After years of delay, the H Street Streetcar will ‘likely’ begin official operations tomorrow according to two different streetcar operators we spoke with this morning. Both operators said that they have been told that tomorrow should be the first day of operation and that worst case scenario, operations would begin January 1st or 2nd. Outgoing Mayor Vince Gray stated earlier this year that the streetcar would begin official revenue operations before the end of this year, and there has been a major push by DDOT to get it up and running over the past few months. There has been quite a bit of speculation over the past month about when the streetcar might begin actual customer service. The streetcars have been doing non-revenue testing over the past couple of months. If the streetcar does begin operation tomorrow, it would fulfill Mayor Gray’s goal from earlier this year and give him a nice photo-op on his way out.
Khan’s Bar and Grill (1125 H Street) has temporarily closed for renovations. We are not sure the extent of these renovations, but a sign outside of the restaurant says that it plans on reopening the day after Christmas.
The restaurant has undergone some changes in the past couple of weeks. It has rebranded itself as “Khan’s Express,” even though the menu appears to be the same Mongolian BBQ concept that it has been for years. Additionally, several weeks ago, Khan’s began advertising that it would begin serving breakfast.
We positively reviewed Khan’s several years ago and believe that it continues to be one of the more underrated and overlooked concepts on H Street.
D.C. has needed more and better movie theaters, especially in the eastern part of the city. Earlier this year, if you lived east of downtown, the choices were traveling across the city to Georgetown, going to the nice but limited E Street Cinema, viewing a movie in the rundown Regal Cinema in Gallery Place, or going to the suburbs. Edens promised to change all of this by announcing it would put an upscale Angelika Film Center in the second phase of its Union Market building. However, that permanent theater will not be built for several years. In the meantime, Edens converted part of a building the company owns a block north of Union Market into a pop-up movie theater to preview the future permanent theater. The pop-up currently offers around four different films with multiple showings throughout the day. There is a mix of recently released mainstream films, indie films, and classics (including It’s a Wonderful Life before Christmas).
If you haven’t heard of A. Litteri (517 Morse Street, NE), we don’t blame you. It took us over a year of living in the NoMa/H Street region to discover the Italian market and deli buried amongst the massive wholesale warehouses around Union Market. First established in 1926 but relocated to Morse Street in 1932 by Mariano DeFrancisci and Antonio Litteri, A. Litteri’s is the best Italian market in the District. Prior to finding A. Litteri’s we used to trek out to the Italian Store in Arlington for our Italian needs but no more–you’ll find everything you need here.
Do not let the market’s unassuming exterior push you away. Inside you will find shelves and shelves of pastas, sauces, olive oils (of all sizes), vinegars, Italian wines, and many other Italian necessities. At the deli counter in the back, you will find homemade sausages, meatballs, Italian meats, cheeses, and olives. You can also order some of the best Italian sandwiches in the region too. The gentlemen behind the counter may have a somewhat aggressive attitude but grab a number and step right on up when your number is called (for sandwiches fill out a little form that is on the counter).
With all of the changes planned for the Union Market area in the coming years, A. Litteri’s is one existing gem that we hope doesn’t change one bit in the future.
This post is part of District Cuisine’s Union Market series. You can view the entire series here.
For the purposes of this post, the upper section is defined as the area and buildings starting on the northern side of Penn Street, NE at 6th Street, going west to New York Avenue, turning right, and then running up New York Avenue for one block. You can view our interactive map here (note: this is not perfectly drawn to scale and does not perfectly reflect lot lines, etc). The properties are colored by owner; the color purple indicates that the property is not owned by one of the large development companies.
The upper section of Union Market has two large parcels that are owned by Edens but disconnected from each other. The first Edens property on Penn Street by 6th Street (550 Penn Street) is already being used by Edens as part of Union Market. In this space, Dolcezza Gelato has a factory and retail store; Angelika Film Center has a pop-up movie theater (until it moves to its permanent home in the Union Market building in several years). The second Edens owned property is down the block on the corner of New York Avenue. This building is not currently used for a public purpose by Edens, although it does have several advertisements for Union Market attractions painted onto the side of it. In between these two properties is Maurice Electrical Supply.
Next to the Edens owned property on New York Avenue is an independently owned property. The large parcel next to that building is currently undergoing a major construction project. The property was previously a very rundown Quality Inn (check out some of the horrible reviews here) but was knocked down recently and is now being rebuilt as two hotels: a Hampton Inn and a Homewood Suites.
In our next two Union Market series posts, we will examine two existing parts of the Union Market area that you may be overlooking but are well worth you checking out.
Special thanks to Washington Business Journal for their previous reporting on the real estate deals in Union Market and to ANC 6C 06 Commissioner Tony Goodman for his help in answering questions about the area.
DC Harvest (517 H Street, NE) is planning a three course prix fixe celebration for New Year’s Eve. The meal will run $50 per person for food with an option to do wine pairings for $30 as well.
- Kona Kampachi Tartar–avocado, white soy, yuzu, blood orange trout roe, and potato crisp.
- Frisse and Arugula Salad–crispy bacon, 65 degree egg, and lemon vinaigrette.
- Yellow Carrot and Fennel Soup–whole wheat croutons, creme fraiche, and micro carrot greens.
Main course choices:
- Grilled American Wagyu Steak–yukon gold potato puree, roasted broccoli, and zinfandel demi-glaze.
- Pennsylvania Duck Leg Confit–rye spaetzle, roasted carrots, brussel sprouts, and blood orange duck jus.
- Pan Roasted Artic Char–maitake mushrooms, french beans, and celery root puree.
- Winter Squash Farrotto–red kuri pumpkin, celery root, kale, crispy shitake mushrooms, and allegany chevre.
- Whatchamacallit–peanut butter crisp, caramel, chocolate, honey roasted peanut crumble, and banana.
- Olive Oil Cake–candied tangerines and roasted strawberry gelato.
- Farmstead Cheese Plate–gala apples, pear butter, and grilled bread.
Reservations can be made on Open Table or by calling the restaurant (202-629-3296).