Brookland Area LGBT Happy Hour At Steele Plate Thursday

Photo from a Brookland LGBT Happy Hour
Photo from a Brookland LGBT Happy Hour

The monthly Brookland and Ward 5 LGBT gathering will be a Happy Hour at local hot spot Steele Plate,in their upstairs bar area. Hopefully we will see a great turn out on Thursday February 12 from 6:00- 9:00 pm (or longer).  Many thanks to owner Diton Pashaj for offering up the upstairs room. Steele Plate is located at 3523 12th Street NE. See you there!


Real Estate Watch – Recent Brookland Home Sales

1410 Irving St, Backyard
1410 Irving St, Backyard

Its been a while since we have done a check in with the Brookland real estate market. Here are some recent home sales:

  • This renovated house at 1523 Monroe St. NE, with 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths had neighbors buzzing, as it may be the most expensive residential home sale in Brookland, coming in at $998,000.
  • 1410 Irving Street NE sold for $935,00 and featured a whopping 6 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. This house is pictured above, and we loved the  Brazilian red wood deck.
  • One block away, at 1301 Irving Street NE, this house sold for $795,000. This home sits high up on  Irving,  providing a lot of privacy, and hello-hot tub!!
  • This 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath  home at 1535 Newton Street NE sold for $790,00. Fully renovated, it has a huge backyard.
  • Just up the street at 1530 Newton St NE, this 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house sold for $750,000. This Four Square home has great curb appeal, with a wide front porch.

Washington Post Neighborhood Guide Profiles Brookland


Yesterday, the Washington Post ran this story on Brookland,  calling our neighborhood “the place to go right now”.  The feature, which is accompanied by a  handful of cool photos, is the most comprehensive write up I think I have ever seen on Brookland. The story covers local eateries Smith Public Trust, Brookland Pint, Brookland’s Finest, Brookland Cafe, Hälsa, and Menomale. The story also explores local stores Bartered Threads and Scrap DC, and Arts Walk studios Analog, Wild Hand Workspace, and Stitch and Rivet as well as Dance Place. This is a good article to bookmark for the next time a friend or family member asks about where you live!

Blackness Counts: An Exploration In Unapologetic Africanity At Art Enables

art enablesArt Enables is a local artistic outlet with a fantastic mission. The non-profit organization represents over thirty artists with developmental disabilities and provides them with the resources they need to become visual artists, and 60% of revenue from sales. However, Art Enables also has interesting and engaging art shows as part of its “Off Rhode Studio” shows. One of their upcoming Off Rhode exhibits caught our eye. From the flyer:

DC Artist Jay Coleman, a reknowned portrait painter exhibits art that captures the sensitivity of the human spirit.

February 14- March 6th, 2015.

Opening Reception: Saturday February 14th, 1:00-4:00 PM.

Art Enables is located at 2204 Rhode Island Ave NE.

80 Acre Development Slated For Nearby Armed Forces Retirement Home

The southeastern portion of the campus would be developed. (AFRH)
The grey shaded area (“A”-southeast parcel), will be solicited for development. Diagram courtesy of the Armed Forced Retirement Home.

Yesterday we learned that the General Services Administration will issue a request for proposals to build out an 80 acre plot on the property of the nearby Armed Forces Retirement Home (also known as the Old Soldiers’ Home). The 272 acre federally owned property  provides over 400 units of independent living for military retirees. Income from the development will go towards funding the retirement home.  According to this story in the Washington Post:

Next month the Old Soldiers’ Home, as it is often referred, will begin seeking a private partner capable of developing up to 80 acres of its campus, located between North Capitol Street to the east, Rock Creek Church Road and Park Place to the west and Irving Street to the south.

The home’s master plan calls for an entire neighborhood’s worth of housing, offices, medical facilities, retail and a hotel in the southeastern corner of the property. In all, it calls for 4.3 million square feet of development…

Assuming this development moves forward, it will easily be one of the biggest developments in the city. The GSA hopes to pick a developer by the fall of 2015. We will let you know when we learn anything new.

Ward 5 Happy Hour Visits El Camino In Bloomingdale This Thursday

Image courtesy of El Camino restaurant in Bloomingdale

This Thursday, February 5th the Ward 5 Community Happy Hour will visit Bloomingdale’s newest hot spot, El Camino. Here is the info from a recent email:

Meet your neighbors — Support local — Share some laughs, Why not? Join your fellow Ward 5 Residents for Happy Hour at El Camino!
Thursday, February 5, 2014 6:00pm – 8:00pm
El Camino
108 Rhode Island AVE NW
Washington, DC 20001
Please feel free to invite and share this information with your neighbors!
For more information contact us via email at,
find us on Facebook ‘Ward 5 Community Happy Hour’ or find us on Twitter @ward5happyhour.

