Barracks Row Main Street Celebrates Success in Attracting New Businesses
CSX Continues Major Financial Support of BRMS
by Larry Janezich
Last Wednesday, Barracks Row Main Street (BRMS) held its annual meeting celebration to highlight the 13 new businesses on 8th Street in 2013 and four new arrivals so far in 2014. One of those new 2014 arrivals, the soon to open Capital Teas, at 731 8th Street, hosted the event.
The majority of businesses which opened on Barracks Row in 2013 were food and beverage and service providers, including the restaurants Ambar, Kraze Burger, Nooshi, Tash, and Rose’s Luxury. Service providers included Capitol Hill Fitness (now defunct), Metropolitan Wellness Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Momentum Dance & Fitness, The Nails Spa, Optimus Website Design, and End to End Strategies. The oil industry environmental advocacy group, Oil Change International also set up shop on Barracks Row last year, as did the lone retail operation, DCanter, purveyor of artisan wines and craft beers from around the world.
Martin Smith, Executive Director of BRMS also touted four early-2014 new business arrivals, including the prix fixe steak house Medium Rare and the vintage donut shop, District Donuts (opening soon in the former Sneed’s Barber Shop), Capitol Frame (formerly Capitol Hill Fitness), and lastly, Capitol Teas.
Capital Teas is especially welcome as a of one-of-a-kind retail outlet which brings a different product line to the corridor. The company is headquartered in Annapolis, and has an outlet there as well as Bethesda Row, Dupont Circle, Bethesda Wildwood, Fairfax, and National Harbor. In addition to Capitol Hill, the company will open up in Charlottesville this year. The company is family-owned and operated by fifth generation tea merchants and traces its tea heritage to co- founder Manellle Martino’s great-great grandfather, Francis Van Reyk. See: http://www.capitalteas.com
The BRMS board of directors is made up of representatives of business interests in the broader Capitol Hill retail corridors. According to Martin Smith, the board recently broadened its membership to bring in more retailers and property owners. BRMS oversees efforts to recruit and retain small businesses, enhancement projects for public spaces, the Barracks Row façade improvement program, and a series of annual Barracks Row events.
Day to day operations of BRMS depend upon contributions and support from the corporations, DC Government agencies, foundations, businesses interests, and the broader Capitol Hill community. For the second year in a row, the major cash and in kind donors contributing $10,000 or more included CSX Transportation, DC Department of Housing and Community Development, DC Department of Small & Local Business Development, and the National Capital Bank Foundation.