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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Coming Soon to a Convention Center Near You. . .

Last night, I attended a grand opening celebration at the Old Dominion Brewhouse. I was happy to meet some of the owners of our new neighborhood gathering spot and am impressed that such wonderful people are invested in Shaw. At the event were many local business owners (including folks from The Space and The Long View Gallery), government leaders (like Kevin Chapple and Alex Padro), family and friends of OD, and local bloggers (like Mari from InShaw).

We had the pleasure of speaking with the owners of two retailers coming to the convention center, D’vine Cravings Bakery on 9th Street and the Julie Sumner Salon and Spa on N Street. Here’s a report on what we learned (as reported by Remaking Le Slum correspondent Drew):

D'vine Cravings Bakery

D'vine Cravings should open within two months. The owners--a very cute couple currently residing in Alexandria--plan to be open early in the morning to serve coffee, tea, and breakfast pastries. They will also serve lunch: three signature sandwiches and homemade soups. D'vine Cravings will be most recognized as an exceptional pastry shop and catering business. D'vine Cravings will provide our neighborhood with a great new resource (not to mention many delicious carbs--I can't wait to try their cakes, pies, and pastry goodies). I look forward to many neighborhood parties catered by them.

The Julie Sumner Salon and Spa

This business will be on the back side of the convention center across from The Exchange. They will do it all: hair, manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, etc. Julie had a highly successful salon and spa in Chinatown, which she closed after signing her lease for a space in the convention center about 3 years ago. She hopes to be open in the next 3-4 weeks. This will surely fill a neighborhood need, as we're currently lacking nice salons and spas.

12 comments:

Omar said...

Has anyone been to Grape Legs at 9th and T? Supposedly has great wine for good prices.

Anonymous said...

Any word on when the Mongolian grill and sushi bar will open?

Shaw Rez said...

Anon # 2 - I can't believe it, but we failed to ask ask about the sushi/mongolian place (chalk it up to having one too many OD Stouts!). I'll let you know if I hear anything.

Anon # 1 - I've heard great things but haven't been to Grape Legs yet. A brief google search on point found several rave reviews as well as this commentary from the owner of the wine shop:

Hiya - This is Franco, from Grape Legs.

In response to your question on selection, I currently stock 102 labels. Of those, only 5 are from the States. The rest hail from Argentina, South Africa, NZ, Aus, France, Ital, Alsace, Portugal and Spain.

I am really diggin' the quality/value of Spanish wines, recently, so I bulked up on those (something like 15 reds (only a couple of those are Riojas)). In fact, two of the Spanish wines I stock are on the most recent Wine Spec's TOP 100. One is $10, the other $11. Doable, huh?

I don't have descriptions of the wines plastered all over the place. Instead, I want folks to pick up each bottle and ask questions about it. I have tasted every wine I sell. Heck, I selected all of them. We might not share the same likes, but I try to infuse my description of the wines with comments that others have made, also.

For the most of the wines stocked, I am the only retailer in DC, although many of the wines I have are served at a number of restaurants in town.

I only deal with two small distributors, each with a catalog of some really fun and tasty grape juice. So, unlike most of the other merchants in town, I do not source any of the inventory from the major distributors. By doing so, my shelves have labels that most folks never get a chance to see and I think 80% of my wines are in the $7-$15 range.

Come on by any day (M-Sat/noon-9pm). I always have some things open for sipping (3 different wines a day, 18 per week), so folks can get a feel for the stuff before they buy and I usually have some pretty good music playing, to boot!!!!!!

Peace & holla!
Franco
Grape Legs
1905 9th St NW
202.387.WINE

Drew said...

Forgot to mention the Euro Cafe (I think that's the name) opening up soon (3-4 weeks?) on the 7th Street side of the Convention Center. Supposed to be a really nice Italian deli and sandwich shop. Fingers crossed...

ML said...

It is the same Euro Market that is in Courthouse in Arlington, if you've ever been there. They serve Boars Head meat sandwiches and gelato (yummy).

Here is the "franchise" link:
http://www.freshlyroasted.com/main1ab.htm

And the "model store" link in Arlington:
http://www.eurocafemarket.com/

Shaw Rez said...

FUN! The Euro website looks DELISH! I guess those in need of a quick, good lunch around our neighborhood are about to have plenty of tasty options!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome news!!! Too bad the WaPo article wasn't written a few months from now! IMHO, this area is on fire......

Anonymous said...

I hope that these new businesses serve as motivators for developers considering building on 9th - like Walnut Street, etc.. . It should be easier for them to sell/rent units with such great retail coming in.......

martin said...

I was at Old Dominion last night with a rugby buddy and was informed by Dan, one of the waiters, that the manager expects to have FREE wifi available at the restaurant soon for those of us who like to like to drink (their excellent rootbeer floats) and blog at the same time.

Tina said...

I just hope the D'vine Bakery does not hurt business to Breakwells. The owner of Breakwells seems really committed to making it a community space. I definitely support that idea.

Shaw Rez said...

I agree, Tina (and I LOVE Breakwell's!). I think the two can co-exist, as they don't really have the same raison d'etre. Concededly they might compete for a few customers; on the other hand there could be some good synergy between the two.

My hope is that more retail will bring more foot-traffic for all to enjoy (e.g., conventioners will be more likely to stay in our neighborhood if there are more options).

Also, as more residents are drawn to our neighborhood (e.g., The Exchange will have, I believe, 25 residential unitis, and I think there are a few spots left in the Whitman), there will be more customers to go around.

clara barton dweller said...

I can't wait to try out the salon/spa! I usually go to Toka down here at 8th & D or schlep up to Elizabeth Arden at Friendship Heights, but the more options the better. I should start checking out more of what is going on up there in that neck of the woods.

- One of your neighbors to the south