Shaw Streets

Aschara Vigsittaboot and Ralph Brabham of Beau Thai Restaurant, Best New Shaw Business of 2014. Photo: Alexander Padro

Shaw Main Streets Holds Annual Meeting

On March 24 Shaw Main Streets held its 2015 annual meeting at Long View Gallery. Themed “Shaw Is Blowing Up!” the event provided a forum for the organization to review its accomplishments from the previous year, as well as elect new members to the organization’s board of directors.

In her remarks, Ana Harvey, the new director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development, stressed the important role that Shaw Main Streets and local business play in the health of the community, adding that she would make herself available to any small business that needed her help. Then Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen congratulated Shaw Main Streets on its successes and noted how important small business issues were to his legislative priorities.

Next, Alexander Padro, Shaw Main Streets executive director, covered the organization’s accomplishments over the past year. Besides 27 new business openings, storefront improvements, Great Streets matching grants, and events like Art All Night, Padro noted that the organization achieved a national Main Streets record for private funds raised by a single event and that the group had retired all of its previous financial obligations in January 2015. Among the plans for 2015, Padro mentioned the recently completed Shaw Dining Guide phone app, an upcoming Shaw business directory app, as well as a new banner program and in April the Shaw Main Streets Gala, the group’s major fundraiser.

Councilmember Vincent Orange, who chairs the DC Council committee overseeing small business issues for the city, outlined some of the initiatives he had championed, such a higher minimum wage. Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau expressed her support for small business and her effort to familiarize herself with the Ward 1 businesses in the Shaw Main Streets service area.

Then the winners of the contest for Best New Shaw Business of 2014, determined by votes from neighborhood customers, were announced. Out of 26 eligible Shaw businesses, the winner for best new business was Beau Thai restaurant, with La Colombe Coffee as first runner-up and Chaplin’s Restaurant and Bar as the contest’s second runner-up.

In the last item of business before the reception two new board members were elected. Lionel Lynch is director of New Development and Strategic Planning at Roadside Development, while Daniel Nadeau is general manager of the Marriott Marquis Washington DC hotel. Scott Claffee, Paul Hughes, Nooni Reatig, and Gretchen Wharton were reelected to the Shaw Main Streets board of directors.

New Shaw Businesses Announced

There is plenty of evidence that Shaw continues to “blow up.” Roadside Development announced that 98.28 percent of its apartments at City Market at O have been leased. The property management company for the development, Bozzuto Management, recently won a “Lease Up of the Year” award due to the fact that leases at City Market at O have outpaced other multifamily properties in DC and the mid-Atlantic region.

The Colonel, the recently completed apartment building at 9th and N streets NW, announced three major retail tenants coming in. Shaw resident Josh Phillips is launching Espita Mezcaleria, which will pair exotic varieties of the spirit mezcal with the foods and flavors of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The co-owners of Red Hen and Boundary Stone in Bloomingdale will bring a new establishment, All Purpose, featuring Roman and Italian American cuisine. Next door, award-wining pastry chef Tiffany MacIssac of Buttercream Bakeshop will open her first storefront, offering custom wedding cakes, specialty pastries, and other breakfast, lunch, and take-away baked goods.

An even bigger announcement on future retail in Shaw came from the JBG Companies, when they released a list of establishments committed to taking retail space in their Shay and Atlantic Plumbing projects at the north end of the neighborhood. The Shay, the two new apartment buildings on the 700 and 800 blocks of Florida Avenue, will get the first Warby Parker eyeglass frame store in DC, as well as the first DC restaurant from Tim Ma, known for Wall & Water in Arlington, while Shaw’s Compass Coffee will open a second location at the site. At one of the Atlantic Plumbing buildings to the north the Neighborhood Restaurant Group is planning a space, while the team at downtown’s Daikaya expects to put a ramen room there. The number of dining, clothing, and other businesses announced for the three JBG buildings totaled 18.

Community Meeting on Carter G. Woodson House Planned

The National Park Service is inviting members of the Shaw community to attend public stakeholder meetings to help plan the future of the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site. The site on 9th Street NW, home of the founder of Black History Month, needs the public’s help in developing a long-range interpretive plan to that will provide a vision for an interpretive program. Two sessions will be held at the Cambria Hotel and Suites (899 O St. NW) starting at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, with an additional meeting on Monday, April 20, at 6:00 p.m.

Shaw Main Streets Gala at the End of April

Shaw Main Streets will hold its annual gala on Wednesday, April 29, at the Howard Theater. With the theme “Spotlight on Shaw,” the Gala will have a host committee of renowned Shaw and coming-soon-to-Shaw chefs and mixologists showing off their talents. The gala is the primary fundraising event for the organization. Tickets go for $75 each and can be purchased online at http://smsgala.eventbrite.com.

Councilmember Charles Allen congratulates Shaw Main Streets at its annual meeting. Photo: Pleasant Mann
Councilmember Vincent Orange speaks at Shaw Main Streets annual meeting. Photo: Pleasant Mann

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