Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BicycleSPACE Opening March 2 in Shaw

BicycleSPACE announced that it is moving today (February 29, 2012) to its new location at 1019 7th Street, NW.  According to its Facebook page, the store will be closed on March 1, 2012, to reassemble, so BicycleSPACE should reopen as a Shaw business on March 2. 

BicycleSpace describes itself as "a refreshingly community oriented bicycle shop located in the heart of the city. Traditionally-styled bikes, friendly, knowledgeable service, and everything you need to make your ride the best part of your day."  BicycleSpace not only sells and repairs bikes, but it also holds group bike rides, flat tire repair classes, and non-bike events like yoga and hula hoop classes.

Check out a street view of the new location after the jump.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bundy Field Renovation Project is Complete

The construction of the Bundy Field and the Bundy dog park are now complete, according to a post by the Friends of Bundy Park.  (Pictures of the completed field and dog park are after the jump.)

As reported previously on this website, the project includes a total renovation of the existing field -- replacing the current field with a multipurpose turf field striped for soccer, lacrosse, and softball -- and creation of space for a dog park.

The project is a joint venture of the District government, KIPP DC (which runs the WILL Academy and Grow Academy across the street from the Bundy Field), and the U.S. Soccer Foundation.  Use of the field will be shared between KIPP DC and the District; according to KIPP DC, "the District Department of General Services and a community-based organization ... will decide when/how the field is used."

In addition, the U.S. Soccer Foundation's Soccer for Success program is expected to begin at Bundy Field in the fall of 2012.  (More information on the Soccer for Success program is after the jump.)

View pictures of the completed field and dog area, along with information on the Soccer for Success program, after the jump.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Restaurant Coming to 903 N Street, NW

Chef Frederik De Pue has signed a lease to open a restaurant called Table at 903 N Street, NW, according to Dining Bisnow. The restaurant is scheduled to open this summer.

De Pue was formerly the executive chef at Smith Commons on H Street, NE, where he was credited with "boldly establishing fine dining along the H Street corridor." De Pue is currently the chef at 42˚ Catering, which describes itself as "a unique boutique catering firm that specializes in creating custom-designed culinary events."

Dining Bisnow reports that the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week; will serve wine and beer, but no hard alcohol; and "will keep its 'rough' look with concrete floors and exposed walls and ceilings."

Read the full Dining Bisnow article here.

Read more about De Pue at this profile from the Washington Examiner.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Check Out the New Howard Theatre Website

A new Howard Theatre website is up and running at  The website provides a calendar of shows, but it's still a work in progress: tickets for the shows will not be available online until February 27, 2012, and many of the site features — including the restaurant menu  — are listed as "Coming Soon".

54-Unit Condo Building Planned for 1250 9th Street, NW

Urban Turf reports that a 5-story, 54-unit condo project is planned for 1250 9th Street, NW — the current location of Contemporary Wing.  The Urban Turf article states that the plan is "to build the condo project up and around the existing structure [and] ... [a]pproximately 65 percent of the existing historic structure will be preserved."  The project developer is CAS Riegler, whose projects include the redeveloped the Flatiron Building at 143 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, at the 11-unit Standard Eleven at 1109 M Street, NW, which is scheduled to deliver in the summer of 2012.

Read the Urban Turf article at Shaw also reports on the planned project, and includes additional project renderings, at

Friday, February 24, 2012

Transcripts of Mood Lounge ABC Board Hearings

Shaw Deserves Better has posted the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board hearing transcripts from the two January 13, 2012, hearings regarding Mood Lounge.  The main hearing focused on the summary suspension of Mood Lounge's license following the stabbing that took place outside Mood Lounge on December 30, 2011.  (That transcript is 770 pages long.)  The second hearing was related to excessive noise from Mood Lounge that was alleged to violate the voluntary agreement.  (That transcript is over 230 pages long.)

