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by Tim Regan — October 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

A beloved U Street restaurant may reopen in time to sell sweet potato pies for the upcoming holiday season.

A new sign posted at Henry’s Soul Cafe (1704 U St. NW), “home of the sweet potato pie,” urges locals to “place your orders before Thanksgiving.” The sign lists dates for picking up orders and includes two locations: U Street and Oxon Hill, Md.

“Hopefully, it’ll reopen by then,” an employee at the Henry’s in Oxon Hill told Borderstan this morning. The employee said no opening date has been set, however.

Though the U Street store closed after a fire in 2014, its owners have vowed to return to the neighborhood. A banner hanging in the eatery’s window says it’s “coming soon.”

For members of the surrounding community, the opening couldn’t come sooner.

“We are excited to see you moving in,” reads a note recently taped to the restaurant’s front door. “Looking forward to the famous sweet potato pie.”

Photos by Andrew Ramonas

by Tim Regan — October 13, 2016 at 11:35 am 1 Comment

U Street’s newest neighborhood bar is set to start serving seasonal cocktails and fried chicken sandwiches when it opens its doors next week.

Service Bar (928 U St. NW) co-owners Glendon Hartley, Chad Spangler and Chris Willoughby are scheduled to host a grand opening event next Thursday at 5 p.m., a representative for the company told Borderstan.

When Service Bar opens, its bartenders will shake, stir and serve a list of cocktails that includes classics like mint juleps, old fashioneds, and daiquiris alongside contemporary specialties such as the “Sumo Punch,” a concoction of clarified lime, yuza, smoked apple mint, Midori and Japanese whiskey infused with green tea and Asian pears.

The hangout’s food menu is composed of five chicken dishes. Offerings include a fried chicken sandwich on a pretzel bun, chicken quesadillas and fried chicken salad. Service Bar will also sell Good Humor ice cream cones and have a happy hour with $7 cocktails that “literally never ends.”

Read the full event listing for the grand opening below:


by Tim Regan — October 7, 2016 at 2:50 pm 1 Comment

J's Steaks on 14th Street

Has this late-night cheesesteak joint near the intersection of 14th and U streets NW served its last sandwich?

J’s Steaks (1939 14th St. NW) was closed last night and earlier this afternoon when a Borderstan reporter visited the shop.

The business is also listed as “permanently closed” on its Google listing. Additionally, the eatery’s main phone line was disconnected when we called today.

Though it’s unclear when the business may have shuttered, an employee at next-door Boss Burger said the late-night restaurant has been closed for about two months.

We’ll update this story if we can confirm the closure.

Photo by Andrew Ramonas

by Tim Regan — October 5, 2016 at 3:55 pm 0

A U Street bar will celebrate a milestone birthday with copious amounts of beer and whiskey this weekend.

Solly’s, the watering hole located at 1942 11th St. NW, is scheduled to hold an anniversary party this Sunday at 8:30 p.m., said owner John Solomon. The party will include drink specials, a DJ, T-shirt sales and a raffle, with proceeds going to local nonprofits Washington Jesuit Academy and Hoops Sagrado.

Solomon, who first bought a house in the neighborhood back in 1999, has poured beer and whiskey behind the bar at Solly’s since he opened it in 2006. Back then, he said it was one of the only local hangouts of its kind around.

“It used to be, we were one of the only neighborhood bars on U Street or in Columbia Heights,” he remembered. “We even used to get people from Bloomingdale.”

But that has changed. Though Solly’s started as a sleepy neighborhood tavern, it’s now often packed with young fresh faces, especially on the weekend.

“Sometimes, it feels like Logan’s Run here on U Street,” Solomon joked. “It feels like the neighborhood is getting younger.”

Although Solomon has seen a lot over the years, his fondest memory remains the night District residents took to the streets in celebration upon hearing that Barack Obama was elected president.

“I remember just sitting and looking down at the people in the street just in awe,” Solomon recalled. “Everybody shut down U Street in celebration. Even now, thinking about it, I still get goosebumps.”

Solomon also remembers the night a taxi driver slammed his cab into the side of the bar and injured several people.

