Downtown Developments


Every now and then I like to walk around the Penn Quarter/ Chinatown neighborhoods. I used to work around here and I know lots of readers work in this area as well. I’ve always been a bit disappointed with the bar options. (They do have great restaurants.) So I was excited to see some alcohol application posters. The photo above from 507 7th Street, NW is going to be Iron Horse Tavern. It says it’ll be a “tavern with darts, shuffleboard tables and a juke box. Occupancy Load is 299.” To me, that sounds like an awesome addition to that stretch of 7th Street.

The blog PQLiving had previously noticed this spot a few weeks ago and is a great blog for keeping up to date on development news in Penn Quarter.

I still enjoy the surprise of stumbling upon these alcohol posters by chance. I saw another one at 418 7th Street (the old Olson’s Book Store):


This is slated to be an Asian restaurant called Wagamama. I hope it’s good but I miss the bookstore…

25 Comment

  • I used to go to Wagamama in London (it’s a chain) and it is so so so good. It can’t open here soon enough!

  • They’re opening a Wagamama in DC!? I didn’t even know they had these in the US. It’s a cheap and delicious noodle bar that is all over London. That’s exciting. (Also, didn’t know that that Olsen’s closed. Loved that place … to bad).

  • I’m a PQ-worker who lives in Petworth, and I’m SO excited to get a Wagamama. I liked the Olsson’s – and more importantly, the idea of Olsson’s – but Wagamama is delicious and will be a great lunch option.

  • Wagamama rocks. So happy to see DC get with it. More diversity in our dining options both in cusine and price. Great addition to the neighborhood!

  • Wagamama!?!?!?! Let me add to the former-Londoner excitement about this. So So So good. Yay!

  • I’ve yet to hear a bad thing said in regards Wagamama. When I mentioned it to an out-of-town friend they told me I’d love it– though, this was before I had reliable Pho in the city to quell my noodle needs.

    I’m looking forward to giving it a try. I secretly worry that it’ll be just like Noodle & Company (read: tasty crap).

    For shame that Sticks & Bowls on Connecticut Ave didn’t survive.

  • Wagamama is awesome and nothing like Noodles & Co. (Former Dubliner here; I was so poor when I lived there, Wagamama was a splurge!)

  • We’ve got a lot of ex-Londoners who love them some Wagamama. Count me among them. I’m not a big fan of Pret a Manger (opened in the last few months @ Farragut West), so as far as U.K. imports go, this is definitely a step up! Can Cornish Pasties be far behind at this point?

  • Run for your lives! The ramen craze is hitting DC! That is IF you’re still here after the cupcake-ocalypse and the tapas-sunami —

  • DC is becoming the new London. Peri Peri (another London restaurant) is up the street near Hooters.

  • @Nate – Nandos Peri Peri is actually a restaurant that originated in South African.

  • But I thought chains sucked?

    I guess it doesn’t count if you’re selling noodles to globetrotting hipsters. And noodles from the U.K. at that! A land known the world over for its noodles.

  • I can’t speak for the globetrotting hipsters, but I’ll ring in for the once-globetrotted cynical bastards of DC: London’s Wagamama is, indeed, all that. And more. The IHOP news left me completely un-moved, but this… this….. this is a fine thing.

    *stamp* — This idea now officially endorsed by the IntangibleArts Urban Planning Cabal and Pacifist Deathsquad.

  • Amen, Monkeyrotica.

  • These are the same people who were upset about Arby’s coming to Columbia Heights, until they found out that it wasn’t a franchise of the American fast food establishment, but of the London-based Nigel Ian Arby & Son Olde Roast Beast Sandwich Shoppe.

  • The U.K. Arbys are worse than Hitler! Or Neville Chamberlain. Or something. Who the f**k puts Wensleydale cheese on an Arby’s Super Melt? You’re supposed to use that nacho cheddar stuff out of the pump you find at the nacho bar at 7-11, the kind that makes your pants explode. That’s the whole point of eating at Arbys: eating processed meat product why your tailgunner pyroflatulates “God Bless America.”

  • So, a chain in Penn Quarter is fine but not in Columbia Heights? I’m feeling disenfranchised from this blog.

  • This will be at leas tthe 3rd wagamama in the US. There are two in Boston that opened up in the past few years.

  • Some fellow old-time Washingtonians, help me out here. The old store front looks like either the Kann’s or Landsburgh’s of my childhood. Way back in the day, we’d go shopping at the old Hecht’s at around 7th and F and the other department stores I just mentioned, long out of business. And my parents would take me to buy patent leather shoes at Boyce and Lewis, aross the street from this picture and reminess in Yiddish and English. Way back in the day.

  • saf

    Landsburg. It’s the western side of the Landsburg building on 7th St, just south of E.

  • Kann’s used to be facing Pennsylvania Avenue, where the Navy Memorial Metro is now. Then they covered the place with this fugly aluminum siding to make it look “contemporary”, but it only helped feed the fire when the place eventually burned down in the 1970s. The neighborhood was falling apart then, but it still had a kind of seedy charm. And Chinatown still had Chinese people back then as well.

  • WHAT?? Wagamama is coming to Penn Quater?? Oh, there IS a god!

  • saf

    Have to say, I don’t get the joy here.

    Then again, I like neither ramen nor this style of restaurant, and I miss Olsson’s horribly.

  • Good ramen is hard to find in DC. I’m psyched to try Wagamama. (FWIW my fave ramen shop in SF was Tampopo, like the movie.) LOVE LOVE LOVE ramen.

    In fact, I’d go so far as to publicly say that good Japanese food is a bit hard to find in DC. I had a great sushi experience at Kaz, but I can’t afford to eat $14 Norwegian Toro on a weekly basis. (Heck probably couldn’t have afforded it that night either.) I find that most of the katsudon, donburi stuff is lazily cooked by people who think onions are the only vegetable on the planet.

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