Pork sandwich at American Ice Company

Last week, in the midst of the glorious warm weather (sigh, are you missing that?),  a few friends and I went to American Ice Company (10th and V Street) for the first time. The place was understandably crowded given their large outdoor space: they also have a garage like window that they opened up, so that even if you were sitting inside you felt like you were outside as well.

We snatched a table and ordered some beers: they have a nice selection of pretty affordable choices (but Guinness is $8 there – what?). I’m pretty sure our waitress used to bartend at the Gibson, I’ve had her a few times and she was excellent, so the bar for service was set high. Unfortunately, it wasn’t met – she had trouble hearing our orders because it was so loud, and for some reason didn’t write anything down. I ended up getting charged for a beer I didn’t order and we had to correct that. Certainly, at a more down-home place like American Ice Company the service shouldn’t be on par with the Gibson, but I was a bit disappointed.

We also ordered some food: pork sandwiches, the turkey plate, chili con queso, and of course the pickle platter (if you know me well you know I love pickles). The barbeque style food was good, but didn’t blow any of us away. I might be from Massachusetts, but I think I know barbeque pretty well and while the ‘que was good I imagine it’s not going to draw barbeque enthusiasts in.

Overall, American Ice Company is a fun place to meet for a few beers and food, but it gets crowded pretty fast and I’ve heard is intolerable during weekends, unfortunately like most of our bars in the U Street area.

I see many of you are googling options of New Years Eve parties on U Street and coming along my post for last year. I meant to write this up earlier but, time, it gets away. Here is what the bars and restaurants are doing this year to ring in the new year:

  • Champagne, courtesy of Dplanet::

    The Black Cat is throwing their New Year’s Eve Ball with Peaches O’Dell & Her Orchestra performing stuff form 1920s to the 1950s, tickets are $25.

  • U Street Music Hall is having a no-nonsense dance party: performances by DJs Tittsworth, Nadastrom, and Nouveau Riche, no champagne, tickets are $10.
  • BYT is hosting a DJs and beer night at Bohemian Caverns, with open bar for $55.
  • Churchkey is hosting a New Year’s Eve Beer Bash with an open bar, a lot hors do’oeuvres, a DJ and “some surprises.”  Tickets are $150.
  • The Gibson is having their New Year’s Eve Gala, a black tie preferred event featuring an open bar, catered food, and champagne. I went last year and had a ball – the Gibson knows how to throw a party. Tickets are $130
  • Eatonville is having A New Orleans New Year’s Eve with a four-course dinner, live jazz, party favors and champagne. the dinner is $59 (not including drinks).
  • Marvin is hosting a 4-course meal for $75/person, not including alcohol. They have two seatings at 7 pm and 9:30 pm.
  • Masa 14 is offering two dinner options:  an early seating at $55/person that includes three dinner selections, a dessert, and a glass of champagne and a late seating at $80/person that includes – Six dinner selections, an amuse bouche, a dessert, and a glass of champagne.
  • Local 16 is having an open bar from 8-10, appetizers, a champagne toast and music from DJ Okun. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door.
  • Duffy’s is having an open bar, appetizers from 9 to 11 pm, champagne toast and party favors. Tickets are $60 in advance, $75 at the door.
  • DC9  is hosting a Liberation Dance Party with your first drink free. Tickets are $15.

Know of any other special New Year’s events on U street? Let me know in the comments.

Bar Pilar

Well this is great news. Prince of Petworth reports this morning that Bar Pilar has a liquor license application to expand to the second floor of their building. I love Bar Pilar, but tend to go there on weekdays for dinner and drinks because it tends to get insufferably crowded on weekends – this will make the bar/restaurant much more tolerable when busy. Great news!

Very interesting post in the City Paper from Rend Smith about the OTHER guy, the same night Ali Ahmed Mohammed broke a window of DC9’s and died, who did the same thing – but survived. 21-year-old Georgio Tuccio, according to his lawyer, punched through a window after DC9 employees beat him up.  They stay they have witnesses to back up this claim. Can’t tell if this is a case of leveraging someone else’s pain to clear oneself of a crime, or if two of these incidents really happened in one night.

