Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Week Ahead ….. Trouble for Phase I, Tortilla Coast, Tune Inn, and lots of H Street Bars

Tune Inn "Screwed" ANC6b - Commission Unhappy

Tune Inn “Screwed” ANC6b – Commission Unhappy

The Week Ahead ….. Trouble for Phase I, Tortilla Coast, Tune Inn, and lots of H Street Bars

Also:  The future of RFK

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, November 12

ANC6b meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center for its regular November meeting

Among items on the agenda:

Routine liquor license renewals on the consent calendar:  Pour House, 18th Amendment, Trusty’s Bar, Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Lola’s, The Old Siam, Béarnaise, The Capitol Lounge, Li’l Pub, Wisdom, Sushi Capitol, Sona Creamery/Wine Bar.

Routine public space application on the consent calendar:  sidewalk café for Rose’s Luxury.

Non-routine liquor license renewals and a request for an entertainment endorsement: 

Liquor license renewals – Phase I (trash, dumpster issues), Remington’s, Bachelor’s Mill/Back Door Pub.

Request for entertainment endorsement – Tortilla Coast.  (Tortilla Coast rep was advised there is “zero chance” of this being approved without a signed Settlement Agreement.  Tortilla Coast corporation “thumbed its nose” as one commissioner put it, at ANC6b, refusing to sign a Settlement Agreement for a license renewal.  A technicality prevented ANC6b from filing a protest when the request for license renewal came up before ABRA.)

Letter to Tune Inn Restaurant, 331 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – and ABRA, expressing disappointment that Tune Inn refused to sign a Settlement Agreement in connection with its recent liquor license renewal.   (ANC6b has informally agreed to change its procedures and routinely protest liquor license renewals until a Settlement Agreement is signed – the result of having been “screwed” – in the words of one commissioner – by the Tune Inn’s last minute refusal to sign an Agreement after ABRA advised that signing was voluntary [thanks, Tune Inn, thanks ABRA].)  Odds are good that the next license renewal in three years will be problematical for the Tune Inn.    

The Outreach and Constituent Services Task Force will file its Public Safety Report – statistics and analysis on recent crime in ANC6b.   Probably no major surprises here, but a draft copy of the report did not address the issue of MPD failing to file reports on crimes – which has a positive and self-serving affect on crime stats.    

Wednesday, November 13

ANC6b Hill East Task Force meets at 6:30pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington to discuss the future of the RFK Stadium site.  Erik Moses, senior vice president and managing director at Events DC, will provide a brief presentation on his organization’s plans for evaluating alternatives for the site.

ANC6c meets at 7:00pm at the Heritage Foundation Building, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE for its regular November meeting.

Among items on the agenda:

An appearance by Councilmember Anita Bonds

Consideration of Bikeshare stations at 1st and K; 5th or 6th and K; 7th and Constitution NE

Liquor license renewals for Columbus Club, Center Café, Boundary Road, Big Board, Tynan Coffee & Tea, The 201 Bar, Hamilton’s Bar and Grill. 

Thursday, November 14

ANC6a meets at 7:00pm at Miner Elementary School, 601 15th Street, NE for its regular November meeting

Among items on the agenda:

Protest of the liquor licenses for the following venues for failure to maintain peace, order and quiet, and authorization for the Chair to be authorized to send letters conveying that protest to the ABC Board: Atlas Room. Biergarten Haus, The Elroy, Little Miss Whiskey’s, Star and Shamrock, Vendetta, HR 57, Avery’s, The Pug, and Toki Underground. 

Friday, November 15

Capitol Hill Village (CHV) presents a free seminar to discuss issues involved in moving to one level living in a condo or rental apartment on Capitol Hill or nearby.  Finance and real estate experts will discuss options.  Housing Committee of CHV will describe new apartment and condo projects and several currently being built – 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Townhomes on Capitol Hill, 6th and I Streets, SE.  Open to all without charge, but registration is required:  Call 202 543 1778 to register.