Read both transcripts at the Shaw Deserves Better post at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Washington Post Highlights Opening of Howard Theatre

The Washington Post today (February 22, 2012) published an article on the opening of the Howard Theatre.  The article listed some of the scheduled performers and included this interesting piece of information: Each week beginning April 15, the Howard Theatre will host a Sunday gospel brunch featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir.

Check out the full article at

Friday, February 17, 2012

Shaw's Tavern Reopens, But Without Liquor License; Prior Owner's Appeal Denied

As reported by DC Eater, Shaw's Tavern reopened today, but without its alcoholic beverage license.  It will operate only during daytime hours until the license is issued.

As reported earlier on this blog, the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board has scheduled a hearing on license application of Shaw's Tavern for March 12, 2012.  (The notice is after the jump.)  Under District law, the Board has 90 days after the hearing to issue a decision.

In the interim, Shaw's Tavern requested that the ABC Board issue a temporary liquor license (called a "stipulated license") before the hearing.  (The stipulated license application is after the jump.)  The request went before the ABC Board on January 25, 2012, at which time the Board scheduled a fact finding hearing for February 8, 2012.  The February 8, 2012, hearing was held behind closed doors.  The Board stated that it would issue a decision on the stipulated license request within 90 days. 

Also, in an interesting endnote to the previous owner's quest for a license, the ABC Board in a 10-page order issued on January 25, 2012, rejected Abbas Fathi's request that the Board reconsider its prior decision denying a license.  In its decision, the Board noted that the Mr. Fathi held two events at Shaw's Tavern before the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs had even issued a certificate of occupancy.  (The Board's order is after the jump.)

View the March 12 hearing notice, the stipulated license application, and the Board's order on reconsideration after the jump.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Owner of Mood Lounge Building in Bankruptcy, Seeks Authority to Sell Property

In an aspect of the Mood Lounge saga that appears to have received little attention, the owners of the building in which Mood Lounge is located filed for bankruptcy in August of 2011, after having been served with a notice of foreclosure in July 2011.  The bankruptcy proceeding is ongoing.  On January 19, 2012, the bankruptcy judge granted the building owner the authority to employ Charles Papadopoulos and Papadopoulos Properties as real estate agent and broker.  (If there are any bankruptcy lawyers who happen to read this post, it would be interesting to know if a buyer purchasing a property in a bankruptcy proceeding can terminate an existing lease; please post any information to the comments section.)

More information from the filings is after the jump.

And many thanks to a commenter who pointed out the existence of the foreclosure filing, which led to the information on the bankruptcy filing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New ABC Board Hearings Scheduled on Mood Lounge

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has scheduled two hearings to review five charges of unlawful conduct by Mood Lounge.  The first hearing, scheduled for March 28, 2012, at 9:30 a.m., is a status hearing.  The status hearing is a non-adversarial proceeding where the Board will ask whether Mood Lounge is contesting the charges against it.  (Mood Lounge will also have the opportunity to present any settlement it may have reached with the Office of the Attorney General, which is the legal representative of the Board.)  If Mood Lounge contests the charges, a show cause hearing will be held on May 2, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.  At the show cause hearing, Mood Lounge will be required to show cuase why it should not be fined or have its licensed suspsended or revoked.

The charges against Mood Lounge are the following:
  • Mood Lounge interfered with an investigation of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration
  • Mood Lounge failed to follow its security plan
  • Mood Lounge permitted the use of a controlled substance (marijuana) on its premises
  • Mood Lounge violated its voluntary agreement by playing excessively loud music (two charges)
The charges are described in more detail in the Board's notice of status and show cause hearings, which is after the jump.

Second Proposal for a Medical Marijuana Dispensary on the 1500 Block of 7th Street, NW

As previously reported on this website, an organization named Compassion Centers of America, LLC, filed an application with the Department of Health (DOH) to locate a medical marijuana dispensary at 1539 7th Street, NW.

That wasn't the only application DOH received for the 1500 block of 7th Street, NW.  A group called The Green House, LLC, filed an application to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 1537 7th Street, NW.

