled for May 15 to discuss the substance of the protests.
ANC 1B Serves U Street Area
The Fainting Goat’s proposed location is 1330 U Street NW, the former location of Urban Essentials. A petition in support of the Fainting Goat’s liquor license application appeared on the web site Change.org on March 14. ANC1B voted to protest the application at a contentious March 7 meeting. Borderstan reported on March 18 that the ANC’s protest documents had apparently vanished on their way to ABRA.
1B-12 Commissioner Zahra Jilani in a March 22 email explained the circumstances which led to the impression that the documents had disappeared. She said, “I was told to send the letter on behalf of the commission, but that a text email was fine. I believe this was due to a miscommunication between our ANC and ABRA. I sent the letter the night before the deadline, but I was told the next day by ABRA that it was in the wrong format, which is why they told you they hadn’t received it. Once aware of this, I let the commission know and we sent it in the correct format to ABRA.”
Information on the ABRA website says that protests against liquor licenses can be faxed or emailed. All email protests must be sent as a PDF document and signed. These two methods are the only ways to officially file a protest with ABRA.
ANC1B may still appeal ABRA’s decision at the May 15 hearing. If they do, they must show “good cause” for missing the deadline to the ABC Board, according to ABRA records supervisor William Hager. He also said that, in the past, tardy petitioners had shown “good cause” in cases where inclement weather or government shutdown had occurred at petition deadlines. Hager would not speculate on whether ANC1B’s current circumstances might be considered “good cause”.
“Requests of this nature are entirely left to the discretion of the ABC Board,” Hager said in an email.
The Fainting Goat still must face two protesting groups at its May 15 hearing: the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance and a group of 14 residents, most of whom live on Wallach Place NW. However, if ANC 1B does not successfully appeal the rejection, the Fainting Goat may have a better chance at finally obtaining the liquor license. The law stipulates that ABRA must give “great weight” to an ANC opinion. Citizen group petitioners do not enjoy this level of influence.
From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.
Since opening in June of 2012, Merlot’s Masterpiece has grown from just three paint and sip classes per week to hosting a wide range of adult and kids classes, as well as private events, seven days a week.
According to owner Raiquel Brown, the most popular classes remain the paint and sip classes during which students recreate a classic work by Van Gogh or Monet.
At Merlot’s Masterpiece, students can buy a ticket that includes the cost of wine, or choose a different ticket option and bring their own bottles to enjoy during class.
Classes that go beyond the standard “paint and sip” model, including animal portrait, sketching and jewelry making classes have been successful, as well. Merlot’s Masterpiece also has “Jr. Picasso” camps and classes for kids and families.
This spring, new programs will include self-portrait painting classes and “an interactive art and brunch experience.”
Additionally, the studio hosts private and corporate events, from kids’ birthday parties to team building experiences to bridal showers.
This was Brown’s first attempt at starting a brick and mortar business, and the initial hurdle of getting up and running proved to be the hardest part. “The biggest challenge,” she says “was getting established as a retail business in DC. I’ve run online businesses but a brick and mortar location was a new experience for me. I learned a lot during the process, from getting a liquor license to getting the proper certifications to operate a storefront. ”
Although opening a brick and mortar was challenging, Merlot’s Masterpiece’s location, close to the U-Street Metro, has played a role in the business’s viability. “I have felt very welcome by the small businesses from the very beginning,” she says. “The neighbors and small businesses are very supportive. The small businesses all want each other to succeed and are always willing to help out.”
Brown says that U Street’s reputation as a “hip and trendy, artistic and cultural center of DC” make it a “great fit” for her concept.
Nine months after opening Merlot’s Masterpiece, Brown’s efforts are paying off — for her and her clients. “The most rewarding part is seeing people come in with no painting experience create an amazing work of art… When people come in after a long and stressful day and can unwind and enjoy a relaxing painting experience, we know we’ve done our job.
Some people will do whatever it takes to pursue their dreams. Obstacles? Surmount them. Challenges? Overcome them. Pretty, flattering dresses? Sew them.
Jackie Flanagan, proprietor of Nana, a former boutique in Mount Pleasant and on U Street NW and now a super stylish clothing line, is one of those people. Fearless entrepreneur pursuing her passion so that we all may be dressed a little bit better? Check, check.
Nana was first launched on U Street in 2003 as part consignment, part vintage, part new clothing store. As the store grew and expanded, the focus shifted to accommodate what customers were looking for — more new pieces and eventually, a few of Flanagan’s own creations.
