Flip-It!

The old Bubba Muscogees is getting a new tenant. Interior demolition and reconstruction has been ongoing for months at the former restaurant located on the corner of 16th St NE and RIA. With a planned finish and open date of early March 2011, the Flip-It! Bakery and Deli, will be the third of its kind in DC. The other two restaurants are located off of Georgia Avenue and the second is at Michigan Avenue.

The owner of the Flip-It! restaurants, Lester Foote, says that the location along Rhode Island Ave NE will be a “family-style restaurant” that will not serve alcohol. The restaurant will seat 87 patrons and have a banquet hall that people can rent out. The hours are going to be 7am to 9pm on a daily basis and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner (with breakfast served all day). Lester Foote says that he is a longtime DC resident, who grew up in the area of Ward 5, and that his mother still lives in the area of the Rhode Island Ave location.

Here is the website for Flip-It!

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14 thoughts on “Flip-It!

  1. This is great news for this block of Rhode Island Avenue. I’ve been looking forward to something like this in my neighborhood for quite some time. Hey, at least it’s not another church.

  2. This is great! My husband often goes over to the Flip It on Michigan Ave for breakfast sandwiches on the weekend – looking forward to having one in walking distance.

  3. This sounds great! Flip It will be a good addition to the area.

    I am thinking of opening a restaurant near Flip It on RI Ave. What I have in mind is a “gastro-pub” that would feature some acoustic music, including regular opportunities for acoustic jams (i.e. neighborhood musicians welcome). I believe that I would need to be able to serve alchohol to make the $ numbers work. Do any of those of you reading this blog have a sense of whether the neighborhood would support this sort of establishment. (I know that you would need lots of detail, but I’m talking about the concept here.)

    Also: when and where is the local ANC meeting or any other meetings that are attended by people from the community? Thanks for any input!

    1. Bill, I think the kind of gastropub that would work best here would be more upscale than what the neighborhood at first glance appears ready to support. Lots of the newer folks moving into the neighborhood have some disposable income and want really tasty food, not wings–i;m talking free-range natural beef, freshly made salads with no iceberg lettuse, no wings at all on the menu–too many other venues for those–few fries, etc. We have no slightly more upscale restaurants to splurge on here nearby.
      A good example would be Jayne’s Gastropub in San Diego–it was open till two, I suspect, but the beers were top-notch, high quality microbrewery types, the place was beautifully designed with gorgeous attention paid to making it classy and hip at once, and it succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. (I suspect you could find pictures, reviews and menus online.) The first restauranteur who brings something like that to RI Avenue–or who brings outstanding Indian, Thai, even Southern Mexican or Latin American cuisine to RI Avenue–but with an eye to ambience (no TV screens, yes warm music, yes plants, yes either “warm and cozy” or “chic and classy” decor–will bring the many half-yuppy types out of our houses. We will take our friends, meet people there. But you have to reckon on attracting the new denizens of the RI Station development after it is finished (18 months?), some of the EYA townhouse and Abdo university town types, and aim to attract folks from Eckington and Bloomingdale as well as Brookland and Woodridge. Many of those of us who live here desperately want for more restaurant choices nearby, and would eat out more often if only there were nearby (even walkable?) places to go that actually served some vegetables, some vegetarian options, some free-range meats or grass-fed beef, some high quality beer with tea or juice as an alternative…
      A Teaism in this area would work well, or even a very good Burrito joint. But no more storefront churches, no more liquor stores, no more Soul Food–as good as Southern Cuisine can be, we need healthier alternatives with fewer fried foods–and absolutely no more wings joints. As Hyattsville develops, and as Bloomingdale and Eckington grow pricier and pricier, Brookland and Woodridge are doubtless going to continue to change, becoming denser and more artsy, but also more affluent, while remaining relatively safe and stable.

      So my guess is that if you want a gastropub, make it a real gastropub; for at least part of your menu or selection, aim higher than you might at first think–the residents in this area are becoming more diversified and more affluent and no one is catering to us except the developers, the realtors and house-flippers. (And just do not offer fried chicken wings or fried steak at all!) Best of luck–some restaurants, real pubs, a few cafes and some antique stores on RI Avenue would certainly make me go out to spend money on life in my little neighborhood.

