Bloomingdale Buzz

Design workshop with landscape architect Molly Scott.

A Bar by Any Other Name

The vibe at Wicked Bloom DC Social Club is somewhere between a dive bar and an upscale restaurant. With craft cocktails and a food menu courtesy of its sister restaurant, DCity Smokehouse, this neighborhood bar is just starting to blossom. The owners, Scott Jacobs, Melvin Hines, and the Southeast Restaurant Group (SERG), have drawn a loyal following at their restaurant DCity Smokehouse, which they opened two years ago. They’ve participated in the Bloomingdale Farmers’ Market, Bloomingdale Community Day, Art All Night, and the House Tour and Art Show. “We look at [the location] as the nucleus of the city,” Jacobs explained. “Two to three times per week, we see people from the neighborhood. We know our customers’ names. They’ve given us a lot of love and acknowledgment.”

Drawing on the popularity of DCity Smokehouse, Wicked Bloom will feature similar menu items including BBQ sliders, brisket chili nachos, and a mac and cheese waffle with chopped pork, as well as several small plate items. Dishes will range from about $7 to $14. They’re also offering Wi-Fi to customers and welcome carryouts from DCity Smokehouse. No wonder Zagat just named Wicked Bloom as one of the hottest new bars in DC.

The drinks menu includes wine, local beers, whiskeys, bourbons, mezcals, and crafted cocktails with catchy names such as Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire, which has mezcal, pomegranate, habanero, and lime, and Mama Said Knock You Out, a mix of rhum agricole, cinnamon, grapefruit, and lime. Cocktails range from $9 to $12.

“We invite people to hang out, socialize, meet neighbors, and build a base in the community,” Jacobs said. “As we grow we’ll start to see more support for small businesses, which generates a sense of community. As long as it’s good food and people have a good time, it’ll transform the community.”

Coming up, Wicked Bloom will host a Pig Roast and Beer Fest on Nov. 14 and a Monday night football viewing party on Dec. 7 to watch the Redskins play their longtime rivals, the Cowboys.

Visit Wicked Bloom DC Social Club at 1540 North Capitol St. NW, at www.wickedbloomdc.com, or call 202-750-6375.

Art and Architecture in Bloomingdale

This year’s Bloomingdale Civic Association (BCA) House Tour had its biggest attendance to date. Started in 2011 this biennial event raises money for scholarships and for BCA’s beautification and historic preservation efforts, and it brings together long-term and new residents to learn about their neighborhood and each other.

The tour included seven homes and a tour of DC Water’s First Street Tunnel House, which details the First Street Tunnel Project. Bloomingdale architects and designers conducted five design workshops on lighting, colors, staging, and landscaping for an urban garden.

Included in the tour was a tour book which details information about the homes and Bloomingdale’s history. Bertha Holliday and Paul Cerruti compiled a 20-page section of the tour book focused on the social and architectural history of the neighborhood. This year’s book also featured the launch of the LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale Heritage Trail, which is a project of Cultural Tourism DC.

“The House Tour serves as an important vehicle for not only promoting the Bloomingdale neighborhood, but also for both honoring the neighborhood and informing residents of the neighborhood's unique and rich history,” explained Advisory Neighborhood CommissionerBertha Holliday.  

After the tour nearly 200 attendees headed to the historic Old Engine 12 Firehouse Restaurant for the art show and reception to see work by 12 Bloomingdale artists. With live music and wine provided by Bloomingdale Wine & Spirits, the daylong event brought the community together to learn about and celebrate their neighborhood.

BCA is conducting educational workshops on historic preservation to help determine if Bloomingdale's residents want to pursue historic designation status.

Contact Bloomingdale Civic Association at www.bloomingdalecivicassociation.org.

Expanding Its Boundaries

Neighborhood favorite Boundary Stone will soon occupy more of Rhode Island Avenue. By expanding to the space formerly occupied by Jak & Co., Boundary Stone will be able to offer more seating, feature private and semi-private rooms, and host live music. To complete this expansion Boundary Stone will close its kitchen from mid-November to mid-December but will still offer a select menu of brunch and dinner items, all cooked on an outdoor grill. The dinner menu will include burgers, a cheesesteak, a Caesar salad, an Italian sub, and a veggie sandwich. Brunch will be served just on weekends and will feature grilled breakfast sandwiches such as the pork-roll egg and cheese and a vegetarian option.

Once the expansion is complete, Boundary Stone will have 60 additional seats, both inside and outside. A second bar will feature the same extensive whiskey selection, craft beers, wine, and cocktails as the current bar offers.

Head chef Travis Kern will expand the dinner menu to include pork chops served with maple syrup grits and Brussels sprouts, and braised short ribs penne with brown butter marinara and Grana Padano. To take the edge off the growing pains, the bar will remain open and the bartenders will continue to greet patrons with a smile.

Visit Boundary Stone at 116 Rhode Island Ave. NW, at boundarystonedc.com, or call 202-621-6635.