“We were pretty fortunate there were no serious injuries. It was pretty harrowing,” he said. “But in a weird way, that put us on the map.”

Above all else, Solomon said he’s looking forward to making some new memories as the neighborhood continues to grow and change.

“I’m looking forward to the next 10 years,” he added.

by Tim Regan — September 26, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Flier for Exiles 'Hootenanny'A hangout on U Street has plans for a big party next week.

Exiles (1610 U St. NW) is scheduled to host a “hootenanny” next Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The party will include a pig roast, beer pairings, spiked apple cider and a family-style buffet, according to the bar’s co-owner, Brian Hillery.

“We will host the hootenanny on our back patio where our smoker Suzie Q lives,” Hillery said. “As we recently installed outdoor televisions, I was planning on screening The Last Waltz at some point.”

The event will also include games like cornhole and darts along with a chance for partygoers to make some music.

“We’re also encouraging attendees to bring along guitars, banjos, harmonicas, fiddles, and empty jugs with ‘XXX’ printed on them,” Hillery said.

Tickets to the “hootenanny” cost $45. Those interested in attending can email the bar to make reservations.

Flier courtesy of Bryan Hillery

by Tim Regan — September 25, 2016 at 9:40 am 0

jumbo-pizza-u-street-photo-via-google-street-view(Updated at 11:43 a.m.) An argument that began inside of a U Street pizzeria early this morning ended in a stabbing and an assault, D.C. Police said.

The stabbing and fight occurred outside of the Jumbo Pizza at 1344 U St. NW just before 4 a.m.

Two people got into an argument over skipping line to order pizza at the restaurant, according to a police report. The two people then took their argument outside, where one of them took a knife out of their backpack and stabbed the other.

The person who was stabbed, a man, retaliated by punching his assailant, knocking him unconscious, police said. One of the victim’s companions then kicked the suspected stabber in the head.

Police arrested the alleged stabber, 20-year-old Jose Nelson Melendez Rodriguez, and the person suspected of kicking him in the head, 20-year-old Justin Anthony McKinney. Information on either of their lawyers wasn’t immediately available.

The victim of the stabbing was taken to the hospital, authorities said.

ABC News reporter Mike Levine tweeted a photo this morning that appears to show the aftermath of the crime:

Photo via Google Street View

by Tim Regan — September 14, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

An Italian eatery and its “restaurant within a restaurant” are closed on U Street.

Alphonse Italian Market and Osteria (1212 U St. NW) and its upscale sister eatery, Nonna’s Kitchen, appear to have shuttered on Monday, according to signs posted to the front door of the business.

“We wish to thank you for your patronage and support and we will miss serving the U Street neighborhood,” the signs read.

Both restaurants opened two years ago.

We were unable to reach the owners of the restaurants to confirm the closure. We’ll update this story if we hear back from them.

by Tim Regan — August 26, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

1700 U St. NW, photo via Google Street ViewA group of robbers stuck a knife to a man’s back while robbing him on the U Street corridor early this morning, according to D.C. Police.

The robbery occurred on the 1700 block of U St. NW just after midnight. The area where the crime occurred is roughly a block away from MPD’s Third District police station.

A man was walking away from his car when three people approached him from behind, according to a police report. One of the people pressed a knife to the man’s back and said, “give me all you got.” Another person from the group then went through the man’s pockets and stole his wallet.

The three thieves were last seen heading east on U Street, police said.

Authorities tweeted about the crime about an hour after it occurred:

 Photo via Google Street View

by Tim Regan — August 16, 2016 at 11:40 am 0

A long-awaited distillery pub will open near the intersection of 14th and U streets NW next week.

District Distilling Company (1414 U St. NW) is slated to open Friday, Aug. 26, according to a press release.

The new business will merge “a state-of-the-art craft distillery [and] retail store on the first floor, and a full-service kitchen [and] bar with seating for 140 guests on the second floor,” the release said.

Diners can expect to find “seasonal American dishes” and vodka, gin, white rum and bourbon made onsite. A walk through the company’s dinner menu reveals grilled rockfish, crispy skin suckling pig and cast iron steak.

District Distilling Company will also offer distillery tours starting next month, the company said.

