Bloomingdale Bites - May 2017

Photo: Maria Fyodorova

Tyber Creek

A new restaurant is moving into the space at First Street and North Capitol Street NW, a corner considered the heart of Bloomingdale life. After the closing of Rustik, the neighborhood’s pioneering venture, husband-and-wife team Jordan and Jonathan Stahl grabbed the space in the hope of opening their first restaurant. “We want Tyber Creek to be a neighborhood gathering place where people can enjoy good food and wine in a comfortable atmosphere,” Jordan explained. “We've come to think of it as our second home, so we hope that our guests will find it warm, inviting, and leave with the desire to come back soon.”

While the outside patio for which the space is known will remain relatively unchanged, the inside has received a brightening facelift, not quite discernible from the enclosed, rustic (for lack of a more apt descriptor) feel of its predecessor. The new owners took the inside space down to the studs, even putting in new flooring. The bar is brand new, behind which sits the large wood oven that was recently refinished. The goal of the redesign was to build a cozy space and a relaxed atmosphere.

The relaxed experience will also show in the food. Menus will change frequently with the seasons and with what products become available locally. There will also be an emphasis on hearty vegetarian food, most notably a large cauliflower steak that is still in the works.

Initially the restaurant will open for dinner-only on weekdays, beginning service at 5 p.m., with no closing time. Brunch will be served on weekends. The flexibility in service is in keeping with the relaxed nature of the food and decor. Tyber Creek was scheduled to open on May 4. 

Easter Egg Hunt at LeDroit Park

Spring events are going full steam ahead at LeDroit Park. The park hosted an Easter egg hunt on the Saturday of the holiday weekend, the same day as the Common Good City Farm spring opening. The hunt, sponsored by Friends of the Park at LeDroit, the LeDroit Park Civic Association, and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5E, held two different events for local children. The youngest cohort spent the morning collecting candy-filled eggs hidden around park grounds, while the older contingent conducted a tree scavenger hunt. With the numerous species of park trees at peak flowering, there were a lot to find.

Common Good City Farm began the festivities of its season kickoff with the dedication of the Tricia McCauley Memorial Herb Garden. The garden honors Tricia McCauley, who was murdered in the District last December. Before her death, McCauley was an herbalist and friend and supporter of Common Good City Farm. For more information on the garden and the Tricia McCauley Memorial fund click here:

The following week, Friends of LeDroit Park hosted a park-wide cleanup event in celebration of, or reverence for, Earth Day. With the help of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and Slowe Hall residents of Howard University, the park was weeded, sodded, and, most importantly, power-washed of remnants of the tagging that occurred the morning after the egg hunt. Park neighbors woke up Easter Sunday to blue spray paint that covered a large area of the play section of the park. Two graffiti teams were sent from DC Department of General Services to clean the paint.

The park at LeDroit has been line-itemed in DC’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget for $750,000, geared toward maintaining safety and cleanliness. In her testimony at the DC Council budget hearing on April 26, the president of Friends of LeDroit Park, Maria Fyodorova, testified, “The park could be a natural center for after-school programs and summer camps, bringing the community closer together.” Given the attendance at the first events of the season, Fyodorova is optimistic that the park will remain a priority for city and a community center for the neighbors.

McMillan Park: What the Hearings Mean and What Comes Next

Last December, the DC Court of Appeals vacated the DC Zoning Commission’s remapping of the McMillan site in which they changed the proposed recommendation of “medium to moderate density” to “high density.” The court ruled that the commission did not take into account many of the factors outlined in the DC Comprehensive Plan (the planning guide for future development on DC lands), most importantly gentrification and housing prices. While the court’s ruling made no mention of the specifics of the plan for the McMillan development, it dealt a blow to the plan of Vision McMillan Partners (VSP) to create highrise housing on the old water-treatment site.

Friends of McMillan Park (FOMP) brought the case against VSP, the first blood drawn in a battle that has waged since 2011. The decision has gone back to the Zoning Commission for remand hearings, and there have been two commission hearings held since. The public hearing held on March 23 was a heated and emotional debate lasting long into the evening. The second hearing, on April 19, was conducted solely with the two parties and also lasted until the wee hours. 

The Zoning Commission is expected to reissue a decision on this measure, though it has given no clear timeline.

This has put a complete stop on the McMillan development for the time being. At this point, neighbors can only wait for what they hope are final decisions on the fate of the 25-acre space.

Taylor Barden Golden is a real estate agent with The Stokes Group at McEnearney Associates. A former Hill staffer, Taylor lives in Brentwood with her husband, two dogs, and a cat. She’s always on the lookout for new places to explore and ways to spend time outside. Get in; @rtaylorb.

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