Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Hotel for Chinatown

Location of proposed 245 room hotel in Chinatown.
District Source has a very detailed run down of the zoning adjustments made en route to approval of a 245-key hotel project in Chinatown. The article discusses the reasons the project was allowed to move forward despite planning for zero on-site car parking spaces, which is typically a no-no for a development of this size. 

The H Street Hotel would be built atop a long-empty lot on the 600 block of H St NW, between Vapiano and Panera restaurants. (The future of this lot, including its parking allotment, has been in question for seven years.) This space is directly across the street from the WMATA Metrorail Gallery Pl-Chinatown station and adjacent to stops for the busy 70s and X bus lines. Currently the closest hotels to this site are Kimpton's Hotel Monaco and Marriot's Fairfield Inn & Suites. 

The new hotel would be run by Modus Hotels, the company behind DC's One Washington Circle and George Washington University Inn hotels. With no current structures remaining on the lot to incorporate, the hotel would feature all-new construction. The 245 rooms would bring the hotel to 11 floors, including some form of ground level retail. Exciting development for this block, one of the busiest in the central business district.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pharmacy Bar Could Get Sidewalk Seating

Pharmacy Bar (also known as Troublemaker) could get outdoor seating soon, joining other establishments on 18th Street in Adams Morgan. The bar ownership, which recently changed hands, has applied for an unenclosed sidewalk cafe. Any restaurant or bar owners who wish to create seating on a public sidewalk must be cleared by DC DDOT. Luckily for Pharmacy (2337 18th St NW), Adams Morgan sidewalks underwent a major expansion two years ago and plenty of other establishments have already been approved for outdoor seating including: Tryst, Diner, Mellow Mushroom, Grand Central, Amsterdam Falafel, Angles, Carriage House, Millie & Al's, Jyoti, Libertine, and a bunch more. Good luck Pharmacy. Would be a cool addition to this space.

Monday, July 21, 2014

La Tomate Adds Café

La Tomate has been serving Italian food in Dupont for nearly thirty years. It's in a great location; on a narrow, triangular corner at R and Connecticut, just a block form the Metro station. I've actually never eaten there, but they may have a new customer after opening a cute addition in the form of a café. 

The grand opening for La Tomate Caffé is July 25, but I stopped by last week to peek in. It's a simple affair, being located in the rear of the restaurant, next to The Cheeky Puppy pet store. The café menu is separate from the bistro and for now, includes mostly sandwiches and salads. And of course a full coffee service. Looking forward to checking it out! La Tomate Caffé is located at 1701 Connecticut Ave NW.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Native Foods Opening in Dupont

1150 Connecticut Ave NW (18th St side) is slated to be filled by Native Foods.
After getting really excited last year at the prospect of an all-vegan Native Foods Cafe opening in Penn Quarter, I'm taking a bit of a wait-and-see approach to the news of another location. The potential Penn Quarter restaurant at 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW is still set to open this year, but the local "flagship" location will be near Dupont Circle at 1150 Connecticut Ave NW.

I walked by the Dupont site yesterday during early evening and there was significant construction work being done inside the space. It's located on the first floor of this 12-story, mid-1970s office building. This space is actually on the 18th Street side of the building, and at 5,000 square feet, is quite large. It was previously filled by two separate businesses, an optometrist's office and a SizzEx deli-style restaurant.

Native Foods is California based, all-vegan, fast casual style restaurant. They are in the midst of an east coast expansion, which includes the two in DC; their first restaurants east of Chicago. Both the Connecticut Ave and Penn Ave stores will open in September of this year, according to the Native Foods website. Can't wait!