New Steak House Coming to the former Aqua al 2 Space at Eastern Market
by Larry Janezich
Harvest Tide Steak House is coming to 212 7th Street, in the space formerly occupied by Aqua al 2. The restaurant will seat 150 inside plus 20 seats at the sidewalk café. The venue hopes to open early summer.
From Harvest Tide Steak House:
“We are excited to announce that we will be opening soon in Capitol Hill, Washington DC! Our executive chef/owner Danio Somoza has created a menu that will please every palate. From our dry-aged prime steaks, freshly sourced seafood, and local produce, you will taste the passion in every bite. We are driven to provide the community with the finest family-owned and operated restaurant in DC.”
This will be the second restaurant for Somoza. The original Harvest Tide Steak House is in downtown Lewes, Delaware.
Somoza says of that location, “…our goal at Harvest Tide is to provide you with the finest quality food, as well as service that far exceeds your expectations. Explore our expertly crafted menu, sip some of our unique signature cocktails and local draft beers, all while sitting back and enjoying the relaxing atmosphere. Our dry-aged, USDA prime steaks pair perfectly with our selection of the finest bourbons and wines…. Family owned, family operated, and family friendly!”
Bike and Pedestrian safety issues at 11th Street Intersection with I-695 roil 6B Transportation Committee
Also on Wednesday night, the 6B Transportation Committee heard a presentation on the I-695 Ramp Traffic Study/11th Street Bridges Project/Bike and Pedestrian Improvements on 11th Street and Virginia Avenue Park. The discussion turned rancorous over what some on the committee perceived as a failure of DDOT’s contractor to fully address pedestrian and bike safety issue out of deference to motor vehicle interests. The meeting went long, and the consensus was that the committee would work on a draft letter to DDOT and other city officials to take before the full ANC Committee at its April meeting next Wednesday.
The Week Ahead … ANC Highlights … Photos from the Past Week
Monday – US Attorney’s Office for DC – Community Prosecution Update – Christopher Wade at ANC6D.
Monday – DDOT Interim Director Everett Lott takes questions at ANC6D.
Wednesday – Presentation: Office of Campaign Finance, Fair Elections Program at ANC6C.
Wednesday – Letter to DDOT, CM Charles Allen, et. al., regarding the 2020 I-695 Ramp Traffic Study Update to express concern regarding pedestrian and bicyclist safety issues at ANC6B.
Monday, April 12
ANC6D holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. (Note early meeting date.)
Presentation: Emily Tatro and Casey Anderson, Council for Court Excellence – Briefing on District Task Force on Jails & Justice 10-Year Plan.
Select Whiskey, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., Suite #2109. New Retailer’s Class “A” Internet License. Internet sales only.
The Ugly Mug Dining Saloon/Valor Brew; 723 8th Street, S.E. Substantial Change. Application to add Sports Wagering and Game of Skill endorsements to their operations – to offer Sports Wagering through mobile app and offer physical consoles for the electronic game of skill Dragon’s Ascent.
508 Seward Square SE. Historic Preservation Application for rear and third floor addition.
5th Street SE. Historic Preservation Application for new attic storage.
602 E Street, SE. Historic Preservation Application to enclose balcony to add to living space on rear of house.
420 11th Street, SE. Historic Preservation Application for rear addition and change in front facade from stucco to wood siding.
313 9th Street SE, Historic Preservation Application to expand existing two-bay garage with a second floor addition.
106 13th Street SE. Zoning Adjustment Application for a use variance to expand an existing, nonconforming, restaurant use to the cellar and second story of a semi-detached, two-story commercial building.
Consideration of a Text Amendment to add Inclusionary Zoning Requirements to NC-6 (Lower Barracks Row) Zone.
Report: PA Avenue Streetlights & Traffic Signals Upgrade Project, Construction.
Letter to DDOT, CM Charles Allen, et. al., regarding the 2020 I-695 Ramp Traffic Study Update to express concern regarding pedestrian and bicyclist safety issues.
City Reverses Decision and Halts Crosswalk Removal at 8th and D Streets, SE
by Larry Janezich
Posted April 9, 2021.
ANC6B05 Commissioner Steve Holtzman announced late Friday afternoon that DGS has agreed to reverse themselves, replace the crosswalk removed earlier today and add the ADA compliant curb cut on the western side of 8th Street.
