Thursday, August 30, 2012

Red Apron Contest

Red Apron Butcher plans on opening in "early 2013," but you may have seen their signs up in the neighborhood already, inviting you to register for their mailing list.  You could win a dinner for you and nine friends if you win, or a Red Apron skateboard.

Hope you win!

At the Market Today

Actual apples from today's market:
image via @FRESHFARMMktsDC
Autumn's creeping in - winter and acorn squash from Garner's Produce and figs come highly recommended from the Farmer's Market - which as you know is on 8th Street between D and E until 7p today.

Plus: if you're a BASIS student or teacher, FRESHFARM is celebrating your first week by giving you a free apple.

The Daisuke Utagawa Projects Get Closer to Opening, Names

File:Phasianus versicolor in field.JPG
The Gosai Kiji bird
Today we got an onslaught of news from the Daisuke Utagawa projects.  Buried in a press release from Douglas Development, we now have some more information on when the 600 F Street cocktail bar (the Fuel Pizza corner) he's had in the works will open:  about "six months."  It's also been given a name: Kiji Club - named after the national bird of Japan.  The bar is still in development - per an interview with the Washingtonian, the only certain aspects are whiskey and snacks.  We're not complaining (unless the rumor that there would be a cover still holds true...)

Utagawa also says that the original ramen shop concept at 705 6th Street, Daikaya (next to Graffiato) - will open by the end of this year.  The ramen bar will serve Sapporo-style ramen and seat about 40, where as the upstairs izakaya ("where you drink, eat and be merry," according to Utagawa himself) will seat about 100.

No News from Wagamama

This is hardly a news story these days, but we thought we'd let you know that we recently reached out to our contact at Wagamama.  The Director of Marketing told us:
"I am afraid there is no new news on this subject."
When asked if there was anything she could tell us about the reasons for delay, she responded "I am afraid not."

Wagamama has had plans to take over the old Olsson's Bookstore since it closed in June 2008.  Four plus years - and still a huge vacant cavern on 7th Street.  Nearly every establishment in a block or so's radius of Wagamama has turned over in that time: Hill Country, Merzi, Sei, Luke's Lobster, Protein Bar, Red Velvet, Tangy Sweet, Carmine's, Iron Horse and Pitango.  At this point, we would be thrilled to even hear they had given up on the development - just so that the space could turn over to someone else.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Table for One in Penn Quarter

Eater DC asked its readers where they'd be most likely to make a reservation for one - and they overwhelming picked Penn Quarter restaurants.
A bit of Eater's map - 9 of their 12 restaurants are here in the 20004

We wonder if it's our great restaurants that attract singles, or if it's because our lively neighborhood is enough stimulus to keep a solo-eater entertained.  The Eater article cites the fact that reservations at places like RasikaGraffiato, Fiola, and Oyamel can be hard to grab, but sidling up at the bar for a bite can be much easier.  Either way, it's a great list to check out - and helpful if you're here on solo business or maybe looking to meet a new friendly face in the city.

Sculpt DC Looks Like It's Set an Opening

It being the 28th, it should come as no surprise that Sculpt DC is not opening in August as they have long promised.  The website, however, has been updated, indicating a September opening, and better yet - their class schedules are now up.

Per their scheduling app, it looks like a potential soft opening for a Club Sculpt class (a Friday only "total-body class set to club beats by [their] resident DJ") on Friday, September 21st - and then the full opening on September 24th.

Monday, August 27, 2012

French Classes at Lunch

Alliance Francaise is hosting a week-long open house this week - you can drop in to free mini French classes between 12 and 1:30p each day though the 31st.  You'll also get a 10% discount if you register for a full session of French courses, which begin on September 15th.

They're located at 421 7th St NW.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Look at Protein Bar

We were able to drop by Protein Bar last night just before closing (at 9p on weekdays) and the place was pleasantly populated for late-evening in Penn Quarter.

