Not that my lovely readers aren’t on the up and up while I’m on vacation, but here’s some big news items that happened around the ‘hood while I was away:

  • The biggest news is, of course, that Taylor Gourmet is coming to 14th and T. I love Taylor’s sandwiches, I often travel out of my way to eat them, and this is great news. The biggest bummer is the business they are replacing, U Street Girl favorite Ruff and Ready. Ruff and Ready has moved locations before, so here’s hoping they find a new home, hopefully in the area. Taylor says they aim to open this fall, but if you’ve been in that space – you know it’s going to take a lot of work – so I wouldn’t bank on it.
  • A new bar will also be opening at the corner of 12th and U, above the Islander (phew, for a second I though the Islander was closing). Named Happy Hour (really? let’s try to fix that name), it will serve light food and have games like Skiball as well as Wii. Sounds like a good concept, but I hope they change the name.

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.


Homemade Pizza Co.

I’m sure you’ve seen that Homemade Pizza Co. is now open – they’re also advertising $3 “Happyroni’s” – a small pepperoni pizza and $3 small salads Monday through Wednesday. Anyone been yet? What do you think?

Courtesy of dctourism (Flickr)

Courtesy of dctourism (Flickr)

Duke Ellington’s Jazz Festival runs through the 15th, and with the plethora of events associated with it comes Jazz in the hoods – there are a plethora of options in the U street area. From Marvin to Vinoteca to Bohemian Caverns to Sala Thai, there are free (mostly as far as I can tell – the only place it looks like you have to pay is Bohemian Caverns) jazz performances happening through next week.

On top of performances, there are some jazz happy hours and jazz brunches. Options for jazz brunch in the ‘hood include Marvin and Utopia.

And, the big jazz on the national mall event is happening this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. So let’s celebrate the Duke and U street’s rich history of jazz this week.