Holtzman said he received assurances from Councilmember Charles Allen, the DGS Project Manager, the DDOT Ward 6 Community Liaison that they will be replacing the crosswalk and ramps. Holtzman applauded the decision and cited the roughly 130 separate complaints to city officials which the removal generated.
It is uncertain how soon the crosswalks will be restored but Holtzman hoped this would be clarified later in further communications with DGS and DDOT. Also, Holtzman said, “In the short term, the crosswalk needs to be put back with added safety/visibility enhancements. Let’s be clear. The (previously) existing crosswalk when it is put back is still, without added enhancements, as dicey for pedestrians as it has always been. Putting it back (and adding the curb cut on the Western side) is still essential. It is still the best and most appropriate path for pedestrians at this juncture. However, its visibility needs to be enhanced. I’ve discussed this with DGS this morning and they agree that they will look at this and see what can be done.”
Most importantly, he said, “There still needs to be a comprehensive multi-modal traffic safety assessment undertaken for this space – we need to find better solutions to how pedestrians (with special reference to children and residents with mobility issues), cyclists, buses, trucks and cars cohabit this nexus.”
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Neighbors North & East of Eastern Market Metro Vexed Over Sudden Removal of Cross Walk
by Larry Janezich
More than 100 neighbors near 8th and D Street, SE, have written city officials to oppose the surprise removal by DDOT of the double crosswalk at the D Street intersection with 8th Street on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The so called “slip lane” – the extension of D Street at this location which allowed vehicles to merge with Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, in front of Trader Joe’s – was recently eliminated as part of the renovation of Eastern Market Metro Plaza.
ANC6B05 Commissioner Steve Holzman, alerted neighbors to the pending action last night, and again this morning after work to remove the cross walks had commenced.
Holtzman said that yesterday he told the DGS Project Manager overseeing the renovation of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza that there had never been a community consultation regarding these crosswalks. Holtzman said that he pressed for a delay in the removal but the project manager said via email:
“The east-west crosswalk markings are to be removed and the ADA ramp facing west will also be demi’d. This work has been prioritized to start tomorrow to avoid further confusion at this location.”
The crosswalks are used by pedestrian traffic travelling west on D Street to cross 8th Street for a straight shot to Trader Joe’s and the corner of 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue. Foot traffic will now be required to cross 8th Street only at the streetlight at the intersection of Pennsylvania and 8th.
Holtzman says that it has been known for years that the crossings at 8th and D have been a complicated problem and that he has asked DGS and DDOT to assess the intersection several times. He said he was told repeatedly by DGS that they did not intend to include any treatment of the crosswalks in the renovation of the Plaza. Although DGS claims they have had removal of the two crosswalks in their plans for two years, Holtzman and other ANC commissioners say this proposal was never presented publically.
Holtzman has called on residents to share their views with CM Charles Allen and DDOT. For more information, Holtzman can be reached at 6B05@anc.dc.gov
Building Collapse Sets Back Ebenezer Methodist Church Residential Project on D Street, SE
by Larry Janezich
DC Fire and Emergency Services responded to a reported building collapse in the 400 block of D Street, SE, yesterday afternoon. The building is part of a residential construction project of Ebenezer Methodist Church located on the block.
DCRA Inspections Division personnel also responded to the site and reported that DC Fire Captain Kemp was in command. DCRA said that according to Kemp, the structure began to give way while workers were doing excavation at the site. As it slowly collapsed, the workers scattered and ran. DCFD secured utilities and evacuated nearby residents. MPD brought in K-9 search dogs to help determine if there were workers trapped during the cave in, but none were found after a 20 minutes search. There were no fatalities and no injuries associated with the collapse.
According to DCRA, the project was issued a stop work order last fall because of safety concerns related to the water-filled excavation pit. The problem was apparently corrected permitting work to resume, but a photo from today showed the pit filled with water.
The adjacent town house at 416 D Street is also undergoing underpinning and excavation. The adjacent town house on the other side at 420 D Street is occupied and did not suffer damage. DCRA deemed the 416 and 418 unstable and stop work orders have been imposed.
