Posts Tagged ‘Lace


RIA Becomes Un-Laced

laceThe Avenue is losing a business that started out as a lesbian bar, then turned restaurant, then turned ladies night-club. According to this listing, Lace is being sold for $795,000 and is boasting as a fully furnished bar/restaurant with 2,000 sq ft.

The restaurant has gone through many attempted transformations during its time on the Avenue, never really finding the right theme. The restaurant attempted to transform itself into a neighborhood tavern/restaurant, hiring a chef, Raymond Crook. The restaurant added new beers and food to its menu, began advertising Monday Night Football, and jazz nights. It was a smart move, given the fact that many residents nearby wanted their own place. It hosted many events that brought numerous residents out, and was becoming a great place for the community to gather. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for, as it seems, internal reasons, not because the clientele wasn’t there. This past December, the chef (and main proponent of change for the establishment) left on, let’s just say, not good terms with its owner, Linda McAllister. “I could no longer work with her,” Crook told the Insider. “We had different ideas on how and the why of the operation.”

The property was listed on a realty site (seen below) for $4,585 per month on December 12, 2012. It was quickly removed in January after the Insider inquired with the realtor (same one on this new listing). McAllister told the Insider after the property was pulled from being available that Lace “was not closing nor am I selling” and that she “will be doing some amazing things for 2013.”

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 12.03.54 PMNo word yet on why she is currently selling the restaurant. The space is a prime opportunity for a new restauranteur or owner that could do a lot with it, with a lot of folks that live in the area looking for their own place to walk to. It is situated between two new businesses, Zekes Coffee and Oliver Friendly’s restaurant.


Drinks, Food, and Neighbors

Although the Insider will not be posting notices like this constantly, we did want to make sure that all of our readers knew that Jennifer Parker does a really good job putting together these monthly Happy Hours and since this one is at a local business on RIA, we thought we would share it. These events are usually a great time and you get to meet your neighbors. To stay up to date on when the Happy Hours and other Ward 5 events are, go to the Ward 5 Calendar

Meet Your Neighbors – Support Local

Share a Few Laughs – Why Not?

Thursday, April 5

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. (ish)

Lace on the Avenue

2214 Rhode Island Avenue NE

(202) 832-3888

The chef is cooking up some special foods for us!

Happy Hour drink specials!

We love to support this place and they love us!

Hope to see you there!


Ward 5 Council Candidate Forum

Announcement from Tim Clark:

As ward 5 looks to elect new leadership, it’s important that voters have an opportunity to vet each candidate and make an informed decision at the polls. Unfortunately, the short window of time and the long list of potential candidates will make it difficult for residents to get out to meetings or chase down individuals to hear where they stand on important issues. To assist voters in this process, myself along with Lace developed “Straight Up Politics”.

Straight Up Politics is a series of candid candidate forums designed to provide residents with a relaxed atmosphere to ask tough and pointed questions that will hopefully make deciding who the new ward 5 Councilmember is a little easier. The forums will be focused on economic development, education and crime.

The events will take place on Tuesday’s and run until the special election. The first forum will be next Tuesday, January 24. The forum before the special election will be a straw poll. After the session on the 24th, candidates will be put in groups and invited back to separate forums that will focus on specific issues. Below is a schedule for the first forum.

1/24/12 Schedule

6:30pm-7:00pm-Candidate check in

7:00pm-Candidate Introductions

7:00pm-8:30pm-Individual Questioning

If you are interested in participating in these forums please RSVP by email before COB Thursday, January 19, 2012. Please, let me know if you have any questions.

Straight Up Politics, Lace Lounge,  2214 Rhode Island Ave NE

Tuesday, January 24 2012



FoRIA All-Hands 2012 Planning Meeting

Those you who are FoRIA members already received an email about this, but for the rest of the Insider readers, we want to invite you to FoRIA’s 2012 All-Hands Planning Meeting.

Date: January 23

Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Location: Art Enables 2204 Rhode Island Avenue NE.


  • Brief introduction of FoRIA
  • Recap of Progress
  • Break-Out Planning Committees: Community Events, Business Development, and Street-Scape
  • Recap of Each Committee
  • Miscellaneous Business

Light refreshments will be served during the planning meeting.

Please RSVP if you can make it at

Please also join us afterward for drinks at Lace!


Answers from the Councilmember

Last week, I asked the Councilmember several questions in regards to redevelopment of Rhode Island Ave NE (see post here). Councilmember Thomas has responded to these questions and added his own comments. See his response below:


Four years ago when I took office, our ward did not have any Great Streets or    Green Teams, and attention to streetscapes was sorely lacking. During my  first four years as the Ward 5 councilmember, I worked diligently to correct  this injustice, and that effort is now paying off. Rhode Island Avenue and  North Capitol Street are now designated as Great Streets, which has enabled  us to initiate Green Teams on each corridor to work on basic issues like  cleanliness and maintenance. Collectively, my efforts to coordinate  development projects, create business opportunities, ensure project funding,  enact small area plans, and introduce comprehensive plan amendments  provide our ward with a robust a blue print with which to improve every major  corridor and business district.