More information from a press release:


by Tim Regan — August 4, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Subway on U Street

It looks as though a national sandwich chain has closed its store on U Street.

Paper now covers the windows at the Subway sandwich shop at 1115 U St. NW. Additionally, its doors were locked when a Borderstan reporter visited the business earlier this morning.

The eatery’s phone number has also been disconnected and the location no longer appears on Subway’s website.

Despite the possible closure, fans of the national chain’s sandwiches still have two options nearby: at the intersection of 14th and U streets and at 2301 Georgia Ave. NW.

by Tim Regan — August 3, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

715 Florida Ave. NW

The duo behind Adams Morgan’s Grand Central is looking to open a restaurant that would serve deli sandwiches and drinks near U Street.

Brian Vasile and Andy Seligman, who also own a sports bar in Bethesda called Brickside, have plans to open a new eatery called “Capo” at 715 Florida Ave. NW, according to Linda Roth, a PR rep for the forthcoming restaurant.

Though Vasile and Seligman are still hammering out many of the details, Roth said the new concept “will not be your grandmother’s deli.” The restaurant would seat 120 people with room for 150, according to a liquor license application filed with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

If all goes according to plan, the co-owners would open Capo next spring, Roth said.

As we reported last year, a Vietnamese restaurant called Hoa Tuc previously planned to open a restaurant in the same building, but those plans appear to have fizzled.

Hoa Tuc’s social media accounts have been inactive for nearly 10 months and we’ve been unable to reach co-owner Suzy Duong since publishing our original story.

by Tim Regan — July 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm 2 Comments

A bar near U Street caught fire earlier this afternoon.

More than half a dozen fire trucks were spotted fighting a fire at Climax (900 Florida Ave. NW)  around 1:10 p.m. today. Smoke could be seen pouring from several of the bar’s windows.

No injures were reported in the fire, according to D.C. Fire and EMS.

Photos courtesy of Robb Hudson and Karen Love

by Andrew Ramonas — July 25, 2016 at 9:50 am 0

Partial power outage at the U Street Metro station on July 25, 2016

(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) The lights have come back on at the  U Street Metro station after a power outage this morning.

Crews responded to the problem about 9:40 a.m., according to a tweet from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metrorail Info account. By 10:30 a.m., the electricity was working again.

Although trains continued to run during the outage, delays were reported on the Green and Yellow lines.

Photo by Courtney Brown

by Alyse Mier — July 21, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Craiglist table (Image via Craigslist)

A mirrored coffee table “commissioned by Tony Montana himself” is for sale on the U Street corridor, cocaine not included.

The anonymous seller, who goes by the pseudonym, “Dirk Diggler,” is selling the 1980s-inspired piece with a purported “Scarface” connection for $100 on Craigslist. In his ad, which Borderstan spotted on Reddit today, Diggler says the furniture can serve as an “EXPRESS LANE to Colombia RIGHT IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.”

The buyer also gets matching end tables that have “seen some sh-t.”

“No telling what they did in the 80s, but if I were to guess, I was probably conceived within feet of these bad boys,” Diggler said. “These tables are the real deal, not some janky, Etsy-sourced pile of cheap materials held together with super glue.”


by Tim Regan — July 21, 2016 at 10:30 am 1 Comment

Anti watch party, photo via Alliance for Justice Action CampaignLocals looking to shake their fists and yell at a television during Donald Trump’s acceptance speech during tonight’s Republican National Convention will find refuge at a bar on U Street.

Sudhouse (1340 U St. NW) is slated to host an “anti-watch party” organized by the nonprofit Alliance for Justice Action Campaign tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Trump is expected to deliver a formal acceptance speech tonight to help close his party’s convention in Cleveland. Other conservative figures scheduled to speak during tonight’s program include Ivanka Trump, Reince Priebus and Jerry Falwell Jr.

To ring in the momentous occasion, tonight’s event will include “conservative code word bingo, drinks to ease the pain, surprise guests, music and a healthy dose of criticism,” according to an Eventbright page.

A suggested $10 donation gets attendees two drink tickets. Sudhouse happy hour specials will run throughout the night.


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