The project has been contentious in the neighborhood since it was proposed more than three years ago. After a long review process and a battle over the architect’s plan for a mechanized car storage structure (ultimately denied by the Historic Preservation Review Board) the project got the go ahead from the city.
Re-opening: Bowser said that as the city continues to increase vaccination rates, the following activities will reopen on May 1.
Seated live entertainment (traditional theater) indoors and outdoors at 25% capacity up to 500 people.
Movie theaters at 25% capacity.
Live music will be allowed near outdoor restaurant seating.
Weddings and special events will be allowed indoors and outdoors at 25% capacity with a waiver for attendance greater than 250.
School graduations and awards ceremonies will be allowed indoors and outdoors with capacity limits to be announced.
Regional business meetings and seated conventions will be allowed indoors and outdoors at 25% capacity with a waiver for attendance greater than 250.
Outdoor races will be allowed at 50% capacity.
Indoor and outdoor public pools will be allowed to open at 50% capacity.
Outdoor splash pads will be allowed to open at full capacity.
Recreation centers will be able to operate indoors at 50% capacity.
Libraries will be able to operate at 50% capacity.
Museums galleries and exhibits will be able to operate indoors and outdoors at 50% capacity.
Non-essential retail indoors and outdoors will be able to operate at 50% capacity.
As of now, Bowser is not increasing capacity for Nats games at Nationals Park. A decision on re-opening for Wizards and Caps at Capital One Arena will be coming soon.
Bowser said that DC residents can help DC reopen by getting vaccinated ASAP, help others get vaccinated, wear a mask, social distance, practice good hygiene and prioritizing outdoor activities. As of April 2, 12.3% of DC residents have been fully vaccinated and 23% have been either fully or partially vaccinated.
508 Seward Square SE – Historic Preservation Application for a Rear and Third Floor Addition.
232 5th Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application for new attic storage.
602 E Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application to enclose balcony to add to living space on rear of house.
420 11th Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application for rear addition and change in front facade from stucco to wood siding.
313 9th Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application for existing two-bay garage to be expanded with a second floor addition.
106 13th Street, SE – Zoning Adjustment Application for use variance to expand an existing, nonconforming, restaurant use to the cellar and second story of a semi-detached, two-story with cellar, commercial building.
Text Amendment to add Inclusionary Zoning Requirements to Lower Barracks Row Zone.
ABRA will hold a virtual discussion on Medical Marijuana availability at 10:00am.
ABRA will host a public information session to discuss the Medical Cannabis Amendment Act of 2021 to make the District’s medical cannabis program more equitable, inclusive and fair; provide patients and caregivers greater flexibility and options; and ensure facilities are able to meet patient demand and product preferences.” Register here: https://bit.ly/31L7gGm
Wednesday, April 7
ANC6B Transportation Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.
1173 3rd Street, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application for special exception relief to partially demolish the existing attached principal dwelling unit and to construct a third-story addition with roof deck, rear deck addition, cellar, and carport below the rear deck.
Presentation: Solar Programs for DC Residents – Katya Botwinick, Energy Program Specialist, DC
Letter to DDOT opposing the issuance of permits for the installation of the small cells in Rosedale until more information is received about the process for selecting locations and the safety of 5G small cell infrastructure; and that DDOT contact ANCs first before issuing permits.
Letter to DDOT in support of Public Space Permit for the replacement of a retaining wall at 424 11th Street, NE.
Resolution in support of extending the DC Streetcar to Benning Road, NE, and support for requisite funding in the FY 2022 budget.
Letter of conditional support to Zoning Commission for a requested modification of consequence (modify number of balconies on eastern façade) for 1701 H Street, NE, on condition that the additional units that are going to be proffered with the 7th floor addition be made 30% AMI, or substituted with the same number of units at 30% AMI.
Letter of conditional support to BZA for a special exception, to construct a new three-story with cellar and roof deck, rear addition to an existing, two-story with cellar, semi-detached, principal dwelling unit at 211 13th Street, NE.
Letter of conditional support to HPO for the renovation of an existing single family row home with a rear and third floor addition in the Capitol Hill Historic District relief at 17 9th Street, NE.
Letter of support to BZA for a special exception, to construct a third story addition and roof deck, to an existing two-story flat, and a second story addition to an accessory detached garage at 308 11th Street, NE.