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American Legion Post 8 Ceremony Marks Veterans Day

A crowd of more than 200 gathered today in Folger Park to honor veterans.

A crowd of more than 200 gathered today in Folger Park to honor veterans.

Guest Speaker Major General Thomas C. Seamands, U.S. Army

Guest Speaker Major General Thomas C. Seamands, U.S. Army

Calvin C. Tildon, Commander, Kenneth H. Nash American Legion Post 8, presided over the ceremony

Calvin C. Tildon, Commander, Kenneth H. Nash American Legion Post 8, presided over the ceremony

Neighbor and former Post Commander Leonard Hacker (left rear) participated in the event

Neighbor and former Post Commander Leonard Hacker (left rear) participated in the event

Local Navy veteran Mark Shlein talks with neighbors after ceremony

Local Navy veteran Mark Shlien talks with neighbors after ceremony

Ward Six City Council candidate Darrel Thompson talks to veterans

Ward Six City Council candidate Darrel Thompson talks to veterans

"Taps"

“Taps”

American Legion Post 8 Ceremony Marks Veterans Day

by Larry Janezich

A crowd of more than 200 attended American Legion Post 8’s ceremony in Folger Park at 11:00am Monday to honor the men and women who have served in the nation’s armed forces.

U.S. Army Major General Thomas C. Seamonds, COS, G-1, Director of Military Personnel Management, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, told the veterans in attendance: “I don’t want any of you to think we don’t thank you for what you have done.  I want to send a message to all veterans –  I know what you do, what you have done, and what you will continue to do, and I thank you.”  He added that, “We owe a debt of gratitude to the mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters who have loaned family members to keep us safe.”

Calvin C. Tildon, Commander, Kenneth H. Nash American Legion Post 8 presided over the ceremony.  Music was provided by The Marine Brass Quintet, “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band.  A moving rendition of “Taps” accompanied the wreath ceremony.

American Legion Post 8 hosts this annual event in Folger Park, opposite the Post on the corner of 3rd and D, SE.  After the ceremony, everyone present was invited to a luncheon reception in the Post.

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District Doughnuts Headed to Barracks Row

District Doughnuts Headed to Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

Capitol Hill Corner has learned that Douglas Development Corporation has signed a lease with the popular doughnut caterer, District Doughnuts, for the first floor space at 749 8th Street, SE, formerly the home of Sneed’s Barbershop.  They hope to open in April of 2014.  Their popular product received high marks in WaPo’s survey of the city’s doughnut offerings earlier this year –  http://wapo.st/16cA9qV

The catering business, founded by Greg Menna and Juan Pablo Segura and currently owned by Menna and pastry chef Christine Schaefer, has been looking for space to open a brick and mortar outlet and was rumored to be coming to the Eastern Market area.  Schaefer came to the area from a gourmet bakery in Buffalo, NY, and trained at Le Cordon Bleu.

From District Doughnut’s website:  “Opening in spring 2014, our shop will serve a rotating assortment of classic and cosmopolitan varieties, meeting nostalgia with sophistication. To complete the classic pairing, we will feature the finest coffee roasts from Caffe Amouri, one of the only small-batch roasters in the DC area.”  Read more here:  http://districtdoughnut.com/

The recently inked deal leaves the second story of 749 8th Street, SE, available for lease according to the company’s website: http://bit.ly/198fGCx

Douglas Development is currently a very active Southeast Capitol Hill player, with three other active projects currently ongoing on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  See more here:  http://bit.ly/1akuFzW

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18th Amendment on PA Ave SE Will Become “Barrel”

The Future Site of "Barrel" - Bourbon, Beer, and Southern Fare

The Future Site of “Barrel” – Bourbon, Beer, and Southern Fare

18th Amendment Morphs into “Barrel”

by Larry Janezich

The 18th Amendment at 613 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, closed since last July after acquiring a new business partner, will be reborn as “Barrel” late this year or early next year.  Thursday night, a spokesman for the 18th Amendment representing the partnership applying for renewal of the liquor license for that location, told ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee chaired by Commissioner Sara Loveland that the new liquor venue would be “more upscale” than the previous occupant, with “better food” prepared by a chef from Charleston, South Carolina.  According to the spokesman, the new bar will serve 18 draft beers, and the interior is being redone to restore the brick and to bring in “classy lighting.”  The spokesman said, “It will be more similar to Beuchert’s than the 18th Amendment as you remember it.”  The new partner and driving force behind Barrel is Matt Weiss, the long-time owner of the Union Pub (formerly the Red River Grille) and Lounge 201.

As has been reported elsewhere, http://bit.ly/1amQZbv “Barrel” refers to “barrel-aged”, i.e. barrel-aged cocktails, infused bourbons, aged bourbons, etc.  Chef Garret Fleming, formerly of The Pig, appears to be the Charleston chef.  For a likely preview of the bills of fare, visit the dinner menu of The Pig here:  http://www.thepigdc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Dinner.pdf and “Bourbon Happy Hour menu” here:

http://www.thepigdc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/happy-hour.pdf

or the drink menu here: http://www.thepigdc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/drinks.pdf

An interesting side note is the apparently continuing connection and involvement of Joe Englert, restaurant and entertainment developer of U Street, H Street, and Capitol Hill.  According to the spokesman for the group on Thursday night, Weiss and Englert are partners in ownership of Pour House on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Englert is reported to be one of the partners in the 18th Amendment as well as Trusty’s.  He began a project to make H Street, NE, a bar and restaurant destination in 2006, after the city announced plans to pump money into the old Atlas Theater in hopes of kick starting the redevelopment of H Street.

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Plans Unveiled for Goldstar’s 41 Unit Condo Project at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Goldstar PA Ave SE Condo Project Renderings, PA Ave and 15th St Elevations.  Bonstra/Haresign Architects

Goldstar PA Ave SE Condo Project Renderings, PA Ave and 15th St Elevations. Bonstra/Haresign Architects

Eric May, Goldstar Senior VP, and Rob McClennan of Bonstra/Haresign Present Project Designs Monday Night at Wisdom on PA Ave SE

Eric May, Goldstar Senior VP (left), and Rob McClennan of Bonstra/Haresign, Present Project Designs Monday Night at Wisdom on PA Ave SE

Plans Unveiled for Goldstar’s 41 Unit Condo Project at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

by Larry Janezich

Monday night, more than 30 Capitol Hill residents gathered at Wisdom, the cool funky Pennsylvania Avenue SE, bar to see Goldstar Group’s plans and renderings for the 41 unit residential building at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  The project will be exclusively residential.

Eric May, Senior Vice President of Goldstar, told the group that the 41 units are “99% certain to be condos” – unless there is a drastic change in the market that would make conversion to apartments necessary.  The units will be mixed, largely one bedroom but with a few two bedroom or bedroom and den units.  Five of the units will be “affordable” under the District’s definition; two will be sold at 50% AMI and three at 80% AMI.  Eligibility for subsidized housing programs is often determined by area median income (AMI).

May said he “did not know yet” how much the units would sell for, noting that it would be 16 months before the building is ready for occupancy.  He declined to state the “broad range” of pricing Goldstar had assumed in designing the project.

The build will rise to 44 of the allowable 50 foot height, and will be built largely as a matter or right, with one zoning issue that will require a request for relief and bring the project before ANC6B and the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA).  The issue is parking:  the building will provide the minimum amount of parking required but to do so the developer will need to seek relief from a city regulation limiting the number of spaces in the underground garage which can be designated for compact cars.  Goldstar wants to have a larger proportion of the 21 spaces be designated for compact cars than the current regulations otherwise allow.  ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven was on hand and explained in response to a question, that it would be virtually impossible to limit building residents’ eligibility for residential parking permits once the developers provide the minimum number of parking spaces for a project this size.

Although there is no retail in the building, May noted that he expected a symbiotic relationship to develop between the Goldstar residential project and the Douglas Development office/retail project currently under construction at 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, next to Wisdom.

Chris Regan, project manager from Douglas Development, was on hand and told the attendees that his building would be finished by the end of January, and while they do not yet have tenants, there is “lots of interest.”  He mentioned retail, restaurant and office.

Rob McClennan, representing Bonstra/Haresign Architects, said that his firm specialized in “contextual modernist” structures and that the building the firm designed for the site would enter into a “dialogue with the surrounding environment” of houses, shops, and stores.  A strong selling point for the building will be a trellised 750 foot square foot roof deck that will afford views of the river and up Pennsylvania Avenue.

May said that he expects to start applying for permits in about two weeks.  The permitting process will take some four months, followed by an equal amount of time for zoning relief.  Environmental issues from a gas station which previously occupied the location will require removal of five feet of contaminated soil from the site.  Given those issues, May said construction could start as soon as next March and take 12 months to complete.

 

 

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Stanton/East Banc, Shakespeare and Hine

The Shakespeare Theater Expects to Lose Their Barracks Row Rehearsal Space to a Restaurant Nest Year

The Shakespeare Theater Expects to Lose Their Barracks Row Rehearsal Space to a Restaurant Nest Year

Stanton/East Banc, Shakespeare and Hine

by Larry Janezich

Last week, the Washington Post’s Jonathan O’Connell reported that the Shakespeare Theater is looking to the former campus of Southeastern University at 6th and I Streets,  SW,  as a new home for rehearsal, storage, and artist living space.  http://bit.ly/1fcutla

The article related an attempt several years ago by Shakespeare’s managing director, Chris Jennings, to cut a deal with Stanton East Banc (SEB) developers to occupy a portion of the forthcoming Hine development at Eastern Market.  In the article, Jennings accused East Banc of using the relationship with the theater to help win the bid from the city, but then priced the theater out of the project.

Capitol Hill Corner reached out to East Banc for reaction to Jennings’ claim and received the following response from Anthony Lanier, head of East Banc:

“[A]s can be confirmed by Chris Jennings, both parties spent considerable effort to create a zero margin “box” to suit the Shakespeare’s needs, only to arrive at the conclusion, that to build a new back of the house set of spaces simply became to (sic) expensive for Shakespeare to commit to; that fact, combined with the “contingency”, that the money from the theater was subject to a fundraising campaign whose outcome couldn’t be pre-determined, multiplied by the tight milestone schedule under which the design and approvals had to proceed, made the effort unfeasible.  The developer viewed the Shakespeare’s involvement as a unique opportunity to create a special place.  Their involvement certainly was not used to win the award.  Both parties left the table, after having expended significant resources and planning dollars, in agreement that the combination of cost, timing and schedule made the project overreaching and therefore, unfeasible.”

Capitol Hill Corner asked Shakespeare’s Jennings for reaction and received his comment in an email forwarded by a Shakespeare spokesperson.  “Shakespeare Theater agrees – both parties tried in good faith to create a deal that would meet both needs.  And we were thrilled that East Banc sought to enliven their development with our theater company.”

The Washington Post article was the first that many Capitol residents heard that the Shakespeare company was no longer pursuing housing for actors in the Hine project.  In February of 2011, Stanton Development, East Banc’s partner in the Hine project, told the community that the Shakespeare Theater has decided to keep its administrative offices in place on Barracks Row but would house its visiting performers in the Hine development.

Capitol Hill Corner asked the Shakespeare Theater when the decision had been made not to pursue actors’ housing in the project and received the following response from spokesperson Lindsay Tolar:  “Currently we have no agreement for actor housing with East Banc or any other developer.  We continue to explore comprehensive options for all of our support facilities including our artist housing.”   The same question, when put to Stanton Development, received no response.

It would appear that sometime after February of 2011 the Shakespeare housing component was quietly dropped from the project.  Exactly how and when that came about is uncertain.