The Green House's application (heavily redacted by DOH), biographies of The Green House's key personnel, and an organizational narrative are after the jump.  (The biographies and organizational narrative were distributed by ANC Commissioner Kevin Chapple.  Commissioner Chapple has scheduled a public meeting on both applications for Friday, January 17, 2012; more information is after the jump.)

The District's medical marijuana law allows only 5 dispensaries, and 17 applications have been filed with the Department of Health.  The Department of Health plans to announce the list of approved applications in the first week of May.

The location of a dispensary on 7th Street, NW, is not assured, but the fact that two applications were filed for 7th Street seems to increase the odds of a dispensary locating there. Do you think the 1500 block of 7th Street is a good location for a medical marijuana dispensary?  Will it hurt the neighborhood's revitalization?  Is it an important asset for those in need?  Please post your comments.

A list of organizations that filed medical marijuana dispensary applications, DOH's review timeline, information on the upcoming ANC meeting, the application of The Green House, biographies of key personnel of The Green House, and The Green House's organizational narrative are all available after the jump.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wanda Sykes is Howard Theatre's Opening Act

An interesting tidbit of information ... Wanda Sykes is scheduled to perform at the Howard Theatre from April 13 through April 15, 2012 (see  That's right after the theater's grand opening gala, scheduled for April 12 (  So it looks like Wanda Sykes will be the opening act for the reborn Howard Theatre.  Tickets for the Wanda Sykes shows are now available.

Update: An apparent soft opening, featuring Wale, will take place on April 9.  Tickets are available here.

Historic Preservation Hearing on Proposal to Demolish 1232-1236 New Jersey Avenue, NW, to be Held on February 16, 2012

1232-1236 New Jersey Avenue, NW
A hearing will be held this week by the Mayor's Agent for Historic Preservation on the proposal to demolish the three buildings located at 1232-1236 New Jersey Avenue, NW, and owned by the Third Street Church of God.  The church wants to demolish the buildings, which are located in the Mount Vernon Square Historic District, as part of a project to expand its parking lot.

Both the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and Historic Preservation Office (a division of the Office of Planning) oppose demolition of the structures, although they support partial demolition of the rear of the structures.

However, the final decision (barring a lawsuit) will be made by the Mayor's Agent.

According to the Mayor's Agent notice, the church claims that failure to issue a permit to demolish the entire structures will result in unreasonable economic hardship to the church.

The Mayor's Agent hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 16, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., at the Office of Planning, 1100 4th Street, SW, Suite E650.

A history of the raze permit request, along with links to prior HPRB documents are after the jump.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Applicant for 1539 7th Street, NW, Provides Additional Information; Questions Raised Regarding Staff Bios

Compassion Centers of America, LLC (CCA) — the applicant for a medical marijuana dispensary at 1539 7th Street, NW — provided ANC Commissioner Kevin Chapple with documents summarizing its proposed operations and describing the backgrounds of its key personnel.

Both documents appear after the jump, along with questions I have raised regarding the biographical information provided for two of the three key personnel of CCA.

Some interesting pieces of information from the summary document include the following:

Outside Appearance
Regarding the outside appearance of the dispensary, the summary document states that "[t]he appearance of our secure dispensary will be unremarkable and will feature minimal signage, none of which will include the word 'marijuana' or any visual depictions of marijuana. Only a green cross logo, a known symbol of a medical marijuana dispensary, will be visible on the front of the dispensary along with a small sign identifying the site as that of the Compassion Centers of America, LLC. No exterior signage will be illuminated."

Hours of Operation
Regarding hours of operations, the summary document states: "The dispensary business hours for patients and caregivers are Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Deliveries will only be accepted at the dispensary Monday – Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m."

Starting Date of Operations
The summary document states that CCA "plans to initiate permit applications for buildout immediately after receiving the approval for a medical marijuana dispensary permit on March 30, 2012 and after we have secured our license."  It adds that "[t]he dispensary will be fully operational within five (5) months from issuance of a license, which will likely be in August 2012."  Since the Department of Health does not plan to announce which applicants have been selected for licenses until May 4, 2012 (see, the starting date information in the summary document appears to be incorrect or outdated.

