Category Archives: Rhode Island Avenue

Pop-Up Gallery On Rhode Island Avenue Makes Use Of Vacant Space

Photo courtesy of ReCreative Spaces
Photo courtesy of ReCreative Spaces

Hat tip to Elevation Media for this story about  a collaboration between ReCreative Spaces, an arts group, and local real estate firm,  the Menkiti Group.  According to the Elevation story:

ReCreative Spaces began occupying the basement and first floor of the two-story building in January and will remain until the end of July. An artist uses the basement as a studio. The first floor hosts a variety of arts and cultural events.

You can check out their exhibition schedule here. We think it is pretty awesome that the Menkiti Group is allowing  the artists to use the space rent-free while they find a permanent tenant. We also like the idea of using unoccupied  commercial spaces for the arts, sounds like a win-win!

The pop-up gallery is located at 1613 Rhode Island Avenue NE.

Rhode Island Fall Fest Returns Saturday – Fun For The Entire Family

Rhode Island Fall Fair 2013
Rhode Island Fall Fair 2013

The good folks of the  Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street will be holding their third annual Fall Fest Saturday. Fall Fest grows every year, and includes live entertainment, local businesses & vendors. Check out the website here. From the website:

For the last 3 years, the Rhode Island Avenue Fall Fest has showcased our beautiful tree-lined commercial district in one of the hottest real estate markets in DC, and has attracted hundreds of visitors for a day full of shopping, food, and entertainment for the whole family. Fall Fest 2014 promises to be bigger and better – more music, more art, more food, and more fun!

The event will run along Rhode Island Ave. NE, between 20th and 24th Streets NE on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The TrickBox, Rhode Island Ave’s ‘Freak Boutique’ Has Its Grand Opening Saturday

A friend of ours recently told us about a new adults-only business, The TrickBox, that quietly opened up this summer on Rhode Island Avenue, NE. We stopped by last weekend and got to know Dan Snyder, Jr, a Brookland resident and owner of the store. Realizing his dream of opening his “freak boutique” has taken a long road of hunting for an affordable, yet accessible location, and navigating the city’s maze of bureaucratic business regulations, made exponentially more difficult given the adult nature of his business plan.  Snyder is super-happy to have landed on Rhode Island Avenue and says that the neighborhood has been very been welcoming.

Here is a description of the business from their website:


Trickbox is a boutique specializing in superior quality fetish gear for a broad audience.  Trickbox partners with innovative vendors to provide exciting premium fetish wear including leather, rubber and sport gear.  We will work with our customers in an unending search to provide cutting edge gear that you will be proud to wear.  The professional and knowledgeable staff want to help everyone, from the reluctant explorer to the connoisseur.  Whether it is in the bedroom or out at a party, we want you to embrace your kink.

At this point, the store is focused on male clientele, but as it gets more established Snyder will seek to expand his offerings. He credits the good folks at the  Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FoRIA), with helping him land a small business grant through the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He is planning on using the grant money to hire a marketing consultant to help develop a marketing plan for the store.

Now that the store has been open for a few months, its time for a Grand Opening party. The Grand Opening event will feature cocktails and models sporting fetish wear. Find out more about the Grand Opening reception at the Trick Box  Facebook event page. The Trick Box is located at 2300 Rhode Island Ave NE #201 (above Zeke’s Coffee) and is open from 1 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Keep up with the Trick Box through their Facebook Page, Twitter, and Tumblr. We wish Dan the best of luck and much future success!

New Yoga Studio, Serenity Place DC, To Open Soon On Rhode Island Avenue

Dust off those yoga mats and support local business!
Dust off those yoga mats and support local business!

Brookland yoga lovers rejoice, there will be soon a new studio nearby. Serenity Place DC will open Labor Day in the space above Zeke’s Coffee at 23oo Rhode Island Avenue, NE.  From their website:

Serenity Place DC is a yoga and wellness center for all ages, bodies, genders, races, shapes, and sizes located in the NE quadrant of Washington, DC.   Serenity Place DC provides a place for health-conscious neighborhood residents to invest in their well being while supporting a local small business.   Opened by Crystal Moore RYT-200, Serenity Place DC will build on the foundation of yoga classes taught in this Ward 5 neighborhood by Crystal Moore Yoga and Exquisite Asana.

Those who do yoga in Ward 5 may already familiar with Ms. Moore from her classes on the Met Branch Trail and other locations. Best of luck to her in her new endeavor! Keep up with Serenity Place DC at their Facebook page, website, or Twitter.

