Tag Archives: Monroe Street Market

&Pizza – Coming Soon To Monroe Street Market! Here’s Your Preview

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IMG_0761&Pizza at Monroe St Market

&Pizza Preview, a set on Flickr.

One of the restaurants under construction right now at the Monroe Street Market development is &pizza. We first met the friendly &pizza crew at Monroe Street Market’s Holiday Bazaar event. At the time I didn’t know much about the chain, except that they were going to open a location in the Portland Flats building this spring. I have to be honest, at first I was very skeptical. I thought Brookland has quite a few pizza places already. What would make this one different? Then I heard that instead of table service, customers order their pizza using an assembly line format similar to Chipotle or Subway, and I was disappointed. I envisioned a pizza place that was just a step above fast food levels. But, we figured it is our duty to get the scoop for our readers. So, Astrid and I decided to check things out for ourselves and get a taste of what is to come. So we headed down to the &pizza H Street location, which is called H&pizza. We also brought a couple of hungry friends along for our “taste test”. Quite simply – we were all blown away. The food, atmosphere, service and overall experience were outstanding.

Rendering of Monroe Street Market &pizza location exterior courtesy of &pizza
Rendering of Monroe Street Market &pizza location exterior courtesy of &pizza’s Facebook Page

Walking in, we noted the hip/casual vibe and the historic photos of the H Street neighborhood on the walls. The pizzas come with a choice of traditional, whole wheat or multigrain dough (they plan on rolling out a gluten free dough in the future). We got regular crust on all our pizzas, and it was really great. (As a side note, we were especially thrilled by this, because Astrid and I rarely agree on crusts – she likes thin, and I like regular.) The pizzas come in one size, kind of like a gourmet rectangular flatbread that is a generous portion size for one person. Once you pick your crust, you select a “signature” pizza whose toppings and sauces/spreads are already defined, or customize your own pizza from a huge selection of toppings. We were happy to find that &pizza is very affordable, with pizzas coming in at less than $9.00 each. They offer a limited, but good, selection of wine and craft beers. We ordered four pizzas. They were ready so fast! Here’s what we had:

  • The Moonstruck – comes with roasted local mushrooms, crumbled goat cheese, fig marsala, red peppers and chili oil. It was very “mushroomy” and the truffle oil gave the earthy tone a nice balance. Very delicious and a little sweet. Us carnivores couldn’t believe that a pizza with no meat tastes so good!
  • Backyard Garden – comes with garlic and ricotta spreads, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, roasted peppers, arugula, and tomatoes. It was very yummy and the veggies were very fresh tasting.
  • Kiss & Fire – comes with a four cheese blend, ricotta, meatballs, mushrooms and a strawberry balsamic drizzle. This pizza gets its heat from a spicy tomato sauce but it actually started off sweet, and not overbearingly hot. After a few bites though, the heat starts to creep up on you. It was really delicious, and the layers of flavor complement each other really well. I would eat this pizza again in a second. Our only critique is that unless you really love spicy food, it may be hard to eat it all if that’s your only pizza. But paired with the Backyard Garden, for example, it was fantastic.
  • We decided to try our hand at selecting our own ingredients for the last pizza. There were so many toppings to choose from, and we thought it was awesome that the pizza comes at a flat price regardless of the number of toppings you choose. We selected chicken, pesto, bacon, red peppers, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and vegan cheese. Although it was very good, it was our least favorite of the four and the chicken was a little dry. From now on, we’ll let &pizza pick the toppings for us.
  • For dessert we grabbed some of the Pizzelle Waffle Cookies to go. They were really good, not too sweet, with a nice anise flavor.

We chatted with Tony, the manager at the H Street location. They do a swift business; he told us that between Gallaudet students, residents, and the after bar and club crowd they pump out thousands of pizzas a week. Wow. He added that the co-owner, Steve Salis, is very hands on and a great motivator. The location at Monroe Street Market will be the 5th location for this small chain; the other stores are on H Street, U Street, Bethesda, and Germantown. Alia Khayrullina, &pizza’s Community Manager recently told us that Monroe Street Market’s location will open in early March. We can’t wait!

