Restaurant Week comes twice per year to Washington and the summer edition begins in just over one week’s time on Monday, August 11. A swath of restaurants in Penn Quarter and downtown DC belong to the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) and participate so if there is a venue you’ve wanted to try but haven’t, this is your chance to try lunch for $20.14 and dinner for $35.14.
A word to the wise after going to many RW lunches and dinners over the years…some restaurants don’t make much of an effort to showcase their menus or to offer at least a little price break compared to the rest of year so check the restaurant’s website before you go if you are the kind of person who gets easily irked that RW might not be a good deal.
A big shot out to our PQ Living readers who send in photos and alert us to openings, closings, and other news. We can’t do it without you! Leave any additional openings and closings in the comments.
Have any tips? Send them in confidentiality to: pqliving [at] gmail.com
Downtown – Andrew’s Ties (1155 F St NW) – We’re sad about this one as we bought a few men’s ties and many socks here. Now closed.
Downtown – 1791 Deli (8th St NW between G and H St) – Didn’t eat here much but when we did, the sandwiches were stuffed with meat. Now closed.
Downtown – Local Vine Cellar (415 11th St NW) – We had hopes that this specialty wine and spirits store would make it but it is not in the best trafficked part of downtown as it sat between E St and Pennsylvania Ave. Now closed.
Closing (b/w Opening)
Downtown – J&G Steakhouse (in the W Hotel) (515 15th St NW) to be replaced with Pinea – We enjoyed dinner a number of times at the J&G Steakhouse and the Wine Bar downstairs but that shop closed up and we learned that Pinea will take its place in September.
Downtown - Specs, an eyeglass store, is building out at 1206 G St NW across the street from the downtown Macy’s. This is a New York City based retail chain that will be opening their first DC location in August. (Hat tip to a regular PQ Living reader. Photo above.) [website]
Downtown/CityCenter/Penn Quarter – Lots of activity in CityCenter bounded by 9th, 11th, H Streets, and New York Ave NW including: restaurants (Mango Tree applied for its liquor license) and retail (Longchamp opened its doors and Paul Stuart announced it would open in 2015)
Downtown – Noelia Restaurant opened at 1319 F St NW. Early impression: We went for friends and family dinner service and kinks were still being worked out. Food was above average but not entirely amazing. We’ll go back to get a better read. [website] - [Twitter]
Downtown – Boss Shepherd’s opened at 13th and E St NW for both lunch and dinner service. We checked out the interior during the pre-opening party but did not check it out for regular service yet. It’s tough to make a go of an underground restaurant and we hope they last longer than the last restaurants operating in that space (Bluepoint opening from 2007 and John Harvard’s Brewpub information). [website] - [Twitter] – [Facebook]
Penn Quarter - Signs are going up at the old M+S Grill for Mastro’s Steakhouse (600 13th St NW) and our intelligence tells us the signs are “lovely.” [Corporate website] – [representative menus from Chicago's Mastro's] (h/t: PQ Living reader)
Penn Quarter/Chinatown - Our intelligence tells us that Penn Commons (part of the Passion Food Hospitality Group) will be opening in August at 700 6th St NW. That’s real soon now. UPDATE: We hear the opening date is August 4. [website] – [Twitter] - [Facebook] - [menus]
We’ve seen two new hotels make progress this month here in downtown DC and Penn Quarter. One is very high profile, received lots of press, and the rooms will be expensive. The other hotel received almost no press, is low profile, and the rooms will be intentionally smaller due to the target market.
Groundbreaking took place on July 23 at the Old Post Office building (11th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) for the Trump International Hotel, Washington DC, set to open in 2016. The event drew national news stories as well as local dignitaries such as Mayor Vince Gray, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and a number of Councilmembers. The hotel will feature 271 guest rooms with the two largest suites, Presidential Suites, clocking in at 3,500 and 5,000 square feet. The Trump Hotel Collection has a web page up with information about the hotel here.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Modus Hotels, a downtown DC headquartered hotel group, received approval on July 22 for a 245 room hotel at 627-631 H St NW that will feature micro-units and no dedicated parking. The target market is millenials whom Modus believes will not rely on cars to transit to and from the hotel. We reported this hotel was in the works in mid-June as it will sit on one of the last vacant lots in our neighborhood and will be a prominent feature at the very busy 7th and H St intersection. This hotel received a zoning variance requiring it to materially support and encourage both bicycle and car share for employees and guests in lieu of supplying dedicated underground parking. We have no word on when construction will begin or finish.
It’s berry season and the farmers markets are bursting with juicy fruit. There are four farmer’s markets in or near Penn Quarter and downtown DC to choose from:
- Tuesdays at CityCenter DC (I Street NW between 10th and 11th Streets)
- Thursdays in Penn Quarter (8th Street NW between D and E Streets)
- Fridays at Woodrow Wilson Plaza (Intersection of 13th Street NW and Pennsylvania Ave NW)
- Saturdays at Mount Vernon Triangle (Intersection of 5th and K Streets NW)
One of my favorite ways to enjoy strawberries is sliced with balsamic vinegar syrup and fresh mint (a little scoop of vanilla ice cream doesn’t hurt!). The combination of sweet and tart is so refreshing! Do you have a favorite recipe for strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries? Share them in the comments.
The National Capital Planning Commission is hosting a free public meeting to discuss the future of Pennsylvania Avenue on Wednesday, July 23 from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. RSVP here – details follow below from the announcing e-mail:
The National Capital Planning Commission Presents
Pennsylvania Avenue Initiative Public Workshop
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the U.S. Capitol is a major symbol of our nation’s capital. However, today’s Avenue shows wear and tear from increased event uses, aging infrastructure, and jurisdictional challenges.
To develop a vision for the future of Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Capital Planning Commission, in partnership with the General Services Administration and the National Park Service, is launching the Pennsylvania Avenue Initiative. This study will help identify existing challenges as well as near- and long-term opportunities along the Avenue and vicinity. It will also identify the future role of the Avenue to meet the needs of a 21st century capital city.
This initial public workshop will provide members of the public an opportunity to learn about the initiative and provide feedback on what they view as priorities for Pennsylvania Avenue as its local and national roles continue to evolve.
Tuesday Wednesday, July 23, 2014
6:00 – 8:00 PM
National Capital Planning Commission
401 9th Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004
Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
Attendance is free and open to the public. RSVP at this link.
By e-mail we were notified of the next Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association breakfast meeting. An RSVP by noon Tuesday, July 22, is requested. Please indicate if you heard of this meeting from Penn Quarter Living:
Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association Breakfast Meeting
Thursday, July 24, 8:30am
The City Club of Washington
555 13th Street, NW
Lower Level - There is a building entrance on F Street between 12th and 13th Streets, but it requires descending a flight of stairs
Metro: Metro Center – exit at 12th and F Streets
Continental Breakfast: 8:30 – 8:55am
Brief Announcements: 9:00am
Jamie Henson returns to report on the Department of Transportation’s three alternatives for locating the streetcar tracks through Penn Quarter. Following his presentation, he will seek comments on these options as well as suggestions for modifying any of the three routes. Don’t miss what may be your last opportunity to help shape DDOT’s streetcar route.
Please respond if you plan on attending this meeting as it will help our host prepare. RSVP via email to my new email address by noon Tuesday, July 22:
Include the first and last names of all those attending and their affiliations.
The perfect reason to gather your friends and a delicious picnic, Screen on the Green (SOTG) starts on the National Mall on Monday, July 21, with The Karate Kid. Check here for everything you need to know about dates, movies, and locations.