Shaw Streets

All Souls Bar ribbon-cutting. Photo: Pleasant Mann

Livable/Walkable Awards in Shaw

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells held this year’s celebration of his Livable/Walkable Awards, better known as the Brickies, on Dec. 2 in Shaw. The venue was the top floor of the City Market at O development at 7th and P streets NW. This was the seventh annual event where Councilmember Wells has given recognition to community, government, and business leaders who have supported creating sustainable communities, smart growth, and appropriate transportation options in Ward 6.

The Neighbor Award was bestowed on both the Reverend Ruth Hamilton of the Westminster Presbyterian Church and Pastor L.B. West of Mount Airy Baptist Church for their work in maintaining a sense of community in their areas of Ward 6. This year’s Community Organization Award went to the French Street Neighborhood Association for its fostering of community, most notably its multi-year effort to develop and maintain French Street Park. The Business Award went to the Labyrinth Games and Puzzles shop, known for its collection of non-electronic games and homey atmosphere, while the Public Service Award went to the Ward 6 Core Team, a group of DC employees devoted to identifying and correcting issues that arise in the ward’s neighborhoods. Finally Councilmember Wells made a posthumous award of the Livable/Walkable Legacy Award to recently deceased Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Ron McBee, for his tireless work in historic preservation, education, and recreation aimed at improving the quality of life in his Southwest neighborhood.

Shaw Holiday Fun

Shaw Main Streets started the holiday season with its annual holiday party, held Dec. 3 at the Wonder Bread Factory on S Street. Approximately 300 people attended the celebration, which featured food from Shaw restaurants and beverages from local merchants. Notable attendees included the building’s developer and owner, Douglas Jemal, as well as Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser, and At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange. The night ended with dancing to the standards of “The Electric Slide” and “Cupid’s Shuffle.”

The French Street Neighborhood Association held its 21st Holiday Tree lighting on Dec. 14. However, due to the cold heavy rain falling that night the participants quickly lit the tree at French Street Park then went inside the home of the association president to continue the celebration. Due to the timing of the new DC Election calendar, a number of politicians came seeking signatures for their petitions to get on the ballot for the April primary. Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells made a presentation giving President Helen Mohrmann the Livable/Walkable Award for the French Street Neighborhood Association. Also in attendance were City Council Chair Phil Mendelson and Ward 6 Council candidates Charles Allen and Darrel Thompson.

Shaw Ribbon-Palooza

On the morning of Dec. 17 Shaw Main Streets held another ribbon-cutting marathon, this time for five new restaurants and bars in Shaw. Dubbed Shaw Ribbon-Palooza, the event publicized the continuing march of new eating and drinking establishments opening in Shaw. Ribbon-Palooza started at Right Proper Brewing Company at 624 T Street NW. Underneath a mural depicting King Kong-sized giant pandas fighting against a Washington backdrop, Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilmember Jim Graham, and Shaw Main Streets Executive Director Alexander Padro hailed the large investment that the brew pub represents and its role as an illustration of Shaw’s development into one of the hottest commercial areas of the city.

Then the crowd went around the corner to open Southern Efficiency at 1841 7th Street NW, a tavern focused on providing exotic bourbons and whiskeys along with appropriate country side dishes, and Eat the Rich at 1839 7th Street NW, whose shellfish-focused menu goes all the way down to a series of oyster shooter cocktails. The next stop on Ribbon-Palooza was All Souls Bar at 725 T Street NW. Started by David Batista, an alumnus of Jaleo, All Souls intends to be a neighborhood bar with quality cocktails and edibles. As the participants inspected All Souls, Mayor Gray seemed to be mesmerized by the extensive selection of classic soul tunes on the jukebox. The final destination for Ribbon-Palooza was Dunya at 801 Florida Avenue NW. The owners met the crowd outside for the ribbon-cutting and then invited everyone in to share samples of the restaurant’s Mediterranean cuisine. Visitors were impressed with the rustic décor of the two-floor restaurant, which also has an outdoor rooftop deck that will be open in warmer weather.

A Win and a Loss

Ivy and Coney, the Midwest-themed sports bar at 1537 7th Street, termed the “Shaw bar for people who miss Chicago and Detroit” by one critic, announced that they would have their formal opening on New Year’s Day 2014. Meanwhile, Cause: the Philanthropub at 1926 9th Street announced that they were closing operations, saying that they had not been able to generate large enough profits to accomplish the pub’s mission of devoting a portion of proceeds to charity.