  4. Hi Bill, I think the community would accept nearly any type of positive development. I know that another group of people attempted to open a restaurant along RIA and was confronted with a hostile community because of the intention of late night hours and alcohol. I know the community would have been happy with the alcohol so long as the hours were reasonable for being so close to a neighborhood. They wanted to stay open until 2am. The residents wanted to make sure that the area is family-oriented and would have settled for midnight but no later. The establishment didn’t budge and they are no longer around. Here is the site for the ANC: http://app.anc.dc.gov/wards.asp?ward=5&office=B

    1. Hi Insider: Thanks for the ANC info. I wish I had read this
      last night. It looks like I just missed the January meeting. But I
      should be able to make the one on 2/3. Also, thanks for the input.
      My plans are pretty fluid right now, but I’m guessing that what I
      have in mind would not offend. I have no interest in strip clubs,
      big crowds, craziness, etc. I’m thinking more along the lines of
      acoustic blues and bluegrass with sandwiches on artisanal (sp?)
      bread. But I’m not a terribly wealthy guy, so I would have to do
      something with a chance of at least breaking even – hence the
      alcohol. My friends who know more about restaurants tell me that
      for small places, it’s the drinks that pay for the food. I don’t
      have any experience in this stuff, so I am still trying to find out
      what hoops there are to jump through and whether I will be able to
      make it. But as I get a little farther along maybe I could get you
      (and any of your readers who might be interested) to drop by and
      chat. Do you live near Flip It? -Bill

  5. Bill – Please…YES! We need more restaurants in the area.
    Exactly where on Rhode Island Avenue were you thinking of opening
    your restaurant? Ken

  6. Hi Ken and D: Thanks for the positive comments! I hope to
    open up in the area near the new Flip It. It sounds like Flip It
    will be a great place, and probably more full-scale than what I
    will be able to do. Realistically, my place (if I can pull it off)
    will be more of a “mom and pop” type of place. (That would be me
    and my wife – and our son when he’s not in school!) If we can do
    this, our plan would be to live in the neighborhood too – ideally
    in the same building. And since we are all pretty early risers, we
    would not want anything noisy at night. We are close to having a
    place lined up, but I don’t want to jinx it by saying exactly
    where. (Superstition, I guess.) But if we can get everything lined
    up, we would love to have some neighbors over to talk about what
    would work for the area while we work through the paperwork with
    DC. In the mean time, is there anywhere you would recommend (beyond
    next month’s ANC meeting) to meet some locals? And what do you
    think about a “gastro-pub” with some acoustic music? Any other
    ideas (that don’t require a cast of thousands) come to mind?
    Thanks! -Bill

    1. I would love a gastro-pub type establishment on Rhode Island Ave! We live around the corner from the forthcoming flip-it and to have that along with a pub where we can grab a beer within walking distance would be fantastic! No need to be apologetic about wanting to serve alcohol, as a neighborhood resident, I would like a few decent places to drink it!

  7. Ditto–we live a couple of blocks from the upcoming Flip It and also welcome additional places to walk and eat a nice meal. Alcohol okay, but not too late, please! 🙂

  8. Sounds great Bill. Honestly I think it would be fine for you to stay open until 2 AM. I never understood what the big deal about that was. I mean we live along a 6 lane divided highway with highway noise all night anyway. There are always people yelling outside the apartment complexes anyway. If a place stays open later than 12 that doesn’t mean they have to start piping music out the window. There are ways to do it respectfully. I lived off of H St for years and never heard the bars, but appreciated what they have done for the neighborhood.

    1. I’d love to have a gastro-pub in the neighborhood. Or any restaurant for that matter! We need nice casual places to eat. I’d second the comment above about grass fed meats, but, frankly, I’d be happy with any positive addition to our currently very limited choices. A place to get some beers would be very welcome. Most of what you can get around here is pretty unhealthy and so I currently never eat out in our neighborhood. But I’d definitely come to a gastro pub. I’m imagining tasty, really nice sandwiches, soups and salads, also maybe a few hot specials every day, but not necessarily a full menu of hot choices if that’s hard to do. Not that we wouldn’t love full kitchens as well! Good luck, hope you do it…

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