We learned from the Washington Business Journal that Zengo, Richard Sandoval’s restaurant in the Gallery Place complex (781 7th St NW), will be replaced by Circa, a local bistro chain. Circa already has the Chinatown location posted on their website.
Notably, Zengo opened in 2005 at the height of the Penn Quarter area building boom before the real estate crash in 2006. It seems that many restaurants have about a 10 year lifespan before the concept wears out and they need to be rehabilitated or replaced. This is another anecdotal example of that lifespan.
On demand dry cleaning and laundry service, Cleanly, launched in Washington DC and Penn Quarter in October of last year. We were offered a gratis (free) chance to try the service to see how it compares to the two traditional retail store front dry cleaners that we generally patronize in Penn Quarter. (Photos are courtesy of Cleanly.)
Cleanly offers four basic services: wash and fold (general laundry), hang dry, laundered shirt cleaning, and traditional dry cleaning. For heavy users, they also offer a monthly subscription service called Reserve that reduces or eliminates charges for a number of the services a patron would pay for on an a la carte basis. Standard service times are 24 hours for wash and fold (no hang dry) and 48 hours for the other services. Readers can see the fee schedule and service process here [PDF].
Service is scheduled via the Cleanly website which is mobile device friendly so you don’t have to install a separate app to work with the service. A prospective user sets up their account with contact and pickup/drop off location information, selects the desired services, schedules pickup/drop off times, and then enters payment information. One nice feature is that user preferences can be stored so that those choices don’t need to repeatedly be selected for every order. The settings are similar to what one would set on their washing machine or dryer at home such as cold or warm wash and low or high heat for both colored and white clothes. Cleanly valets text you as they approach the pick up and drop off times.
We found that the service worked exactly as advertised and the valets honored the pick up and drop off times as scheduled. Cleanly provides high quality nylon bags for toting the clothes around and once returned wash and fold garments are organized into logical groups assembled in plastic wrap. Dry cleaning returned on hangers in a hanging clothes bag. The cleaning quality was good.
Cleanly let us know that they are based in New York City and employs a total of 235 people (15 full time, 45 part time, and 175 contractor valets). Cleanly’s Operations Team examines each potential partner, visits their facilities, and works to craft a partnership agreement that binds them to Cleanly’s rigorous quality standards. The cleaners are large, wholesale vendors that service a wide range of customers as a wholesale partner. In many cases, Cleanly makes up a bulk of these vendor’s capacity.
From our standpoint, the biggest benefit with Cleanly is that the timing of services can be tuned to suit one’s own schedule which will benefit those who travel or work extensively. While the pricing is about the same as local dry cleaners, heavy users might see some cost benefit tilt their way with the Reserve service. To summarize, Cleanly worked nicely and we always enjoy having another service choice in the neighborhood.
There is no cost to attend but an RSVP is requested per below. Please indicate if you heard of this meeting from Penn Quarter Living.
This meeting’s topic is a proposed new Jewish museum next to the historic Jewish synagogue being relocated to 3rd and F St NW due to the Capitol Crossing project.
Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association Breakfast Meeting
Thursday, February 23, 8:30 am
Clyde’s of Gallery Place
707 7th St NW
Metro: Gallery Pl-Chinatown
Continental Breakfast: 8:30 am – 8:50 am
Brief Announcements: 9 am
Speaker begins after Announcements
Speakers + Topic
Christiane Bauer, Curator
Samantha Abramson, Program & Outreach Manager
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington
The Jewish Historical Society plans to build a new museum adjacent to its historic synagogue, which will be moved to its permanent home at 3rd and F streets. The staff has been working on ideas for its core exhibition for some time, and will be seeking feedback from those at the meeting on the stories and historic artifacts they plan to exhibit. This interactive workshop will be different than the meetings we typically have, but also fun and interesting, so do come and help one of our members plan for the future.
RSVP via email by noon Tuesday, February 21 to: Jo-Ann@PennQuarter.org
Include the first and last names of all those attending and their affiliations.
The Smith, a New York based chain of restaurants, opened its first Washington DC location in Penn Quarter at 901 F St NW. We recently visited for dinner and characterize the menu as solidly American. Open for dinner up until now, the restaurant opens today for lunch and brunch going forward.
The bar area is fairly spacious with the entire 9,000 square foot restaurant lined with a white subway styled tile on the walls. While that gives it a stylish brasserie look, it makes the interior very noisy and conversation difficult when it’s crowded. We tried the calamari, the chicken pot pie, the mussels, the cavatelli pasta, and the birthday cake. All the dishes were above average in taste and preparation although pricing is also above average. Our favorites were the calamari which was lightly breaded and cooked to perfection, and the birthday cake which was richly accented with chocolate. Service was also very good.
Sunday to Wednesady – 5 to 11 pm
Thursday to Saturday – 5 pm to Midnight
Serving lunch starting February 8
Serving brunch starting February 11