Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Week Ahead….Almost All Quiet, but the 400 Block of Barracks Row Will Get a Couple of New Personal Care Services

West Front, U.S.. Capitol, December 25, 2017, 3:00pm. The Christmas Tree is a 79 foot Engelmann Spruce from Kootnenai National Forest in Northwest Montana.

The Week Ahead….Almost All Quiet, but the 400 Block of Barracks Row Will Get a Couple of New Personal Care Services

Sources tell Capitol Hill Corner that the former Verizon outlet next to the Barracks Row 7-11 at 8th and E Streets, is destined to become a barber shop.

And, sources say, the former Metro Mutts next to &Pizza will become a nail salon.

The Week Ahead….

Tuesday, December 26

ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm at Hill Center to set the agenda for the January meeting of the full ANC at 7:00pm in Hill Center on Tuesday, January 9.

Comments Off on The Week Ahead….Almost All Quiet, but the 400 Block of Barracks Row Will Get a Couple of New Personal Care Services

Filed under Uncategorized

Developer Drops More Hints on New Hine Retail

Bill Press (l) interviews Hine project architect Amy Weinstein and developer Ken Golding

Developer Drops More Hints on New Hine Retail

by Larry Janezich

Ken Golding, partner in Stanton Development – one of the Hine developers – and project architect Amy Weinstein were interviewed Tuesday night at the regular Hill Center program “Talk of the Hill” hosted by Bill Press*.

Golding has been playing his cards close to the vest on what retail is coming into the project, but he showed a little of his hand during the interview.

The major takeaways regarding 7th Street retail:

  • a tech company (which Golding says he is not allowed to name) and the cosmetic company Sephora will occupy the prime space at the corner of 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue which will be divided into two units.
  • an “exercise place” (Golding refused to call it a gym) will occupy space facing 7th Street.
  • the corner space fronting on the plaza at 7th and C Streets (which seems a natural place for a restaurant) is not yet leased.

As for the Hine project’s north building:

  • an Asian restaurant will land in the space at the corner of 7th and C Streets, closest to Eastern Market.
  • the restaurant will join the forthcoming Trickling Springs Creamery and the juicery JRINK.  Antiochia Turkish Linens is already open in the north building.
  • Golding says JRINK should open within ten days and Trickling Springs is just getting its building permit.

Other news coming out of the interview:

  • 25% of the 46 apartments in the Plaza building have been rented.**
  • C Street is expected to open at the end of the month.
  • the pre-school STEM child care facility is in the process of getting their building permit.
  • Golding and Weinstein estimated the project will add some 1,000 residents and office workers to the community.

*Bill Press is a radio talk host, political commentator, and author.  He was Chairman of the California Democratic party from 1993 to 1996.

**Press called the Plaza building units “pricey” citing $3200 for a one bedroom.  Golding said that “Bozzuto (the management company leasing the apartments) says that’s what the market is.  I’m not going to defend it.”  He suggested that prices could change after the apartments on 8th Street open next spring.


Filed under Uncategorized

Bowser Gets Personal With Rat Problem & Walks the Walk – H Street Alleys to Montessori – Photos

Mayor Bowser’s War on Rats comes to H Street, NE, with a news conference held in the alley behind Smith Commons

CM Charles Allen sponsored Rat Control Bill now before the City Council

Department of Health packs dry ice into a rat burrow behind Smith Commons on H Street


Bowser Gets Personal With Rat Problem – Walks the Walk – H Street Alleys to Montessori

by Larry Janezich

Mayor Bowser confronted the city’s rat problem head on this afternoon, holding a press conference in a trashy H Street, NE, alley, followed by a up close and real tour of nearby alleys where she poked into trash bins and ending up at Capitol Hill Montessori School where she heard about rodents in the building and inspected rat burrows near the building’s entrance.

At Bowser’s press conference, held next to a couple of smelly dumpsters behind Smith Commons on H Street, she introduced a new tool in the fight against the city’s rodent population: dry ice.  Dry ice will not replace rodenticides but will supplement their use. The mayor’s announcement not only heralded the use of the dry ice method by the Department of Health but was also intended to educate and encourage the public to take the initiative to use the method on their own.  Tommy Wells, Director of the Department of Energy and Environment, stressed that homeowners can apply this home remedy for as little as .50 cents a burrow.  (One place on Capitol Hill that sells dry ice is Harris Teeter’s at 14th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.)