Shuttle and Valet Service
Interestingly, both shuttle bus and valet service will be provided.  The summary document states, "In order to ensure the safety of our patients and to prevent the theft of medical marijuana from them, CCA will provide shuttle service to the Shaw-Howard University Metro stop, as well as valet service in front of the building for patients who drove to the dispensary."

More Information...
The complete summary document and the staff bios appear after the jump.  Also appearing after the jump are questions I have raised regarding the staff bios.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Who Owns 1539 7th Street, NW (the Site of the Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensary)?

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to engage with the owners of 1539 7th Street, NW, who appear to be willing to lease space in that building for a medical marijuana dispensary?  Well, although it appears that the owners of the Shaw business Blue Skye Development and Construction are also the owners of 1539 7th Street, NW, Blue Skye has failed to respond to my requests for comment on the proposed medical marijuana dispensary. I am hopeful that by bringing this information to the attention of Shaw residents, the owners will engage in a discussion with the community.

More information on my search for the owners is after the jump.

If you have any additional information about who owns the building, or how to contact them, please email me or post your information in the comments section.

Monday, February 6, 2012

JBG Florida Avenue Project: New Renderings

UrbanTurf has posted updated renderings of the JBG project planned for Florida Avenue, NW, between 7th and 9th Streets. Check out the renderings at

According to the JBG website,"the lots of the Florida Avenue Project are 15,956 square feet, 8,621 square feet and 3,799 square feet respectively, totaling 28,376 square feet."  Also according to JBG, "preliminary feasibility studies for the project have included a mixed-use plan with residential units above a retail podium, conforming to the Duke [Framework] Plan that seeks to establish “a cultural destination district within in the greater Shaw/U Street neighborhood”."

The Duke Framework Plan, a product of the District's Office of Planning that establishes goals for the redevelopment of the 7th Street/Georgia Avenue and U Street/Florida Avenue commercial corridors in the vicinity of 7th and U Streets, NW, can be viewed at

Friday, February 3, 2012

Interactive Map of Vacant and Blighted Buildings in Shaw

Note: The map in this post has been updated. For the more recent map, click here.
After attending the ANC2C meeting this past Wednesday (February 1, 2012) — at which one of the topics of discussion was the vacant buildings on 9th Street, NW, owned by Shiloh Baptist Church — it occurred to me that it might be helpful to have a map showing all of the buildings in the Shaw area that have been designated as vacant or blighted by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).  So, based on data available online from DCRA, I've created an interactive blighted/vacant buildings map, which is available after the jump.

Under District law, vacant buildings are taxed at a rate that is about 6 times higher than the rate for occupied residential buildings and blighted buildings are taxed at a rate that is over 11 times higher than the rate for occupied residential buildings.  Therefore, designation of a building as vacant or blighted creates a significant incentive for the owner to redevelop, rehabilitate, or sell the property, ultimately improving quality of life in the neighborhood.

The map allows residents to see which buildings in the Shaw area have been designated as blighted, which have been designated as vacant only, and which have been designated as exempt.

The map will also help residents ensure that all buildings that should be designated as vacant or blighted are actually designated, by reporting any vacant buildings that are not included on the map.  If you know of any blighted or vacant building that are missing from the map, please add a comment to the post (and please also consider contacting  DCRA at to report the property).  Please note that vacant land (that is, empty lots) is not covered by the vacant/blighted property law and therefore are not included on the map.

I will also be adding any relevant notes to each property, if I receive notes from readers or from DCRA. Please leave a comment, or email me directly, with any information that should be added as notes (such as historical information regarding the property, links to stories about the property, etc.).

The map is after the jump.  The DCRA standards for designating vacant and blighted buildings, and the exemptions from the vacant and blighted building law, are also after the jump.