Here are some bits of news that I haven’t covered on my blog just because so many things have been happening that I haven’t completely caught up:

  • Tom Sietsema broke the news that the old indoor Garden District space will become Estadio, a Spanish restaurant from the group that brought you Proof. I loved my birthday dinner at Proof so I’m pretty excited about this development.
  • MPD’s 3rd district listserv has information about a pretty scary altercation that happened at 16th and U on Sunday afternoon – a fight that started in the McDonald’s escalated to someone pulling a gun and hitting a victim with a bat before the assailant got away.
  • Tom Sietsema also reports that there is a new chef at U Street Girl favorite, Creme. Orlando Hitzig, formerly of Columbia Firehouse, will be cooking nightly specials to showcase his cooking, but no fears, Creme lovers, the fabulous shrimp and grits stay on the menu.
  • And, DCist has pictures of a contrary-flow bike lane that has been installed on 15th street from U to Massachusetts Ave.
Dark 'n stormy, courtesy of Matt Feifarek, Flickr

Dark 'n' stormy, courtesy of Matt Feifarek, Flickr

My favorite summer drink? No, scratch that, my favorite drink? Dark ‘n’ Stormy. Dark rum, ginger beer, some lime, and it’s heaven. The best rendition I’ve tasted? Over at Creme on U street. Also, their shrimp and grits are divine. I barely ever order anything BUT their shrimp and grits because they are so good it just doesn’t make sense to eat anything else. And have you tried their coconut cake? Amazing, and I don’t even like coconut that much.

I really like the service, the atmosphere, and obviously the food. I find it a great place to get dinner on a weeknight and also to stop in get a drink later at night and be able to hear your companions talk. And their brunch, when you can actually get a seat (yes there is usually a crowd outside before they open) is fabulous as well.

And of course, I like that it’s a locally-owned restaurant by two chefs who are there to cook. It’s one of my go-to places to get dinner in the ‘hood. So stop on by if you haven’t made it there yet.

A regular feature in which I spotlight local businesses.

Proposed site of hotel, courtesy of shinichi (Flickr)

Proposed site of hotel, courtesy of shinichi (Flickr)

PoP has the scoop on the proposed hotel on 13th and U that would replace the building that houses Rite Aid, that nail salon, the dollar store, and I believe, Creme and Al Crostino. Honestly, I’m a little confused about where the building would be, would the entrance be facing U street or facing 13th street? It seems like it wouldn’t fit facing 13th street, but the description of the building the hotel would be replacing only includes Rite Aid. So, color me a bit confused.

Cardozo Shaw Neighborhood Association has all of the details about the proposed hotel:

  • 250 guestrooms, 4,500 square feet of meeting space and 23,000 square feet of retail space;
  • A signature restaurant, a rooftop bar and swimming pool;
  • A rotating art exhibit which will all be open to the public (I dig this);
  • The retail component will be composed of the existing Rite Aid (in a new space) and a diverse mix of retailers, restaurants and local or small business space (does this include Creme and Al Crostino?);
  • possible LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

I’m not totally for or against the project, I feel like I need more information. Al Crostino and Creme are two of my favorite restaurants in the U street area, and I’d hate to see them go or have to temporarily close because of this construction. And, being a curmudgeonly U street resident, I don’t really want more tourists in the neighborhood. I still find it weird when I’m walking around and I see someone who’s clearly a tourist walking around staying dumb things about how dangerous a neighborhood they’re in. And Ben’s line is too long already. It will be good for the retail scene on U street, but it’s not exactly struggling, even with these tough times. Sure, there are more empty storefronts than I’d like, but we’ve had the Gibson, Ben’s Next Door, Yes! Organic Market, Georgetown Valet, and Posto (I guess that’s more Logan Circle) all open in the past few months and all done well.