The Washington Post article says that financing for the Shakespeare’s move into SW is uncertain, but speculates that a possible solution could be found where market rate housing in a mixed use building could subsidize the use of the space by the theater company.   The article says that Jennings also plans to ask the city for assistance.

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The Week Ahead …..And The Week’s Photos

"Medium Rare" Hopes To Open by Thanksgiving, but the October 30 Stop Work Order May Prevent That.  The Steak House Will Occupy the Former Fusion Grill on Barracks Row.

“Medium Rare” Hopes To Open by Thanksgiving, but the October 30 Stop Work Order May Prevent That. The Steak House Will Occupy the Former Fusion Grill on Barracks Row.

The Stop Work Order at the Soon-To-Be "Medium Rare"

The Stop Work Order at the Soon-To-Be “Medium Rare” cited no permits for electrical, plumbing, construction and “other”.

Frager's Opened It's Temporary Location at 1323 E Street, SE

Frager’s Opened Its Temporary Location at 1323 E Street, SE

Mayor Gray was so pleased about the installation of new Flexi-Pave Sidewalk Material on 7th Street near Eastern Market, that he Tweeted about it.

Mayor Gray was so pleased about the installation of new Flexi-Pave Sidewalk Material on 7th Street near Eastern Market, that he Tweeted about it.

The Week Ahead …..And The Week’s Photos

By Larry Janezich

Monday, November 4

Goldstar Group will reveal plans and renderings for the 41 unit residential building at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue to the community at 6:30 pm at Wisdom, 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

CHRS Historic Preservation Committee meets at 6:30pm at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE.

Tuesday, November 5

ANC6B  Planning & Zoning Committee, meets at 7:00 pm, at St. Coletta of Greater Washington.

Among items on the agenda:

Sidewalk café for Rose’s Luxury at 717 8th Street, SE.

Construction of a rear addition to Oxxo Cleaners at 405 8th Street, SE.

Wednesday, November 6

ANC6B Transportation Committee meets at 6:30 pm in Hill Center

Among items on the agenda:

Update on Performance Based Parking Expansion.

Presentation by DDOT on new Flexi-Pave sidewalk material.

Discussion of fiscal year 2014 sidewalk repair lists.

Thursday, November 7

ANC6B ANC Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center

Among items on the agenda:

License Renewals for Pour House, 18th Amendment, Trusty’s Bar, Hawk n Dove, Lola’s, The Old Siam, Phase I, Remington’s, Bachelor’s Mill Back Door Pub.

Request for substantial change to license of Tortilla Coast to permit entertainment.

Withdrawal of Amendments to Settlement Agreements, Hill Center and Belga Café.

CHRS Zoning Committee meets at 7:30pm at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE

PSA 107 meets at 7:00pm in Southeast Library

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Want to Be an Eastern Market Vendor? It’s Not Easy

Anita Jefferson of Geeda's Hand Poured Candles, Chairs the Eastern Market Application Advisory Committee

Anita Jefferson of Geeda’s Hand Poured Candles, Chairs the Eastern Market Application Advisory Committee

Want to Be an Eastern Market Vendor?  It’s Not Easy

by Larry Janezich

Capitol Hill Corner took a look at the application process for acceptance into the family of vendors at Eastern Market, a group distinct from the two flea markets that operate on the Hine playground/parking lot on Saturday and Sunday.  The process is a rigorous one aimed at maintaining high quality and diversity of products.

Potential vendors, falling into one of five categories (Arts and Crafts, Antiques & Collectibles, Ethno Specific, Farmers, and Prepared Foods) fill out applications which were created in 2009 by merchants, vendors and the Market Manager.  The applications establish the criteria upon which each applicant is judged in order to qualify for joining a pool from which vendors are selected by Market Manager Barry Margeson, based upon the needs of the Market.