Brentwood Village Development Zoning Hearing Date Set: March 15th

Site plan for the future Brookland Manor from Mid-City Financial. Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
Site plan for the future Brookland Manor from Mid-City Financial.
Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.

In early December we wrote about one of the largest potential developments in the city, Brentwood Village, which may be coming to other other side of Rhode Island Avenue from Brookland.  According to the Zoning Commission calendar:

Subject Property is currently the site of the Brookland Manor apartment complex and a strip commercial shopping center located at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue, N.E. and Montana Avenue, N.E. The proposed PUD project will create a new community that will be called Brentwood Village. The Applicant will replace all of the existing buildings on the Subject Property and will establish a new street grid with eight new blocks for development and a new centrally located community green and pedestrian walk. The PUD project will include a variety of housing types (multi-family, senior housing, two-over-two buildings, and townhouses) and a retail component divided among the eight new blocks.

The development project, if approved, will eliminate 535 mostly affordable housing units and  will create over 2,000 residential units and over 200,000 square feet of retail, including a supermarket.  The developer is committed to 20% affordable housing in the new Brentwood Village, which is double the amount required by the DC Zoning Commission. It is unclear what will happen in the interim to  those currently living in Brookland Manor’s affordable housing units.

If you are interested in testifying at the hearing, or would like more detailed information, click here for the Notice of Public Hearing. For images/renderings of the proposed development check out this link. The hearing will take place on Monday, March 16, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.  Due to Section 8 HUD agreements with the property owner, construction could not begin until 2017.

San Antonio Bar And Grill Makes Improvements, Will Seek Outdoor Seating Again

San Antonio Bar and Grill opened in 2009, when opening a sit-down restaurant in Brookland was still a risky investment. We recently  stopped by and spoke to the owner, Jaime Vargas, about some of the improvements underway. They recently moved the host stand and added an attractive divider with bar stool seating that more clearly separates the eating and waiting areas in the front of the restaurant. Jaime said that other interior improvements are planned like new light fixtures. Outside, the restaurant’s brick facade has been painted a bright white primer in advance of new exterior paint job and the awning will be replaced with a new smaller one.

We asked Jaime if he is going to take another shot at securing an outdoor seating permit and he indicated that he would. After speaking with a few Commissioners, he is optimistic that things will go well, especially given the new ANC 5B leadership in place. (In a vote that baffled many in the community in May 2014, ANC 5B voted to not support San Antonio’s request for outdoor seating in front of the restaurant. Notably, San Antonio has a long track record of no issues with the community, and the ANC Commissioner of their SMD at the time, Janese Jones, polled nearby businesses and residents, none of whom opposed the outdoor seating. We will let you know when they go before ANC 5B again.)

The restaurant is known for reasonably priced, consistently tasty Tex-Mex cuisine and has a very popular daily happy hour from 3-7pm with half price appetizers. But, some may not be aware that they also serve brunch on Sundays from 11:00am-3:00pm with a lot of the standard breakfast items like bottomless mimosas, pancakes and eggs benedict. About a year and a half ago, they also started running an Italian menu on Wednesdays and Saturdays (the veal scaloppine – super yummy-is included in the slide show above). Recently, they have re-launched the Italian menu, here are some examples of the menu items (which all include a side salad and garlic bread):

  • Salmon in Vodka Sauce with Fettucine ($18.95)
  • San Francisco’s Cioppino -a fish stew with clams, mussels, and scallops ($22.95)
  • Penne Pasta with Chicken or Shrimp ($12.95/$14.95)
  • Bucatini Carbonara ($13.95)

San Antonio Bar & Grill is located at 3908 12th Street NE.

Update: Holy Redeemer College Development To Submit PUD Soon

Holy Redeemer Development Rendering via Urban Turf

Earlier this month we wrote about a potential residential development at the Holy Redeemer College that would eventually comprise 41 townhomes. According to this article in Urban Turf , the applicant, Madison Homes, plans to file a Planned Unit Development application with DC’s Zoning Commission in about one week. If the PUD application is successful, they will purchase the land and proceed with the two-stage development. We will keep you updated on anything we learn regarding this potential development.

Update: After we published this post, there was some confusion on Facebook and Twitter. To be clear: the building that houses the College of the Holy Redeemer that stands today will not affected by this development, other than to have townhomes built around it.

More Big Box Stores Coming To Nearby Dakota Crossing Near Costco

Rendering of Dakota Crossing

We normally only write about things happening in and around Brookland, but we know many neighbors enjoy shopping at the Costco at the nearby Dakota Crossing development in Fort Lincoln. So, we thought folks would be interested in knowing that more retail options are scheduled to open there, including Marshall’s  and Lowe’s. We have also read that Dick’s Sporting Goods and PetSmart may also be on the way. Once these large retail anchors are in place, the development will be rounded out with smaller retail stores geared towards nearby residents like dry cleaners, and restaurants. Look for the bigger box stores to open sometime between summer and fall of this year.