Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Meskerem is for Sale

Real estate website Urban Turf is reporting that the Meskerem Ethiopian restaurant in Adams Morgan is for sale. Specifically, the building itself (2434 18th St NW) is for sale by the owners, who also own and run the restaurant. 

Along with Habesha Market and Dukem, Meskerem is at the top of my personal list for Ethiopian food in the District. Another personal favorite, Fasika, also served Ethiopian food in Adams Morgan; right across the street from Meskerem. However, it closed in 2005 after a fire. It never reopened and was replaced by Grand Central, a bar and dance club. 

That makes me wonder about what will replace Meskerem. However, it's way too early to speculate because the building is still for sale. The Office of Tax and Revenue marks the 2014 assessment for tax purposes as $1,155,040 and the building is currently listed for sale at $2,200,000. The space is ready made for another restaurant. There are three floors, including a lower level and cool mezzanine overlook area in the back. It's listed as accommodating 183 seats and comes in at a sizable 3,649 square feet. 

I know it's probably not going anywhere anytime soon, but I'm already bummed. Another restaurant I like --with heavy vegan and vegetarian presence-- will give way to something unlikely to match it. Actually, I hope I'm proven wrong. I mean, I always hope that. But hey, a wiser feller than myself once said "sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you." 

Monday, December 8, 2014

370 Room Hotel Opening at CityCenter

A parking lot currently occupies the new hotel site.
Phase II of the 10-acre CityCenter project will kick off next year with construction of a new hotel. Hilton will operate the 370 room hotel under its Conrad Hotel & Resorts brand. The hotel will be the first for CityCenter, which already boasts offices, condominiums, apartments, retail and restaurants. There is also an open air plaza and a public/private park. The hotel will cover about half of the block bound by New York Ave NW, 9th Street, I (Eye) Street, and 10th Street. 

Plans call for 70,000 square feet of retail to accompany the hotel, adding to the 188,000 sq ft of existing retail. The Conrad timeline includes a mid-2015 start to construction, retail openings in fall 2017, and hotel grand opening in early 2018.

In other CityCenter news, upcoming retail and restaurant openings include:

Dolcezza: Local gelato and coffee shop.
Arc'teryx: Outdoor exploration and sporting wear.
CH Carolina Herrera: Private men's and women's luxury clothing label.
momofuku: Huge (4,500 sq ft) iteration of this popular Chef David Chang series.
milk bar: momofuku sister shop with cookies, pies, ice cream, and other sweets.
Caudalie Boutique Spa: NYC based luxury spa and boutique.
mango tree: Bangkok based Thai restaurant with over 70 worldwide locations.
Centrolina: 4,000 sq ft Italian restaurant and market from Chef Amy Brandwein.
Louis Vuitton: French bags and ready-to-wear.
Dior: French haute-couture and luxury goods. 
Hotel rendering via Hines.
Site plan via CityCenter DC.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Then and Now : 930 F Street NW

Before photo credit: John McWilliams
Then: 9:30 Club. Opened in 1980, the original 9:30 Club was located downtown in the Atlantic Building at 930 F Street NW. This photo (via LOC Archives) is from the summer 1990. The club moved to 815 V Street NW in January 1996. 

Now: J.Crew store. J.Crew began as a catalog only clothier, but transitioned to storefront sales in 1989. The F Street store opened in 2012.