Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Restaurant Proposed for 1539-41 New Jersey Avenue, NW

Developer Aaron Hirsch has proposed to open a sit-down restaurant at 1539-1541 New Jersey Avenue, NW.  The restaurant would occupy two vacant storefronts in the commercial structure that spans the east side of New Jersey Avenue between P and Q Streets, NW.  In an interesting twist, the restaurant would include only outdoor seating and, under the developer's current proposal, would not be open during December, January, or February.

Because the property is residentially zoned (although it has long housed commercial uses), Hirsch must first receive a variance from the Board of Zoning Adjustment to open a restaurant.  He intends to file a request for the variance within the next month and hopes to have the variance approved within four to six months after filing.  Hirsch would then need to obtain a liquor license through the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.  Hirsch's goal is to open the restaurant  in March 2013.

The site plan for the restaurant is likely to include picnic tables, a gazebo, bike racks, and recreational amenities (such as bocce or cornhole).  Although the current plan is for the restaurant to be closed during the winter months, an enclosed patio section that may be used during the winter months is a possibility.

Images of the current site and a rendering of the proposed restaurant are available after the jump.

Current Site (click to enlarge)

Rendering of Proposed Restaurant (click to enlarge)


  1. i saw on some other blog somewhere that there was also an issue with the mosque across the street. the owners said they were trying to get in touch with representatives from the mosque to work out said issues with serving alcohol..

  2. This is a perfect example of why we need to change the zoning regulations. Uses like this on a major neighborhood street should be allowed. No brainer. The fact that they need to get a zoning variance is a shame. You know there will be serious NIMBY pushback, unfortunately.

  3. Outdoor only seems a bit odd ... anything is better than what we have there right now. Maybe it will finally quell the issues at the mini-mart. I've been eyeing this spot since we moved into the hood six years ago. Would have made a great cafe/bike shop

  4. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

  5. Can't come fast enough. Now get something in that odd NCEC Annex bldg across the street and we'll have some real momentum.

    Another East Shaw resident

  6. Hi - does anyone have any update on whether this spot is still in the works? It would do so well!