Barracks Row Soft Talk
Shakespeare Rehearsal Space On The Block? Tash/Nooshi Mural a Done Deal
by Larry Janezich
Shakespeare Theater Company Rehearsal Space on the Block?
Capitol Hill Corner hears that real estate agents and developers have been poking around the Shakespeare Theater Company Rehearsal Space at 507 8th Street on Barracks Row. The building could provide one of the largest retail spaces on the Row, and speculation is that it would be retail rather than another restaurant. Another source says the building is owned by the owner of the parking lot next to Tash/Nooshi restaurants and the building which houses Fusion Restaurant. Property records lists the owner as Elul Joint Venture Harry W. Goldberg.
Mural on Tash/Nooshi a Done Deal
Tash/Nooshi co-owner Vanessa Lin told ANC6B last Tuesday night that she has commissioned the Baltimore street artist Gaia to create a mural on the south side of the former Animeaux Chataux building which is now the location of the two restaurants owned by Lin and her husband. The mural (see concept below posted March 14) has alarmed some of the nearby neighbors and half a dozen showed up at the meeting to express their unhappiness. The opposition was based on concerns that the proposed mural would have a negative effect on the charm and character of the neighborhood.
The mural had its supporters; Phil Hutinet, editor of East City Art, extolled Gaia’s talent saying “[Opposition to the mural] is like saying I don’t want Picasso or Van Gogh painting on the side of this building.” Additional support came from some residents who said it would add to the street’s vitality and make a boring building come alive.
DC has no rules on paint or paint colors on any building – residential or commercial – whether in a historic district or not. There are rules for billboards, and some residents complained the mural was a substitute for a billboard advertising the restaurant.
Lin pointed out that given the commercial value of the parking lot which the mural would overlook it could have a short lifespan. Lin and her husband do not own the lot.
Gaia is a 24 year old artist who has shown his work internationally and achieved considerable critical acclaim and significant museum showings. He takes his name from the Greek earth goddess and uses animal imagery to bring nature to the cityscape. He often uses enlargements of photos or woodblocks which he prints on paper and pastes to the sides of buildings. No word yet on what medium he will use on Tash/Nooshi. Lin said during the meeting that she expects Nooshi to open in early April. For more on Gaia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_(artist)
Kraze Burgers Update
Kraze Burgers’ structural build out is complete and they could open in 60 days or so.
National Community Church is expected to apply soon for a public space permit that would allow them to build a ticket booth on the front of the church. The church will also modify the façade of the building to install two double doors to replace the one double door currently opening onto 8th Street. Digging out the basement for a refreshment stand is still under consideration.
Sneed’s Barbershop Ripe for Redevelopment
Developer Douglas Jamal bought Sneed’s for $900,000 in mid-December. Jamal has another project down Pennsylvania Avenue where the old KFC building site at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE: will be transformed into a two story retail and office building.
Bavarian Beer Garden
Mark Brody, who bought the corner lot at 8th and L Street on lower Barracks Row is now looking at different variations for the location that might be a better fit for the street. He apparently is still wedded to the idea of having and open air venue of some sort.