Shaw Streets

Councilmembers Elissa Silverman and Vincent Orange cut the ribbon at Cherry Blossom Creative. Photo: Pleasant Mann

Shaw Celebrates Small Business Saturday

Shaw marked Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28 by holding ribbon cuttings at 15 newly opened Shaw businesses. Begun in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a national effort to encourage consumers to patronize small and local businesses as part of their holiday shopping plans.

Small Business Saturday in Shaw started with visits by Councilmember Vincent Orange to La Colombe Coffee, Calabash Tea and Tonic, and the new Compass Coffee location at The Shay (1921 Eighth St. NW), where he offered to pay for coffee for visiting patrons. While at Compass Coffee, Councilmember Orange was joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser, who came to show her support for the Small Business Saturday effort. The mayor and councilmember also made a visit two doors up to the Lettie Gooch boutique, a business that had moved out of Shaw but has now moved back.

The Shaw Small Business Saturday ribbon cuttings, characterized as a “ribbon cutting fiesta” by Shaw Main Streets Executive Director Alexander Padro, were kicked off in the lobby of the Atlantic Plumbing apartment building. Councilmember Orange stressed how important small businesses are to the economic health of the District. He noted that half of the District government’s planned purchases, approximately $317 million, are devoted to contracts with small businesses. Councilmember Elissa Silverman noted that she hears from people all across the city about how important small businesses are to establishing a community. Robin Mosle of the JBG Companies, the developers of Atlantic Plumbing and The Shay, remarked that while some might say they came to the Shaw boom a little late, they have become major players. She added that when JBG bought the property to develop five years ago, they wanted their project to reflect the existing community of Shaw.

The ribbon cuttings started at the Atlantic Plumbing building, including design firm Cherry Blossom Creative and printers Typecase Industries, along with the renowned Foundry Gallery, all of which have relocated to Shaw from previous District locations. Then ribbons were cut at Riide (1933 Ninth St. NW), a purveyor of electric motorized bicycles manufactured in the District, and Serv-U Liquor (1935 Ninth St. NW), a former Shaw business that was able to return after the completion of The Shay complex. After ribbon cuttings at fashion destinations Chrome and Steven Allen (1924 Eighth St. NW) and Read Wall (1921 Eighth St. NW), the festivities moved to the newly opened Dacha Market (1602 Seventh St. NW) and Convivial restaurant (801 O St. NW) at City Market at O. The final ribbons were cut at Development Seed (1226 Ninth St. NW), a tech and policy group, the newly relocated Reformation Fitness (1218 Ninth St. NW), and the much anticipated Dabney restaurant (122 Blagden Alley NW).

City Market at O Holiday Tree Lighting

That Saturday afternoon was also busy at City Market at O, where the second annual holiday tree lighting was held. Eighth Street was closed to set up a stage for musical performances, a moon bounce, and a life-size snow globe for a packed crowd of holiday revelers, while an electric train whisked neighborhood children around the block. At 6:00 p.m. Roadside Development principal Richard Lake took the stage with young helpers to light the City Market at O holiday tree.

Convention Center Retail Fills Up

On Nov. 23 Events DC held a press conference to announce that it had signed leases for all six of the vacant retail spaces at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Shaw. Events DC Chair Max Brown welcomed Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilmembers Jack Evans and Vincent Orange to the announcement.

Four of the new retail tenants are connected to food. The Unconventional Diner, backed by John Cidre of Mintwood Place, will be a high-end diner. A new Union Kitchen Grocery is moving in, similar to the one already on Capitol Hill. Morris will be a craft cocktail bar by noted local chef Spike Mendelsohn. Smoked and Stacked by chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Ripple restaurant is an outlet for smoked pastrami and other sandwiches. Meek-Bradley will now be the second Shaw chef appearing on the new season of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” joining Kwame Onwuachi of Shaw Bijou in the competition. Finally, Urban Athletic Club will open a new venue in Shaw, while Cuttin’ Up, a well-known neighborhood barber shop, will cross Ninth Street to new digs in the Convention Center.

Striking a Blow for Housing in Shaw

Mayor Muriel Bowser, District Housing notables, and members of the development community assembled at the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA on Nov. 6 to mark the beginning of renovations of the historic building, now an important center for women in transition. The event began with the mayor taking a sledgehammer to a brick wall to symbolically remove the barriers to affordable housing. Afterwards the mayor stated that she viewed the renovation of Phyllis Wheatley as an important beginning to her effort to eliminate homelessness and expand affordable housing in the District. Buwa Binitie, managing principal of Dantes Partners, which is directing the effort, noted that innovations in financing and new features like solar energy make it likely that the tenants will pay less rent in the renovated building than currently.

Mayor Bowser strikes a blow for affordable housing at the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA. Photo: Pleasant Mann
Owners Harrison Suarez and Michael Haft with Councilmember Vincent Orange at new Compass Coffee location. Photo: Pleasant Mann
Shaw neighborhood kids light the City Market at O holiday tree. Photo: Pleasant Mann

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