Thursday, October 25, 2012

Christmas Tree Lighting Lottery Starts Today

We've already given you the countdown for the Downtown Holiday Market, which opens on November 30th, so to further your holiday spirit, we thought we'd remind you that the lottery for the 90th Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony starts today at 10a.  The event always draws well-known performers, but the acts haven't yet been announced.
Below you can watch last year's ceremony:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Taylor Gourmet Filling the Meatballs Space

We were just wondering yesterday what was going to become of the Meatballs space on E Street between 6th and 7th - and today, Washington City Paper answered that question (with great news, we might add!).  Taylor Gourmet has just begun construction there and doesn't yet have a build out timeline, but we're hoping it will be soon - we love the Philly style hoagies currently available at City Vista, on 14th Street, in Dupont and on H Street NE.

Wiseguy Sets an Opening

Wiseguy NY Pizza - Washington, DCFancy yourself a true New Yorker? (We know most DC residents do - they tell us about it all the time).  ...Then you probably already know that Wiseguy NY Pizza will be opening on October 30th (next Tuesday) at 300 Massachusetts Ave NW.  If you're really in the know, you're a fan of them on Facebook, which makes you eligible to go their soft opening on October 28th from 5-9 (with free pizza and garlic knots!).   Thrillist DC has pictures of the joint, and it's looking ready to go.    

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Creperie Opens by City Center

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Thanks (as always) to our amazing readers, one of whom pointed out Point Chaud Cafe's opening at 11th and H Street today.  The creperie has two existing locations (each on 14th Street).  You can check out the menu here.

Red Apron Butchery Update

Photo: Out getting pasted in Penn Quarter today...
We had introduced Red Apron Butchery to the neighborhood as part of the piecemeal grocery store we're building around these parts - but we have to apologize: we undersold the butchery.  According to their liquor license, the D Street location will have 110 seats and will in fact be a restaurant as well.  It's due to open in early 2013.

Monday, October 22, 2012

PQ Odds and Ends

  • Penn Quarter is finally getting a little love from Google... we now have an officially defined neighborhood that shows up on Google maps: 
    We noticed the change last week or so.

  • And finally, don't let the fact that we're going to hit the 80s this week fool you - only forty days until the Downtown Holiday Market opens.  The market will be open for 24 days - November 30th through December 23rd from noon to 8pm and will feature over 180 regional artisans, crafters and boutique businesses. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


FINALLY: a decision from Wagamama.

Ingrid Williamson, Wagamama's Director of Marketing, who we have spoken to in the past, reached out to Eater DC today.  According to the article, Wagamama's board decided to NOT open a restaurant in Washington, DC as planned.

You'll recall that they signed the lease after Olsson's Bookstore left the space in 2008.  

When?  Oh, when?  Never.
Those seeking a noodle fix will be pleased to know that Absolute Noodle and Daikaya are still on track to open in the neighborhood.

Woolly Mammoth at Penn Social

The Pajama Men, a two man show with a "unique mash up of stand-up, sketch comedy and physical theatre" will be coming to the Woolly Mammoth from December 11 - January 6th - but you won't have to wait that long to see them.
The Pajama Men Preview

Next Friday, October 26th at 7pm, Penn Social will be hosting a special preview showcase in what's being called "the beginning of what will hopefully be a long relationship of arts performance on [Penn Social's] corner stage."  Admission will be free, but you should make reservations by calling Woolly's box office at (202) 393-3939 or by emailing their box office.

While you're there, don't forget to get 50% off!.

Penn Social Deal

If you have the ScoutMob app, pop in to Penn Social for 50% off (up to a $15 discount).  Get the details here, and get the app here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cafe Atlantico Space Gets an Owner

405 8th Street has housed Cafe Atlantico, Minibar, and America Eats all under Jose Andres' direction.  Soon, there will be a new sheriff in town: chef Frederik De Pue.  De Pue has plans to open a new restaurant by the end of this year.

The restaurant doesn't yet have a concept, but he says "it will be something new for Penn Quarter that doesn't currently exist." We like the sound of that.  De Pue currently owns Table, a restaurant in Shaw described as "seasonal and casual fare."

Don't expect a lot of construction to the space - "just a facelift" - and removing Minibar's six seats.  We'll be watching for concept, menu and opening date.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Nutella Truck Heads Our Way

Nutella® Breakfast Tour – D.C.
There's a truck for everything these days, and now that includes the delicious (and extremely addictive) Nutella truck.  It's up at Shaw today (1630 7th Street) but will be coming our way tomorrow.  Right now they're only handing out samples of Nutella, but the plan is to have waffles and baguettes on hand for all of your spreading needs.  Catch them at 502 4th Street NW (near the Judiciary Square metro) from 7a to noon tomorrow. Don't get used to it though, it moves on to Baltimore and Atlanta later this week.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

National Law Enforcement Museum Gets More Funding

Ground broke at the National Law Enforcement Museum in late 2010 on the 400 block of E Street with the intention of opening in 2013.  As residents know, there were construction challenges (causing E Street to be closed for about a year), and there were evidently fundraising issues as well.

