Since it’s the end of the year, I figured I’d do a best and worst list of 2009 on U street. I’ve seen a lot of other lists and thought it would be fun to do my own. Please sound off on your own best and worsts in the comments.

Best new restaurant: Tie – Masa 14/Eatonville. Masa 14 is hip, serves good fusion cuisine, very promising. Eatonville is soul food, funky, and down home. Both are great additions to U street. Runner up: Ben’s Next Door.

Best new bar: I was going to say the Gibson, hands down, until I realized it really opened in December of 08. Then I realized I didn’t have a favorite other new bar that had opened in the area in 09 so I will cheat and say – the Gibson. Love their cocktails, the intimate feel, and that they’ve expanded their space significantly since they opened. Runner up: Churchkey.

Best meal on U street: This was a tough one. But I have to go with a casual dinner at Bar Pilar, during the week or early on the weekend. Order nearly any of the small plates, and while the menu changes frequently, you’re bound to be happy. Add in the casual cool atmosphere – and you have my best meal on U street. Runners up: Etete, Coppi’s, Creme.

Best new business on U street: Mid City Caffe – the coffee is great, the service is friendly, the decor is welcoming, the details are thoughtful. Simple syrup for your iced coffee, free water if you’re sitting down, free WiFi, free music every week. Runners up: Treasury, Cork/Cork Market.

Best story of the year: Obama visits Ben’s Chili Bowl – the soon-to-be-president makes a stop at a DC institution, enamoring himself to the locals. Runner up: Solly’s opens the day after a cab runs into it, has a great sense of humor.

Biggest disappointment: Sorry, but the dishonor goes to 1905. Filled with potential but unable to deliver – a beautiful space with mediocre to bad food, and bad service.

Worst story of the year: Nori Amaya is murdered – the community is shocked when co-owner of Coppi’s is found murdered, as far as I know no leads in the case. Runner up: The rampant violence on the 1300/1400 block of Columbia Road.

Sad to see them go: Inspired Yoga. This might be a sentimental pick but Inspired had become a big part of my life on U street, strengthened my sense of community. I really miss it and wonder if I’ll find a studio that I like as much. Runner up: Mocha Hut.

And finally, some interesting stats on the year at U Street Girl: