The Royal, the new cafe/bar that opened at Fifth Street and Florida Avenue last month is receiving a lot of positive press coverage.
- “Colombian-ish Restaurant The Royal Now Open in LeDroit Park.” Washington City Paper.
- “The Royal brings South American flavors and homemade vermouth to LeDroit Park.” Washington Post.
- “Take a Look Inside Ledroit Park’s Exciting New Restaurant: The Royal.” Washingtonian.
- “First Look: The Royal Opens in LeDroit Park.” Zagat.
- “Another Peek Inside The Royal now Open in LeDroit Park.” PoPville.
Two restaurants open this week on Florida Avenue, continuing the transformation of intermittently vacant properties into food establishments.
The first is the LeDroit Royal (501 Florida Ave NW), which opens today (Thursday) at 7 am. The Royal has been under construction for months and I was able to attend its soft opening on Tuesday night. The interior renovations are remarkable and the menu provides a wide array of cocktails, on-tap vermouth, and Colombian and Guatemalan food. Like Bistro Bohem, the Royal opens as a coffee shop during the day and transforms into a bar at night.
Read the Post’s review for more details.
Just up the street, Rito Loco (606 Florida Ave NW) opens on Friday at 11 am. Like the Royal, Rito Loco has been under construction for several months. Rito Loco is the brick-and-mortar incarnation of the popular burrito food truck.
The shop is more of a fast-food operation with limited seating, but it may expand. I talked with the owner two weeks ago and he said he would eventually like to add a roof deck once he gets financing for it.
Meet your neighbors and check out Bloomingdale’s newest pub! The next LeDroit Park happy hour will be at The Pub and the People (1648 North Capitol St NW) in Bloomingdale on Tuesday, July 14 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
We hope to see you there.
On Thursday the Kojo Nnamdi Show aired a program on the new LeDroit Park-Bloomingdale Heritage Trail.
There are two interesting events going on tomorrow:
Masjid Muhammad Community Open House
Masjid Muhammad is the mosque at 1519 Fourth Street NW in Shaw. The mosque is hosting an open house tomorrow from 11 am to 4 pm.
Eight Annual D.C. Truck Touch
The D.C. Government is hosting its annual “truck touch”, an event where residents (especially kids!) get to sit in firetrucks, touch the police helicopter, watch DC Water’s sewer robot in action, gaze at snow plows, peer under street sweepers, and much more.
The Truck Touch is tomorrow from 8 am to 1 pm at Lot 7 at RFK Stadium. View some photos I took of the 2010 Truck Touch.
Meet your neighbors and explore a new local business at next week’s LeDroit Park happy hour. This month we are going to Calabash (1847 7th St NW) on Tuesday, June 9 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Calabash is the new tea shop that opened by the Shaw Metro.
In other news, the Washington Business Journal has a good summary of the retail transformation of Shaw, which is attracting high-end and boutique retailers who used to set up shop in Georgetown instead.
This week, after years of work, the LeDroit Park-Bloomingdale Heritage Trail is finally being installed. The signs scattered throughout both neighborhoods mark important historical sites and form a linear path history buffs can follow for a full tour of both neighborhoods.
This heritage trail is titled Worthy Ambition, a line from a Paul Laurence Dunbar poem about black achievement in spite of slavery.
Cultural Tourism DC, which researches and sponsors these trails, is partnering with the civic associations in both neighborhoods for an official unveiling. Stay tuned for details.
Learn about DDOT street improvements, review a neighbor’s request for a variance, and vote for civic association officers at the next week’s civic association meeting. The next meeting is Tuesday, May 26 at 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church (623 Florida Ave – enter at the rear).
DDOT will present its plan for installing green infrastructure to reduce stormwater flow into the sewers during storm events. Such infrastructure can include rain gardens and pervious alleys that absorb water.
A neighbor at 2118 2nd St NW will present her plan to add a 90-square-foot addition to her house. She will request support for a zoning variance to build her addition.
The association will also hold annual elections for officers. The positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. All association members are eligible to run and vote.
President Golda Philip and Secretary Brian Footer, who is also our ANC Commissioner, have chosen not to run again. At least one person has agreed to run for each position, but we will open the floor to additional nominations (you may nominate yourself).
(Disclosure: I am now the Vice President and will run for President.)
Local grocer Glen’s Garden Market will open a second location on Florida Avenue just west of LeDroit Park. Glen’s first store, which replaced the “Secret” Safeway on 20th Street in Dupont several years ago, is a small market specializing in locally grown food.
The new location in the new Shay apartment building at 8th Street and Florida Avenue will only cover 2,100 square feet. Unlike the Dupont location, the new space will forgo the pizza oven and smoker, but will cordon off an area for a beer garden, presumably on the spacious 8th Street front.
Read the City Paper story for the full details.
Over a year ago someone launched a drone from the roof of the Progression Place apartments on 7th Street by the Shaw Metro. The drone recorded high-definition video footage of the LeDroit Park, Shaw, and U Street neighborhoods.
Before you go launching your own drone, remember that they’re illegal in DC’s airspace!