H Street Life

H &pizza cooks up gourmet pies to order. Photo: Elise Bernard

The District has a way of emptying out in the late summer, and that’s your cue to take advantage of smaller crowds when you visit your favorite spots on the H Street Corridor. Remember that while the pace of DC in the warmer months might slow a bit, the rate of new restaurants and bars opening on H Street, NE hasn’t slowed a bit.

Atlas Arcade

Erik Holzherr has unveiled his newest project on H Street, and it’s been attracting a lot of attention. When originally announced, Atlas Arcade (1236 H Street NE) was to be known as Barcade. A set of identically named bars further north necessitated a name change. Hozherr came up with the creative idea of letting readers of the local blog Frozen Tropics (which I write at http://frozentropics.blogspot.com) supply him with a name. Commenters tossed out their best ideas for a bar name conjuring up retro arcades and beer. Once the deadline arrived, Holzherr and his compatriots selected a winner and compensated him with $150 in quarters.

The new bar is nothing like its predecessor, Fruit Bat. Though they offer a full bar, the focus here is clearly on the beer. They offer a nice selection, with most choices offered in cans, or bottles, but one draft available (prices range from $3.50-6). Eat dinner before you head over, because food offerings are currently limited to Pop Tarts and cereal.

The real draw here is the video games. Holzherr has scored some good ones. You can play Big Buck Hunter, or Double Dragon II, or even the crane game. There are pool and foosball tables for those who like their games real old school.

H &pizza Serves Up Pizza Pies for One

H &pizza boasts a great selection of sodas in bottles and can, as well as craft beers. Small, but well priced selection of wines. H& pizza offers a variety of tempting specialty pizzas, as well as the option to craft your own pie. Those who avoid dairy products can order their pies with Diaya mozzarella cheese. Diaya’s cheese is a completely vegan cheese product that is non-soy based.

H &pizza allows patrons to choose from a variety of homemade sauces (the mushroom truffle and spicy tomato are standouts), and interesting choice of toppings (pickled red onions, veal and pork meatballs, fig marsala). The Moonstruck and the Kiss and Fire are among the excellent specialty pies ($8.64 each). Salads and desserts are also available. Patrons order at the counter, and their pizzas are then delivered to their chosen table. The pizzas come out quickly, and perfectly toasted (pizzas are all thin crust).

H Street Playhouse Announces Its Future Home

The H Street Playhouse has long been a fixture along our NE Corridor, but come early next year, they will relocate to Anacostia. The Playhouse opened its doors in 2002, when H Street NE was a far different commercial strip than it is today. The various bars and restaurants that now dominate the Corridor’s landscape were non-existent. The Atlas still faced years of renovations. The Playhouse drew crowds from throughout the neighborhood, and the larger metropolitan area. In January of 2012 the building owners announced their intention to raise the rent considerably, and it became clear that the H Street Playhouse would have to move.

There was talk of keeping the Playhouse in the neighborhood, perhaps finding a suitable location on Bladensburg, or Benning Road NE. Ultimately, however, it was not to be. Instead, the H Street Playhouse will move to Historic Anacostia (2020 Shannon Street SE) early next year. If you haven’t been to a show recently, the next several months will offer plenty of opportunities to appreciate the H Street Playhouse before it decamps to East of the River.

What’s in store for the H Street Playhouse’s current building at 1365 H Street NE? A recent real estate listing suggested the place might be perfect for a nightclub, or a restaurant offering entertainment.

The Spot on H Applies For a Liquor License

A new restaurant recently applied for a liquor license at 1255 H Street NE. The Spot on H will turn out American fare, with live jazz for your enjoyment. They will be able to seat 88 inside, and an additional 35 in the summer garden.

Red Palace Launches Brunch

Though it’s long been a go-to spot along the H Street NE Corridor for live music, and burlesque shows, Red Palace (1212 H Street NE, http://redpalacedc.com) now hopes to entice you in for brunch as well. The menu offerings are varied, and include such features as crab balls, and roasted plum pancakes. Naturally, brunch at Red Palace will include entertainment. It will change from week to week, but will include burlesque, sideshow acts, and trivia games. They are billing their Sunday Service (as they have dubbed the 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday brunch) as “for the wicked, the ones who want who want it all and for those who aren’t ready to accept the next day is Monday.” Each week features a different spirit-lifting service from a special guest.

Mother Rucker’s Deli Subs Headed to Bladensburg

A new sub sandwich shop is slated to take over the space previously occupied by Sullivan’s Southern Style Seafood (1101 Bladensburg Road NE). The woman behind Mother Rucker’s is Gwen Rucker, who was previously associated with Langston Grille on Wheels (brick and mortar location at 1831 Benning Road NE). According to a recent article in the Washington City Paper, Rucker plans to offer around twenty freshly made deli style sub sandwiches. The eight inch subs should run you a little under $7.

For more on what’s abuzz on and around H Street you can visit my blog http://frozentropics.blogspot.com. You can send me tips, or questions at elise.bernard@gmail.com.

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