On Tuesday LeDroit Park’s newest restaurant, HalfSmoke opened at the corner of Florida and Georgia Avenues, having already received a good deal of press. HalfSmoke bills itself as a “fine casual” restaurant featuring half-smokes, which are smoked sausages made with beef and pork. HalfSmoke also serves a hybrid diner-carnival menu of milkshakes, funnel cakes, tater tots, and mac-n-cheese pops. And of course no restaurant would be viable outside of Utah without a bar.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Andre McCain, who comes to the business from investment banking in New York (now that’s a career move!). Mr. McCain has carefully curated the carnival-like experience not just with food, but also by stocking the restaurant with a free photo booth, board games, and televisions for watching sports. On my way out, I spied cornhole boards on the almost-finished patio on Florida Avenue.
You can celebrate the arrival of our newest restaurant by joining the LeDroit Park Civic Association for its monthly happy hour at HalfSmoke on Tuesday, October 11 from 6:30 to 8:30.
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You may recall the building as the former home of Pharmacare, which shut down in 2013 when a Federal grand jury indicted its owner, Reddy Vijay Annappareddy, for Medicaid fraud. Although four of his employees pleaded guilty, last month a Federal judge in Maryland threw out the charges against Mr. Annappareddy.
The U.S. Attorney alleges that the owners of the Pharmacare and several affiliated pharmacies in Maryland and Pennsylvania billed $2.6 million to Medicare and Medicaid for prescriptions they never actually refilled. A sign posted on Pharmacare’s door says the store has closed as of August 2.
We passed by Pharmacare today at the corner of Georgia and Florida Avenues and they were hosting their grand opening. Pharmacare is not your average pharmacy. They stock pharmaceuticals not readily available at most pharmacies and they provide home delivery too. Pharmacare is a local chain and we’re told that they were among the only pharmacies in Washington that braved our snow storms to deliver critical medicines.
We welcome them to the neighborhood and we hope they succeed.