First Restaurant on Reservation 13: Sala Thai Restaurant Eyes Opening in May
by Larry Janezich
Posted January 31, 2022
Sala Thai is looking at a May opening in the first floor retail space of the Park Kennedy apartment building at 19th and C Streets, SE, in Hill East. A company representative says the owner hopes to open in May. The liquor license application anticipates a seating capacity of 78 inside plus 30 seats in a summer garden. The restaurant is requesting an entertainment endorsement inside the restaurant.
Hours for live entertainment: Thursday, 6pm, – 9pm; Friday and Saturday, 6pm – 9:30pm. No entertainment Sunday – Wednesday.
The Alcohol Beverage Control Administration has scheduled a hearing on March 14. Since the building is in Ward 7, ANC7F will consider the license application, likely in its next meeting on February 15. See here: https://anc7f.com/
The protest petition deadline to appear before the board is February 22 and the protest hearing date is May 18.
The company has three other outlets: 4020 Minnesota Avenue, NE, 2300 Washington Place, NE, and 4828 Cordell Avenue, in Bethesda. Here’s a link to the menu at the Minnesota Avenue restaurant: https://www.salathairisland.com/
Here’s the outside and inside of the locally owned Honey Made boutique shop at 727 8th Street, SE, where President Biden stopped in last Tuesday to demonstrate his support of small businesses. Biden bought a necklace, a sweatshirt and a mug featuring VP Kamala Harris. Barracks Row was blocked off by MPD from Pennsylvania Avenue to the freeway for more than an hour. On Thursday morning, the owner of Honey Made received a call saying her shop would be featured in People magazine.
The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week
by Larry Janezich
Tuesday, February 1
ANC6B Economic Development Planning and Zoning Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.
Rock N Roll Half Marathon – Diane Romo Thomas – Returning to usual Saturday, March 26, 2022
745 10th Street, SE. Zoning Adjustment Application. Special Exception to construct a two-story accessory garage with roof deck, to an existing, attached, three-story principal dwelling unit.
739 12th Street, SE. Zoning Adjustment Application and Historic Preservation Application. Special Exception to construct a two story, rear addition to an existing, attached, two-story principal dwelling.
Resolution calling for the DC Council to increase regulation on last mile delivery services – introduced by Commissioner Holman
ANC6C Environment Parks and Events Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.
638 East Capitol Street, NE. Historic Preservation Application. Concept Approval to demolish an existing one-story rear frame addition and construct at the rear a new two-story frame addition (infilling closed court) plus a one-story screen porch.
632 5th Street, NE. Zoning Adjustment Application for special-exception relief to construct a two-story accessory garage to an existing attached two-story principal dwelling unit.
227-235 Massachusetts Avenue, NE. Zoning Adjustment Application by Hillsdale College for special exception to construct a new penthouse on an existing attached four-story mixed-use building.
1173 3rd Street, NE. Zoning Adjustment application. Special exception relief construct a new three-story dwelling with roof deck, and to construct an elevated rear deck.
Thursday, February 3
ANC6B Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.
202 K Street, NE. Construction Permit Application. Paving: Driveway(s) New- Commercial, Fixture: Bike Rack(s): DDOT Standard, Paving: Curb & Gutter(s), Paving: Mill and Overlay, Paving: Sidewalk (porous/pervious), Fixture: Retaining Wall to 42″, Landscaping: Tree Planting, Projections: Balcony
NoMa BID update on the 3rd Street Metro Entrance improvements.
The DDOT Performance Oversight Hearing is scheduled for Feb 18th, 2022, and is the chance for the ANC to send a representative to attend and provide testimony/feedback to DDOT’s performance over the past year.
8th Street NE Bus Priority and Multi-modal Safety Improvements. DDOT is initiating concept planning for bus priority and multi-modal safety improvements on 8th Street, NE, between Florida Avenue and East Capitol Street. Further participation from the ANC is welcomed.
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Photo Essay: Sanabria & Co. – the Home Design Shop on East Capitol Street
by Larry Janezich
Melissa Sanabria walked away from a 15 year career in the financial industry and opened up an interior design studio. She founded the Sanabria & Co. in 2018. Now she and her team of 7 design associates work out of studio space at 660 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. In 2021 she opened Sanabria & Co./The Shop at 409 East Capitol. Connecting to the community is important to Sanabria and the shop broadens her ability to do that.
According to the website, Sanabria “carries home decor and furnishings that complement the signature Sanabria & Co. style.” Some of the shop’s offerings include furnishings, linens, tableware, books on design, framed vintage prints, and 100 year old Turkish carpets – all items used by the design team in creating their visions for Capitol Hill homes.
The shop is a local outlet for luxury candles and body care products handmade by the renowned NYC company, Apotheka. Design associate Katie at Sanabria says they are one of the most popular items in the store.