The largest group of vendors is the artists and crafters – individuals who personally make their own art or crafts and sell in person.  The applicant is required to demonstrate that the product is handmade.  The goal is to find products that are unique.  Applications are not accepted from product lines already well represented such as jewelry, graphic t-shirts, photography, soaps, candles, or lotions.  The applicant is required to submit a list of specific types of products, a biography or artist’s statement, a description of the product, a list of elements of the product the applicant does not make, names of two different suppliers of the applicant’s raw materials – with copies of receipts, a description of the process used to create the product, an explanation of the product’s uniqueness, pictures of each product, a picture of the applicant vending elsewhere or a schematic of the applicant’s booth, and a copy of the applicant’s DC Sales and Use Tax Certificate. 

Similarly detailed applications cover the other four fields of vending.  Each one emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the vendor and the Eastern Market customer.

Once Market Manager Margeson receives an application, he turns it over for evaluation to the Application Advisory Review Committee, headed by Chairperson and vendor Anita Jefferson.  The Advisory Committee is comprised of all vendors with a permit to operate at Eastern Market.

Applications are usually reviewed by some 5 to 7 vendors in the particular category under which the applicant falls, with the occasional participation of “outliers” – vendors with an interest in the process whose products are not necessarily related to the product of the applicant.  Committee members review the applications, apply a specific set of criteria to the information submitted by the applicant, and award points according to how well the applicant meets the criteria.  The process is necessarily somewhat subjective, and market manager Margeson has the final say.

According to Jefferson, “We do not get to say who comes or doesn’t come in.  We give Barry Margeson a pool of people he can select from to meet the market’s needs.”  Margeson says he can accommodate a maximum number of 125 vendors, with about 115 in operation on a typical fall Saturday and Sunday.

The other categories of vendors must meet equally rigorous criteria.  The Antique and Collectables includes sellers of antique, vintage and/or collectible items.  Vendors must provide proof of purchase and legitimacy of product – an authenticity certificate.  Examples of antique products include furniture, tin boxes, cameras, postcards, and bottles.

Ethno-specific means sellers of imported handcrafted goods indigenous to a certain country – designed in, produced in, and representative of the country of origin.  Authentication is required.  Only products that are unique to the market and not already represented are accepted.  Some of the criteria looked for include a vendor’s connection to the country of origin and whether money from product goes to help the producers remain in the community.

Farmers include individuals who personally farm, grow, or produce their products and sell in person.  Products must be intended for consumption off premises.  Applicants must have – where applicable – a food service facility license for state where the applicant has a production facility, a license of USDA certified processing facility for livestock, a DC Food Handler’s license, third party certification for designation of sustainably grown, organic, naturally grown, and/or humane products –  and a map of, deed for, and directions to the farm.

Prepared Foods is for the vendors who sell products that customers can consume on premises as they are shopping.  Ideally, a portion of the production process takes place on site.  Only products that are unique to the market and not already represented are accepted.  Applicants must show a food service facility license from the state where the product is produced as well as a Food Handler’s license.

New applications are solicited every three months.  During the Application Advisory Committee meeting in October, the Committee discussed opening up a new application period and noted that there is currently no vegan food or candy in the prepared food categories.  The group recommended that the call for new applicants should target product types that are under-represented at the Market.

Capitol Hill Corner will report on the weekend flea markets which set up weekends on the Hine site in the near future.

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Hazmat Closes 9th and C SE Intersection Sat Am (Update)

The issue which brought the Hazmat team to 9th and D the morning appears to have been gasoline leaking from the tank of the white van parked near the intersection.

Hazmat officials solve leaking gas tank issue with sand and a plastic bucket

Hazmat officials solve leaking gas tank issue with sand and a plastic bucket

Officials inspect the underside of a white van near 9th and C Street SE

Officials inspect the underside of a white van near 9th and C Street SE

 

DC Hazmat Unit Blocks C Street, SE near 9th Street

DC Hazmat Unit Blocks C Street, SE near 9th Street

At 9:45am Saturday morning, DC Fire and Hazmat Units blocked the intersection of 9th and C Streets, SE, while officials appeared to inspect the underside of a white van.

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