The staff was incredibly friendly and patient with us while we perused the menu.  We opted for the Buffalo Bar-rito to go.

It was only about 3 minutes or so from ordering to when our order was ready at the pick up window, but we appreciated the fact we got a buzzer so that we could wander the restaurant, checking out their hot sauce bar and fountain soda machine (no Coke or Pepsi products, which we realize is a plus for some... not us, sadly.  We think it was Boylan's in the machine, though we forgot to take a picture!).

Our bar-rito nicely survived the short walk home (we like how it was half-wrapped on the inside as a little sleeve to eat it in). The bar-rito was grilled (though some are available chilled) and had chicken, quinoa, blue cheese, salad, and buffalo sauce.  Though we found it could have used a bit more sauce, we easily supplemented with some of the available hot sauces they have on hand.  The cheese wasn't overwhelming, but frankly, we're irked when "health food" restaurants load up on caloric ingredients - Protein Bar struck the perfect balance of adding flavor but not too much fat. 

We will definitely be back to try some of the other items.  Welcome to the neighborhood!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Protein Bar Opens Today

Protein Bar - Delicious, High-Protein Food & Drink
The newest Penn Quarter resident, Protein Bar, will open their doors today at 11:30a.  We love their DC-themed drink list, particularly Federal A'peel and Politics Acai'd, and are looking forward to giving them a try.  

Normal hours begin tomorrow and are: M-F 7:30a-9p; Sat 10a-8p and Sunday 10a-6p.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Roundup

A few bits and pieces from the neighborhood:

    kushi izakaya
  • Kushi is launching a food truck this fall.  Tweet them with your vote - would you rather it be called "Moto Kushi" or "Kushi Moto"?  We like the latter.
    Cuba Libre DC
  • It's National Rum Day - and Cuba Libre is having a Caippy Hour - rum and rum cocktails will be half-off between 4:30 and   6:30p.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

G Street Still Closed

From this morning's shooting, G Street is still blocked off with police and FBI. Pedestrians are getting by on the south side of the street.

Protein Bar Sets Opening

Through their Twitter feed, Protein Bar has indicated they'll open in exactly one week: on August 22nd.  We'll see you there!

Shooting in Chinatown

A shooting has been reported at 801 G Street - home of the Family Research Council (and potentially other outfits, though we're not sure at this juncture).

A security guard was shot in the arm, according to WNEW, and there are some reports that the suspect has also been shot, though is now in custody.

The Washington Post reports that the guard was conscious and breathing as he was transported to a local hospital.

Authorities have closed the 800 block of G Street NW in both directions.

More as we get it.

11:50a UPDATE:
The incident indeed happened at Family Research Council.  FRC President Tony Perkins took to the FRC blog to say:
"The police are investigating this incident.  Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today.  Our concern is for him and his family."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Penn Social Deal

Haven't checked out Penn Social yet?  Here's a good reason to get down there:  ScoutMob is offering 50% off your bill (max discount $15), good for both food and drinks.

PQ Bodega Happy Hour

The Penn Quarter Bodega is still plugging away at its funding goals, which we've reported on here.  Want to know more about the donation process or the market's progress?  Head over to Poste on Wednesday between 5 and 7 for the Friends of the Bodega happy hour.

In the meantime, check out the Bodega video:

"Smart" Parking Coming to Penn Quarter

Even if you have an assigned parking spot in a garage in your condo or office, it should come as no surprise that parking comes at a premium in our neighborhood - and a new system is set to be put in place to better capture that premium.

The map above shows the proposed area in which 1,000 sensors will be installed, each able to monitor whether a parking space is occupied.  The city (backed by a million dollar grant from the Federal Highway Administration) will be able to adjust the price of each spot as supply and demand waxes and wanes - and the stated goal is to have at least one spot open per block.  Doing so may require a hefty price tag, but we can't imagine it would be much worse than garage costs in our neighborhood.

