City to Close 7th Street SE Near Eastern Market Four Nights A Week for Fresh Air Dining
May 28, 2020
by Larry Janezich
Last night, Shawn Townsend, DC’s Director of Nightlife and Culture, told the Barracks Row Working Group in a virtual meeting, that plans are being laid to expand the outdoor dining space for restaurants in three parts of the city to help them reopen under the Mayor’s Phase I Reopening Guidelines. Those guidelines limit restaurant service to outside dining, tables six feet apart, and of six patrons per table.
Townsend said that his office and the Special Events Task Group headed up by Lamont Akins are focusing on a roll out of three specific streets over three upcoming weekends: June 4 – 7, 18th Street in Adams Morgan; June 11 – 14, the 800 block of Upsur in Petworth; and June 18 – 21, Eastern Market’s 200 and 300 blocks of 7th Street, SE.
Streets would be closed from 3:00pm until midnight on Thursday and Friday, and 11:00am until midnight on Saturday and Sunday. Outdoor dining space would be extended to the curb and maybe into the streets.
For Eastern Market, the affected restaurants could include Peregrine Espresso, Bullfrog Bagels, Radici, The Eastern, Eat BRGZ, Boxcar, Tunnicliff’s, Prego, Tortilla Café, Acqua Al 2, and 7th Street Hill Café. (Le Pain Quotidian filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday and hopes to avoid liquidation through a sale to Aurify Brands in a deal that would allow some 35 of its 98 US venues to continue operations. It is unclear whether the Eastern Market location would be among the 35, should such a deal be consummated.)
Barracks Row has been discussed but closure appears to be unlikely at this time owing to issues presented by bus routes and the Fire Station.
The Barracks Row Working Group, chaired by ANC6B Chander Jayaraman, was formed in 2019 by ANC6B during Jayaraman’s tenure as ANC6B Chair to bring a coordinated ANC/business effort to reverse a downswing in the attractiveness of the Row as a destination.