Department of Health employees demonstrated the method.  Dry ice is packed into a rat burrow and the entrance is covered with dirt.  As the solid form of carbon dioxide becomes a gas, it displaces the oxygen in burrows.  Gerard Brown, Manager of the Department of Health’s Rodent Control office said that the rats suffocate and “their home becomes their grave”.

Councilmember Charles Allen – who has rat control legislation pending before the city council (see here: – said he was glad that the Mayor was “out here” and told her that she has a partner in him to address the city’s rodent problem. He said, “My legislation would add more tools to the toolbox by requiring food establishments to think ahead and incorporate rodent control into their daily business plans. In the end, food waste is what attracts and sustains rodents. I would love it if restaurants would adopt indoor trash storage, and though that is not always feasible, it remains a goal to aspire to.”

According to Bowser the city assesses the magnitude of the problem by tracking the number of calls to the city complaining about rats and the number of rat burrows in the city.  Asked if the use of dry ice comported with EPA regulations, the mayor gave assurances that the method is in accordance with “guidelines”.

Another recent initiative being taken under the Department of Public Works (DPW) is a trash compactor grant program for restaurants, and the agency is actively encouraging restaurants to partner with the city to take advantage of the program.  Some activists – especially those near Barracks Row who have fought the rat war for years – say that compactors are not effective against the proliferation of rodents and the gold-standard solution is indoor storage.

Throughout, participants emphasized the need for a cooperative effort, echoing Allen’s and Council Chair Mendelson’s call for a systemic approach (Mendelson says a block-by-block approach) which would bring city agencies and restaurants to the table together to create a cooperative effort against rats.  Still, today’s announcement fell short of that, focusing on a “quick knockdown” approach, and deferring the broader more comprehensive approach to the legislative remedy working its way through the city council.

Following the press conference, Bowser took a tour of nearby alleys to see the trash management up close.  Officials had arranged the alley walk to avoid examples of the worst offenders – restaurants – and lead her down alleys in residential blocks – which were bad enough in their own right.  The tour ended at the Capitol Hill Montessori School at 215 G Street, SE, where Bowser saw rat holes near the entrance to the school and heard a parent testify to rodents in the building.

Early in the walk, Bowser carefully inspects a trash bin in an I Street alley, north of H Street.

Things got worse a little way down the alley

“Something has got to give.”

A few steps down the alley

2017-12-18 15.55.07



The Mayor’s face reflects how galling the trash can near the entrance to the DC Community Center at 645 H Street was to her

Bowser dives in to ascertain the owner of an overflowing trash bin in front of a residence near H Street

The Mayor inspect rat burrows near the entrance to Capitol Hill Montessori School at 215 G Street, NE

After a recounting of issues encountered during the walk and staff assertions of how each issue would be addressed, the entourage commemorated the occasion with a group photo.


Comments Off on Bowser Gets Personal With Rat Problem & Walks the Walk – H Street Alleys to Montessori – Photos

Filed under Uncategorized

The Week Ahead…Bill Press Interviews Hine Developer/Architect at Hill Center

Eastern Market Metro Plaza, NE Parcel, Sunday, December 17, 2017, circa 4:20pm.  Legend reads, “In honor of Paul Pascal, Esq. for his service at Chairman of the Board of Capitol Hill BID 2007 – 2014.

The Week Ahead…Bill Press Talks with Hine Developer/Architect at Hill Center

by Larry Janezich

Monday, December 18

Anc6A Transportation & Public Space Committee Meets at 7:00pm, Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Presentation by DDOT officials of Streetcar Storage and Maintenance Facility Needs Assessment Study. (

Discussion of legislation (B22-0351) introduced by Councilmember Allen that would create a School Parking Zone Program, allowing DDOT to issue permits for school staff to park in particular zones during school hours.

Consideration of support for petition for traffic calming near Miner Elementary School on Fifteenth Street, NE,  and Sixteenth Street, NE.

Tuesday, December 19

ANC6A Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm, Sherwood Recreation Center, Corner of 10th and G Streets, NE.

Agenda not available at press time.

Talk of the Hill with Bill Press:  Hine Development architect Amy Weinstein and developer Ken Golding.  7:00am – 8:00pm.  $11.00.  Register here:

Wednesday, December 20

ANC6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm, Sherwood Recreation Center, Corner of 10th and G Street, NE.

Agenda not available at press time.