3rd Annual Rhode Island Fall Fair – Call For Performers, Volunteers, And Sponsors

Rhode Island Fall Fair 2013
Rhode Island Fall Fair 2013

Last October the good folks of the  Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street held their second annual Fall Fest. Now, they are busy planning this year’s fest, which will be even bigger and better! Recently they put out a call for artists, vendors and performers – what a great way to promote your business or hobby all while showcasing and celebrating Rhode Island Avenue! Check out the email from Kyle Todd, Executive Director, RIA Main Street, with details is below.

Fall Fest 2014 Vendor Registration, and a call for performers, volunteers, and sponsors is now live on our website. Fall Fest grows every year, so don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of this signature annual event!
Event date: Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014
Event time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Performers: Musicians, singers, dance groups, and all other performance artists needed!
Businesses & vendors: What’s a Fall Fest without shopping and food? We’re looking for a variety of vendors – artisans, artists, merchants, food vendors, organizations, and more. Check out the Vendor Registration options at
Volunteers: From event planning. and all the way through the day of the event, there are many many ways that you can help make this community event a success. Plus – all volunteers on the day of the event get a free Fall Fest t-shirt! Visit to sign up now!
Sponsors: This is a great opportunity to get your organization’s message out to all of the Fall Fest visitors, including on promotional materials that will be seen throughout the DC Metro area. Take a look at the Fall Fest 2014 Sponsor Packages, then call and let us know how you want to be involved.
Got questions? Email kyle(at)riamainstreet(dot)org or call 202-808-9050. See you at Fall Fest 2014!
Best regards,
Kyle Todd
Executive Director, RIA Main Street
P.O. Box 10041
2300 Rhode Island Ave NE, Ste. 202
Washington, DC 20018

Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street Office Ribbon Cutting Cremony

Kyle Todd, Executive Director of Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street, shared an open invitation to join his team and Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie for the official opening of the the RIA NE Main Street office space. We learned that Councilmember David Grosso also announced his attendance.

Kyle wants to particularly encourage local business owners and  residents close to the Rhode Island Avenue NE corridor to seek information how they can benefit from and how they can be involved in the RIA NE Main Street project. For example, business owners can get information how hey can apply for a store front improvement grant.


Logo courtesy of  RIA NE Main Street
Logo courtesy of RIA NE Main Street

Kyle writes:

Please join us to celebrate the opening of the new office for Rhode Island Ave NE Main Street!

Councilmember McDuffie will be on hand to cut the ribbon at noon on Saturday, May 31, and the open house will continue until 4 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, please visit
Want to get your Main Street news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up here:

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter – check us out!

Best regards,Kyle Todd
Executive Director, RIA-NE Main Street
P.O. Box 10041
Washington, DC 20018

Zeke’s Coffee Of DC Pairs Up With Baklava Couture Today – Check It Out!

Zeke's Coffee Rhode IslandOne of the newer businesses to set up shop on Rhode Island Avenue NE is Zeke’s Coffee of DC. If you haven’t had the chance to check out this commercial coffee roaster and cafe yet, today presents your perfect opportunity to do so. Check out this exciting event – here is the press release:
Coffee Pairing with Baklava Couture
Saturday, March 29th, 9am-12pm at Zeke’s Coffee of DC – 2300 Rhode Island Avenue NE.
At Zeke’s, we think all of our coffees pair well with sweets. But which goes best with a specific baked good or dessert? A fruity Ethiopian? An earthy Sumatra? This Saturday, we’re hosting a coffee pairing with Baklava Couture, a local bakery that will be taking over our pastry case from 9am to 12pm.
The Greek bakery, which is a regular at Dupont and other local farmers markets, will be showcasing some of their baklava flavors including; classic Greek walnut cinnamon, hazelnut espresso and chocolate, plus honey semolina cake and cookies. Zeke’s will provide various coffee pairings to compliment the sweet treats. Join us for some samples and learn which varietals go best with your favorite desserts.
Springtime at the Roastery
Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind, but the ice machine is on and the iced coffee is flowing. Of course you can still grab a hot cup, pour over, French press or any one of our 30 varietals by the bag.Our permit for outdoor tables is “in process,” but if you bring camp chairs, we won’t kick you out…
Follow our DC Roastery for details on upcoming tastings and events.

 Stay caffeinated,

Zeke’s Coffee of DC
2300 Rhode Island Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20018

Interested In Improving Rhode Island Ave NE? Check Out These Meetings

FoRIA BNCA Cleanup 008We heard about these important community meetings from the good folks over at the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue NE (FoRIA):

Final Open House – DDOT RIA Streetscape Improvement Project:

The initial open house was a great success, and thanks to your feedback, the DDOT team has put together its report on streetscape improvements for RIA. Please help spread the word, and join us for the DDOT’s final open house for the RIA Streetscape project!