Thanks to a generous donation from Motorola, the project is again moving full steam ahead.  With a $10 million grant and $5 million in products and services, the museum is now scheduled to open in 2015.  According to the museum, it will "help visitors better understand and appreciate the vital contributions our law officers have made to our nation... [and] will tell the story of the courageous work of the men and women who have spent their lives protecting us... through interactive exhibitions and compelling first-person narratives. ...They'll experience the physical and emotional challenges that law enforcement professional face every single day."

In June of this year, the construction was deemed 50% complete.  You can see the update from Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd here:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The NHL Lockout Bar Crawl

The NHL season should have started tomorrow, but due to the lockout, there'll be no hockey until at least October 25th.  Well, the Penn Quarter bars want to point out that just because the players on the bench, doesn't mean you should be.

Head down to Fado, Ironhorse, RFD, Redline, Irish Channel, The Green Turtle, Rocket Bar, Penn Social, Hill Country or Clyde's on Friday for drink specials, hockey films, and potentially a Slapshot sighting.  Specials start at 5p.

Honk! Honk! Honk!

Fuel Pizza Deal

Looking for delicious (and half-price) pizza?

Look no further.  Fuel Pizza is offering $20 of pizza for just $10 today at both their F Street and K Street locations.  Get it from LivingSocial here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Origins of Penn Quarter

Reporter Jonathan O'Connell tweeted at us yesterday to ask when the term "Penn Quarter" first came into being.  We didn't immediately know, but he piqued our interest and we started poking around a bit.

It wasn't until January 2004 that WMATA announced its intent to amend the metro stop to include Penn Quarter with "Archives-Navy Memorial," which implies it was in use for a spell before that - though this September 2004 Washington Post article written by Eve Zibart uses the term as if it was relatively new:
"Now, in what sometimes feels like a development abracadabra! D.C. is Downtown Chic.  Penn Quarter, as the neighborhood is now called, is packed with restaurants and nightclubs, bars and brewpubs -- all of them full at once, it seems..."
In a somewhat recent article by the folks at InTheCapital which focuses on this very naming issue, a bit more light is shed:
"Interestingly enough, the name Penn Quarter is relatively new and has only been around for the past few decades.  It was originally referred to as Old Downtown until it experienced a massive rejuvenation phase spearheaded by the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation in the 1990's.  The name Penn Quarter sprung up due to the neighborhood's border running along Pennsylvania Avenue."
We know that the PADC certainly helped to change the landscape of our neighborhood - using millions of dollars appropriated by Congress and billions garnered from private industry - but the PADC was dissolved in 1996, and we can't find any reference of "Penn Quarter" dating back that far.

Long-time residents: what say you?  When was the first time you heard the term?

Memorial Service for Rhett

We continue to have a heavy heart after Rhett Leverett's tragic passing earlier this week.  A reader in the Lafayette has passed on information regarding memorial services for "The Mayor of Penn Quarter."

  • At Joseph Gawler's Sons Funeral Home, 5130 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016
    • Visitation: Saturday, October 6, 3-7p
    • Memorial Service: Monday, October 8, 11a
  • Penn Quarter (Time and Place TBD) - Memorial Service
  • Marymount Campus (where Rhett was a professor) - Memorial Service, Wednesday, October 17, 11:30a-1p on the Ireton Lawn
For Lafayette residents, if you're interested in making a contribution towards flower and wreath, you may place an envelope under the door of unit #130.  

Many have asked about his dog Beth - the two were inseparable - she is staying with neighbors and friends in the building but may ultimately end up with family friends of Rhett's in his home state of Alabama.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pedestrian Struck and Killed This Morning

WJLA is reporting a tragic story from our neighborhood this morning: a man was struck and killed on the 500 block of 6th Street at about 9am today.  DC police spokesperson Tisha Gant says that the driver of the vehicle may have suffered a medical emergency just before striking the pedestrian.

UPDATE:  The man struck this morning was longtime Lafayette resident Rhett Leverett. He was out walking his West Highland Terrier, Beth, when the car jumped the sidewalk.  Neighborhood regulars know that Rhett was often called the Mayor of Penn Quarter, and he was never anywhere without Beth.  We believe Beth has already been taken in by a neighbor.

We will miss seeing his infectious smile around the neighborhood each day.  If you become aware of plans for a memorial service, please leave it in the comments.

The New Minibar

Minibar has announced its opening date in the old Zola Wine & Kitchen space: November 2nd.

That's just thirty-one days out, so yes, that means you can start getting reservations tomorrow at 10a.  Before you scramble to get that res, some things you should know:

  • Reservations will no longer be accepted over the phone.  You must email Minibar at 10a tomorrow, and reservations will be accepted in the order received.
  • Seatings are at 6p, 6:30p, 8:30p and 9p, Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Parties larger than 6 cannot be accommodated (there are only two six-seat bars).
  • The price has gone up from $150 to $225, and that's still excluding tax, tip, and alcohol.  You want drink pairings?  Tack on an additional $75, $120, or $200.  What economic slump?