Shaw Streets - May 2017

Shaw Main Streets “Taste of Shaw” Gala at the Howard Theatre. Photo: Pleasant Mann

Shaw Cleans Up in Best of DC Poll

The Shaw neighborhood’s street cred became evident again when the Washington City Paper’s Best of DC issue was released featuring the annual reader’s poll. Fitting its foodie reputation, Shaw took a number of the wins in the food and drink categories.

Nellie’s Sports Bar won for both Best Gay Bar/Club and Best Sports Bar in DC. Best New Restaurant was The Bird, while the Best New American Restaurant was Farmers & Distillers. Beau Thai won the reader’s poll designation for Best Thai Restaurant again this year, with Duffy’s Irish Pub having the Best Wings in town. Glen’s Garden Market won for Best Grocer and Best Specialty Food Store.

The City Paper also showed some love for Shaw with its staff picks. Hazel was declared the choice for Best New Restaurant, and Service Bar DC was the staff choice for Best New Bar. Eric Zeibold, the chef/owner of Kinship and Metier restaurants, was designated Best Chef, with Tyler Hudgens of The Dabney named Best Bartender. The City Paper staff also noted Shaw establishments in a number of odd categories, such as Best Single-Issue Bar (Espita Mezcaleria), Best Bar to Blow Your 401K (Columbia Room), Best Breakfast Away from Home (the Breakfast Bomb at Buttercream Bakeshop), Best White Tablecloth Spot for a Beer (Kinship), Best Block for Sandwiches (1200 block of Ninth Street NW), and Best Foolproof Fast-Casual (Shouk).

But excellence in Shaw goes beyond food. Cheryl Lofton won Best Tailor, while Calabash Tea was again declared the Best Tea Shop in DC, and Warby Parker got Best Place to Buy Eyeglasses. The 9:30 Club was, of course, the Best Music Venue in the reader’s poll. In a crowded field of indoor cycle establishments, Shaw’s Off Road came on top again as the city’s Best Indoor Cycling Studio. Wagtime won for Best Dog Walk Service, Best Doggie Daycare, Best Pet Services, and Best Pet Shop. The venerable Lee’s Flower and Card Shop was the Best Flower Shop. And the City Paper staff declared Shaw’s Cuttin’ Up the Best African-American Barbershop in DC.

The City Paper celebrated its new Best of DC list by coming to Shaw to party at the Carnegie Library on the night of April 6. Service Bar DC, Rito Loco, RPM Italian, Wagtime, and other winners and runners-up of the poll set up booths at the event.

Shaw Main Streets Holds ‘A Taste of Shaw’ Gala

Shaw Main Streets held its annual fundraising gala on Tuesday, April 25, at the Howard Theatre. With the theme of “A Taste of Shaw,” the gala offered attendees unlimited samplings of food and drink from 21 Shaw establishments. A special advantage to coming to the gala was the chance to sample food from businesses that had yet to open, including the wares of French Quarter Brasserie & Oyster Bar and Seylou Bakery and Mill.

The crowd was entertained by the band Jazzy Blu with a combination of contemporary tunes and soul and go-go classics. The ceremony at the gala began with Shaw Main Streets Board Chair Gretchen Wharton and Executive Director Alexander Padro introducing the organization’s board members and the DC Department of Small and Local Business development officials who have helped support their work during the past year. Councilmembers Robert White (D-At Large), Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) told the crowd how important they thought that the work of Shaw Main Streets was to the success of the neighborhood and the health of the city. Then Councilmember Allen was given the organization’s Shaw Champion Award, in recognition of his work on the DC Council supporting Shaw Main Streets and the growth of small businesses in DC over the past year.

The speeches ended with a raffle for a package of certificates and gift baskets valued at over $1,000. As Jazzy Blu started the crowd dancing with a string of funk classics, guests left with a swag bag filled with products and special offers from Shaw businesses.

Shaw as a Literary Hub

Among its various attractions, Shaw is also starting to become a literary hub. On Friday night, April 21, the new Swatchroom Gallery at 1527 Ninth St. NW became the venue for a signing party for the recently released book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” The book’s authors, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, described the party as an intimate gathering to celebrate the book, with the crowd being largely made up of Washington journalists and the media community. The book’s theme was even carried through with the decor, which included a large portrait of Hillary Clinton by Swatchroom co-owner Maggie O’Neil, as well as blowups of quotable pages from “Shattered.”

The literary reputation of Shaw also went up the night before when Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stigliz led a discussion, with beer, on his views on current events at the Dacha Loft.

Watha T. Daniel Library Book Sale

You can increase you literary cred by attending the book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library on Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. Past sales have been notable for the high quality of books available, ranging from early readers to heavy adult tomes, not to mention coffeetable books. The popular option of buying a bag of books for $5 will again be available.

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