We’ve Been Yarn Bombed! The Brookland Bombshells Beautify Brookland

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Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014
Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014Brookland Blombshells' Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014Leda and Annalisa from Studio Eco Bricolage

Brookland Bombshells’ Yarn Bombing 2/22/2014, a set on Flickr.

We have been following the Brookland Bombshells, our community yarn bombing group for a while now. In December we learned that they had big plans to create a secret yarn-bombing project for the neighborhood. Yesterday, all their hard work and months of planning culminated in an awesome “yarn bombing” on the Monroe Street bridge! It is a fantastic, huge, beautiful piece of art work!  The idea to start the Brookland Bombshells came from Leda and Annalisa  from Studio #15 on the Monroe Street Market Artswalk. We chatted with Leda as the Bombshells put up the many pieces that make up this piece of artwork that spans the bridge. “We wanted to give a Valentine for the community” she said, and explained that they originally planned to install the yarn bombing on Valentine’s day but that the weather did not cooperate. I asked about the level of effort it took to pull off the bombing and she said that about 24 people or so worked since November creating pieces that were stitched together as they neared the completion of the project. Leda explained that there is no gameplan for how long the bombing will stay up, acknowledging that there is always the risk of natural and human elements taking its toll on the project. Basically, as long as it looks good, it will stay up. I asked Leda if she has any future projects up her sleeve, and she said while she doesn’t have anything specific in mind, she would like to create a Google group of current and future Bombshellers to share ideas. If you would like to get involved email  art(at)studioecobricolage(dot)com.

Sneak Peek – Monroe Street Market’s Cornerstone Apartments And Retail

ExteriorFuture Barns and NobleFuture Barns and NobleFuture StarbucksFuture Busboy's and PoetsCourtyard 1
LobbyLobby Elevator BankCourtyard 1 - Swimming PoolCourtyard 1Common/Party AreaCommon Area - Future Billiards Area
Common Area with FireplaceCourtyard 2Beautiful WoodworkGymGymYoga Studio
Yoga StudioApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentExterior

Sneak Peek – Monroe Street Market’s Cornerstone Apartments, a set on Flickr.

I recently had the pleasure of a “sneak peek” hardhat tour of Monroe Street Market’s Cornerstone building. It’s been a while since we have done an update so here is a reminder – there are 3 apartment buildings that make up the development – Brookland Works and Portland Flats are the other two. They are completed and well occupied. Brookland Works is located between Monroe Street and Michigan Avenue, at 8th Street, NE and by now is well known for the Arts Walk – 27 art studios and a pedestrian walkway down the center. The apartments there are 98% occupied and area residents are eagerly awaiting the retail elements that will face Monroe Street NE, including restaurant Brookland Pint and potentially a coffee shop/bike shop combo. Portland Flats is six stories high and began leasing apartments in November. We have friends who live there and are impressed with the upscale vibe. This building houses the Potbelly Sandwich shop that recently opened and will house the & Pizza restaurant coming soon.

Getting back to Cornerstone – it covers roughly a two block stretch along Monroe Street that starts at 7th Street and meets up with Michigan Ave NE. This building, when complete, is described as the “hub of the Community” and will house the majority of the amenities and retail space of the development. At the westernmost end of the development (where Monroe intersects with Michigan Avenue), you can see the frame out for the clock tower that will be the highlight of a public square; envisioned as a vibrant space for students, faculty, and local residents to meet and mingle. The square will also have a fountain and outdoor café seating. The apartments at Cornerstone are being completed in blocks of 30 – 40 apartments, and leasing for immediate move in will begin in early March. When complete, Cornerstone will offer 310 apartments ranging from studios to 2 bedrooms in a 5 story building. Many neighbors will be happy to know that public underground parking will be available, which should help with the increased visitors to the development.