Comments Off on The Week Ahead…Bill Press Interviews Hine Developer/Architect at Hill Center

Filed under Uncategorized

Little Pearl Coffee/Wine Bar at Hill Center Is Open – Photos & Menu

Little Pearl Coffee/Wine Bar at Hill Center Is Open – Photos & Menu

by Larry Janezich

Little Pearl, chef Aaron Silverman’s coffee bar, opened this morning to a standing room crowd.  The wine bar component will open on December 30.

The coffee bar will be open daily (closed Monday) from 8:00am until 3:00pm.  The wine bar will open at 5:30pm on weekdays (closed Monday) until 10:00pm and until 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday.

For more on Little Pearl, see previous Capitol Hill Corner post here:

Here’s the menu. The Wine Bar will open December 30. (click to enlarge)


Filed under Uncategorized

Mayor Bowser Leads Hine Project Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Bowser and Ward 6 CM Charles Allen cut the ribbon officially opening C Street between 7th and 8th Street, SE

Some 200 stakeholders and interested parties attended the ribbon cutting

CM Charles Allen: “The next step will be [the re-development of] Eastern Market Metro Plaza.”

Officials and former officials in attendance (l-r): ANC6B Commissioner Diane Hoskins, former ANC6B Commissioner Ivan Frishberg, Director of the DC Department of Energy and Environment and former Ward Six Councilmember Tommy Wells, ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman, and current Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen

Mayor Bowser Leads Hine Project Ribbon Cutting

by Larry Janezich

Last Tuesday, in front of a crowd of some 150, Mayor Bowser cut the ribbon on the re-opening of C Street between 7th and 8th Streets, SE, and the opening of the Hine Project.  Bowser was accompanied  by city officials including CM Charles Allen, CM Kenyan McDuffie, DMPED Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner, DC Housing Finance Agency Director Todd Lee, and Hine Developers Anthony Lanier and Ken Golding.

The Mayor’s remarks focused on the three things which the project represents to the city:  increased tax revenue, jobs, and affordable housing, as well as the importance of continuing to bring development to the city, “not only for now, but for the future”.

Her remarks were preceded by those of Ward 6 CM Charles Allen, who applauded his predecessor Tommy Wells (currently head of the Department of Energy and Environment) and former ANC6B commissioners who were involved in signing off on the Planned Unit Development agreement that moved the Hine project forward in 2012.  The latter action came over the objections of some of the nearby neighbors who mounted a protracted but ultimately unsuccessful struggle to reduce the size and mass of the project.

Allen said “I’m thrilled to be here today”, citing the project’s fulfillment of the community goals of providing dedicated senior housing, a plaza for the flea market, a re-opened C Street, additional retail space, and a better connection between Eastern Market and Barracks Row.  “The next step”, he said, “will be the [redevelopment of] Eastern Market Metro Plaza.”

Eastbanc’s Anthony Lanier cited the “blood, sweat and tears” involved in bringing the project to life.  He noted that the average retail space on Capitol Hill is 4,000 square feet, and that building a project of this size in the midst of a commercial strip with smaller buildings “without sticking out like a sore thumb, is no mean feat.”  He commended architect Amy Weinstein’s work, saying that the essential thing about great architecture is that “it not stick out – that every time you look at it you find something else you like.”

The developers have been slow to announce retail tenants for the prime space facing 7th Street in both the north and the south buildings.  This may be because – as the developers say – the tenants want to make the announcements themselves.  And it may be that the developers are having difficulty in filling the spaces.  A Sephora beauty products outlet and a fitness center have been mentioned as possible tenants.

So far, Eastbanc has announced Trickling Springs Creamery, a Turkish linen shop – Antiochia, a veterinary hospital, and JRINK – a cold press fruit and vegetable juice bar, as four of the tenants who will soon open or are already open in the retail space of the North Building.  Trader Joe’s and a pre-school day care provider are the two tenants currently leasing space on the 8th and D Street corner of the project.

As for residential, many Capitol Hill residents were disappointed when the original plan for the residences to be condos was changed to apartments.  And many more residents were shocked at the prices for the rental units, ranging from $3,270 per month for an 800 square foot one bedroom to $8,720 a month for a three bedroom.  It’s uncertain how many units have been rented, but few lighted apartments are evident in the building as one walks down C Street after dark.  The units facing 8th Street are not available yet and are not expected to be delivered by the contractor until February of next year.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Week Ahead…Mayor Bowser Opens C Street at Eastern Market on Tuesday

Carollers at 7th C Streets, SE, Sunday, December 10, circa 3:45pm

More of them. Near 7th and C Streets, SE, Sunday, December 10, circa 4:10pm.