Washington, DC is the number one most congested area in the United States, and DDOT cites 1/4 of downtown traffic as caused by those circling looking for parking.  

Commercial parkers will get access to real-time parking availability before the general public, but a small graphic from the DDOT proposal reveals an app will be released showing parking congestion on a space by space basis. 

The plan may go into effect as early as the end of this year.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Protein Bar to Open in About Two Weeks

Protein Bar - Delicious, High-Protein Food & Drink
Protein Bar has begun training its employees, which in our experience has meant that opening day is about a week or two away.  Sure enough, their PR firm confirms they'll be open in two weeks.

Looking forward to having them!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ashok Bajaj Taking Over the Zola Space

We got a number of conflicting reports yesterday about where Shake Shack was going to make it's move.  We seem to have some finality that it will be the Spy Museum Cafe, however, with this news:

Ashok Bajaj, the proprietor of Rasika, Bibiana and the Oval Room, will be taking over all 8,300 square feet of the old Zola space.
According to Bajaj, "We know Penn Quarter extremely well - our 701 was one of the first restaurants in this neighborhood.  We're delighted to be in this historic building and work with Norman Jemal and the rest of the Douglas Development team."

Bajaj briefly chatted with Tom Sietsema, saying that the deal happened so quickly he hasn't had time to iron out the concept yet - but we do know it won't be: "super fine dining" or Indian.  "I'd like to do something new and fun and exciting," he told Eater.   It will open in Spring 2013.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Shake Shack Confirmed for Spy Museum Cafe

Back in July, we reported that Shake Shack was eyeing the Spy Museum Cafe space.

We now have confirmation from Washington Post reporter Jonathan O'Connell that the burger joint will be open in "mid-2013," but in the space previously occupied by Zola in the Spy Museum Cafe Space.  Considering Spy Museum featured bites from Zola, which is now closed, we knew it was only a matter of time.

The restaurant is known for its long lines (so much so that they've set up a webcam at the New York location so you can "check the line to plan your time.")

We also foresee that Shake Shack will be a big hit with BASIS students (the new charter school opening its doors to students on August 27th on 8th between D and E).  Compounded with tourists, it could certainly get crazy.  But welcome to the neighborhood!

UPDATED 8/8 4:30p to reflect that Shake Shack will be in the Spy Museum Cafe and not Zola.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Unattended Briefcase Causes Closures

Did you happen to leave a black briefcase at 14th and Penn?  If so, you're causing quite the commotion...

Here's what's closed:

Car Accident At (In) Central Liquors

Central Wines & Liquors - Washington, DC
Last night a car careened off of E Street between 6th and 7th and into Central Liquors.  You can check out a picture taken by Penn Quarterite Katherine Kennedy here.   Thankfully, the liquor store was closed at the time.  We believe the store is closed today; our calls have gone unanswered this morning, but we'll be trying to follow up later today.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Deal Roundup

Lots of deals today in the neighborhood.

  1. Don't forget that the Goodwill popup opens today at noon.  There are some great finds that the Washingtonian has already highlighted - check them out today through Friday.
  2. Twelve different offerings from the Crime Museum via Groupon.  55% off entry, after-hours events, etc.
  3. Blues Traveler, sushi for 4, or dinner for 2 at The Hamilton via Gilt City.  Code "McFly" gets you an extra 10% off (you'll get an additional 20% off if it's your first Gilt City purchase also).
  4. Likewise, dinner and the Oyster Riot at Old Ebbitt Grill are on sale at Gilt City also.  Use the same code/link for the discounts.
  5. It's buy-one-get-one-free on gluten free cupcakes at Red Velvet today.
Finally: the long-awaited J. Crew opens it's doors today at 950 F Street (hours: Mon-Th: 10a-8p; Fri-Sat: 10a-9p; Sun: 12p-6p).  They have some giveaways on hand if you spend $250 or more.

Now: get shopping!