Monday, May 16, 2011

Artifactory is closing; new restaurant coming

The Washington Post reports that Artifactory on Indiana Avenue is closing.

The space has some history behind it.  The owner, Dominick Cardella, came to Penn Quarter in 1972--if you could call it Penn Quarter.  It was just "blight," as he puts it.  While there was no neighborhood, he did have the Smithsonian museums out both his front and back doors.

He rented an entire building for $400.  He drove to New York and bought $4,500 worth of Third World artifacts.  Then he filled up a store, named it Artifactory, and opened his doors.

Of course, the neighborhood grew up around him.  His store is more of a destination now, though the inside looks about the same as it did in 1972.

While Dominick is closing Artifactory, he is holding onto the building.  He seems proud that he has kept it from being torn down.

The first floor will be rented to a Middle Eastern restaurant after Artifactory is cleared out this fall.

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