Preliminary construction has begun on a future residential development at 100 K Street, NE. This project has been in the works for quite sometime with J Street Development first purchasing it back in 2007. The current plans are for ground floor retail and over 200 apartment units by Equity Residential. To demonstrate how many iterations this project has gone through, here’s a retail brochure on this project from 2012.
Belgian Restaurant Week kicks off in DC today (Friday) and runs through next Thursday, the 21st. The week kicks off tomorrow (Saturday) in NoMa at the future Storey Park (corner of 1st and L Streets, NE where the Greyhound Station used to be and where the NoMa summer movies are now) with a mussel throw down party. Chefs from Brasserie Beck, Mussel Bar and Grille by Robert Wiedmaier, Belga Cafe, BToo, Haute Saison Catering, and the Soveriegn will all be on hand to compete for who can create the best mussels. For $21 at the door, you can eat mussels, fries, and waffles and enjoy beer from Stella Artois. Doors open at 11 am and the event runs until 6 pm. More details here.
Wunder Garten (previously 150 M Street, NE and now at the corner of 1st and L Streets NE) will be holding its season preview party this coming weekend. As District Cuisine previously reported, Wunder Garten has inked a deal for a more permanent location in NoMa starting this summer. Their preview party will be Friday and Sunday from 4-10 pm. They hope to be open permanently for the season soon thereafter.
Demolition has begun at the corner of 1st and N, NE at the site that will become a seven screen movie theater in NoMa in the coming months. The site–the lot is adjacent to the north of what used to be Ibiza nightclub– is currently a vacant parking lot and an office building. The office building is in the midst of demolition but soon the site will be transformed into a residential building with retail and the seven screen movie theater. More details on the project from Curbed here.
In the coming weeks, the current outdoor daily parking lot at the corner of 1st and L Street will be transformed into the new location of Wunder Garten. The location is the southwest corner of the parking lot, across the street from where the NoMa summer movie series is held at the future site of Storey Park. The NoMa biergarten opened last summer in the vacant lot next to Flats 130 and the NoMa Metro station (150 M Street, NE) but could not stay in that location as it is slated to become an office building in the near future. The popular biergarten spent the fall and winter looking to secure a new and longer term location in the neighborhood. They were successful last week when they signed a lease for the 13,000 square foot location at 1st and L Street that has a multi-year option attached to it.
Wunder Garten will hopefully open at the end of June or the beginning part of July. As Wunder Garten plans on being in this location for multiple years, the owners will be able to invest even more in the space. The owners will have to obtain a new liquor license as their location has moved. Prior to opening, they will be adding plants and a large tent (that will hopefully allow them to stay open later into the fall) to the lot. The set up will be similar to last year: several German and local beers on draft, rotating food trucks, lots of seating room, and nice portable bathrooms. REI–opening soon in NoMa–held various events at Wunder Garten last year and is looking to have an even bigger presence this year. While Wunder Garten was ultimately unable to allow dogs last year, they will explore the possibility in the new space.
More details on the official opening date as Wunder Garten gets closer to opening!
Chef Todd Gray (Equinox) is no longer affiliated with the NoMa restaurant that was previously called Todd Gray’s Watershed, representatives for Gray and the NoMa Hilton Garden Inn confirm. According to a representatives who answered the phone at the Hilton Garden Inn, the menu remains the same for now, but the restaurant is transitioning to a new management team and new concept (there is a liquor license for a different, unnamed restaurant in the window). The restaurant remains operational for the hotel and the general public.
Watershed opened in mid-2011 in the Hilton Garden Inn as part of NoMa’s Constitution Square development that also includes Harris Teeter and Flats 130. When the restaurant opened up, NoMa was first becoming a residential neighborhood, and it was the only real sit down restaurant in the area. Gray brought star power to the restaurant, but overtime Gray had less and less involvement with the restaurant. A management company had taken over the operations of Watershed, but it maintained Gray’s name and influence. Most recently, Joseph Paire had taken over the kitchen at Watershed and introduced several new items to the menu. However, Paire is now the chef at Mulebone on 14th Street.
Chinito’s Burrito’s (635 Florida Avenue, NE), a burrito takeout spot across from Gallaudet University that served Asian influenced Tex-Mex food, closed several months ago. The spot has been vacant since. Recently, construction has been going on inside the restaurant. District Cuisine spoke with a representative of a new concept that will be opening in the space at the construction site several days ago. After undergoing some renovations, the spot will reopen (potentially by February) as a similar concept with a new name. It will offer similar food to Chinito’s that has an Asian fusion influence. They plan to be open for lunch and dinner and may deliver as well. More details as they become available.