In related news, the Medical Examiner has determined Mohammed’s cause of death and will be releasing the information either today or Monday. Stay tuned, or follow me on Twitter for up to the minute news.

And, fun times, DC9 should be officially reopening tonight.

DC9 is allowed to reopen this Wednesday and has confirmed on their website that they will be open. While there are no live bands scheduled as of yet, their website lists a number of DJ nights and dance parties for the next couple weeks. It will be interesting to see the neighborhood’s response to the reopening; I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a protest from the Ethiopian community.

If you stop by on Wednesday, let me know how it goes. I imagine it will be pretty somber and not very raucous.

Station 9

This has been bugging me for a while (since May in fact). At first it appeared that Station 9 (15th/U) had closed, but then readers said they were open only during the weekend. They also appeared to no longer serve dinner. But, as I walked by Friday night, I took a peep in to find locked doors, and what looked to be an empty interior. It wasn’t prime going out time (pre 8 pm) so I guess there’s a chance that they open later – but I wouldn’t bank on it.

Can anyone prove me wrong? Have you been to Station 9 in the last few months?

DC9, courtesy of Kevin H (Flickr)

DC9 had a hearing yesterday to determine the status of its liquor license, which Cathy Lanier suspended after the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed outside of the bar. The long and short of it is: the liquor license will remain suspended until another hearing December 1st.

However a lot of interesting, and in fact weird, information came out of this hearing. First: none of the men involved in the case work at DC9 anymore (which seems a bit of a moot point: the bar hasn’t been open). Co-owner and manager Bill Spieler resigned, the rest were let go.

Second, the EMT call to Howard University Hospital was played during the hearing. You can hear the audio on TBD (link above). A male EMT says that he is bringing a 45-year-old male in cardiac arrest to the hospital after a bar fight. He also says the victim became unconscious after police arrived on the scene, contradicting an affidavit filed in court that states Mohammed was not responsive when the first officer arrived. But, as you probably know, Mohammed was 27, not 45 – so this call just seems to confuse things further.

What we still don’t know is Mohammed’s official cause of death. It’s been over two weeks since the incident, so we’ve got to wonder what’s taking so long. Though I must say, I’m not sure how long it normally takes to get a report from the medical examiner in regards to someone’s cause of death. UPDATE: I’ve heard from a couple of sources (including a friend who interns at an ME office) that toxicology reports take a few weeks to process. Silly crime procedurals coloring our perception of how things get done in law enforcement.

For lease at Republic Gardens

This is, honestly, a property I’ve had trouble keeping up with. The Republic (formerly well-known Republic Gardens) re-opened in the summer of 2008 after being closed for possible back-rent issues. Now there are for lease signs all over the building. The website for The Republic is down, which isn’t a good sign.

Anyone know what’s happening?

Vinoteca's back patio

This weekend friends and I checked out Vinoteca’s back patio (11th and U), which opened earlier this summer. The back patio boasts a bocce court and a more old European vibe than the modern, stark decor inside.

We took advantage of Vinoteca’s 5-7 pm happy hour that’s good all week long. They also have some food specials for the patio: sliders, fingerling potatoes, ricotta flatbread, and some sandwiches. The food, like inside the restaurant, I found to be hit or miss. We really enjoyed our lamb sliders but our friends found the bison sandwich unremarkable.

The vibe on a Saturday afternoon was pretty relaxed, but I wasn’t a fan of the kind of Euro-club music playing – it didn’t really match the decor or atmosphere I see with a bocce court. Otherwise, it was a nice place to hang out when the weather is great, and I can imagine returning now that it’s getting cooler.

The sign is up!

So the sign is up for Desperado’s, the burger and bar place coming to the old Polly’s location. Looking good, I’d expect they’d open within a week or two. (And I’m a bad blogger, sorry for the poor quality photo).