Shaw Streets

Photograph By
Pleasant Mann

Mayor Gray Cuts Ribbon at Fishnet Restaurant

Ribbon-Cutting Marathon Hits Shaw

On June 2, Mayor Vincent Gray, surrounded by a TV camera crews, journalists, senior city officials, District Councilmembers and members of the Shaw community, led a ribbon-cutting marathon to formally open seven new businesses in Shaw in 90 minutes. The first ribbon-cutting took place in the ground floor lobby of the newly opened Cambria Hotel and Suites (899 O St. NW), where the Mayor once again cited the commercial revitalization of Shaw as a reflection of the economic dynamism of the entire city. Then the crowd moved next door to the new Starbucks (815 O St. NW) to welcome it to the neighborhood.

The festive crowd then moved to the 1800 block of Seventh Street to inaugurate three new businesses at Progression Place. The owner of Uprising Muffin Company (1817 Seventh St. NW) brought his father, radio personality Donnie Simpson, Sr., to greet the Mayor and participate in the ribbon-cutting. Then the crowd moved next door to Fishnet (1819 Seventh St. NW), an upscale fish sandwich purveyor, where owner Ferhat Yalcin expressed his excitement to the Mayor at being able to open a restaurant in the District and in Shaw. An emotional note was struck when the ribbon was cut at Wanda’s on 7th (1851 Seventh St. NW). Wanda Henderson, the proprietor of the completely rebuilt hair salon and spa, was the only business owner originally on the block that was able to return after the completion of the Progression Place development. Her reopening was seen as a symbol of how important it is to retain existing businesses in the District in the face of growth and redevelopment.

Finally, the group moved to Ninth Street for the last ribbon-cuttings at Appioo African Restaurant, Bar and Grill (1924 Ninth St. NW, lower level) and Dino’s Grotto (1914 Ninth St. NW), where proprietor Dean Gold had prepared lunch for the participants. Mayor Gray ended the event by noting that Dino’s represented the 15th business in the past six months that he had opened in Shaw. He said that the explosion of retail businesses in Shaw was an indication that the neighborhood and the city “is hot, and it can’t be stopped.”

Shaw Businesses Win Great Streets Grants

Four Shaw businesses won Great Streets Small Business Capital Improvement Grants from the District government in June. This latest round of grants was given to businesses around the city to stimulate small business creation and expansion and encourage the retention of existing commercial businesses. The Shaw winners were 1905 Bistro (1905 Ninth St. NW), Pekoe Acupuncture and Wellness Center (1410 Ninth St. NW), Compass Coffee (1535 Seventh St. NW), and Off Road Indoor Cycling (905 U St. NW).

Shaw Main Streets Holds Business Open House

Shaw Main Streets held its annual Open House on June 7 to showcase the businesses in its Seventh and Ninth Streets commercial corridors. A total of 38 Shaw businesses participated in the Open House, which stretched from Off Road Indoor Cycling on U Street all the way down to the Touchstone Gallery on New York Avenue. After the crowds spent three hours visiting the businesses and enjoyed food and beverage samples and other treats, they gathered at the Cambria Hotel and Suites lobby for a raffle for gift certificates and other prizes from all the Open House businesses.

8th and O Parcel Status

The District is moving quickly to award its parcel on the corner of Eighth and O Streets, NW to a developer. On June 3, the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development announced a short list of candidates, reducing the six original applicants down to four bidders. The short list includes the development teams of A&R Development and the Urban Group, Four Points LLC and the Warrenton Group, Madison Investments and Audubon Enterprises, and Roadside Development and Dantes Partners. 

In evaluating the development proposals for the parcel, which is currently a parking lot, the District sought plans that reflected the importance of the site to the surrounding community and that met the objectives of consistency with the District’s Comprehensive Plan for mixed-use, transit-oriented development, high architectural design quality that maximizes density and is economically viable, a residential component containing affordable housing and neighborhood serving retail.

The shortlisted teams are scheduled to make a public presentation of their proposals to the community on June 30. Soon thereafter, a “best and final” proposal will be submitted by each shortlisted team before a final selection is made in late summer 2014.

A Winner at Shaw Main Streets Open House Raffle.
Mayor Opens New Starbucks in Shaw.
Shaw Great Streets Grant Winners with Mayor Gray.
Shaw Main Streets Open House included Simon Vintage.

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