Shaw Streets

Community celebrates at Shaw Main Streets Holiday Party. Photo: Pleasant Mann

Shaw Main Streets Holds Holiday Party

Shaw Main Streets held its ninth annual Holiday Party at the Howard Theatre on the night of Dec. 7. The free event, open to the neighborhood, was supported by Douglas Development, the Howard Theatre, and U Street Parking, while 23 neighborhood restaurants provided food for the hundreds of partygoers.

Shaw Main Streets Executive Director Alexander Padro welcomed the crowd and thanked them for their continuing support of the organization. Board Chair Gretchen Wharton then outlined the goals that guide the work of Shaw Main Streets and what it plans for the new year. Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau expressed her support for Shaw Main Streets and the importance of its work to the economic development of her ward.

Music was provided by DJ Black Santa. There were also singing performances by Queens and contestants from the American Classic Woman of the Year Pageant, as well as David “DC Lou” Bratton, a Lou Rawls tribute artist. Former mayor and Councilmember-elect Vincent Gray greeted the crowd and congratulated Shaw Main Streets on its work. Gray then joined the dancing until the end of the party.

Shaw Main Streets Wins Brickie Award

On Dec. 1, Shaw Main Streets won one of the 2016 Ward 6 Brickie awards. They were established by a Ward 6 councilmember nine years ago as the Livable, Walkable Awards to recognize the people, places, and organizations that contribute to the quality of life. This year Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen bestowed the Community Organization Award on Shaw Main Streets, noting that it had been nationally recognized as a Great American Main Street, and concluding that “Shaw Main Streets has been instrumental in making the Shaw neighborhood a vibrant, diverse, thriving place to dine, shop, live, and play.”

Shaw Holiday Market Pops Up

A holiday market called Shop ‘n Shaw popped up on Dec. 17 and 18. Despite the icy morning on Saturday, a crowd arrived at the Event Space in the basement of the Wonder Bread Factory to check out the wares of 32 vendors. The market was organized by popup specialists, with support from Shaw Main Streets to promote small, local vendors of unique, made-in-DC items. The offerings ranged from men’s and women’s fashions, jewelry, gourmet foods, toys, and household goods all the way to South African cowhides.

Apple Store Planned for Shaw

Events DC, the District’s convention and sports authority, announced that it has signed a letter of intent with the Apple Corporation to locate a store in Shaw’s Carnegie Library. The possibility of the hip retailer’s locating a store in downtown DC has been the subject of speculation for a number of years.

Openings of Apple stores are still major events around the world. While the first stores attempted to be on the cutting edge of architectural design, the corporation has lately tended to look for distinguished older buildings that could be renovated into modern retail hubs. The architecture and site of the Carnegie Library fit what Apple is looking for. The store will become a major retail destination. The letter of intent envisions Apple taking a 10-year lease, with two five-year renewal options for the ground floor and basement. 

Events DC chief Gregory O’Dell noted that the partnership with Apple will “cement the Shaw neighborhood as a convention and entertainment district in the city,” while Events DC’s board chair Max Brown believes that the agreement will succeed in “creating jobs, enlivening a neighborhood and providing a place to gather.”

Shaw Restaurants End the Year on Top

Shaw restaurants appeared frequently on end-of-the- year best dining lists compiled by media outlets such as Eater, Brightest Young Things, Thrillist, and WTOP. Laura Hayes of The City Paper notes that in a city that has had 500 new restaurant openings over the past two years, “Shaw ballooned the most with new options like Kyirisan, Hazel, Haikan, La Jambe, Chao Ku, All Purpose, Espita, Smoked and Stacked and Buttercream Bakeshop.” The Washington Post’s “Going Out Guru” Becky Krystal simply declared that “Shaw was the District’s hottest dining neighborhood of 2016,” adding that there is more to come in 2017 with the Uncommon Diner by Central Michel Richard executive chef David Deshaies, Morris American Bar from Spike Mendelsohn, the Hong Kong-inspired Tiger Fork, and Union Kitchen Grocery. Those openings will be on just two blocks in Shaw.

Shaw Main Streets Chair Gretchen Wharton accepts Brickie Award from Councilmember Charles Allen. Photo: Simone Ellison
Shop ‘n Shaw popup opens for holiday sales. Photo: Alexander Padro

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