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The Week Ahead… ANC6A Alcohol Licensing Committee Considers Gambling on H Street

The Fridge Art Gallery on Barracks Row.  

The Week Ahead…ANC6A Alcohol Licensing Committee Considers Sports Wagering on H Street, NE

by Larry Janezich

Monday, August 19

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee Meets at 7:00pm at Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G Street, N.E.

Among items on the draft agenda:

If filed before the meeting date, consideration of application made by owner of 1519 Constitution Avenue, NE #301, who wishes to add a gate in the rear to access parking spaces.

Consideration of proposal to close a portion of, East Capitol Street west of Lincoln Park on the evening of October 31, 2019 – to improve safety for Halloween revelers.

Discussion of Revel’s plans to add electric shared-mopeds to the transportation mix.

Tuesday, August 20

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

Discussion of application of Kitchen Cray at 1301 H Street, NE, for a new restaurant CR license.

Discussion of substantial change application of Mythology & Lore/Dirty Water at 816 H Street, NE for addition of Sports Wagering to operations.

General discussion of addition of Sports Wagering to liquor licenses in ANC 6A.

Discussion of upcoming relocation of Montana Liquor Store to 710 H Street, NE, (previous location: 1801 Montana Avenue, NE).

Discussion of request for relocation of license by Smokin’ Pig from 1123 H Street, NE, to 1208 H Street, NE.

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Eastern Market Metro’s Temporary Playground Opens

The playground opened Saturday morning, August 17.

Equipment is aimed at a 2 – 5 age group under adult supervision.  (Click to enlarge) 

Thomas O’Neill of Keystone Plus Construction, Superintendent, oversaw the installation in what he says was record time – two weeks.

Eastern Market Metro’s Temporary Playground Opens

by Larry Janezich

After city safety inspectors signed off on the installation of the new equipment on Thursday, the temporary playground on Parcel 1 (between 8th and 9th Streets) of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza opened today.  It will be open dawn to dusk and managed by DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

The temporary playground will be incorporated into a larger permanent playground on the north side of Parcel 1 after construction begins in December 2019 or January 2020.

Funds for the playground came from the developers of the Hine Project as part of the benefits for the community negotiated by ANC6B in exchange for the impact of the Hine project’s increased height and density beyond what zoning would otherwise allow.

Here’s a link to a survey where readers can weigh in with their ideas regarding the options under consideration for the permanent playground:  https://dgs.dc.gov/page/eastern-market-metro-park-project

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Orchid – Barracks Row’s Gay Bar – Closes

Orchid, at 520 8th Street, SE. Photo credit: Orchid

 

Here’s the notice from the restaurant’s website.

Orchid – Barracks Row’s Gay Bar – Closes

By Larry Janezich

Orchid is permanently closed according to a notice on the bar’s website.  The LBGT community welcomed the new outlet after Phase 1, Barracks Row’s iconic lesbian bar and nightclub, closed in the summer of 2016.  Orchid opened on May 18, 1918, in the space formerly occupied by Senart’s Oyster and Grille Room.

Orchid is owned by Bill Sport of the Hill Restaurant Group and managed by Tom Johnson.  The building is owned by Mary Quillian of Mr. Henry’s.

 

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City and Businesses Attack Barracks Row Safety/Aesthetic/Cleanliness Problems

DDOT begins the repair work on Barracks Row Sidewalks

New planters on the 400 Block of Barracks Row.  (photo credit Capitol Hill BID)

City and Businesses Attack Barracks Row Safety/Aesthetic/Cleanliness Problems

by Larry Janezich

DDOT began the repair of Barracks Row sidewalk yesterday, starting near the 7-11 on the 400 Block of 8th Street.  The broken and uneven slate pavers set into dirt have been an annoying pedestrian hazard for years.  (CHC first reported this in August, 2013.)  The work will progress down the west side of 8th Street to M Street, SE, and then back up the east side of 8th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue.  Barracks Row Main Street (BRMS) lead the effort to get DDOT to remedy the sidewalk issues on the street.  The work is expected to take 34 days.

Some sidewalk cafes will be temporarily affected as crews work on the space directly adjacent to them. Brickwork will be repaired where needed, but the majority of the work will focus on the slate section of the tree box line adjacent to the curb.

Martin Smith, Executive Director of BRMS says, I’m very excited about the sidewalk repair – BRMS has been lobbying DDOT for three or four years on this.  Since its complete reconstruction in 2004, the street scape has been a victim of its own success as increased traffic has taken a toll on the infrastructure.”

