Category Archives: General Neighborhood Topics

Trader Joe’s Supermarket Coming To NE DC, Near Union Market

TomatoBrooklanders love to discuss grocery options in the area, or rather, the lack thereof. From time to time there will even be a petition passed around urging a grocer to locate in or near Brookland, and there are the occasional unsubstantiated rumors of one coming. So, we suspect fans of Trader Joe’s will be delighted to hear that one is planned in nearby Trinidad, close to Union Market. From an article in DCist:

The company announced today that it has signed a lease for a new location at 1240 4th Street NE, and it is slated to open in the second half of 2017. The store will occupy 15,000 square feet in the ground floor of a mixed-use project called The Edison…It will be Trader Joe’s third or fourth store in D.C.

Our household is divided in our enthusiasm. Personally, I miss the old Burger King that was once there. Perhaps I would be more excited if it were actually coming to Brookland. After all, this location isn’t much closer than my favorite supermarket, the Harris Teeter on M and 1st NE. But the other (better) half of the Brookland Bridge is SO SO SO excited for the new TJ’s, because it is her go-to grocer, and now it will only be a short drive away as compared to the TJ locations she frequents.  What do you think? Are you excited or meh?

Annual Christmas Concert for Charity This Friday

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will be having it’s annual Christmas concert for Charity on Friday night December 2nd at 7:30 PM in the Great Upper Church. The concert, a longstanding neighborhood tradition in its 27th year, will feature the Choir of the Basilica and Catholic U’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music Chorus and Symphony Orchestra. Sounds like a fantastic concert!  Check out more information here. The Basilica is located at Michigan Ave and Harewood Rd. NE.

French Restaurant And Wine Bar, Primrose, Planned At Former Silvestre’s Location

3000 12th Street NE (future site of Primrose)
3000 12th Street NE (future site of Primrose)

From 2010 – 2014 Silvestre’s restaurant was located at 3000 12th Street NE (northwest corner of 12th and Hamlin Streets). Since it closed the building has undergone renovations and we recently learned that the plan for the space includes a French restaurant called Primrose. From the liquor license application:

A neighborhood bar serving French cuisine with a strong wine focus. Seating capacity of 66 inside. Total Occupancy Load of 97. Summer Garden with 26 seats.

Sitting on a patio eating French food and sipping wine, uhhh, YES PLEASE! We stopped by recently and the brick wall that divided the former restaurant has been removed creating an open dining room space, the window spaces that were boarded up or had metal bars on them are now large floor to ceiling windows and a tasteful storefront marquee now wraps around the building. Currently there is scaffolding surrounding the exterior, so we are assuming they are sprucing up the brick facade. We will let you know when we learn anything new.

Indigo Indian Restaurant Plans To Open A Location In Brookland

We recently posted that the location where Serendipity coffeehouse used to be might become a bbq restaurant. We followed up with the management of Brookland’s Finest and learned that those plans for the location fell through. Soon afterwards though, we noticed that the “For Lease” sign in the Serendipity window was gone, so we kept hope alive that something good would be coming soon. Then yesterday we got the great news that Indian restaurant Indigo is planning to open a location here in Brookland. Judging by the pictures, it looks a lot like it will be at the old Serendipity location. Check out Indigo’s Facebook post below with the announcement.

The current Indigo location in NoMa near Union Market seems to be popular – it has 4.5 stars out of 5 on Yelp. From the Indigo website:

Indigo is more than just your average Indian restaurant. Gone is sea of fat and excess salt usually found at other Indian restaurants. In it’s place are well-sized portions of flavorful, pleasantly spicy, fresh ingredients. Our kitchen prepares food in the way our mother, grandmother and the entire Tandon lineage has done before; simply put, good food and good family lead to a happy life.

Assuming this comes through, we are very excited by the news! Welcome to the neighborhood, Indigo. The Serendipity location is 3301 12th Street NE (at the corner of Kearney St).