The shop carries two noteworthy local products: local honey from bee keeper Jan Day and soy wax candles hand poured by the three young Gill brothers from close-in Maryland. The candles are produced by their company, FRÈRES BRANCHIAUX (Gill brothers). Katie with Sanabria explained that the boys’ mother inspired them to start their company, telling them that if they wanted money for video games they would have to get jobs or start a company. They chose the latter. The Washington Post featured the enterprise in July of 2019 (https://wapo.st/3rbGEvL ) and in February of 2021, an article in Oprah Daily named their candles among the 25 best from Black owned companies. The company’s products are carried by Whole Foods, Target, and Macy’s among some two dozen outlets. They donate 10% of their profits to homeless shelters.
Second Story Honey comes from beehives on or near Capitol Hill and Le Droit Park. The name comes from the location of the hives at Day’s home two blocks north of Lincoln Park, i.e., the second story of her back porch, 20 feet above the sidewalk. She also has hives at Congressional Cemetery, on the roof of Union Market, and at Common Good City Farm in NE Washington.
Sanabria & Co./The Shop is at 409 East Capitol Street, SE. 202.844.2708. HOURS: THURSDAY 10-6/FRIDAY 10-7/SATURDAY 10-7/SUNDAY 11-6.
ANC6B Votes Unanimous Support for LGBTQ Tavern on Barracks Row
by Larry Janezich
At a “Special Call” meeting on Tuesday night, ANC6B unanimously supported the application of Jo McDaniel and Rachel Pike for a liquor license for an LGBTQ bar they will open up at 500 8th Street, SE. As You Are will be a coffee shop, bar, and restaurant and Friday and Saturday night will offer dancing on the second floor. Otherwise, that space will be used for “community meetings, Trivia, book clubs”….
Nearly 100 participants joined the virtual committee meeting, Chaired by Commissioner Corey Holman in his first turn as presiding officer as the new head of ANC6B.
Former chair Brian Ready, who continues to chair the Commission’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee, referenced the lengthy “spirited debate” in a meeting Monday night among commissioners, neighbors and the As You Are team to craft a Settlement Agreement which would set the terms under which the tavern will operate. The terms of the agreement are meant to protect nearby neighbors from the impact of a potentially noisy and disruptive business while placing restriction on the business that are not so restrictive that it prevents them from succeeding.
Ready announced that such an agreement appearsed to have been reached, and brought it before the commission for consideration.
And that they did, over the course of two and a half hours of a meeting that stood in sharp contrast to the contentious and adversarial meeting earlier this month as reported elsewhere on this blog. Discourse was civil and comments from nearby neighbors indicated that while some still had concerns, most were on board with the terms of the agreement. Nearly 20 members of the gay community voiced their strong support for the new business.
After the public comment portion of the meeting was over and the license application appeared well on its way to receiving ANC endorsement, Jo McDanial became emotional as she summed up how important this project is to the queer community: “We really want to thank this community. Y’all are the reason we do anything – this is our life’s work – and so, to the neighbors who live here who have questions – if we’re going to protect this community this carefully, I promise you your block is safe with us.”
Everything was fine after that, until former commissioner Chander Jayraman and Commissioner Jerry Sroufe raised concerns about the inclusion of language in the agreement which was intended to prevent the tavern owners from being punished twice for the same offense – once under DC law and again for violating the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The language could provide a loophole, absolving As You Are from adhering to the Settlement Agreement. For a few moments, it appeared that the meeting might go off the rails but language was suggested (by a nearby neighbor participant in the meeting) that resolved the concerns.
The final vote on a motion to support the tavern license application with the Settlement Agreement as amended was 10 – 0 – 0.
Holman adjourned the meeting after welcoming Jo and Rachel “and the community already here to restore 8th Street back to its place of pride as the home of queer culture in DC”
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ANC 6A’s Economic Development and Zoning Committee, ANC 6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee, and ANC 6C’s Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee are hosting a joint virtual meeting with the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Land Use Section, to discuss OAG’s recent announcement of a new focus on advocating for the public interest in zoning and development cases.
Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.
To join the meeting, go here:
Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/86776975706?pwd=alV2YUlpdVBrQk9ydlFTdHdhaXFZQT09 Meeting ID: 867 7697 5706Passcode: 714781One tap mobile+13126266799,,86776975706#,,,,*714781# +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
Among items on the agenda:
Report of the Chair
Report of the Market Manager
Implementation of the Strategic Plan
Eastern Market Main Street
Marketing and Promotions
Report of the Market Operations Committee Meeting: Tom Kuchenberg
Capital Improvements Report: Monte Edwards:
Tenant’s Council Report: Anita Jefferson
Thursday, January 27
ANC6A Transportation & Public Space Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.