The sidewalk repair comes in the middle of a new pilot program aimed at the problematic 400 block of 8th.  The program, undertaken and funded by BRMS, the Capitol Hill Business Improvement (BID) and a collection of Barracks Row property owners, was given impetus by ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman who established the ANC6B Barracks Row Working Group chaired by ANC Commissioner Brian Ready, with business co-chairs Tom Johnson (District Restaurant Group) and Gaynor Jablonski (The Ugly Mug).

The components of the pilot project include installation of planters and rose bushes, the assignment of two BID Clean Team members to the 400 block for 8 hours a day, seven days a week, and a BID social worker who will focus efforts on assisting some of the individuals who frequent the block.

Capitol Hill BID President Patty Brosmer said, “This block of 8th Street is busy and has been a challenge for some time. With the extra funding dedicated to address the challenges we are already seeing a difference in the way the block looks and feels.”

After the pilot project concludes in mid-September, BRMS will assess which elements were successful and work to implement longer term funding and partnerships.

Smith said that he was glad to see the two projects overlap – especially in light of the upcoming redesign of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza [scheduled to begin in December].  The fact that these projects are coming together should have a positive impact on pedestrians in the neighborhood.”

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Fridge Mural Commemorates 5 Lives Lost to Gun Violence in School Year 2017-18

Hundreds of roses on the mural signify other victims of gun violence. 

Fridge Mural Commemorates 5 Lives Lost to Gun Violence in School Year 2017 – 18

by Larry Janezich

Lauryn Renford’s grief over the death of her boyfriend Zaire Kelly – shot during an attempted robbery in 2017 – inspired her to seek a way to memorialize him.  That idea became a larger project to help call attention to the gun violence visited upon the city’s youths and to spur the community to do something about it.  She co-founded the student advocacy group – Pathways 2 Power – based in Thurgood Marshall High School – that unveiled the mural on the wall of The Fridge, Barracks Row’s art space at 516 8th Street, SE, rear alley last Friday evening.

Dubbed “The Limestone of Lost Legacies Mural Project,” the mural is an effort to make sure the community remembers these lost lives, envisions the potential these kids had, and urges people to take action.

Pathways 2 Power raised nearly $13,000 to fund the project.  Alex Goldstein, owner of The Fridge, provided the wall space.  Local artist Martin Swift painted the mural.  Attorney General Karl Racine lent his presence and his praise for Renford to the unveiling.

In her remarks, Renford remembered the five victims whose portraits adorn the wall:

Paris Brown: a creative student who enjoyed telling his story through wordplay.

Jamahri Sydnor: a college-bound young woman who was loud and proud on her cheerleading team.

Steve Slaughter: a ninth-grader who had the deepest passion for football.

Taiyania Thompson: a 16-year-old with a family that claims the sun would not shine without her.

Zaire Kelly: a twin-brother who was passionate about the inequities in our city, like gentrification.

Renford said that when she began the project in 2017, she had three goals:  first, to humanize the victims, second to have the mural live in a neighborhood with residents who live their everyday lives without gun shots in their backyards, and third, to use this work of art to rally people to action.

She hopes that every time someone walks past the mural, they will reflect on what they can do to further the conversation and end the epidemic of gun violence.

As of yesterday, there have been 101 homicides in DC.  Renford, who won a four year scholarship to George Washington University, pledges to continue her work against gun violence.

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The Week Ahead & Photos from National Night Out in Lincoln Park

The Week Ahead & Photos from National Night Out in Lincoln Park

by Larry Janezich

MPD First District celebrated National Night Out in Lincoln Park last Tuesday, the annual law enforcement community building effort.  Here are some impressions from that event.

DC MPD Chief Peter Newsham and First District Commander Morgan Kane interact with community members.

Community building.

And more community building.

Sometimes, you have to dance.

These guys couldn’t keep up with demand.

 

The Week Ahead….

Precious little.  No community meetings scheduled.  But…

Last chance to catch The Life of Animals in Japanese Art at the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art.  Closes August 18.  Exhibit is open until 8:00pm, daily. Click to enlarge.

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News You May Have Missed – Metro Playground, Southeast Library, Eastern Market, Folger Library

Work continues on the temporary playground on Parcel 1 of Eastern Market Metro Plaza, between 8th and 9th Streets on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue. This week saw the placement of the first piece of equipment. The playground is scheduled to open this month. It will be incorporated into a larger permanent playground on the north side of Parcel 1 after construction begins in December 2019 or January 2020.

News you may have missed – Metro Playground, Southeast Library, Eastern Market, Folger Library

by Larry Janezich

Southeast Library – Four architectural/design firms have been selected by DC Library out of some 20 companies who want to do the $21 million renovation of Southeast Library.  The four firms will make oral presentations to the selection committee in a closed meeting and the firm finally selected will meet with members of the community over the next year before a final design is agreed upon.  Not only is the selection meeting closed to the public, but attendees must sign a non-disclosure agreement.   Construction and the 2 year closing of the Southeast Library is scheduled to begin at the end of 2021.  The community is represented on the selection committee by ANC6B Commissioner Jerry Sroufe and Friends of Southeast Library President Neal Gregory.  Other members of the committee include DC Library personnel and DC government officials.