My tour began with a walk-through of the retail spaces. The first thing I noticed was the super high ceilings throughout, which should make for really enjoyable shopping/dining. The Buzzuto construction team is handling the build-out of the Barnes and Noble, and the Starbucks and Busboys and Poets are starting to be framed out. If all goes well, we should expect these to open in the fall.
Next, I got a tour of the residential common areas on the first floor. This is where I was really blown away. Clearly the design is geared for socializing, community building and good times. If I wasn’t an old married lady, I would so love to live here. The lobby features fireplaces, conference tables, and a business center. Down the hall there is a coffee station, a party room and a pool table area, overlooking two courtyards connected by a breezeway. One courtyard will feature a two level infinity pool and a giant, indoor/outdoor two-way fireplace. The other courtyard will be a great hang out and socializing spot with piped in music, built in barbeque grills, a bar area, and lots of landscaping. Even though these areas were still under construction, you can see a great degree of craftsmanship and attention to detail that really make these areas special. I really dug the creative use of wood, high ceilings and industrial looking windows. The 3000 square foot gym will be available to all Monroe Street Market residents, and will offer lots of cardio and free weight options. They even offer a yoga studio (!) and will bring in a yoga instructor for regularly scheduled classes.
Lastly, we wound through a wide variety of apartments with a big mix of floor plans. Some even come with private entrances and many had ultra-high ceilings. The apartments with finishes looked high end with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. I think my favorite unit was a sweet studio apartment with super high ceilings and a pocket door that would allow for separate sleeping and living areas, or an open floor plan.
Once the housing and retail areas are complete at the Cornerstone, there will be a grand opening to mark the completion of the three buildings in the development. Many thanks to the guys over there for giving us the tour and catching us up with the latest!

Coffee Shop And Bike Store May Be Coming To Monroe St. Market This Summer

Bike and Coffee Shop storefront Monroe Street Market
Store front of future coffee shop/bike shop – facing Monroe St NE

The prospect of a combination coffee shop and bike store coming to the South East corner of Monroe Street Markets’s Artswalk is not a new concept to those following the development closely. When we first learned about the combo concept in April 2013, it made sense. For one, a stretch of the Met Branch Trail runs along side this location, and with Brookland Works/Artswalk having 27 art studios and 152 apartments right on the Metro, I can see a coffee shop doing a brisk business.

Recently Completed Portion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail along the Monroe Street Market Development
Portion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail along the Monroe Street Market Development

Yesterday we learned from a post on Eater DC that  Filter coffeehouse may be the coffeehouse that seals the deal. If so, it would fall in line with the development’s approach of signing local DC businesses that are established, but not at all large chains. Filter has two other locations at Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom. As for the bike shop component, the Bike Rack was mentioned as the potential partner in the deal. They currently have one location at 14th and Q NW, and are committed to building a strong biking community. Between these two great, small, DC homegrown businesses, what’s not to love? We will keep an eye on things as the lease has not been signed yet, but if all goes well, we may see these businesses as soon as this summer.

Catalyst Projects Art Exhibit ‘Identimorph’ Opening Reception – Saturday, January 11

Sharon Shapiro, Vixen, 2011, acrylic on canvas. Photo courtesy of Catalyst Projects.
Sharon Shapiro, Vixen, 2011, acrylic on canvas. Photo courtesy of Catalyst Projects.

The good folks over at Catalyst Projects (located in Monroe Street Market’s Artwalk) always seem to have something new and interesting to see. Their latest exhibition is entitled Identimorph – Identity Portraits and runs from January 9th through February 1st, 2014. The opening reception for this show will be on Saturday January 11th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.  Here are the details from their press release:

Identimorph features portraits by two artists who transcend the visible and hint at the underlying psychology of the subject. Faces split into multiples, vibrating, morphing into other beings, or accompanied by symbols carrying hidden meaning – all these allude to different facets of a person. The result is a complex representation beyond the purely aesthetic.
Sharon Shapiro (VA) Shapiro’s portraits examine the human psyche by blurring boundaries “between the human and animal world, causing the viewer to question these borders – where they came from, why they’re important, and why trespasses upon them are both disturbing and compelling.” The result is an emotional characterization that portrays the inner struggle “between a person’s placid exterior and their churning, riotous core.”

