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Archive for November, 2009

First sunny day in a week
A team of workers spent today, Sunday, changing out the storefront windows of the old Mama Maria’s building, which has been vacant for well over a year. We asked them what sort of shop was coming into the space, and one of them told us “pizza.”

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It helps if you turn it on.
The permit to rebuild on the former site of JP’s Night Club was approved on October 27, according to Shana Kemp of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. We haven’t noticed any actual “building” on the site since then, but they did recently bring in this little earth mover.

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Reposted verbatim from Craigslist as a public service:

Ohio State girl at Glover Park WSC

Date: 2009-11-08, 4:38PM EST

To the beautiful women in the red Ohio State t-shirt at the WSC in Glover Park Sunday afternoon. I was the white guy in the black shorts and white shirt, i was blown away by your beauty but to shy to approach……We saw each other after at Whole Foods and saw you buying flour. It may sound weird but I work as a chef and Im wondering now what you were going to make. if you are out there, and need culinary advice…..

If this sounds like you, here’s a link to the ad: Missed Connections.

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Sandwiched between Cafe Romeo's and Wisconsin Overlook
The Maslow Media Group moved to Georgetown Plaza at 2233 Wisconsin more than a year ago, but its former headquarters at 2134 Wisconsin, near Holy Rood Cemetery, is still vacant. The three-story townhouse, which has two bathrooms, ten offices, and three parking spaces, is for rent for $7,500 per month and for sale for $1,329,000.

The building was originally a residence.If you’re curious to see the inside of the place, you can visit the website Realtor Charles Klein set up and take a photographic tour. The building is owned by Chelbrie, LLC, a corporation that shares a Maryland mailing address with Maslow Group CEO Linda Maslow.

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We hope they don't unplug all those TVs
Starting November 10, Gin & Tonic at 2408 Wisconsin will host Tavern Sessions, a series of free, live acoustic music shows starting at 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday night. This week’s acts are Paul and John Thornley of Chinatown’s U.S. Royalty and Matthew Hemerlein. For the full lineup, click here.

Moreover: Next door at Kitchen at 2404 Wisconsin, Tavern Sessions guests receive a free appetizer or dessert with entrée on Tuesdays.

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The club's latest incarnationFrom the November 2009 Glover Park Gazette:

The party building at 2136 Wisconsin has a new owner, but that doesn’t mean its tenant is moving. The tall tan apartment house near Holy Rood Cemetery—the site of multiple paid, all-you-can-drink parties held without benefit of liquor license—was temporarily protected from foreclosure this summer after creditors sued its then-owner into bankruptcy. [The club goes by various names, including "Wisconsin Overlook" and "The Vixen," which is painted on a wall there (photo above).] But in September, a court allowed the mortgage holder, Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union, to foreclose, and the property was sold at auction on October 19. Several prospective buyers attended, but none would make the minimum bid of $2.4 million, so Mid-Atlantic bought the property for that price.

D.C.’s powerful tenant-protection laws mean that resident (and party host) Tyrone Green can likely stay put. After a foreclosure, “the new owner is required to negotiate a fair market rent with you,” says Lennie Mitchell, a spokesman for the D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate. “They can’t evict you” unless one of ten specific cases applies. These cases include nonpayment of rent; condo conversion; and a court’s determination that a tenant has done something illegal.

Phone number redacted for privacy.Speaking of illegal: following a September 19 party with a $25 cover that was broken up by police, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs issued two citations to the building’s then-owner, each with a $2,000 fine, according to DCRA spokeswoman Shana Kemp. One citation was for “unlicensed public hall”; the other, for operating without a certificate of occupancy. (Meanwhile, another party was advertised for September 26: a $30 fundraiser featuring Nuvo sparkling vodka and an open bar till 6 a.m. [Click to enlarge promoter's Twitter feed at right.])

An Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration investigator has determined that alcohol was sold at the September 19 party without a liquor license, according to a preliminary case report. But because the building was never a licensed establishment, the case falls outside of ABRA’s jurisdiction, says agency general counsel Martha Jenkins. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has referred the matter to the Office of the Attorney General for prosecution, Jenkins adds.

Tenant Green has reportedly charged that the September 19 police action was racist. Most of his guests that night were black, and a party next door with mostly white guests was not disrupted. Then again, we hear there was no cover charge next door. Reached by telephone, Green politely declined to comment. He called previous Gazette articles about the property “borderline libelous,” though he wouldn’t name any specific inaccuracies.

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In France, the books can fly.From the November 2009 Glover Park Gazette:

At press time, we heard a credible rumor that Ligne Roset, the contemporary French furniture store on M Street in Georgetown, would be relocating to 2233 Wisconsin, into the old Vespa and Fan Fair spaces. Neither the store manager nor the landlord would confirm this news, but our sources say it’s a close-to-done deal.

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Check his website for more flattering pictures.

Photo credit: Newscom

From the November 2009 Glover Park Gazette:

Another accolade for Barton Seaver, chef of Blue Ridge at 2340 Wisconsin: in its November issue, Esquire magazine named the 30-year-old hotshot its “Chef of the Year.” Citing Seaver’s “perfect chicken pot-pie” and his work to protect oceans from overfishing, writer John Mariani called Seaver “a voice of reason” in the sometimes-heated debate over how to preserve our food chain and our health.

Some D.C. food bloggers laid into the pick, writing that early reviews of the restaurant, which opened this summer, don’t support such an honor. (Seaver’s previous restaurant, Georgetown’s Hook, got raves.) But Mariani counters that “he was chosen as chef of the year, not best chef in America,” adding that Seaver’s compelling advocacy is what makes his work so timely. “I had a very good meal from an engaging guy,” says Mariani of his visit to Blue Ridge. “This is the kind of guy I want on my side to change the world.”

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FYI, there's a city-owned cut-through at 37th and Tunlaw, but it's blocked off.From the November 2009 Glover Park Gazette:

The Northeast Passage is back, and it smells like pumpernickel. Ever since Glover Park’s two-sided Blockbuster store closed in 2007, thus shutting off a convenient shortcut to the commercial strip, shoppers from 37th Street and beyond have been forced to walk south to W Place or north to Pearson’s and then double back on Wisconsin Avenue—a detour that can add 1/3 of a mile to a round trip.

Now managers at the Bruegger’s Bagels at 2334 Wisconsin, which took over part of the old Blockbuster space, have confirmed that the much-missed shortcut is open again. Staffers don’t object to thru traffic, one manager joked to us, “as long as you say ‘hi’ as you go past.”

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From the November 2009 Glover Park Gazette:

The Pizza Hut delivery store at 2338 Wisconsin closed in mid-September, but Mike Isen, a representative of the building’s owner, says he is “hopeful we’ll have something signed with a new tenant by the end of the year.” The owner is actively marketing the property to both food service and retail companies, Isen says.

The Pizza Hut had been at that location since 1993, but the franchise was purchased three years ago by a new franchisee, ADF Companies. Harry Harnett, the CEO of ADF, blamed the soft economy for the store’s loss. The shop “historically was a marginal asset,” he wrote in an email. “In these tough economic times, all of our restaurants have to make money.”

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