Update on Barracks Row and Lower 8th Street

Barracks Row at 8th and E Streets, Wednesday, January 22, circa 3:45pm.

Update on Barracks Row and Lower 8th Street

By Larry Janezich

Community Connections tenant Dunkin’ Donuts has plans to relocate from the corner of 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue, to a few doors down 8th Street at 406 – 409 8th, the recently renovated site of space formerly occupied by the Old Siam. Dunkin Donuts took out a building permit to build out the space for a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins store on January 7.  A manager at Baskin Robbins said he had heard of the plan but didn’t know the timing.

District Soul Food has not been able to get its long standing noise issues resolved and at a January 8 protest hearing ANC6B asked the Alcohol Beverage Review Board to withdraw their entertainment endorsement, or alternately, ensure that the establishment takes measures in a finite amount of time to bring the restaurant into compliance with the terms of their settlement agreement limiting noise.  The restaurant has not followed through on its agreement to install soundproof windows.  The board has 90 days from the January 8 hearing to render a decision.

In other food outlet news, CAVA will close temporarily for renovations this spring.

Last Tuesday night, ANC6B’s Barracks Row Working Group chair Brian Ready, stepped down from that leadership position, to devote more attention to his job of chair of the full ANC, to which he had been elected a week before.  Former ANC6B chair Chander Jayaraman will assume the chairmanship of the working group, which dovetails with his chairmanship of the ANC6B Alcoholic Beverage Committee. Ready will continue to serve as a member of the working group.  Jayaraman is running for a seat at large on the city council, and earlier this week announced he was the first candidate to qualify for matching funds.

Barracks Row’s quality of life problems were discussed at the Working Group meeting.  MPD stressed that many of these problems do not involve crimes, and  their primary focus is addressing violent crime.  MPD said that a holistic approach involving many city agencies is necessary.  Those agencies and other stakeholders will be invited to next month’s working group meeting.  In the meantime, efforts are underway to make the alcoves/entrances to empty storefronts less hospitable to hanging out by erecting plywood barricades.  MPD hopes to assign a second officer to supplement the presence of Barracks Row bike cop Officer (Maz) Mazloon.

And finally, The Brig on lower 8th Street, is getting a residential neighbor. Last week, ANC6B voted 8-0 to support the Historic Preservation Application concept for the conversion of the three story commercial building at 716 L Street, SE – next to The Brig – to a four story plus penthouse, 18 unit apartment building.  Here’s how it looks now and how it will look:






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7 responses to “Update on Barracks Row and Lower 8th Street

  1. Debbie Hernandez

    Great reporting as always, Larry. Ambar is closing this week for renovations as well. They’re hoping to reopen in about 6 weeks, I was told.

  2. IK

    I cannot believe MPD says there is no crime, when there is rampant drug sale going on… i have observed it just by walking on the street and the MPD does not see it with full presence. Come on!
    Also, Community Connection is the organization doing important work, but they seem to only care about serving the community within the confines of their offices once the people are outside “the service” is no longer there and nobody cares… maybe they should change their name to Community Disconnection because they are completely disconnected from what it is going on in the immediate surrounding community.

  3. Andy McKinley

    I wonder why District Soul Food is treated remarkably different than any other bar in the area…..


    • AngryOldMan

      Maybe it’s treated differently because it is operating in a different manner. A nightclub that charges a $20 cover, and tells neighbors to go “smoke a joint,” is different than a restaurant or tavern. A nightclub that flouts ABRA regulations, a settlement agreement and the terms of its own license is different. The owners brought this in themselves, whether though incompetence, indifference or malfeasance. They had every opportunity to address noise issues for a year, but failed to do so. So check yourself.

  4. Jimmy

    is the current Dunkin Donuts space going to be empty? That’s going to create quite the mess on that corner.

  5. John

    Other closings of note:
    – Medium Rare
    – Spring Mill Bakery (end of the month)

    • 9th St Mom

      I was so disappointed to learn when I visited Spring Mill this weekend that Friday is there last day. I was a regular bread customer for years. Spring Mill was the only business that regularly drew me to Barracks Row.