Borderstan

Dupont – Logan – U Street

This Week in Borderstan


Saturday: Cork & Fork owners Anne and Dominique Landragin at the opening of their newest store, 1522 14th Street NW. Store hours: Saturday-Sunday, 10 am to 10 pm; Monday-Friday, 2pm to 10 pm. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Monday

The Middle East Festival begins at Theater J (DC Jewish Community Center) with the Voice of the Woman as the focus. Address: 16th and Q Streets NW. (From Free in DC)

Wednesday

ANC 2B-Dupont meets at 7 pm at the Brookings Institution, 1772 Massachusetts Avenue NW. With Mike Silverstein stepping down as chair, the commission will elect a new head from among the nine commissioners. Also on the agenda are a resolution to propose honorary naming of a street after Dr Franklin Kameny… and a resolution for Mayor Adrian Fenty to rescind a Certificate of Appreciation to Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays. Regarding that mistaken certificate to the Ex-Gays group: there is a group on Facebook, “Un-Invite Mayor Fenty from Capital Pride Unless he Meets These 3 Demands.”

Voting ends at midnight on Wednesday for the Washington City Paper’s 2010 RAMMYS with results announced June 6. You can vote for your favorite restaurants in four categories:

  1. Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year: Two 14th Street establishments, Cork and Bar Pilar, are among the five nominees.
  2. Power Spot of the Year
  3. Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene of the Year: Birch & Barley – Church Key and Masa 14 are the local spots on the nominee list.
  4. Your Favorite Restaurant: Write in your pick.

The monthly Logan Circle Community Association membership meeting is from 7 to 9 pm at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle, N.W. Tentative agenda items include discussion of upcoming projects, including branding and marketing the Mid City Arts District and planning and implementing the Logan Circle Heritage Trail. We anticipate success in funding these projects with external financial support.

Thursday

Greater Goods at 1626 U Street NW hosts a free talk about energy efficiency. (From Free in DC)

Ganymede Arts has produced a local version of Naked Boys Singing and it’s at 1409 Playbill Cafe, 1409 14th Street NW. Times are Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 6 and 8 pm, and Sundays at 5 and 7 pm. Naked opened Friday and runs through June 13.

Sunday

The 4th Annual “Blessing of the Dogs” at National City Christian Church on Thomas Circle, 10 to 10:20 am. From National City: “All dogs – big, small, young, and old – and their companions are encouraged to attend the blessing. During the twenty-minute service, staff from Dogs by Day, a doggie daycare and boarding facility located on 14th Street NW, will be on hand to make sure all dogs and their owners are well-behaved, comfortable, and content. Each dog in attendance will receive a special certificate commemorating the occasion, and a photographer from National City Christian Church will be on hand to capture the event.”

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May 10, 2010 Posted by | marketplace, news, politics and government | , , , | 1 Comment

New Feature! Restaurant Profile: Cafe Salsa


Alejandra Owens Cafe Salsa Borderstan Logan Circle

Cafe Salsa's Mojitos: Recommended. (Alejandra Owens)

FRIDAY UPDATE: Cafe Salsa has closed its doors, according to the Prince of Petworth. We will have another restaurant profile from Alejandra soon.


From Alejandra Owens, One Bite At A Time

We’re starting something new here at Borderstan: restaurant profiles. Here’s  how it will work. We will throw out the basics (where, when and how much) and you help us flesh out the details with reviews and comments.

Want us to go somewhere? Leave suggestions in the comments section and we’ll give it a try! Please keep your suggested eateries in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area.

Cafe Salsa

Where Am I Going: 1712 14th Street NW (just north of R Street, west side).

When Am I Going: Sunday-Wednesday, 11:30 am-11 pm; and Thursday-Saturday, 11:30 am-midnight.

Paycheck Pain: $7-$30 for appetizers to entrees to desserts and drinks.

Say What?: Happy hour got a bit loud at the bar, but you can still hold an easy conversation.

What You’ll Be Eating: “Nuevo Latino” which is to say, a mish-mash of all types of Latino foods from all countries and regions. Mojitos are a specialty and musty-try here.

Happy Hour: Their website specifically names Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-7 pm for happy hours, but I have a hinting suspicion deals can be had all days of the week at the same hours.

Here’s how a recent happy hour visit went for us. It started with a Mojito and then there was a steak quesadilla or two (a friend wanted more)… and then there were spinach empanadas… finished by another Mojito (we’ll admit these were especially tasty).