The Week Ahead……

by Larry Janezich

Monday, December 11

ANC6C ABC Committee meets at 7:00pm at Kaiser Permanente, 700 2nd Street, NE. 


Allure Lounge, LLC, 711 H Street, NE – new liquor license.

ANC6D meets at 7:00pm, 1100 4th Street, SW.  

Items on the draft agenda:

Public Safety Report- First District MPD (PSA 105 & PSA 106) Lt. Queen, Lt. Robinson.Soccer Stadium Streetscape Update.

DC Council Resolution on Wells Fargo – DC Reinvestment.

Quiet Clean DC – Leaf Blowers.

Requin, 100 District Square, SW –  Amendment to restaurant liquor license – addition of 40 seats.

Officina, 1120 Maine Avenue, SW – new restaurant liquor license. Food market w/cafe, Restaurant on 3 levels w/Entertainment and summer garden.

The Bard, 501 I Street SW – Zoning Commission Setdown Report.

Update on 950 South Capitol Street, SW.

1900 Half Street, SW – Zoning application.

Update on Southwest Community Library Renovation Project.

Comments on Longbridge Project.

Shake Shack Sidewalk Café, 900 Maine Avenue, SW – Public space application.

400 7th Street, SW – Public Space application, Intercity Bus Permit.

Report on repaving of 400 Block of L Street, SE.

Report on Traffic Control Plan – 1000 1st Street, SE.


Tuesday, December 12

Mayor Bowser cuts the ribbon officially reopening C Street, SE, at Eastern Market between 7th and 8th Streets, SE, 11:30am, 770 C Street, SE. 

Thursday, December 14

ANC6A meets at 7:00pm, Miner Elementary School, District of Columbia Government, 601 Fifteenth Street, NE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

Recommendation: ANC6A send a letter to DDOT to study traffic-calming measures for the 400, 500, and 600 blocks of Tenth Street NE, including bump-outs, raised crosswalks, and “no through trucks” signs.

ANC6C meets at 7:00pm, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:


Cameron Windham, D.C. Office of the Attorney General.

Sonia Bary, Essential Theater.

Allure Lounge, 711 H street NE, new application for tavern license.

Grant to J.O. Wilson Elementary School.

Streetcar Storage and Maintenance Facility, needs assessment study.

MBT Wayfinding Project, improved signage.

226 Massachusetts Ave NE, Heritage Foundation/Armand’s public space development.

1005 I Street NE, Storey Park, redesign.

Zipcar proposed move from 4th and M Streets, NE, to a spot north of Florida Avenue.

1121 Abbey Place NE – Zoning adjustment – special exceptions to add a third floor and a four-story rear addition to existing one-family dwelling.

518 6th Street, NE – Historic preservation application for a rear addition.

210 A Street, NE – Historic Preservation application for a permit to install a security gate and fence on top of a retaining wall.

Parks and Events Committee – Change in chairmanship.



1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

City Council Chair Mendelson Backs Rat Bill at Hill East Meeting

City Council Chair Phil Mendelson and ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman talk rat control at Hill East’s Pretzel Bakery on Thursday morning.

City Council Chair Mendelson Backs Rat Bill at Hill East Meeting

by Larry Janezich

City Council Chair Phil Mendelson heard concerns of Capitol Hill residents on Thursday morning at Pretzel Bakery in Hill East, a few blocks from his own home near Watkins School.

ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman was there to follow-up on his testimony from the day before in support of strengthening CM Charles Allen’s Rat Bill, the subject of a city council joint committee hearing.*

Mendelson told Jayaraman his takeaway from Wednesday’s hearing was that if we want to decrease the rat problem we have to deal with it systemically.  He said that approaching restaurants one at a time is not an effective approach and that the appropriate city agencies need to sit down with all the restauranteurs in a block or a couple of blocks to create a plan.

Jayaraman – who along with ANC6B have pushed the city for stronger rodent controls** – agreed, noting that the ANC could only deal one on one with restaurants because their leverage was limited to tying trash and rodent management issues to individual liquor licenses issuance and renewals.

Mendelson said the hearing on Wednesday left him with the impression that city agencies’ roving control approach will not solve the problem.  He was dismissive of agency representatives who tried to make a case that they have made progress on rodent control and asserted there are fewer rats in the city today than in the recent past.  Mendelson noted that when he suggested a systemic plan for dealing with the rat problem on a block by block basis, he “got a blank stare from agency officials”.

Mendelson’s next move will be to sit down with CM Gray and CM Allen and talk about how to strengthen the bill.  “When it comes to me, my committee will do a detailed report.  He added that changing laws want help without requiring changes in the vision of the Department of Health and other city agencies.

