What H Street Needs is an occasional series on District Cuisine looking at ways that the neighborhood could be improved even more. You can see our previous column on the need for a Thai restaurant here.
News came last week that H Street would be getting a new bakery on the western end of the Corridor when Sticky Fingers Bakery opens next year at 406 H Street, NE. The opening of Sticky Fingers will be yet another welcome addition to the neighborhood. However, what H Street really needs in the bakery category is a good bagel shop.
D.C. as a whole lacks good bagels. With the exception of Brooklyn Bagel in nearby Arlington, there really are not that many solid bagel options near downtown (please feel free to correct us in the comment section). There are a couple of places that sell bagels, but none that really specialize or do bagels well. Certainly none that are worth traveling across town to get. With that in mind, a solid bagel shop would be a draw not only within the neighborhood but could also potentially bring additional people to the neighborhood on the weekend from all around the area. H Street has shown its ability to support several bakeries and coffee shops throughout the Corridor (Batter Bowl Bakery, Sidamo, H Street Coffee House and Cafe, Dangerously Delicious, among others in the nearby community), so a bagel shop–especially if it was good–should be able to thrive throughout the week. In addition to being successful on the weekend, a solid bagel shop would also allow residents to stop by for a quick bite before work or to buy several bagels to eat at home during the week.
Agree? Disagree? What else does H Street need? Let us know in the comment section.
The New H Street Market
H Street Organic Market (806 H Street, NE) opened this month in the space that was formerly Z Mart. The interior of the building has undergone an extensive renovation, and the new space inside is very clean. There are several aisles of products–the vast majority packaged goods. There is no meat or fish, but there is a produce section towards the righthand side of the store. The produce looks fresh (far fresher than the produce at the new H Street Giant, which, sadly, isn’t saying much), but the selection is somewhat limited. There are also dairy products near the produce. It appears that while the store is open that it is still a work in progress as the back left part of the store looks incomplete. Hopefully when they complete the store they will add some additional produce.
While it might not be perfect yet, H Street Organic Market is definitely a welcome addition to the neighborhood, especially in light of the eastern end of H Street losing out on Yes! Organic Market a few months ago. It is especially welcome in the middle stretch of H Street which is desperately lacking development to date (although much is planned).
Catfish Po Boy at Po Boy Jim
After years of waiting, Po Boy Jim on H Street (709 H Street, NE) finally opened its doors this week and based upon our initial experience it was worth the wait (you can read our first preview post from September, 2012 here). The restaurant is a family business that has several family members working throughout the restaurant. The staff was very friendly and seemed to take pride in the restaurant and its food. The first day of service was this Thursday, and after they have a couple of days of operations under their belts, the owners plan on having it open from lunch through dinner and late night.
Tables on Second Floor Overlooking Patio at Po Boy Jim
It will open at 11am for lunch and stay open until 3am on weeknights (earlier during the week). The restaurant offers full dining service as well as takeout and bar service. The food is cajun inspired but has different influences from around the world throughout its menu (which you can view here).
Bar at Po Boy Jim
Po Boy Jim’s interior was completely renovated and the space is quite large. The downstairs area has several tables, a somewhat open kitchen, and a place where you can wait for takeout. There is a fairly large patio with several picnic tables and a large wall mural featuring the forthcoming (we hope) H Street streetcar. The upstairs has a large bar as well as tables that overlook H Street down below.
Po Boy Jim Ceiling
The ceiling has been decorated with large and multicolored window shutters to create a very interesting vibe. When you walk past the bar on the upper level, there are two separate additional dining areas towards the back of the restaurant. The second of the two back dining areas has glass doors with a railing that overlook the patio that will be opened once the patio is complete (it is still under construction) whenever the weather is nice. On the night that we were in there, jazz was being played throughout the restaurant to give it an authentic New Orleans feel. Continue reading
New Citi Pizza (504 H Street, NE) has reopened after being closed for several months following reports that the owner had died. In recent years, the takeout pizza spot has undergone some minor renovations, such as removing the bullet proof glass from its counter, to make it more friendly and inviting to the community. There had been signs posted in recent weeks that it would be reopening, but it now appears to be fully reopened.
New Citi Pizza Has Reopened
Good Danny’s Carryout Closed
In the past couple of days, both H Street Self Storage and Good Danny’s carryout have closed (see photos). In addition, Murray’s grocery store closed earlier in the month. These three businesses occupied the buildings that will soon be demolished to make way for the Whole Foods/major apartment complex that is coming to H Street. These three closings represent an important first step towards that development starting construction in the coming months.
H Street Self Storage Closed
Only a few weeks ago it was a large hole in the ground, now the exterior shell of the building is almost the whole way up.
Construction at Ben’s Chili Bowl on H Street