Tag Archives: Monroe Street Market

Monroe Street Market Grand Opening – Live Music, Food, Beer Garden and More

Monroe Street Market Grand OpeningAlthough many of us have been enjoying the Monroe Street Market development for a while now, it has actually been a work in progress since 2011 and is now mostly complete. So, its time for a Grand Opening party. From the Monroe Street Market Facebook page:

Now that all three buildings of Monroe Street Market are open, and our fabulous artist and retailers are now open, we thought it was about time to have a party! Join us for our grand opening starting on Thursday Oct 2nd for some live music, food, and beer garden by Brookland Pint. But come back for more on Friday and Saturday with more live entertainment and an extra special farmer’s market. Check out our poster for all the details!

The press release for the event lists Mayor Gray and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie among others as speakers at the Thursday ribbon-cutting and tower lighting event.

The Citywide 5×5 Art Project Comes To The Monroe Street Market Artswalk

An ambitious city-wide temporary art project, The 5×5 Project is getting underway. According to the website it is a:

District-wide program of contemporary, temporary public art dedicated to exploring new perspectives on our city through the lens of five curators. In fact, it is the largest, temporary public art project in the District. The project will begin in early September and end by December of 2014.

While there will be a lot of cool events and many works by 25 artists all over the city, we thought readers would like to know about one right here in our backyard.

Image courtesy of the 5×5 website.

The show will highlight the works of Michael Platt. The show will be installed on Saturday September 6th and run until December 30th and is described as a “large banner of photography and poetry with an augmented reality layer”.

Here is Mr. Platt’s impressive Bio:

Michael B. Platt is a 2007 recipient of the Franz and Virginia Bader Fund Grant. Long known as a printmaker, his artwork in the last decade has explored digital imagery and book art that combines images and poetry. Platt has exhibited in international and national galleries and museums in Paris, France; Australia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and San Francisco, CA, just to mention a few. Important group shows include the 2011-12, Multiplicity, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. Also in 2011: Corridor: 6 DC Artists + 6 Baltimore Artists, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC; Embodied: Black Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, The Yale University Art Museum, New Haven, CT; and in 2010, The Washington Project for the Arts 35th Anniversary exhibition at the American University’s Katzen Center at Washington, DC.

Platt is represented in numerous private collections, including the Corcoran Museum; the Smithsonian Museum of American Art; the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection and Rare Books and Special Collections; the Schomburg Research Center in Black Culture of the New York Public Library; the Yale University Art Gallery; the Harris Poetry Collection of the John Hay Library of Brown University; the David C. Driskell Center Collection of the University of Maryland; and the Hampton University Art Museum. Tim Davis of International Visions Gallery, Washington, DC, represents Michael Platt.

Free Yoga Classes Every Saturday At The Edgewood Arts Buiding

The good folks at Monroe Street Market are offering free yoga classes this summer from 10:00 – 11: 00 am on Saturday mornings at the Edgewood Arts Building (3415 8th St NE). Bring your own mat and enjoy the farmers market afterward – sweet!

Check out the Tweet about it from Monroe Street Market:

Barnes And Noble At Catholic U To Open With A Series Of Community Events!

Photo Courtesy of Monroe Street Market's Facebook Page
Photo Courtesy of B&N’s CUA Facebook Page

Many thanks to Morgan from the Barnes & Noble College location at Catholic U for letting us know about the grand opening of the long awaited Barnes and Noble store at the Monroe Street Market development. When we broke the story about the Barnes and Noble/Starbucks in August 2012, many neighbors rightfully acknowledged it as a huge turning point for our area, and a kick start to investment and development in Brookland. Here is the announcement:

Come celebrate the newest installment of Brookland’s up-and-coming Monroe Street Market community– Barnes & Noble College Booksellers at The Catholic University of America. No longer solely a home to textbooks and CUA spirit gear, the new store boasts an expanded title selection of fiction, non-fiction, reference, and children’s books; a cafe serving Starbucks coffee, ready-to-go sandwiches, and baked goods; and indoor and outdoor seating in the lovely neighborhood of Brookland.