Retail Space And Shipping Container Apartments Coming To Lot Next To Menomale

shipping-container-development
Container ship development rendering courtesy of Hinds Development and Travis Price Architects via Urban Turf

A lot of readers may already know about this development, but since  the story broke while we were on our “blogging break”, we thought it would be worth posting for those who who were unaware. A lot of neighbors have asked me over the last year about what is going on with the vacant medical building and parking lot at 1201 Franklin St NE (next to Menomale) that closed a while back. For a while there were rumors that it would be yet another a 7-11 (please no) and although we were able to find an approved permit to gut the interior of the building, we didn’t know what would happen there until this story at Urban Turf. According to the article, the planned development will be retail space along 12th Street NE with 4 two-bedroom apartments made out of shipping containers behind it. From the article:

The shipping container homes will have loft living rooms, private balconies and will be passively solar heated. The planned completion date is next year.

Generally speaking, I am a fan of shaking things up, so many new residential developments are boxy condos or uniform looking rowhouses. But, it’s really hard to tell from the renderings if these will be cool and refined or something we consider an eyesore in 10 years. What do you think? We will keep an eye out and let you know when we learn anything new.

Menomale Closed Tuesday -Thursday Next Week For Renovations

We thought Menomale regulars would like the heads up that they will be closing up shop – just for a few days – to spruce up the place. We spoke with Ettore Rusciano, Menomale’s owner and he said that the reno will mostly be cosmetic things like fresh paint, new lighting, and some minor repairs to the pizza oven. We look forward to checking out the updates and enjoying the best pizza in DC when they reopen. The post below is from Menomale’s Facebook page.

Gin Rummy (Formerly Little Ricky’s Location) Filed To Renew Liquor License

Brookland Opening NE Washington DCPopular neighborhood restaurant Little Ricky’s closed in July 2014. Since then, what will replace it has been the subject of rumor, but no hard information that we are aware of.  Back in May, we learned that the ABC Board cancelled the liquor license for the location because the license holder (Gin Rummy LLC) did not seek to renew it. Now we recently learned that Gin Rummy applied to renew the liquor licence, and has a hearing set for January 2nd. It would be great to see another unique dining concept there, we really enjoyed Little Ricky’s. We will let you know when we hear anything new. Gin Rummy/Little Ricky’s is/was located at 3522 12th Street NE.

Drink And Draw Events at LATELA – Figure Drawing Sessions

Arts Walk Event At Night
Arts Walk Event At Night

Ever been interested in attending an event where you express your artistic side and drink your favorite adult beverage at the same time?  Here is an event for you then:

Grab your art supplies and join DC Drink & Draw and LATELA for three open life drawing sessions this Fall! Use your favorite media to work from the model during a mix of short and longer poses.

All events are BYOB. We’ll have cups and ice on hand for for sharing and keeping things cool.

The remaining sessions in the series are Thursday, November 17th 7:00 – 9:30 PM (coincides with Third Thursday on the Arts Walk) and Tuesday, December 6th 7:00-9:30 PM. Sessions are $17 with pre-registration, which you can do here. Latela Art Gallery is located on the Arts Walk (716 Monroe Street NE) at Studio #27

Get Involved In Comprehensive Plan Update – Help Shape The Area’s Future

The DC Office of Planning is engaging the public on an update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which is a 20-year framework that guides future growth and development. As the flyer below indicates, the meeting for our area will be on November 14 at Luke C. Moore High School (1001 Monroe St NE). This is an important opportunity for Brookland residents to raise concerns about the current state of planning in our community, and to influence the city’s planning decisions going forward. For example, the zoning decisions that lead to the approval of 901 Monroe/Ravenna happen when projects get compared to what is in the comprehensive plan–so it’s important to get involved with the update to help craft the vision for the city and neighborhood. Check out more information on the Comprehensive Plan amendment process here.

Comprehensive Plan Update Flyer