Asked for his reaction to the hearing Wednesday, Jayaraman said he was pleased that so many ANC6B residents testified.  He added, “Residents of ANC 6B spoke loud and clear that simply proposing that restaurants enclose their trash will not solve the problem. They spoke clearly about the need for interior storage of trash and grease and additional resources for DOH to hire more people than the current 4 inspectors and 8 exterminators for the entire city.”  Jayaraman said he intended to follow up with CM Gray about motivating trash companies to develop better trash receptacles or at least enlist them in the effort to become part of the solution.

The discussion ended with Mendelson accepting Jayaraman’s invitation to come to an ANC6B meeting.

*CM Mendelson’s Committee on the Whole and CM Gray’s Committee on Health

** Jayaraman and ANC6B – supported by a strong coalition of active community members – have been leaders in using liquor licenses to require restaurants to follow best operating procedures, including rodent control.  CM Allen offered to “take a crack” at creating rodent control legislation at an appearance before ANC6B after community members turned out in force to vehemently insist that the city make greater efforts to control rats.  See here:

Comments Off on City Council Chair Mendelson Backs Rat Bill at Hill East Meeting

Filed under Uncategorized

A High End Coffee/Wine Bar – Little Pearl – Opens at Hill Center Dec 16

Here’s a shot of Little Pearl’s main room, December 12, 2017, circa 7:30pm. 

A High End Coffee/Wine Bar – Little Pearl – Opens at Hill Center Dec 16

by Larry Janezich

Tim Carmen of WaPo reported a few hours ago that Aaron Silverman’s “Little Pearl” will open for business on Saturday, December 16 at Hill Center.   As most Hill residents who dine on Barracks Row already know, Silverman owns and creates fine cuisine at the four-star Pineapple and Pearls and the three-star Rose’s Luxury.

Eschewing specialty coffee shop machinery and techniques, Pearl will present more traditional espresso concoctions and drip coffees plus a menu of specialty drinks and in-house pastries and breakfast wraps.  The wine bar will open in a couple of weeks around year’s end; the menu will feature a variety of appetizers, both simple and more elegant. Some of these include Japanese-style fried chicken, tarts, and in house gelati, churros and chocolate.

After Bayou Bakery owner/chef David Gaus closed his restaurant at Hill Center last year, the lease was taken over by Silverman who had been looking to expand and relocate the fledgling coffee shop at Pineapple and Pearls.

For the WaPo story, go here:

Comments Off on A High End Coffee/Wine Bar – Little Pearl – Opens at Hill Center Dec 16

Filed under Uncategorized

Quara Ethiopian Restaurant – A Gluten Free Option on H Street, NE

Quara Ethiopian Restaurant at 818 H Street, NE.

Merchaw Senshaw, owner of Quara on H Street and in Adams Morgan.

Quara Ethiopian Restaurant – A Gluten Free Option on H Street, NE

by Larry Janezich

The sparkling clean Quara Ethiopian restaurant opened last August on H Street, NE, after a yearlong permitting and renovation process.  The restaurant – at 818 H Street, NE – is owned by Merchaw Senshaw who also owns the popular Quara restaurant in Adams Morgan.

Senchaw serves authentic Ethiopian food at a reasonable price – virtually everything features injera, the the national dish of Ethiopia.  Injera is a spongy slightly sour flatbread which is used in place of a fork  and a plate – diners tear off pieces which are used to scoop up meat and/or vegetables.  It’s made from fermented teff flour which gives it – like sourdough – a slightly sour flavor.  What many customers may not realize is that injera made from teff flour is gluten free.  Senchaw gets teff based injera from a supplier, but says he also has a milder flavored in-house version containing wheat flour for those who prefer it.

Quara’s website ( says “all dishes are free from artificial coloring, artificial flavoring and artificial preservatives. We use olive oil and or vegetable oil in all vegetarian dishes. No butter, no eggs, no milk, and no honey!”  And, Senchaw adds, he doesn’t think customers will find lower prices for drinks anywhere on H Street – shots of top shelf liquor are $5 and premium beers are $3.00.

Senchaw says he wanted to bring his Ethiopian restaurant to H Street because he’s lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and says he’s anxious to be part of the redevelopment of the commercial corridor.

The restaurant opens daily at 7:00am for breakfast, including traditional Ethiopian breakfasts which are largely injera based featuring eggs, vegetables, salad, or meat.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized