Hello, readers – sorry I haven’t written here in a while. Life has been quite busy, and something had to give – and that was my blog. But, I’m back and trying to focus on some interesting, longer form feature pieces right now, versus breaking news. Please follow me on my Twitter account for that kind of coverage.

Now, the topic at hand – BakeHouse, a bakery that will open on 14th and T this fall. I had the opportunity to meet up with the owners, Niall Cooper and Lindsey Morse, to taste some of the goods and talk about their business. ┬áNiall and Lindsey live in the U Street neighborhood and have long dreamed of opening their own business. Lindsey had always considered baking a hobby, but started taking it more seriously the past few years.

Lindsey started working in professional kitchens and learning the lay of the land. Meanwhile, her husband Niall found that his Scottish citizenship meant his chosen career of museum management quite tough to pursue in DC (Federal government requires you be a U.S. citizen to work for them…) and they started seriously pursuing opening a bakery in the neighborhood.

Lindsey and Niall, a charming couple, say they foresee BakeHouse becoming a Baked & Wired for the U street neighborhood, a gathering place with delicious baked goods. They plan to be open in time for the morning rush and late enough to stop by for a sweet treat after dinner.

And sweet treats do they have. Lindsey prepared quite a spread for us and some other guests: among them delectable apple cider “doughnut” muffins, flaky and savory bacon and date scones, tastes just like root beer “float” cupcakes, and frothy ┬ácoconut and almond milkshakes. Everything we sampled (and we did sample everything) was delicious. My companion and fiance, a discerning sweet fiend, especially kept on going back to the perfectly paired strawberry and lemon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Niall and Lindsey talked to me about the need for a neighborhood bakery (oh do I agree), and the idea of a locally-owned spot is so appealing. While we know U Street doesn’t lack in bars, restaurants, and vintage stores – a simple place to stop in and get a snack, chat with a friend can be hard to find especially with the closing of Love Cafe.

Bakehouse is under construction as we speak, it will live next to the Post Office building on 14th and T which is set to become (at least for now) Taqueria Nacional, which is moving their Capitol Hill location to T street. While dealing with the slow permit process as well as the perhaps slower construction process has meant that BakeHouse won’t open as soon as Lindsey and Niall want, they do hope to open by Thanksgiving.

While we await the bakery opening in the hood, follow them on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

Last night, Black & Orange, the new burger joint on 14th just south of U Street opened. I swung by the opening party (yes, they were kind enough to invite me) and checked out the space. It is pretty large, with ample seating. I dig their minimalist decor. Checkout after the jump for a few more photos. (more…)

I was glad to see over at Washington City Paper’s Young and Hungry blog that Black and Orange has a new opening date. We had heard originally that they planned to open before Christmas, but that obviously didn’t happen.

They are having an opening party for VIPs only (no, yours truly did not get invited) and then will be open to the public around 9:30 that night. Anyone else really excited for awesome burgers on U street?

CrossFit Praxis, now open

Crossfit Praxis is now open at 14th and Florida. That didn’t take very long, as I first noticed the coming soon sign back in November. Most of you might already know this news, as the gym was profiled in the Express yesterday, but I’m more of a New Yorker reader on the Metro in the morning.

While I’ve never done a Crossfit work out, I know the gym has its devotees – so glad to see another gym option in the hood.

9th and U circa 1928

Thanks to Lydia DePillis for sharing this new blog, The Ruined Capitol, which shows before and after shots of the streets of DC. Above is 9th and U, click through after the jump to see some more shots of the greater 14th and U street area. (more…)

Taylor near Mt Vernon Square, courtesy of M.V. Jantzen

Something to celebrate for the new year: Taylor Gourmet will open their new location at 14th and T the first business day of 2012. Delicious sandwiches for all for the new year!

This new location will also mean an expanded delivery zone for the sandwich shop, before those of us living north of U Street (me included) technically weren’t in their delivery zone. Now, that will expand up to Columbia Heights and to the west in Dupont Circle.

Courtesy of mag3737

About a year and half ago, rumors started up that a Trader Joe’s might open on U Street. At the time – the big question was, OK – but where? A grocery store of that size needs a space that the U Street area couldn’t appear to accommodate.

Fast forward to now – all of a sudden there are a ton of construction projects that plan to have sizable retail space all over the 14th and U corridor. Now the rumor is starting up again – specifically for the Utopia project that will be coming to the 14th and U corner.

Wonderful news for the hood – we could all use a central grocery store, and who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s. I will keep an eye on development and update when and if something becomes more concrete.

An intrepid reader over at Prince of Petworth noticed some work going on at the roof of the old AM PM Carryout/possible new La Fonda location. Would be nice to get that space moving – as it’s been vacant for more than a year now.

Appears that there are a few construction permits on the property according to DC PIVS – the most recent being supporting roof and a new staircase, as well as a basement extension – so looks like we will see more work on the building soon.

I was glad to read on Washington City Paper’s Young and Hungry blog that Black & Orange (formerly Rogue States of burger fume fame) will be opening before Christmas. Very excited to have an excellent burger option in the neighborhood, and as I’ve said bef0re – I welcome burger fumes.

Progress at soon-to-be Piola

We learned back in April that Piola, a pizzeria, would be coming to a long vacant building at 14th and Florida. Recently, we’ve seen a lot of progress: we have a window and a door. While I haven’t heard when the outpost plans to open, I look forward to another pizza option in the neighborhood.