RIA Main Street Valentine’s Dance

The Rhode Island Avenue Main Street Valentine’s Day Dance was a pretty great time! From the wine/beer to the food to the dancing to music by the DJ to a silent auction with some really cool stuff (Wizards tickets in the Mayor’s and McDuffie’s private suites), the dance was lively and a great cause!










NIDO – Another New Restaurant for RIA NE

If you wondered if 2015 is going to be a good year for Rhode Island Ave NE, look no further than Bespoke Kitchen’s opening for supper club, Good Food Markets’ grand opening today, and Woodridge being predicted to be the hottest neighborhood in the DC area in 2015… We now can add another reason: Nido, the restaurant taking over Lace, has started renovation! (for more info on Nido, read this article from ElevationDC.)

According to their Facebook page (which looks like they just started) on January 22nd they wrote:

We are very excited to share with you that today we finally purchased the property that will become Nido. Our new restaurant. Stay tuned for updates and photos.

And they also recently posted their building permit today:



Good Food Markets Opens!

Good Food Markets, located at 2006 Rhode Island Avenue NE, has opened as of 1pm today!

I knew that the Market was going to carry prepared foods made from the DC Central Kitchen and have fresh produce, but I was pleasantly surprised when I walked through the door. The shelves had an assortment of items from canned goods (think: soups, tomatoes, beans, etc) to boxed cereal to baby food and formula to fresh produce and prepared meats to milk and eggs to condiments/ingredients! It was like going to a miniature Whole Foods or YES! Market but without the stuffiness or high prices (I was surprised again when I rang up my groceries and the bill was a lot lower than I spend at one of those bigger stores)! In addition, the Market was clean, well organized, and had several friendly employees busying themselves.

The concept is great and it is going to reflect the community. For instance, there were some empty shelves in the Market on purpose…they want to leave room for the community to tell them what they want them to carry! So don’t forget to mention to them what it is you are looking for, if they don’t have it, they’ll try and get it! Some coming attractions for the near future: larger selection of meats (chicken, beef, etc), and beer and wine (with a reasonable price point).

So check them out and support your local store! Their grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, January 24th but they are open starting today!

Store Hours: 9am-9pm every day (or until they can see when the community will shop…. for instance, if they have customers that want to stop in on their way to work to get a prepared lunch, they’ll open earlier).

And oh, you noticed the payphone on the wall as soon as you walked in? It’s one of the things they decided to not remove when renovating… a cool relic from the past (but it doesn’t work so don’t try popping in a quarter and expecting to get a dial tone).

Check out more pics here:


DC’s Next Destination: The Bespoke Kitchen on RIA NE

Outside The Bespoke Kitchen

Outside The Bespoke Kitchen

Rhode Island Ave NE is soon to be a foodies’ heaven. At a special dinner for the inaugural supper club restaurant, The Bespoke Kitchen, a Rhode Island Ave NE establishment by Eat and Smile Catering founder and chef, Oliver Friendly, eight guests  dined on an eight course menu that pretty much blew us away.

The menu theme was root vegetables and it was phenomenal. The menu started with a Ginger Blood Orange Spritz, made with One Eighth Distilling vodka (local distillery). The menu ranged from a rutabaga mousse to lobster to short ribs, and included some pasta to pay tribute to the summer spent in Italy at a two star Michelin restaurant by the sous chef of the restaurant. The courses were paired with reisling, and microbrew beers (Atlas District Common and Flying Dog Imperial Porter).

The Bespoke Kitchen is Oliver’s way to share his artistic culinary skills, cooking for a smaller group of people than the standard hundreds he feeds for catering events. His plan is to have these dinners two to three times per week, with only eight people since that is the table’s capacity.

Interested in booking a seat at this unique dining experience? You have to be on their mailing list. Much like many of the hard to get into restaurants, they will book the reservations on a first come, first serve basis via email only and only after they release the dates of the dinners (look for the rest of January dates to come out in the next couple of days).

Here are some more photos from tonight’s amazing meal:


Statement from Kenyan McDuffie Re: Auto Paint Spray Booths

m_pollutionWard 5 Councilmember, Kenyan McDuffie, issued the following statement regarding last night’s DDOE hearing for the two air permits for auto spray paint facilities along RIA NE and Woodridge:

Dear Residents,


Last night, I joined community leaders and residents at the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to testify against two proposed air quality permits to operate auto body paint spray booths in Ward 5’s Brookland and Woodridge neighborhoods. The first permit, #6963, to T&W Auto Company, Inc., is to locate at 1736 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, and the second, #6962, to SMART Automotive, is to locate at 2615 Evarts Street, NE.


As I mentioned in my testimony, I have submitted seven letters opposing the issuance of paint spray booth permits in Ward 5 since taking office in 2012. In the letters, I speak to the environmental and health effects of the volatile organic compounds emitted by paint spray booths. Air quality has been a major policy focus of mine. I have successfully authored two laws, the “Air Quality Amendment Act of 2014” and the “Solid Waste Facility Permit Amendment Act of 2014”, in an effort to improve air quality for Ward 5 residents through the enhanced enforcement of existing laws, particularly with regard to emissions from industrial businesses. Even with our efforts through the legislative process, violators consider paying the new fines as part of the cost of doing business. This is why I am opposing the permit applications for these two businesses.