Eastern Market – the office of Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMPED) has selected five applicants to conduct a $300,000 comprehensive plan to address the future of Eastern Market.  A selection committee comprised of officials from DMPED, the Department of General Services (DGS), and Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee, (EMCAC) will hear 30 minute presentations from the top two applicants (selected by DMPED) in a closed meeting and make a recommendation to the Deputy Mayor.   A meeting to hear the two candidate’s presentation was scheduled for Thursday morning, August 8.  Participants are required to sign a non-disclosure.  The community is being represented by Donna Scheeder, President of EMCAC, and Jerry Sroufe, ANC6B Commissioner in whose district Eastern Market lays.

Folger Library –  On August 1, the Historic Preservation Review Board voted 5 – 1 – 1 to adopt a Historic Preservation Office (HPO) staff report recommending that the Board NOT approve the application of the DC Preservation League to designate the 1983 Hartman Cox addition on the south side of the Folger Library as a National Historic site.  The Folger Library itself opposed the designation, claiming it would tie their hands regarding any future expansion as demand on the Library’s resources grows.  ANC6B and ANC6C supported the Library in its opposition to the application.  The Capitol Hill Restoration Society supported the application.

The HPO staff said that they felt the applicant had not made the case for Historic Preservation and that a stronger case needs to be made for it.  HPO staffer Steve Callcott said, “We are not saying the building doesn’t meet designation criteria, but think designation is premature based on the information provided.”  The effect is an invitation for the League to come back in one year and re-apply with additional information.

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Residents Hear Details on 380 Occupancy Restaurant Opening Near Eastern Market

ANC6B Commissioner Jerry Stoufe at right introduces entrepreneur Hollis Silverman at last Thursday’s community meeting. At left is ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman.

Some 40 resident turned out to hear about the new restaurant coming to the Hine project. Click to enlarge.

Here’s the corner of 7th and C Streets, catty corner from Eastern Market. The 7th Street entrance is at the far right behind the passersby.

Here’s a look at the restaurant’s overall footprint.

Prospective restaurateur Hollis Silverman has had a long professional history in the hospitality industry in purchasing, marketing and management, and is embarking on something she said “I would never do” – opening her own restaurant. Asked why she changed her mind, Silverman said, “After consulting for so long and being part of a team, I wanted to do it my way – build my own group.”

Residents Hear Details on 380 Occupancy Restaurant Opening in Hine Project Near Eastern Market

by Larry Janezich

Hollis Silverman of Eastern Point Restaurants met nearby residents of the Hine Project Thursday night to answer questions about how the 380 occupancy three-concept restaurant coming to 7th and C Streets, SE, will affect them.  She hopes to open in January or February of next year, depending on the city’s permitting process.

The community meeting was called by ANC6B Commissioner Jerry Sroufe, in whose district the site lies, and ANC6B Chair/ABC Committee Chair Chander Jayaraman.

Silverman, who is partnering with Hine project developer Eastbanc to open the restaurant, was vague about how the three concepts would fit into the 8,500 foot space, other than saying that a breakfast menu would be served in the space at the corner of 7th and C Streets. A bar and another dining area would be located in the large space facing C Street.  Silverman is not ready to announce the restaurant’s name or to be more specific about the concepts she envisions.

What she did say was that it will be a neighborhood restaurant first and a destination restaurant second.  “One kitchen – one business – three venues:  two dining areas and a bar.  Three small spaces in one big space… a good mix of themes which will not compete with existing restaurants and with price points comparable to nearby restaurants.”

Silverman says, “I’m going to serve food that will taste really really good … healthy-ish … simple ingredients, seasoned well.”   She says she’s looking for local and sustainable antibiotic-free and pesticide-free products.

Neighbors and residents had questions:  What about – noise – hours – venting of cooking odors – splash pad – flea market – rodents?

Silverman said noise abatement would be limited to umbrellas over outdoor seating for now and that there will be no entertainment or outside speakers.   The kitchen will close at 10 to 10:30pm on week nights and 11 to 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday.  Engineers are looking at how best to vent cooking odors, but scrubbers (air pollution control devices) are cost prohibitive.  The outdoor seating will not be in the way of the splash pad or the flea market.  All the outdoor seating will be fenced off with planters and located on the C Street side, none on the 7th Street side, and the outside area will be cleaned nightly after service is concluded.