Discussion of recent new speed hump and raised crosswalk approvals by DDOT: 300 block of 17th Place, NE; 900 block of G Street, NE; 12th Street, NE and Wylie Street, NE, (crosswalk); 200 block of 9th Street, NE; 200 block of 9thStreet NE; 400 block of 9th Street NE.
Representative Norton, SCOTUS Marshal Gaiul A. Curley and SCOTUS Chief of Police Paul Coleman, and ANC6A Commissioner Christine Healey.
SCOTUS Security Pushes into A Street, NE, Vexing Neighbors – Rep. Norton Hears Residents Fault SCOTUS Security for Quality of Life Issues
by Larry Janezich
On January 12, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton chaired a virtual community meeting on SCOTUS security’s temporary and occasional closure to traffic of the 200 block of A Street, NE.
In 2006, when the Supreme Court sought a DDOT permit to erect a pop-up traffic barrier in the middle of the 200 block of A Street, SE, DDOT said no. The reasons for denying the request were residents’ opposition to the noisy operation of the barrier, the impact on access to their homes, an adverse effect on property values, and the feeling of residents that they were being used as “human shields” against drivers of explosive-laden vehicles intent on attacking the court.
So the Supreme Court, citing its authority to protect the court and its officials, started closing the street on days the Supreme Court was in session and on days the justices were conferencing – some 8 to 12 days a month from 9:45am to 2:00pm. The method used was a difficult-to –move (fork lift) temporary pop up barrier placed half way down the block of A Street, NE, between 2nd and 3rd Streets, a barrier which is lowered at resident or delivery truck driver request.
Neighbors complained to ANC6A Commissioner Christine Healey and Representative Norton, which resulted in the unusual community meeting hosted by Norton. At the meeting’s start, Norton emphasized her long commitment to keeping public space in DC open and her deep concern regarding fencing and security measures altering access to public buildings. The panel assembled to discussion the issue, included the Marshal and the Chief of Police of the Supreme Court; Everett Lott, Director of DDOT; and Matthew Marcou, Associate Director, DDOT; and ANC6C01 Commissioner Christine Healey.
SCOTUS security officials stressed the efforts they have taken to address the neighbors’ concerns and say that many of those concerns could be resolved by installation of an in-ground pop up barrier, which, presumably, could be left in the down position, like the pop-up barriers on the north and south ends of the block of 2nd Street behind the court. This would seem to facilitate resolution of access issues, but Healey said there would continue to be a noise issue caused by vehicles driving across the barrier.
Residents, seemingly, also oppose an in-ground pop up barrier for other reasons cited in their 2006 opposition to an in-ground pop up barrier – the feeling they would be used as “human shields” to protect the court and the effect on property values.
The SCOTUS security team says they don’t think they need DDOT permission to install a pop-up barrier and the court’s “lawyers will take a look at it.” DDOT is calling for an assessment of the SCOTUS operational security plan to find the best path forward for DC to help protect the Supreme Court.
The SCOTUS Marshal said a safer court means a safer neighborhood, reminding residents that “we’re all in this together.”
Norton concluded the meeting urging continued communication among the stakeholders, saying she believes “we are on the way to find whatever solution can be found.” She assured residents that her office would make sure the community is informed of progress being made.
New Barracks Row COVID Testing & Vaxx Site Opens 10 am on Monday, January 24
by Larry Janezich
Mayor Bowser and CM Charles Allen announced today that beginning on Monday, DC Department of Health is opening a new Testing and Vaxx site at 507 8th Street on Barracks Row. The site will provide free:
Walk-up PCR tests
Take home rapid tests
It will be open 6 days a week.
Monday: 10 am – 8 pm
Wednesday: 10 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm
Friday: 9 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 7 pm
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Garfield Park Upgrade Starts This Year Says Department of Parks and Recreation
by Larry Janezich and Hilary Russell
Posted January 21, 2022
According to Christopher Dyer, Community Engagement Manager for DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), “I know that Garfield Park is going to happen at some point this year.” At a January 11 meeting of ANC6B, Dyer was pressed on the status of the upgrade by Commissioner Jennifer Samolyk. He said a bid for improvement is being reviewed by the Office of Contracts and Procurement, adding, “Once we have a bid in place, I’m going to look forward to working with you and the Friends of Garfield Park to get feedback on the design.”
The much-needed renovation of Garfield Park (south of F Street SE, between 3rd and New Jersey Avenue) had been expected to begin in 2021, but as Dyer later confirmed by email, “The project received additional funding after the original  solicitation was released, so it needed to be re-bid. We anticipate this process will end shortly and a contractor will be selected to start the project soon after.” He added, “The general scope remains the same. The additional funding will allow for enhanced improvements to the playground and other areas already outlined in the scope.” Along with ADA-compliant access and egress, that will include improved lighting, drainage, and landscaping.