March 12, 2014
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Art Enables – 2204 RIA-NE

Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets Meeting

Once again, DSLBD and leaders from other successful Main Street programs will join us to provide in-depth information about the Organization component of the Main Street Four Point Approach®. They will share with us how the Organization committee works with all of the other committees to build a sustainable and complete Main Street program.

The Organization committee is the backbone of the Main Street program, and involves working with community and business stakeholders to build consensus on the path for the RIA Main Street, plus a tremendous amount of “behind the scenes” work to keep the whole Main Street program running smoothly. And if you missed the other info sessions we had in January and February – no worries! We’ll share all of the information with you in upcoming volunteer orientations.

March 24, 2014
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Art Enables – 2204 RIA-NE

Rhode Island Avenue NE, FoRIA, Selected For Main St Program – Congrats!

Hopefully this will encourage more great businesses like Zeke's to open on RIA.
Hopefully this will encourage more great businesses like Zeke’s to open on RIA.

Yesterday was a big day for Rhode Island Avenue NE. Thanks to the hard work of a lot of folks for a long time, it will be the newest of eight non-profit Main Street programs in DC. Main Streets is a program that spurs the revitalization of traditional business districts by retaining and recruiting businesses, improving commercial properties with things like facade improvements and streetscapes, building rehabilitation projects and marketing and branding efforts. In addition, the good folks of the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FoRIA) were selected to manage the program. We have seen the FoRIA team work tirelessly to bring positive change to Rhode Island Avenue for years and would like to congratulate them on this accomplishment. The Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street program will span 4th Street NE to 24th Street NE.

CM McDuffie Supports Saving The “Brookland Green”, Secures Funds for RI Avenue Streetscape Projects

Photo Courtesy of Washington Post
Photo Courtesy of Washington Post

Since this week WMATA published their intention to solicit contractors to submit plans to develop their land east of the Brookland CUA Metro Station, we have reached out to Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie to find out where he stands on this issue. We received the following statement:

“The WMATA plan to redevelop the Brookland metro station has been in the pipeline for a long time. I have spoken now twice to representatives of WMATA about their development plans, and have each time expressed my firm belief that any plan for the site should be community-driven and preserve the Brookland Green. I reiterated this concern in a meeting with WMATA just a few weeks ago. However, WMATA’s November 2013 Joint Development Solicitation clearly anticipates building over the Brookland Green between Newton and Otis Streets. I cannot support such a plan because there is limited community-accessible green space in the area. Furthermore, the development plan for the site should take into account, and be coordinated with, other large-scale projects in the immediate vicinity, including the Monroe Street Market and the 901 Monroe Street development. In the coming days, I will transmit a letter to WMATA, which I will share with the community, opposing the loss of the Brookland Green, and urging WMATA to solicit a development plan that respects the character and integrity of the Brookland neighborhood.”

Brookland Green Fall 2012
Brookland Green Fall 2012

We were told that the staff of CM McDuffie is in contact with WMATA to understand more about the details of this development project, among other aspects why the parcel of the bus turn around at the metro stop is not included in the area to be developed.

We also learned that Councilmember McDuffie pushed for some additional financial support to improve the Rhode Island Avenue streetscape, which includes efforts to improve pedestrian safety, appearance,  adding tree boxes and planting trees:

This past spring, Councilmember McDuffie secured $2 million in District Department of Transportation (DDOT) infrastructure funds to implement the Rhode Island Avenue, NE Small Area Plan, which will be leveraged with additional federal highway funds. The funding will support streetscape design, improved sidewalks and pedestrian safety measures, tree planting and tree boxes, as well as other measures to make Rhode Island Avenue NE a more attractive and walkable corridor.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

DDOT has completed the contracting process and received the final notice to proceed on the streetscape project. DDOT will be announcing shortly the selected consultants for the project as well as the members of the Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP), which will assist in soliciting feedback from the community. The selection process for CAP members is based on recommendations from DDOT and Councilmember McDuffie. In addition, a public notice will be made soon for an upcoming community meeting to introduce the consultants and the streetscaping project.

As exciting as it is that RI Avenue is getting some overdue attention, it is important that all neighbors, north and south of the Avenue, are involved in this process. Look out for community meeting announcements, engage with your ANCs, your Civic Associations and neighbors to assure smart, sensible and balanced improvements are being implemented.