Now, Nana has evolved into what Flanagan thinks her customers are really after: a unique, affordable, vintage-inspired-yet-modern, tailored clothing collection, handmade entirely in the District, sold at trunk shows and online.
Flanagan wasn’t a designer in the beginning – she has a background in marketing, publishing, and the arts — but she knew how to sew, she learned pattern making, and she knew her Nana clientele. Was it crazy for a non-designer to launch a clothing line? Perhaps, but she says she just jumped in and did it. “Life is in the doing.”
This is the Whatever-It-Takes model of entrepreneurship, and just the kind of small business owners many of us in Borderstan hope to support. And better yet, the clothes are all designed, sewn, and finished by Flanagan and her partners in Adams Morgan and Mount Pleasant. That’s just cool.
While part of the retail-to-pop-up evolution was responding to customers, part was to fill Flanagan’s own creative needs to “switch things up.” After ten years of the storefront, it was important to Flanagan to have a business that focused more on her favorite, best parts – do a few things, and do them well.
So you won’t find Flanagan running her boutique these days, but you will find her popping up all over town with her spring line. As she says, “Business isn’t a location.”
We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we will be joining Flanagan on Wednesday at Goodwood as she unveils her spring collection with a trunk show, full of classic tops and tunics ($65 to $100), pencil skirts ($100 to $120), go-anywhere shift dresses ($140 to $180), and more. The detailing is the star here, with soft floral patterns like this daffodil top, earthy neutrals and a focus on fit. Included in the sales price of each item will be custom tailoring.
And champagne, did we mention champagne?
If you’re not able to make it on Wednesday, all pieces will be available on Nana’s website after the show. And stay tuned all spring, as Flanagan plans to unveil more items from the collection every month at a new pop-up location.
Asked her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and fashion designers, and it was simple: “Learn to sew.”
Nana Spring Collection Pop-Up
- Where: GoodWood, 1428 U Street NW.
- When: Wednesday, March 27, from 5 until 8 pm.
- And? No appointment necessary.
From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B (U Street) took the next step in rejecting the proposed U Street liquor license moratorium last night, March 21. The ANC 1B’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Committee voted 10 to 3 to reject the proposed moratorium during its regular monthly meeting. Three members of the committee were absent.
Among those voting against the moratorium were both members of the committee who are also current ANC 1B commissioners: Chair Jeremy Leffler (1B-02) and Zahra Jilani (1B-12). Among those voting for the moratorium was committee member Joan Sterling of the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA), the group petitioning for the liquor license moratorium.
Some members who voted against the moratorium noted the influence of the overwhelming community response against the moratorium at the previous evening’s multi-ANC listening session, which was also held at the Thurgood Marshall Center.
“It served as a great tool for bringing the community together,” said Heather Ferris, an ABC Committee member. Ferris also said that she had expressed a neutral opinion at the microphone during the previous evening’s listening session, but she had decided to vote against the moratorium, even though she felt her vote was “not 100 percent”.
The outcome of the vote seemed in doubt up until the final show of hands, as a blog post made yesterday by ANC 1B ABC committee member Nick Baumann quoted Leffler as saying “there are even pro and anti voices on the [committee].”
The committee vote had some procedural problems. After the initial voice vote (and after a tweet had gone out announcing the vote results), ANC 1B Chair Tony Norman (1B-10), observing the event, noted that parliamentary procedure had not been followed during the vote, meaning, there had not been a motion, a second, and an opportunity to present amendments.
The committee had to return to the question and do the vote over. Before the second vote was taken, there was further debate and suggestions for amendments, including one saying that the committee rejected the moratorium “as written.” This amendment passed.
Aside from ANC Chair Norman, the following ANC 1B commissioners who are not officially part of the ABC Committee also observed the meeting: Marc Morgan (1B-01), Ricardo Reinoso (1B-05) and Emily Washington (1B-08).
The recommendation to reject the moratorium now goes to the full ANC for a vote. The vote is scheduled for its regular monthly meeting on April 4 at the Reeves Center.
The District’s restaurant H &pizza is making its way to U Street NW — and it’s a good thing Borderstanies like pizza because owners Steve Salis and Michael Lastoria signed a 10-year lease.
The new restaurant, slated to takeover Quiznos at 1250 U Street, will simply be called &pizza. The 1,300-square-foot space is scheduled to open in May.