  • The grand opening celebration will occur on July 28, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 625 Monroe Street NE, Washington, DC 20017. The festivities will include an author event with Fox News anchor Bret Baier, live music, raffles, samples from our new cafe, and a promotional sale. At noon, Bret Baier, chief political anchor for Fox and anchor of “Special Report with Bret Baier,” will talk about his new book, Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love, a behind-the-scenes look at his family’s life as they face their eldest son Paul’s fight with pediatric cardiac disease.
  • In conjunction with the opening day festivities, we will be hosting a children’s book reading featuring the Catholic University mascot, Red the Cardinal, who will welcome the children’s book section of the new Barnes & Noble. Red’s Reading will occur on July 30th at 11:30 a.m. 
  • On Friday August 1st, the final event of what is sure to be a fantastic inaugural week, will be a live concert from Pop Culture Strings at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, and to RSVP for the grand opening events, check out the B&N at the Catholic University Facebook page.

Wild Hand Workspace Presents Kelly Hughes, Opening Reception This Thursday

Image courtesy of the artist, Kelly Hughes.

Wild Hand Workspace is a studio at Monroe Street Market shared by photographer/curator Victoria Milko and Panda Head‘s Morgan Hungerford West. The studio regularly hosts events, workshops, art shows, and pop-ups. One of their exciting new announcements is the presentation of work by artist Kelly Hughes. From Wild Hand Workspace:

Wild Hand Workspace is excited to present Chromatic Transmissionsa solo show by Kelly Hughes/Cobra Wu
from July 17 – July 20. The show will be open 6-9PM on July 17 and 11AM – 2PM on Saturday + Sunday, July 19 + 20.

Please join us for the opening reception Thursday, July 17 from 6PM – 9PM


Kelly Hughes (Cobra Wu) is a Washington, DC based mixed-media artist. She attended George Mason University where she studied cognitive science and art. Her work explores the emotionality of color and absurd narrative. The pieces included in this exhibition are inspired by remote associations formed from scrambled radio signals. More of her work can be seen at her website, MindglowStudios.com.

The Wild Hand is located at Studio 8 on the Arts Walk at the Monroe Street Market, 716 Monroe St NE.

ARTillery Offers Woodworking Class

ARTillery at Monroe Street MarketWe have introduced the ARTillery Studio at the Monroe Street Market here a while ago. I myself am a member of the tool library program that they offer and have spend quiet a few hours helping, learning and having a good time at the wood shop.

Neill DuVal, who runs the ARTillery Studio and is such a great guy, just announced a Woodworking 101 Class scheduled for May 31. Here is the official online announcement with all details:

WOODWORKING 101: with Lex Davis

banished? productions

Saturday, May 31 2014 2:00 pm

Woodworking 101 focuses on necessary skills, tools, and techniques in getting students comfortable working with wood. Using an artistic project that students can adjust, we will guide you through how to plan your skeletal structure to achieve desired effects. We’ll then walk you through how to make an efficient cut list and plan of action to take your project from start to finish. Students should have a completed prototype by the end of class.

This class is designed for interested beginners who may not have any shop skills and intermediate level students looking to improve their techniques, production design and planning. Students should bring pencils and sketchbooks if they need. Cost includes material fee.

Lex Davis is Technical Director for Pointless Theatre, a DC based puppet company. He has worked as a carpenter for eight years at various places including University of Maryland, Fisher Theatrical, Arena Stage, Renegade Productions, and in residential carpentry in Baltimore. He is also a director, actor, puppeteer, and fight director in DC theater.

Class will run from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Save the date for other ARTillery events:
*Power Tool Petting Zoo: Thu June 19, 6:30p-8:30p
*Tactile Eating Workshop: Sun July 20, 1:00p-6:00p

The ARTillery is a non-profit organization. I think a $30 admission fee for a woodworking class is a great deal. Plus, you can do your shopping of local groceries on the Monroe Street Farmers Market first, have lunch and then learn new skills from a woodworking expert at the ARTillery.


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

&Pizza H St.&Pizza H St.&Pizza H St.IMG_0757IMG_0758IMG_0759
&Pizza H St.&Pizza H St.&Pizza H St.&Pizza H St.&Pizza H St.
&Pizza H St.&Pizza H St.&Pizza H St.&Pizza H St.IMG_0760IMG_0762
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

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 2/22/2014Brookland 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 2/22/2014Brookland 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.