New Brookland Restaurant Seeks Liquor License & ANC Commissioner Seeks Input

There are have been rumblings that “something is coming” at the South West corner of 12th and Jackson Streets NE for some time now. We noted last summer that the space was on the market for sale or lease as a build to suit property, and that some preliminary construction was underway. We have recently learned that this space may become a restaurant called “Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen”, serving American comfort food. Many Brooklanders, like me, who live near this intersection couldn’t be happier that finally something is happening with the eye-sore of a building. Some quick history – the property was originally split down the middle; one side was a church that met sporadically, the other half was being used as storage space for some type of backhoe company. Needless to say, this corner generated no foot traffic and just looked sad, so much so, that my wife and I convinced the previous owner to let us plant two trees on the property.

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Back to the restaurant. We learned via a series of communications from Single Member District 5B-04 Commissioner Caroline Steptoe that Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen has applied for a liquor licence. As to be expected, Commissioner Steptoe is very interested in the community’s “thoughts, issues, concerns and/or compliments about this proposed establishment.” Neighbors that live closest to the proposed restaurant received a flyer at their home indicating that she especially wants to hear directly from them. A different, more generic, flyer has been posted throughout the blocks surrounding 12th and Jackson, on the Brookland listserv, and yet another message went out to Steptoe’s email list of constituents. All communications indicate that there will be a meeting where the community can give their input and hear a presentation from the restaurant owners and the owner of the property. We applaud Commissioner Steptoe for so thoroughly getting the word out through various  modes of delivery. The following was taken from her email to her constituents:

Excerpts from Executive Summary: “The goal of Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen (Brookland’s) is to provide a neighborhood friendly casual dining and community bar atmosphere in the Brookland neighborhood…The business itself sits at 3126-3128 12th Street, NE . . . The lot area is approximately 5,000 sq. ft., and the restaurant, once complete, will have over 2,500 sq. ft of indoor space.  Brookland’s mission is to establish a quality food, bar and coffee program. . . The restaurant will have approximately 90 total seats combines.  This includes 45-50 dining room seats, 16-18 bar seats, approximately 6 outdoor bar seats, and approximately 25 outdoor dining seats. . . Brookland’s aim is to provide a casual dining and drinking atmosphere that’s conducive to social and business networking as well as being family friendly.”   

The meeting will be held on Saturday, April 27  at the office of ANC 5B, demountable trailer at 1322 Irving Street NE, from 12:00 – 3:00 pm. The presenters will be the restaurant’s Managing Members Tony Tomelden, Frank Hankins and John Solomon and the building owner Scott Evans. It should be noted that Tony and Scott both live in Brookland, near the restaurant location, and are great neighbors. For me, this is a very important factor in my support for the restaurant. We will be following this one closely and will post any updates as we have them.

10 thoughts on “New Brookland Restaurant Seeks Liquor License & ANC Commissioner Seeks Input”

  1. Anyone know what kind of food they would be serving? Do any of the individuals involved have prior restaurant or catering experience?

    I am generally supportive, but want to know more about these issues before going forward. I am not interested in adding another mediocre food option to the restaurant, but am extremely thankful for the likes of Menomale, Little Ricky’s, etc., where the food (and service) is a high quality product.

    1. Hi there. From what I understand it will be Amercian comfort food (short ribs, steak, sandwiches). Tony is the owner of the Pug on H Street and John is the owner of Solly’s U Street Tavern, so I would say that qualifies as quite a bit of experience. Thanks for your comment. Agreed that we should only be seeking high quality establishments. Best, Shani

  2. Does anyone know how this building became so quickly rundown between 2009 and 2012?! The photo contrast is quite remarkable. Welcome Brookland’s finest! We hope you get here soon!!!

    1. I haven’t spoken to Tony about why, exactly, the Library location fell through. I have heard several times from different people that issues with the Library’s liquor license stemming from a stabbing that took place before it closed were a factor, again this is not confirmed. I am pretty sure the concept is the same. Breakfast, lunch, dinner with a strong coffee service element in a casual family friendly environment. We anticipate having another update soon with direct quotes from those involved and other details. Thanks!

  3. I’m so happy to hear this news! They run other well established good businesses and developing something in Brookland sounds so very promising! Thumbs up!

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