Jessika Dene Tarr, Melancholy Bliss I, 2013, gouache and ink. Photo courtesy of Catalyst Projects.
Jessika Dene Tarr, Melancholy Bliss I, 2013, gouache and ink. Photo courtesy of Catalyst Projects.
Jessika Dene Tarr (MD) Tarr’s playfully dark portraits were inspired by 19th century German children’s book art. Using mixed media, she continues the narrative tradition by illustrating sometimes humorous and at other times apprehensive characters. Fluid lines add a “graphic aesthetic” to her pieces, in which Tarr “intends to remind the viewer that one can be inspired and intrigued by unhappy endings.”
Catalyst Projects’ 500+ square foot gallery and project space is located at Monroe Street Market in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC, the center of a fast growing arts community.
Gallery hours are Thursday thru Saturday, noon to 7 pm, and by appointment. Catalyst Projects is located at the Brookland-CUA metro stop on the red line and on the 80 bus route.  Street parking is available.
Contact information
Contact us at catalystartprojects(at)gmail(dot)com
Catalyst Project’s mission is to present the DC arts community to the world beyond the DMV.  By presenting arts programming with a focus on exchange, we hope to cross-pollinate with arts communities outside of the DC metro area.  It is our goal to make contemporary art accessible through educational programs such as panel discussions, artist workshops, and contemporary art exhibitions. 
Web site and social media
Facebook Page

Real Estate Watch: City Paper Names Brookland 2013’s “Most Transformed Neighborhood”

Brookland Sign Monroe Street MarketLike it or not, no one can claim that our neighborhood isn’t changing rapidly. We learned this morning that Brookland won the City Paper’s Plexie Award for Most Transformed Neighborhood. The Monroe Street Market development, pictured above, is a big reason why. Here is the explanation behind the award:

It’s a hidden gem no longer. Brookland, with its quiet streets and gorgeous detached houses, was largely off of most Washingtonians’ radar, to the delight of residents who enjoyed its low housing prices and rents. Then came Monroe Street Market. The $200 million project, partly complete now, will include three buildings with more than 550 apartments, artist studios, a Barnes & Noble bookstore, a Busboys and Poets, and a restaurant from the owners of Meridian Pint—all on a formerly desolate patch of land right by the Brookland Metro station (technically on the Edgewood side of the tracks, but who’s nitpicking?). No wonder home prices in the neighborhood have already jumped, by various estimates, between 13 and 39 percent.

Yelp’s Totally Bazaar Holiday Festival Comes To Monroe Street Market This Saturday

Yelp Monroe Street Market Bazaar Logo
Logo courtesy of Yelp.

This Saturday there will be a great neighborhood event called Yelp’s Totally Bazaar. The bazaar will  be from 12 pm – 4 pm, December 14th at the Arts Walk on Monroe Street Market and there will be lots of crafty, local vendors to shop from. In addition to that, there will be pop-up food vendors and artsy activities. For a full rundown of activities check  out Yelp’s Totally Bazaar page here.

In addition to the shopping and good eats there will be all kinds of FREE cool holiday activities such as:

  • DIY S’mores bar
  • Massive cookie buffet
  • Manicure and Massage relaxation station by Manicures-N-Motion
  • Ornament making station
  • Strolling carolers courtesy of Dance Place
  • Ice sculpture demo by Maroulla

Monroe Street Market is located at 716 Monroe Street NE (at 7th and Monroe Streets, NE). Here is a list of vendors and artists:

Little Asian Sweatshop
Auger Artwork Studio
Magenta Devi
Knots by TIFFA
Ring Bling
Fearless Threads
Revel Style
Ladybugs and Gentoos
Dye Slow
K Wear Designs
Rebirth Designs
Hipp Gyps
Street Boutique

Only Make Believe
AK Arts
Analog Vintage
Washington Drawing Center
Catalyst Projects
Dance Place

Neat Meat DC
Custom Cake Bites
Miemo’s Macarons
Pretzel Crisps

Forget The Storm! Get A Jolly Lolly At banished? ARTillery Sunday at Monroe St. Market

ARTillery at Monroe Street MarketInstead of getting cabin fever, step out and check out the Jolly Lolly party at the banished? productions in Studio 27 at 716 Monroe St. NE. on Sunday, December 8th from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM. From the Face Book event page:

We are ushering this year’s holiday jollies with the JOLLY LOLLY: a brunch-on-a-stick fiesta! It will be held at the banished? ARTillery (716 Monroe St. NE, Studio 27, Washington, DC), our new avant-pop multi-use arts space!