I am very concerned about the consequential effects of adding any additional spray booths to our ward. These businesses operate without the proper buffers, and given their proximity to residences, negatively impact the quality of air, water, and soil. Equally disturbing, the clustering of these types of businesses creates an unknown harm to associated neighborhoods with unidentified long-term effects. We all recognize the need for industrial-zoned businesses to sustain the development of our growing city; however, we must seek a balanced approach that does not jeopardize the safety of our residents who are most impacted by the location of these businesses.


I want to thank DDOE for its diligence in responding to residents’ complaints and citing bad actors. Above all, I want to recognize and give special thanks to Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Debbie Smith-Steiner, Nolan Treadway, Walter Deleon, and Michael Morrison, Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association President Tom Bridge, Woodridge South Civic Association President Carlos Davis, and all of the residents who came out to testify against the proposed permits.


Although we have laws on the books to address environmental nuisances, we must remain vigilant when similar cases arise. I look forward to working with you to improve the quality of life for every neighborhood in Ward 5 and across the District of Columbia.


In Service,


Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Ward 5

Chairman Pro Tempore

Chair, Committee on the Judiciary

1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 506

Washington, DC 20004


Auto Paint Shops Proposed for RIA NE


The District Dept of the Environment is hearing requests for two air permits for two different auto paint shops on Monday! One of the paint shops is proposed diagonally from the new library on RIA NE and the other is on Evarts Street in the Langdon community.

As ANC Commissioner Nolan Treadway explains on his website, “These auto spray paint facilities discharge toxic fumes and are nothing less than an environmental hazard. Again, I apologize for the late notice, but it is crucial that the impacted community testify to the negative impact these businesses will have on our neighborhood. The testimony doesn’t have to be formal – it should speak to, specifically, how you would be negatively affected by a spray paint facility.”

In fact, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie is also in opposition to these permits. In a statement from his office, McDuffie “opposes new paint spray booth permits for environmental, health, and economic development reasons. We have experienced spray booths in other parts of Ward 5 that inundate homes with noxious emissions, so it would be very unfortunate if a spray booth was allowed to locate on the RIA corridor. The Councilmember has explored a number of avenues to prevent new permits from being issued, but this is the most promising. It is the first hearing that has been held, and it is critical that this hearing sets a precedent for denying future permits.”

Both ANC Treadway and Councilmember McDuffie believe that the DDOE, under Tommy Well’s current leadership, will deny these applications if there is a strong community presence.

So show up!! Here are the details:

Hearing Date: Monday, January 12, 2015
Hearing Time: 5:30 PM
Hearing Location: 1200 First Street NE
In order to testify:
Email Stephen Ours at stephen.ours@dc.gov with your name, address, telephone number, and affiliation (if any) by 4:00 pm Monday

Reference the Permit Numbers:
2615 Evarts Street NE – Permit #6962
1736 Rhode Island Ave NE – Permit #6963


Chocolate City Brewing is Closing

image_0According to their website, Chocolate City Brewing is closing its doors and shutting down as of December 31, 2014. The Brewery moved into the Ward 5 community near the Brookland/Edgewood border three years ago. We’re sad to see them leave.

Here is the statement from their website:

After three and a half years in business, Chocolate City Beer will be closing its doors and turning off the lights on December 31st 2014. We want to give a heartfelt THANK YOU!!! to all our supporters, friends and family, to our neighbors in Brookland, Edgewood and to the greater DC/DMV region. It was our pleasure to be a part of the local craft beer renaissance since 2011.
We will remain open for our regular Growler Hours both Saturdays December, 20th and 27th, as well as a couple TBA weekday nights approaching New Years Eve.

Our latest and sadly, last brew is in the tank, a New Brew: a heavily hopped Black IPA named GoodBye.P.A.- w/ Citra and Galaxy Hops and a strong roasted malt backbone.

Be sure to swing by, say farewell, pick up some Growlers of the last Cornerstone Copper Ale, Cerveza Nacional Black Lager and our swan song GoodBye.P.A

UPDATE: In the same day as Chocolate City announcing that they are closing, news that a new bar/pub is slated to open in the unused top floor of this SAME building. According to Popville:

Such an incredibly cool space begging for a bar. I’m very psyched to share this news from the owners of Wonderland (11th and Kenyon St, NW):

“Dew Drop Inn will have an American deli menu: sandwiches, soups, salads, bbq. And drinks. And a deck for trainspotting.”

If all goes well they plan on opening above Chocolate City Brewery (near the new Mess Hall) in late Spring/early Summer. Knock wood, knock wood! Stay tuned for tons of updates on this place because I’m beyond excited about the prospect.

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