Back in the spring, we looked at the new restaurants and bars that were coming to H Street. Now that several months have gone by, we wanted to take a look at what restaurants have opened, what ones have made construction progress, and what new restaurant concepts have been announced recently. For each of these categories we list the establishments in order of going west-east down H Street. If we’ve missed a place, please let us know in the comment section.
Opened this Summer and Fall
- Heaven & H (701 H Street)–new deli in former Grace Deli location that honors the memory of the owner of Grace Deli (June Lim) who was murdered in 2012, deli underwent some renovations and is now open but appears that renovations may be ongoing, more details from Washington City Paper
- Chupacabra (822 H Street)–taco restaurant that previously was a food truck, operates right off of H Street but has added a covered patio that links it to H Street in the last several months that should be quite popular when it is warmer
- Vendetta (1210 H Street)–Italian restaurant and bocce bar by Joe Englert, you can read our early review here
- Da Luft (1242 H Street)–initially billed as a “seafood restaurant,” now appears to be more of a club with three levels and a rooftop patio
- Sol Mexican Grill (1251 H Street)–two level Mexican restaurant with fast casual service downstairs and full service restaurant, bar, and patio upstairs, you can read our early review here
- RedRocks (1348 H Street)–full service pizza and Italian restaurant with extensive bar and retractable roof patio, three other DC area locations
- Manny and Olga’s (1409 H Street)–D.C. pizza chain offers delivery
- The Elroy (1423 H Street)–a bar concept on the eastern end of H Street, more from Washington City Paper Continue reading
The second outpost of Heavy Seas Alehouse that is slated to open in Rosslyn is now looking at an early February open date due to some construction delays, according to one of the restaurant’s representatives. The Alehouse was initially targeting an opening this December prior to the delays. The Alehouse will feature Heavy Seas beers from the Baltimore based brewery in addition to a wide array of food. You can read more details about the restaurant’s plans from ARLnow.
This evening the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee–which has jurisdiction over the eastern end of H Street–held a discussion about possibly changing its policy that currently prevents restaurants and bars from operating public space patios (i.e. patios on the street) and rooftop decks after 11pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends. While the D.C. Government’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) handles alcohol licenses in the District, ANCs play a very important role in the process through recommendations to ABRA and by holding hearings to help restaurants/bars and residents come to mutually beneficial agreements that will help the establishment thrive in the community without negatively affecting its neighbors. The current policy of ANC 6A is to require restaurants and bars to agree to not serve alcohol on patios and rooftops late at night even though the establishment can stay open until much later in the evening. This meeting was to discuss a potential change to that policy.
Over 20 residents showed up to protest any potential change vociferously. Most of the comments were similar: allowing later hours outdoors would create more noise and prevent residents from sleeping, later hours would encourage more drunken debauchery along H Street and in the surrounding neighborhoods, and that there was no benefit to the community for allowing restaurants to have later outdoor hours. Several residents argued that allowing restaurants to have later outdoor hours would lead to an increase in crime.
Only two restaurants testified in favor of changing the current policy to allow for later hours. Joe Englert–owner of several H Street establishments and arguably one of the main reasons that H Street is currently experiencing such a renaissance–countered many of the residents claims that a change in policy would have negative effects. Englert argued that he and other H Street restaurants have invested many millions of dollars in the community and have no reason to be bad neighbors. He offered to install any kind of noise barrier to help alleviate any noise problems that arose in neighborhoods surrounding H Street. After several residents questioned the need to keep outdoor areas open so late (one said that there was no reason for people to be drinking or even out after midnight), Englert pointed out that many young people are going to be out late drinking “because that’s what they do.” He implied that if they weren’t out drinking and spending money on H Street they would be doing it elsewhere around the city which would hurt the H Street economy. Continue reading
Earlier this month, the Port of Piraeus location in West End (1155 21st Street, NW) closed its doors permanently. The Greek restaurant had been at the West End location since 1989; however, owner Frankie Doyle tells us that it was time to streamline operations by closing this location and consolidating the business in the restaurant’s other location in Franklin Square. The other location will continue to offer breakfast and lunch as well as catering across the city. No word on what might replace the restaurant.
Back in July, Marvelous Pizza on H Street was raided by the FBI due to a massive fraud ring and had shut down. Several weeks ago without any real explanation, the restaurant reopened and appears to be back to normal. The status of the fraud investigation is unclear as is whether or not ownership of the restaurant has changed.
Currently H Street’s restaurant scene is divided into two sections: the Western end and the Eastern end without almost any restaurants in the middle. The Western end runs from Ethiopic in the 400th block to Hikari Sushi in the 600th block. The Eastern end starts with the Atlas Room in the 1000th block and runs to the 1400th block. In between there are not really any restaurants (the new Chupacabra being the exception). There is a lot of development planned for that section (including three apartment buildings and a Whole Foods) but not much has materialized so far. Continue reading