Cafe Salsa Borderstan Alejandra Owens 14th Street NW

After the Mojito came steak quesadillas. (Alejandra Owens)

Spinach empanadas came after the quesadillas. (Alejandra Owens)

May 6, 2010 Posted by | food & drink, marketplace | , , , | 12 Comments

14th Street: Redevelopment of 1800 Block to Begin in September


Luis Gomez Photos 14th Street Logan Circle Borderstan

The redevelopment of the west side of 14th Street from S to Swann Streets NW will begin with the demolition of several properties in September. One of the buildings that will come down is the former laundromat at 14th and Swann. (Luis Gomez Photos)

MetroWeekly is reporting that DC’s LGBT community center (The Center) has been given notice that it must move from 1810 14th Street NW by June 18 so that JBG Cos. can begin its planned condo-retail project on the block.

The west side of 14th Street NW between S and Swann Streets will be demolished—except for the former Whitman Walker building at S Street—and JBG will construct condominiums with ground-level retail space. Whitman Walker sold and vacated the building in 2008 and the former laundromat at 14th and Swann Streets has been closed for several months. JBG will begin demolition of the properties north of the former Whitman Walker building (it will be incorporated into the new development) in September.

The Washington Business Journal reported in March that the development on the 1800 block will have 120 condos and 18,000 square feet of retail space.

The Center is now looking for a permanent home. According to MetroWeekly, The Center has been subletting space to several other gay and lesbian organizations: Bet Mishpachah, the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CAGLCC, aka the chamber), the DC Agenda/Washington Blade, the DC Community AIDS Network, Helping our Brothers and Sisters, and the Latino GLBT History Project.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | marketplace | , , | 1 Comment

Salon Rouge’s Salim: From Casablanca to 17th Street


Salon Rouge 17th Street NW Salim dc salons Luis Gomez Photos

Salim Elalami in front of Salon Rouge, 1636 17th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

For Borderstan’s ongoing series on local entrepreneurs and retail businesses, we sat down with Salim Elalami, owner of Salon Rouge and former partner in the Subairi salon on R Street.

Elalami came to the United States from Casablanca, Morocco, as a teenager and attended the University of Maryland on a soccer scholarship. Unable to meet the additional costs of college life, Elalami went to work, starting as a busboy in Georgetown, working his way up to a bartender and eventually becoming part of restaurant management.

Next, Elalami enrolled in hair styling classes at a local academy, with the encouragement of a hairdresser friend. According to Elalami, he knew itt would be better hours than the long nights of bartending, which kept him working until 4 am.

After attending hair styling classes, he eventually worked for a salon on Connecticut Avenue and later opened Subairi with a business parnter in 2000. Almost a decade later, he opened Salon Rouge at 1636 17th Street NW.

Borderstan: What other jobs did you have before becoming a hair stylist?
Elalami: Not only did I work as a busboy and bartender in Georgetown, but I also taught tennis lessons while I was living in San Diego.

Continue reading

May 5, 2010 Posted by | marketplace | , , , | 1 Comment

Miss Pixie: It Has to Be “My Own Show”


Luis Gomez Photos Miss Pixie Logan Circle Borderstan

"Miss Pixie" Windsor in front of her store on 14th Street NW: Miss Pixie's furnishings and whatnot... (Luis Gomez Photos)

For Borderstan’s ongoing series on local entrepreneurs and retail businesses, we talked to Pixie Windsor, owner of Miss Pixie’s furnishings and whatnot… at 1626 14th Street NW. Windsor first opened her store in August 1997 in Adams Morgan in a 600 square-foot space on Adams Mill Road just north of Columbia Road NW.

Her resale shop thrived there until 2006 when the building was sold and Windsor moved to 18th Street NW for two years. In March 2008 she came to Logan Circle at 1626 14th Street NW where she has 4,000 square feet.

Borderstan: How did you get into this line of business… why did you open a resale shop?