Resolution regarding ANC 6A support for funding the DC Office for the Deaf, Deaf Blind, and Hard of Hearing in DC’s FY2022 budget.
Amendment of the ANC 6A FY21 budget to reallocate unused resources from the FedEx and DCPS security line items in the amount of $2,255.00 to grants ($1,870.00) and ZoomPro ($385.00).
ANC6B Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.
Select Whiskey, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Suite #2109 – New Retailer’s Class “A” Internet License (internet only sales).
The Ugly Mug Dining Saloon/Valor Brew; 723 8th Street, SE – Substantial Change Application request to add Sports Wagering and Game of Skill endorsements to their operations. To offer Sports Wagering through mobile app and offer physical consoles for the electronic game of skill Dragon’s Ascent.
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Handle-19 Pulls Application for Liquor License for Gambling Spot on PA Avenue SE
by Larry Janezich
Thursday afternoon, DC’s Alcohol Beverage Control Administration notified ANC6B that Handle-19 has withdrawn its application for a liquor license for the space at 319 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, where they had plans to open a sports book gambling venue.
Neighborhood opposition had been vehement and neighbors and ANC6B were both expected to participate in a protest hearing on the application scheduled by ABRA for next Thursday. That hearing will now be cancelled.
In February, DC Lottery denied Handle 19’s sports betting application for unspecified reasons. Owner Shane August subsequently withdrew the application which allowed him to reapply – which he was expected to do after restructuring the company and paying a new $100,000 application fee. To date he does not appear to have done so, but still could.
Technically, August could open a gambling place without a liquor license, but it can’t be stand-alone. It has to have another retail component, such as a restaurant.
However, another factor in the withdrawal of the application for a liquor license may have been reports that Kodiak Properties – the owner of the building at 319 Pennsylvania Avenue – had terminated Handle 19’s lease for the property. Capitol Hill Corner reached out to Kodiak Properties but no one was available who could confirm the termination. Not having a confirmed space to operate would torpedo a liquor license application.
UPDATE: CHC reached out to Shane August for comment. August replied after the article was posted and that response is below.*
Asked for reaction, ANC6B Chair Brian Ready said, “This is what many neighbors wanted – they believed this was not an appropriate place for a gambling establishment. I would call this a win in the short run but maybe not in the long run, given the way the city council and DC Lottery has set this up.” During ANC6B discussions, the point was made repeatedly that there is neither city guidance nor restrictions on locales where gambling establishments may operate.
The ANC6B ABC Committee will hear a presentation from a DC Lottery representative at their regularly scheduled virtual meeting next Thursday. Ready urged members of the community with questions to attend.
CHC reached out to former ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman who has been active in the community on this issue on behalf of protesting neighbors. He said “I’m torn with what has transpired. On one hand I’m pleased to see that when neighbors and the ANC work together they can get a result the neighbors wanted. But the withdrawal provided little clarity for gambling establishments city wide. One of the goals of the case was to set a precedent regarding the appropriate location for gambling, and as the result of the withdrawal, we have no resolution.”
Liz Morin-Burns, spokesperson for a group of opposing neighbors, said she was happy but not sure the fight is over. She said, “For me, this leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Are we going to have to fight this again in six months or a year? Are they truly leaving Capitol Hill or is that unknown? I had hoped we’d get to a trial and an official saying ‘no’. This leaves the door open…we hope to work with CM Charles Allen to make sure there is some review of gambling licenses where residents have a say.”
*Today, Handle 19 made the difficult decision to withdraw its application for a liquor license at 319 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Handle 19 was looking forward to being a responsible and engaged part of the Capitol Hill community and to revitalizing a space that has sat vacant on Pennsylvania Avenue for several years. The project would have created at least 25 hospitality jobs in the midst of a pandemic that has hit that industry, and its workers, the hardest. It is particularly disappointing that the local neighbors and ANC 6B fought so hard to undermine a small and minority-owned business, and spent thousands of tax payer dollars to achieve such a goal; money that could have gone to much more productive causes, including grants for small businesses on Capitol Hill. While the project has suffered an unfortunate setback, Handle 19 still plans to move forward at another location and is in the process of exploring new opportunities. This is not the end, it is simply the end of the beginning.