One resident commended Silverman saying that she was glad to see the space filled; she had been concerned about the street’s empty retail windows, compounded by Trader Joe’s being below grade.  (Another prime 1,300 s.f. retail space fronting on Pennsylvania Avenue near the corner of 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue apparently remains unleased.  Chase National Bank is opening soon between the 7th and Penn corner and Trader Joe’s).

The 7th and C Street space has long been marked for a restaurant, but it appears that Eastbanc has not been able to find a lessee.  This will be Eastbanc’s second restaurant venture, the first being partnership in Kafe Leopold in Cady’s Alley which the company also helped develop.

ANC6B’s ABC Committee will consider the restaurant’s application for a liquor license on Tuesday, September 3, at 7:00 pm in Hill Center.  The full ANC will then consider the committee’s recommendation regarding the license a week later, on Tuesday, September 10, also in Hill Center.

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The Week Ahead…National Night Out Celebration Tuesday, Lincoln Park 5pm – 9pm

Stone Fruit. Eastern Market, circa 1:00pm, Sunday, August 8

The Week Ahead…National Night Out Celebration Tuesday, Lincoln Park 5pm – 9pm

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, August 6

National Night Out.  MPD First District Celebration.  5:00pm – 9:00pm.  Lincoln Park. 

Join CM Charles Allen, DDOT Director Jeff Marootian, ANC Commissioners, the law enforcement women and men of the First District, along with community and business leaders.  The event features a Starbucks refreshment stand.  Have a hotdog or a burger, meet those who keep our communities safe, meet new neighbors and come together in the interests of personal, pedestrian and property safety.  Learn more at www.mpdc.dc.gov

Wednesday, August 7

Annual Eastern Market Poluck, 7:00pm, North Hall, Eastern Market. Sign up online or just send an email to Barry.margeson@dc.gov  telling him what you’d like to bring and how many people will be coming. If you cannot bring something you can also make a donation. Here’s the info:

https://www.facebook.com/events/447606372459958/

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050c4aada723abf94-eastern

 Saturday, August 10

Friends of the Southeast Library Book Sale, 10am—3pm, Southeast Library.   History, biography, mystery, fantasy, literature, photography, cookbooks — many brand new. Plus, most books are only $1. Proceeds from sales help fund library programs for children.

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Eastern Market Metro Plaza Redesign on Track For Completion by End of Next Year

The current plan, in its final stages is more curvilinear and features more trees.

The playground on parcel one is larger. Input from residents as to its specific features is being sought in the online survey accessed by the link in the article below.

Residents can also weigh in for or against an entertainment pavilion which would be located in the large hardscape area near the center of  parcel four. The current plan does not include such a pavilion but infrastructure is planned to support a temporary stage, as necessary.

CM Charles Allen announced his efforts to secure full funding for the project, allowing completion by end of 2021, had been successful.

And here’s some useful information.

Eastern Market Metro Plaza Redesign on Track for Completion by End of Next Year

By Larry Janezich

DGS Project Manager Cassidy Mullen told residents at the fourth community meeting on the redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza that he expected the $15 million project to be complete at the end of 2021.  Construction will start this December-January and will take 12 months. He said that the current plan is for the Capitol Hill BID to assume responsibility for maintaining and programming the plaza, a model which has worked elsewhere in the city.  Councilmember Charles Allen, who was present, pledged to provide funding in future budgets to create a sound plan for maintenance and upkeep.

Allen opened up Wednesday night’s meeting, announcing that he had been successful in providing an additional $7 million in budget authority, which when added to the previously authorized $8 million, fully funds the redesign of all six parcels of the project. “The whole idea,” he reminded residents, “is to make the plaza a place to walk to, rather than walk through.” He said that the engagement of the community had “absolutely” made it a better project.

Maybe not everyone felt that way, since the DGS Advisory Committee of community stakeholders has been vocal in expressing the feeling that DGS had given their input short shrift.  In addition, ANC6B has been largely left out of the process.

Still, Mullen presented the community with a nearly final design of the project which is in the stage of preparing the schematic plans for blue prints, a process which should be wrapped up in August.  The permitting process will begin in and continue through the Fall of 2019.

Mullen says work will begin simultaneously on parcel 1 – the playground – and parcel 4 – the metro entrance.  The distinguishing feature of the latter will be a bousque of shade trees with movable tables and chairs beneath.  The entertainment pavilion hoped for by the Advisory Committee is on life support, with an assurance by Mullen that if the community expresses a strong preference for it (apparently evidenced by feedback on the online survey that went up on the DGS website Wednesday night at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EMMP2019) he would take the idea to the Commission on Fine Arts which, he noted, has resisted  building permanent structures as part of the redesign.  A couple of residents raised questions about the effect of an entertainment venue on nearby residents and on passing traffic.

The next community meeting will be in the Fall at a date to be announced.

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