Miss Pixie: I have always been interested in interior design, the decorative arts and furniture. After years in the restaurant business, I finally decided to open a store… and what better name than “Miss Pixie’s furnishings and whatnot…”

Borderstan: How did you end up here on 14th Street?
Miss Pixie: My business partner found the space on 14th. I was very excited because of the heavy retail feeling of the area. Adams Morgan got totally taken over by bars and restaurants and retail just died on the vine there in the last few years. Continue reading

April 16, 2010 Posted by | marketplace | , , , | 3 Comments

14th Street: Well Built Furniture Stresses Sustainability


Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan Logan Circle 14th Street NW Well Built furniture

Well Built has joined a growing number of furniture and home decor stores on the 14th Street corridor between Rhode Island Avenue and U Street. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Well Built has joined the growing list of furniture and home decor stores on the 14th Street NW corridor. It is located at 1541 Q Street, former location of Candida’s World of Books; the space was vacant for two years.

Owner Ann Blackwell says of Well Built on the store’s Web site that that the new furniture store is “born from the idea that design is powerful.” Well Built’s Web site says that all furniture sold will be manufactured within 500 miles of D.C. and that its furniture “uses recycled materials or is highly recyclable” and “made using organic, natural or low-impact materials.”

April 5, 2010 Posted by | marketplace | , , , | 1 Comment

“Best of DC” Winners: Local Businesses Dominate


"Best of DC" Washington City Paper Borderstan

TThe 2010 "Best of DC" Readers Poll winners were released Thursday. (Washington City Paper)

The Washington City Paper released the results of its 2010 “Best of DC” Readers Poll results yesterday and there are numerous retail businesses who are winners in the DupontLoganU Street area. No big surprise there: We are in the middle of one of DC’s most dynamic neighborhoods, with new businesses opening (and sometimes closing) on a regular basis.

Borderstan thanks the MidCity Business Association for compiling a list of winners and second-place finishers among their members. MidCity’s members are businesses along the 14th Street and U Street corridors. The list below also includes some local businesses in the Borderstan area that are not Mid City members (designated as such).

Check out the “Best of DC” site at Washington City Paper for a complete listing of the four categories: Food & Drink, Arts & Entertainment, Goods & Services and People & Places.

In addition, there are City Paper Staff Picks. For example, Logan Hardware was the staff pick for best hardware store.

Continue reading

March 26, 2010 Posted by | marketplace | , , , | 3 Comments

Greater Goods Focuses on Sustainability, Green Products


Borderstan U Street NW Greater Goods Daniel Velez green products

Located on the western end of the U Street corridor, Greater Goods at 1626 U Street NW sells eco-friendly home, personal care and pet products. (Borderstan)

by Luis Gomez

Whether you call it gentrification, revitalization or simply development, the U Street corridor has changed rapidly in the past decade. The eastern end of this famous DC avenue often gets the most attention due to the new residential buildings, and restaurants and clubs that have proliferated on U Street east of 14th Street NW.

However, new businesses have also opened on the western end of U Street, one of them being Greater Goods at 1626 U Street NW. As part of an ongoing series focusing on local entrepreneurs and retail businesses, we talked to Daniel Velez, founder and owner of Greater Goods.

Borderstan: Tell us a little bit about your businesses.
Velez:
Greater Goods is DC’s source for eco-friendly products and services. Our goal is to help people live more sustainably by offering “greener” versions of products they use every day.

Borderstan: When did you start your business? Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Velez: We started in November 2007 with a very small number of products! I was thinking a lot about our dependence on foreign oil, energy independence, and global warming. There was no place in DC that sold the green products I was looking for, so I decided to open one myself.

Borderstan: Many entrepreneurs, business owners have had other start-ups and businesses. What was the most unusual job you ever had or most interesting business you owned?
Velez:
A friend and I created a company right out of college so we could take on a video editing project. I had no idea what I was doing, but we got the project and then didn’t sleep for weeks working on it. We called it Front Stoop Productions. The company lasted just one project.

Continue reading

March 15, 2010 Posted by | marketplace | , , , | 4 Comments

Best of D.C. 2010 Poll: Last Day to Vote


MARCH 15: Today is the last day to vote in Washington City Paper‘s 2010 Best of D.C. Readers’ Poll. Please remember your favorite businesses in the Dupont – Logan – U Street area. You can vote Borderstan for best local blog/blogger; we appreciate your support.

February 23, 2010 Posted by | marketplace | , | Leave a comment

TONIGHT: It’s Third Thursday on 14th and U Streets


Tonight is Third Thursday for the members of the MidCity Business Association in the 14th and U Street corridors. Every third Thursday of the month, several dozen shops and galleries are open until 9 p.m. with sales and special offerings. A full listing is below the fold. You can find tonight’s specials and events online at MidCity Life as well as their Facebook Page.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | marketplace | , , , | Leave a comment