The issues troubling the park include cracked and pitted sidewalks, deteriorating tennis courts and benches, poor lighting and drainage, and a steep ramp-less walking route to H Street, SE, that’s difficult and hazardous to navigate for the more fragile members of the community and those with strollers or carriages.
Delayed renovation and official neglect reflect a long history of encroachments on Garfield Park by railroads, freeways, and the congressional power plant. The most recent, in 1969, lopped off a large chunk of Garfield Park – 95,470 square feet – to accommodate the construction of the Southeast-Southwest freeway. As the Historic American Buildings Survey reported, “Basketball courts were installed beneath the freeway in an attempt to mitigate the loss of parkland. …Second Street, which had always continued through the park, was closed to traffic and its roadbed broken up and sodding put down in its place.”
The District Department of Transport (DDOT) is now responsible for this lopped-off area under the freeway on the park’s southern edge. The basketball courts and a skateboard park built by users in about 2010 have been demolished, yielding to graffiti-covered concrete blocks, rubble from CSX tunnel construction, a slew of parked cars, and a homeless encampment. The sole vestiges of recreational infrastructure are the lines painted by pickle-ball players for two courts on the now closed section of Virginia Avenue under the freeway. In FY 2018, $1 million in funding for DDOT to improve the area was approved but the project appears to be stalled.
Friends of Garfield Park, a crucial neighborhood supporter and funder of park improvements for more than 20 years, urged in 2021 (among other things) that the renovation include replacing the basketball courts and skateboard park and spiffing up the pickle ball courts. These elements would add to the park’s appeal to a wide range of people who now can play tennis, beach volleyball, bocce, horseshoes, softball and baseball. Visitors can also enjoy climbing frames appropriate for adults, adolescents, children, and toddlers, and families can dine on the park’s picnic tables.
A few amenities do not appear to be in cards for the renovation: a dog park, more trash cans, an irrigation system, a splash feature, and a wading pool like one below.
Once a contractor is engaged and a project manager designated, DPR and or the Department of General Services will begin a series of community meetings to solicit stakeholders’ and resident input regarding the design elements of the park.
Last Thursday night, ANC6D got an update on homeless encampments from Jamal Weldon, Program Manager, Encampment Response Program under the Office of Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. During his presentation, he made the following points:
An encampment is any site where residents who are homeless set up a tent or structure with the intention of establishing residence.
Homeless residents of encampments are residents of the community.
The Department of Health and Human Services can’t force encampment residents to move unless the encampment impedes public access or the encampment is a danger to the community or the residents themselves.
Illegal actions on part of residents of encampments are not under the purview of DHHS.
DC has a strategic plan to end long term homelessness in DC by the end of 2025. The plan – Homeward DC – has made substantial progress in housing homeless families, but housing for unaccompanied adults has been slower in coming. Fully implementing Homeward DC will take time – meanwhile, the city has established a protocol for addressing encampments.
Protocols under The Encampment Pilot Program are triggered when a site presents a security, health, or safety risk, and/or interferes with community use of such places.
The pilot program provides shelter, intensive case management, and pathways to housing as well as behavioral health services through DHS for residents at the targeted locations. Other city agencies are engaged to clean up the site.
Three major encampments have been designated as falling within the criteria established for cleanup under the pilot program:
NoMa Underpasses, M/L Streets, NE
New Jersey & C Street Park, NW
20th/21st and E Streets, NW
The first two are in the process of housing former encampment residents and Weldon said that out of 111 individuals, 89 have been housed or are in a hotel waiting processing.
Weldon engaged in a spirited discussion with Commissioner Sondra Phillips-Gilbert who pressed for better communication between Weldon’s office and individual ANC commissioners and residents with concerns about encampments. Weldon said communication failures were due to the pandemic and assured greater cooperation.
Regarding an encampment within ANC6D at 18th and D Streets, NE, near RFK – which he called a major concern – Weldon said there has been outreach and his office was working with residents to connect them with resources including housing navigation.
The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services has a website on encampments here: https://dmhhs.dc.gov/page/encampments There are several encampments in Ward 6 which are on the list of Upcoming Encampment Protocol Engagements. Some of the on-or-near Capitol Hill sites scheduled for cleanup have not yet been addressed – likely because encampments are not dismantled during inclement weather.
There are encampments at:
11th Street, SE/695 Underpass – Scheduled for Full Clean Up
3rd Street and Virginia Avenue, SE – Scheduled for Full Clean Up
695 and Virginia Avenue, SE Underpass, (across from Whole Foods) – Scheduled for Full Clean Up
The large encampment on Columbus Circle in front of Union Station is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.