$10+ donations gets you warmed up with all sorts of sweet, savory and sensory Jollies on the menu, along with festive drinks, and who knows what other kinds of holiday hijinks, especially with our super-rad raffle prizes…
ALL ARE WECOME. RSVPs appreciated.

Arts Walk Grand Opening, ‘Art In The Mix’ To Feature Live Music, Food Trucks, Beer Garden, And More

Art In The Mix flyer courtesy of Monroe Street Market.
Art In The Mix flyer courtesy of Monroe Street Market.

Little by the little, the 27 art studios that make up Arts Walk and form the bulk of the first floor retail level at Monroe Street Market’s Brookland Works building are starting to become occupied. Eric Hope from East City Art wrote up an excellent blog post about how the Arts Walk is galvanizing the art scene in our area by creating a diverse arts-based community. Now that this development is starting to take shape, there will be a Grand Opening event for the community to check out this exciting new feature in our backyard! From the Eventbrite site for this event:

Monroe Street Market presents Art in the Mix! An arts festival on October 26, 2013 from 1:00 – 5:00 PM at the Brookland-CUA Metro. The afternoon will feature a Q&A and book signing with street style photographer The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman. Live music will be performed by The Deadmen and DJ Neekola. Explore the 27 artist studios along the Arts Walk as well as fun kidtivities, ArtJamz, and food trucks. Enjoy the pop-up beer garden brought to you by Washington City Paper and Meridian Pint. 

If you are interested be sure to RSVP before

Art On 8th – Free Art And Cutural Events Continue Through October

Dance Place Open House 004Art on 8th, the excellent free arts series organized by the good folks at Dance Place is an “interactive music, dance and visual arts events for all ages and abilities”. Since June the events have brought live jazz, dance and crafts events to Monroe Street Market and other locations on 8th Street, NE. We think it is just fantastic! Anyway, we just wanted to remind you about the series in case you haven’t had the chance to check one out. Below are the events for October. The venues for these events are:

  • The Monroe Street Market stage is located at the end of the Arts Walk near the Metro by the Drew (Michigan Ave) Bridge
  • The Arts Plaza is the plaza located in front of Dance Place – 3225 8th St. NE
  • Studio 21 is one of the studios located on the Arts Walk that runs the length between Brookland Works Buildings, situated between Monroe and Michigan Aves, NE at 8th Street NE.

October 3-26 (Thurs and Fri: 5:30-8:00pm, Sat: 12:00-4:00pm): Dances with Light: Dance Photography by Enoch Chan and Paul Gordon Emerson at Studio 21.  Opening Reception: October 3 at 6:00pm. (Studio 21.)

October 3 at 6:30pm: Polvo and Scree: Live Jazz

October 4 at 6:30pm: DC Casineros: Cuban Salsa

October 5 at 12:30pm: How to Photograph Your Kids: Family Photography workshop with Enoch Chan

 October 10 at 6:30pm: Wendall Kimbrough: Acoustic Jazz

October 11 at 6:30pm: Ladies in Step: Percussive Dance and Drumming

October 12 at 12:30pm: How to Photograph Your Kids: Family Photography workshop with Enoch Chan

October 17 at 6:30pm: Duende Quartet: Smooth Latin Jazz

October 18 at 5:30pm: Freddie Dunn and Carla Perlo: Live Jazz and participatory hooping

October 19 at 12:30pm: Preparing for a Photoshoot: Dancers’ Photography workshop with Enoch Chan

October 24 at 6:30pm: Vibe Collective: Afro-Cuban Improv Jazz

October 25 at 6:30pm: DC Casineros: Cuban Salsa

October 26 at 12:30pm: Take Your Camera Out of Auto: Adults’ Photography workshop with Enoch Chan