Shaw Main Streets Holds Record Breaking Annual Gala

Shaw Main Streets Gala crowd at the Howard Theater. Photo: Pleasant Mann

The theme for this year's Shaw Main Streets Gala was “Spotlight on Shaw,” a nod to the event’s venue, the historic Howard Theatre, and to the audience the neighborhood has attracted as a destination for food, drink, and entertainment.

The main attractions for the 300 attendees were the food and drink specialties on hand from the gala’s Host Committee of Shaw chefs, mixologists, brewers, and roasters. There were offerings from 1905, Beau Thai, Compass Coffee, Dino’s Grotto, Dolci Gelati, Eat the Rich (which provided a bed of freshly shucked raw oysters on ice), Fishnet, Mockingbird Hill, Right Proper Brewing Company, Seasonal Pantry, Southern Efficiency, Table, and Thally. Particularly exciting was the opportunity to sample the offerings of high-end establishments that have yet to open in Shaw, including Calabash Tea & Tonic, Convivial, the Dabney, and Kinship. A quick walk around the floor proved that Shaw is now hosting the best restaurants in town.

The Jazzy Blu band provided a broad set of popular musical hits from the past and present to entertain gala attendees as they snacked and drank. Alexander Padro, executive director of Shaw Main Streets, opened the program by announcing that the gala had raised a total of $175,000 in cash and in kind. This far surpassed the $120,000 raised last year, which was already a record for privately raised funds for a single fundraising event by a Main Streets organization anywhere in the United States.

Padro then introduced Ana Harvey, the director of the District’s Department of Small and Local Business Development, who expressed her excitement about what is happening in Shaw. Then Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau addressed the crowd, noting that her ward does have a part of the Shaw Main Streets service area, and that the promotion of small business is a large part of her work on the DC Council.

The final item of the night was the presentation of the Shaw Champion Award to Ralph Brabham, outgoing Shaw Main Streets Board chair, for his work in building the organization and supporting the development of Shaw. After Padro, Vice Chair Gretchen Wharton and the Shaw Main Streets board presented the award. Brabham expressed his appreciation for it and said that he was proud of the work that the organization did to build a sense of community in Shaw.


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