My demonstrated capability to bring resources to Ward 5 has led to my recent success in being named chair of the Council’s Committee on Economic Development, and named to other critical committees with related functions that control resources that impact not just for our ward, but the city as a whole. My objective for our ward and this great city, and its important corridors like Rhode Island Avenue (which is Route 1, the oldest highway in the nation and an important forgotten gateway to the nation’s capital), will be to focus on the critical issues that transform economic development into community development. To me, economic development is more than bricks and mortar; it’s about people.

As we move forward, some of my basic goals, which may be expanded and or modified, are as follows:
· Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Connecting residents to CAREER opportunities (clearly this involves a multi-agency/multi-Council oversight “interdisciplinary” approach that increases access to job training and employment opportunities, as well as improved utilization of human capital)
· Strengthening our small local retail businesses and revitalizing our neighborhood business corridors so that they remain viable and can compete against large national chains and franchises, which clearly want to expand their retail presence in the District (examples include Walmart, Target, Costco, Best Buy, Lowes, Panda Express, etc.)
· Ensuring CBE and First Source agreements are met—whether these agreements need to be strengthened is on the table, for example, perhaps requiring First Source percentages to be applied at the business code level.
· Attracting new and a diverse range of businesses to the District as we strengthen existing small businesses so that we reduce retail leakage.
· Implementing a cutting edge strategy, such as creating technology and small business incubators, to position the District as a creative, innovative, and international city.
I also plan to introduce several new initiatives in my capacity as Chair of the Committee on Economic Development. These include: 1) holding monthly economic development roundtables with members of the development community to identify chokepoints in the development pipeline and how they can best be addressed; 2) creating opportunities for small businesses to connect to larger institutions in the District, using my Ward 5 small business speed networking initiative as a model for a citywide endeavor; and 3) and holding Committee roundtables on various economic issues out in the wards to improve residents’ opportunities to participate and provide input.

Some of the specific tasks my staff and I will be undertaking in the short-term include: 1) reviewing a number of dispositions transmitted from executive to the committee that are pending from previous the Council period, 2) assessing the status of the work of agencies under purview of committee, particularly DMPED projects and DSLBD’s effectiveness in monitoring CBE and First Source agreements (the DC Auditor’s reports have been fairly critical), and 3) assessing whether resources are available for existing initiatives.


….and now, the answers from Councilmember Thomas to the questions that I asked.

1. Where is the Rhode Island Ave Great Streets program? If it is not moving or stagnant, why?

The land use study for Rhode Island Avenue as part of the Great Streets program has been completed by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The study was submitted as a Small Area Plan to the Council (PR19-0019) for approval on December 3, 2010 and circulated on January 6, 2011. PR 19-0019 has been referred to the Council’s Committee of the Whole, which has purview over land use matters. I will work with Chairman Brown, who chairs the Committee of the Whole, to promptly schedule a hearing on PR19-0019.

2. What is the plan to redevelop RIA when there are so many store-front churches and liquor stores taking up valuable commercial space?

The land use study includes strategies for developing various segments of Rhode Island Avenue, including upzoning the area around the Metro station and creating greater density along the corridor. In addition, some churches on Rhode Island Avenue look forward to participating in the revitalization of Rhode Island Avenue.

3. Why isn’t there a Neighborhood Commercial Overlay district being considered for the parts of RIA from 18th-24th Streets, which claim to be the “Main Street” part of the Great Streets program, to encourage the type of neighborhood-friendly retail/restaurants?

I am happy to work with residents and Office of Planning staff to investigate whether a commercial overlay district would be beneficial for Rhode Island Avenue between 18th and 24th Streets. If such a district would help advance redevelopment of the corridor, I will of course support it.

4. Are you associated in any way with the owners of DC Star, Lace, or any other late night club or establishment in the area? There are stories being circulated by residents that you are.

I am not associated with the owners of DC Star, Lace, or any other clubs other than in my professional capacity as the Ward 5 representative on the Council. The sources of these slanderous comments are less than credible, and the false statements should be questioned by residents.

5. How and why are there so many nightclubs in this quadrant given that these are neighborhood areas next to them?

This is a licensing matter and best addressed by working with the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration to determine resolution. Further, as your council member, I effectively created legislation to create limits on the number of nude dancing establishments allowed in our ward and other wards.

6. How will you usher in the redevelopment along Rhode Island Ave NE as Chair of the Committee on Economic Development?

The redevelopment of Rhode Island Avenue is already underway. The Rhode Island Station project, for which I introduced legislation to ensure the project had financing, has broken ground and will be completed in the next 18 months. This project combined with changes in land use called for in the Small Area Plan, will create the momentum for redevelopment of the corridor. As this occurs, I am most mindful to work to connect residents to the jobs these redevelopment projects will create, and to ensure our existing small business community remains viable and competitive as national chains seek to expand their presence in Ward 5.

7. I have personally spoken to two restaurant entrepreneurs that have respectable establishments in other prominent areas of the City who have interest in Rhode Island Ave NE (between 18th and 24th) but have not seen the activity or motivation from City leaders to move forward to redevelopment along RIA. What do you say to them?

Direct evidence of my motivation to bring redevelopment to Rhode Island Avenue is the fact that it was one of my main goals during my first term in office. Another is the Rhode Island Avenue Green Team, for which funding is provided via Council additions to the Budget Support Act. And as s mentioned above, I expect the momentum for redevelopment of Rhode Island Avenue to pick up following Council approval of the Small Area Plan, and the development of Rhode Island Station and other projects planned around the metro station will spur development eastward on the corridor.

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