It’s H Street Festival Time Again

H Street Life

The H Street Festival offers a little something for everyone.

Now that we’ve survived the summer heat, it’s a perfect time to check out new developments along H Street NE. The upcoming H Street Festival presents you a perfect opportunity to sample the wares at new and existing bars and restaurants, as well as to just enjoy a great time.

It’s H Street Festival Time Again

DC’s most popular neighborhood festival returns Saturday, September 21. It’s several hours of fun between noon, and 7 p.m. The family-friendly festival runs all the way from the 400 block of H Street NE, to the 1400 block of H Street NE. This expansion is huge news because the festival previously stopped at 8th Street NE. That was fine maybe five years ago, but over 75,000 people attended last year’s event and crowding was a bit of a problem last year. The addition of several blocks should help out tremendously.

This year’s festival will include the return of past favorites, plus a ton of new stuff. REI is a major sponsor this year, and they plan to put up a climbing wall. Some returning attractions include the tattoo, and pie eating contests, and the always-fun traveling art cars. They’ve booked ten stages with a wide variety of musical acts. When I say wide variety, I really mean it. Visitors can find everything from rock and roll, to jazz, to rap, to opera, gospel, Caribbean, soul, and much more.

In addition to the beer gardens (this year’s festival will have more of them, so it will not be quite as difficult to snag a seat) there will also be a spirit tasting area with offerings from a variety of local distilleries and breweries. Heading to the festival with kids? No problem. This year’s children’s area will be bigger and better than ever before with live family oriented entertainment and interactive activities throughout the day.

H Street Family Feud

A new multi-week charity event is coming to H Street NE starting September 2nd, and running through October 28th.  It’s a Family Feud style quiz game played among ten teams drawn from bars and restaurants on H Street NE. Each week teams from two restaurants or bars will face off against each other. Teams will consist of bartenders, servers, and regulars. The hosting bar will put up $100 in prize money, which will go to the charity of the winner’s choice. British Ink’s Paul Roe will serve as Master of Ceremonies. H Street Family Feud is sponsored British Ink and Jameson Whiskey (expect Jameson specials and giveaways on tournament days). The overall winner of the nine-week competition will take home a trophy.

RedRocks Pizzeria Opens on H Street NE

The newest addition to H Street’s dining scene should be open to the public by the time this issue hits the newsstand. RedRocks (, 1348 H Street NE) bills itself as a Neapolitan bistro. Though they offer a variety of tempting Italian appetizers, the focus is clearly on the wood oven pizzas. The menu varies slightly by location (H Street will be the 4th RedRocks), but they recently told the blog H Street Great Street that they would treat this location as their flagship, so my hopes are high for an extensive menu. It’s a huge space, that’s actually comprised of two adjacent buildings. The roof is retractable, and you can dine on three floors. Expect a variety of beers and wines on draft.

FBI Raids and Shuts Down Marvelous Pizza

In a rather dramatic bit of news, the FBI raided Marvelous Pizza (formerly located at 941 H Street NE) last month.  The FBI indictment charges the owners with a wide variety of charges mostly related to identity theft, and bank and wire fraud, but there was apparently a sham marriage in there too. No word yet on what will replace Marvelous Pizza.

8th & H Furniture & Mattress Opens Its Doors

A new furniture store is now operating at 801-A H Street NE. 8th & H Furniture & Mattress sells a broad mix of furniture styles. The new store is the brainchild of Furniture Company Outlet, which sold more furniture per square foot than any company in America in 2006. A representative told me that they believe there is a “chic and stylish clientele” along H Street NE that will welcome their shop. Their central ethos is three-fold: “quality, customer service, and a very fair price.” To my knowledge, no other place offers mattresses (possible exception for orthopedic mattresses) for sale anywhere along the corridor. Very soon they will introduce a line of American made painted vintage furniture.

Addis Ethiopian Restaurant Coming to 707 H Street NE

I don’t have a lot of details on this one, as it was just announced. It should be a nice addition to a stretch of the corridor that hasn’t yet seen much restaurant development.

Union Market Rolls Out to Lunchtime Shuttle Service

Do you work in NoMa, or Near Northeast? If so, you might be interested in the Roadie ( The Roadie is the new shuttle that runs to and from Union Market (, 1309 5th Street NE) Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Union Market offers some excellent lunch options whether you wish to dine there, or just grab something to take back to the office.

Union Market Offers More Than Just Food and Drink

Did you know that they also have a gospel brunch on the first Saturday of every month? Catch it starting at 12:30 p.m. The younger set can enjoy the musical stylings of the Boogie Babes ( every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. The cost is $5 per child; siblings six months or younger are free.

Bardo Offers a Casual Outdoor Experience

Have you been to Bardo Brewpub (, 1200 Bladensburg Road NE) yet? If not, you’ll want to check it out soon. Bardo is an outdoor tavern serving up a nice selection of craft beers on tap. Patrons can play corn hole, or just relax at the picnic tables. They also show movies every night. While Bardo doesn’t currently have a kitchen, they do have several menus for local restaurants that will deliver to Bardo. Please note that you can bring your kids (just not after 8 p.m). Well behaved dogs are also welcome, and can even romp around off-leash. During a recent visit they were preparing to pour the foundations in the hopes that they can start brewing their own beers in the coming months.

Sahra Lounge’s Patio Shut Down

A somewhat bizarre bit of news went out on Twitter recently. Apparently, local hookah lounge Sahra did have a public space permit for their outdoor patio. The outdoor space is very popular, particularly on weekends. Everyone had simply assumed that they had a public space permit. As a result of this issue, the patio closed immediately, and cannot be used again until they secure a permit.

For more on what’s abuzz on and around H Street you can visit my blog You can send me tips, or questions at

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