Customers will be able to choose from traditional, whole-wheat or nine-grain dough with five types of house made sauces and whole-milk mozzarella. Pie toppings will be locally sourced and the pizzas are cooked in a fire oven.
“We are impressed with its popularity on H Street and know it will be a huge success in the highly visited U Street neighborhood that includes numerous eclectic restaurants and retailers,” says Philippe Lanier, vice president at EastBanc, the restaurant’s development company.
H &pizza, which is currently has a location next to Taylor Gourmet on H Street NE, serves up pies like the Moonstruck (mushroom truffle, goat cheese, mushrooms, fig marsala, red pepper chili oil and crushed black pepper) and the Grecian Market (red chickpea, mushrooms, broccolini, artichoke, kalamata olives, pickled red onion and feta cheese).
From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.
The plight of the Fainting Goat Tavern has taken a strange turn. An official document of protest by Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B seems to have vanished before reaching its destination, the DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).
Unless the document suddenly turns up, the ANC 1B’s decision rejecting the Fainting Goat’s settlement agreement would not be recognized, because the deadline for filing such documents has now passed. This may make it easier for the Fainting Goat to argue before ABRA in favor of granting a liquor license. ANC 1B covers the U Street area.
March 7 Meeting
The Fainting Goat’s troubles began on March 7. That evening, ANC 1B voted 5 to 2, with two abstentions, against the settlement agreement with the District Pub Group, LLC, to operate the Fainting Goat Tavern at 1330 U Street, the former site of Urban Essentials. The decision was made after an animated discussion with the community and conflicting recollections of previous ANC committee actions. This decision then needed to be officially communicated to ABRA.
Meanwhile, a petition in support of the Fainting Goat appeared on change.org on March 14.
Joan Sterling, president of the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA), said on March 14 that ANC 1B Alcoholic Beverage Committee Chair Jeremy Leffler (District 02) wrote her in an email that the protest documents had been filed with ABRA.
Statement from ABRA
“No resolution from ANC 1B has been received by ABRA protesting this application,” wrote William Hager, ABRA Public Information Officer, in an email, also on March 14.
Borderstan’s multiple email requests to several commissioners for copies of ANC 1B’s protest documents and evidence that they were presented in a timely manner were not answered.
Information on the ABRA web site says that protests against liquor licenses can be faxed or email. All email protests must be sent as a PDF document and signed. These two methods are the only ways to officially file a protest with ABRA.
Still, it is far from clear sailing for The Fainting Goat’s liquor license application. Two community groups correctly filed their protests before deadline. ABRA’s William Hager identified the two groups. One is the SDCA, which is the spearhead of a U Street liquor license moratorium campaign. The second is a group of 14 residents, most of whom live on Wallach Place NW. The ABRA web site says that any “[g]roup of five or more property owners sharing common ground” may file a protest.
Next Step for Fainting Goat
The next step for the Fainting Goat will be an ABRA Roll Call Hearing on March 25. It will be held at 10 am on the fourth floor of the Reeves Center at 2000 14th Street NW. ABRA’s Hagar told Borderstan that the purpose of the Roll Call Hearings is only to identify the parties that have standing as protestants in this matter. The substance of each protest will not be discussed. A separate hearing is scheduled for May 15 to discuss the substance of the protests.
This Friday, it’s the guys’ turn for a spin in the fashion spotlight. Ginger Root Design is hosting a Men’s Night Out on Friday, March 15, from 7 until 10 pm.
As far as fashion goes, the U Street design shop and vintage fashion store will have bow ties by local artists, two different vintage vendors, an influx of new designs from Ginger Root’s in-house line and men’s accessories.
The evening will also have whiskey and PBR, snacks, bow tie tutorials, free suit measurements and pocket square folding demos.
From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is asking for assistance in locating a suspect in an armed robbery Thursday morning (Lunchtime Gun Robbery of Business at 11th and U NW). The suspect entered the Eleven Market at 1936 11th Street NW at about 10:45 am and showed a revolver to the cashier. He left with an undisclosed amount of money.
Surveillance footage, which police have posted to YouTube, shows the suspect entering the store and grabbing money from the cash register. The suspect is described as a white male, 20- to 30-years-old with short brown hair. During the robbery, he was wearing a green hooded jacket and jeans.
Anyone with information in the incident is asked to contact MPD at 202-727-9099. A reward of up to $10,000 is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.