Dear PoP – Details on the New Tavern, The Brixton, Coming to 9th and U Streets, NW


“Dear PoP,

Here are some details on that building you spoke about @


ABRA 082871 – The Brixton – 901 U Street N.W.

Commissioner Raia introduced Mr. Ian Hilton, representing The Brixton.

Mr. Hilton said he handles operations at Restaurant Marvin and the Gibson. He and his brother have been very interested in the building at 901 U Street NW and very saddened by its deteriorating condition. They succeeded in contacting the building owner and are now planning to establish a gastropub in the building. They would have a very substantial food component, similar to Restaurant Marvin. They want to have a roof deck. They have already hired PolySonic, a company that will help them make sure they do not repeat mistakes of the past regarding noise. They propose to have ambient music from speakers, similar to Bouche, and will be very careful about monitoring volume. They are applying for a C-T license but do not yet know the exact percentages. They plan to be very active with the neighborhood and are asking for the Commission’s support. He has been talking with Commissioner Raia for about a month while working on acquiring the building. He said that renovation would take a very long time. The building is in very bad shape. They have some conceptual drawings and must work with Steve Calcott at the Historic Preservation Review Board, which they are happy to do. They want to restore the building and make it a destination on the block.

Commissioner Moss asked if they planned to brew beer on-site.

Mr. Hilton said they would not do that, as it requires very expensive equipment. He said a gastropub is an English pub where food is a major component. The closes example he could think of was Commonwealth on Irving Street in Columbia Heights. The name Brixton comes from a neighborhood in East London, England, very similar to the neighborhood around 9th and U Streets.

Commissioner Smith asked what kind of food would be served.

Mr. Hilton said the menu would include fish and chips. The menu price point will be reasonably low. The kitchen will operate until closing. Burgers, fries and food typical of a London pub will be featured. He added that they would enter into a voluntary agreement.

Chairperson Nadeau asked for questions from the community.

Mr. Tom Matha asked how large would the restaurant be.

Mr. Hilton said he could give the square footage for the building, which is 2,400 square feet on the first floor and 2,400 square feet on the second floor. The roof deck will probably be 1,600 square feet. The basement is unusable at this time, but could be 1,200 square feet, so the total for the building is about 7,000 square feet, of which 1,500 square feet will be for the kitchen and service areas.

Commissioner Raia said that he had been talking with Mr. Hilton and expected to speak with the WNA. Since they are a new restaurant, setting a specific food component in the voluntary agreement is not possible. They will wait six months or a year to see how the business develops before setting the food component of the agreement.

Commissioner Raia moved that ANC 1B support The Brixton’s application for a C-T license subject to a voluntary agreement, that he be authorized to negotiate the voluntary agreement on behalf of ANC 1B, with a draft to be circulated to all Commissioners for comment, and that Chairperson Nadeau and himself be authorized to sign the agreement.

Commissioner Muhammad seconded the motion.

The motion was adopted unanimously, 9-0.

Sound good?

30 Comment

  • are there no new ideas? Fish and chips, beef in one form or another, cupcakes….It is not as if there are not many glaring holes in the food scene around here. How about a really nice breakfast and lunch spot? A deli? A bakery that serves food?

  • Brixton?

    When they kick at your front door
    How you gonna come?
    With your hands on your head
    Or on the trigger of your gun

    When the law break in
    How you gonna go?
    Shot down on the pavement
    Or waiting on death row

    You can crush us
    You can bruise us
    But you’ll have to answer to
    Oh, the guns of Brixton

  • The Good: “The kitchen will operate until closing.” Why everyone in town can’t do this boggles my mind, it’s not like it would cost a ton to keep one person in the kitchen for the handful of drunks who are dying for some late-night munchies??

    The Bad: More of the same crap as Robs says, for the love of god would someone open A DINER somewhere between Adams Morgan and Chevy Chase? Or anything other than trendy fare and pizza?

    Ugly: The name. Marvin, Gibson, Brixton, what the hell, are these restaurants, or Sarah Palin’s children?

    And aren’t these guys supposed to be busy opening something on Georgia Avenue anyway?

  • A Gastropub is a new concept for the U Street corridor. So, it’s not more of the same.
    Also, the space is enormous; I dont think any of Rob’s rec’s would be appropriate for such a huge space. Though I agree a diner would make it rain for anyone who opens one – that’s directed to you Constantine!

  • So I guess those in the District only have a need for things they can buy at a CVS and things they can eat or drink. Stores need not apply.

  • I think this is VERY VERY VERY exciting news and will be an AMAZING addition to the 9th and U area.

    thanks for the update.

  • I wish we could get a decent bakery that bakes their stuff on site – like Firehook.

  • bakery?
    is this place no longer open?

  • Awesome, I can’t wait for this to open! With Dickson opening next door 9th and U is quickly becoming a great destination. Wonder if historic preservation will let them remove that heinous fake stone on the exterior?

  • Why can’t you people just be happy that a vacant, deteriorating storefront is being filled? It’s not like it’s replacing a deli or diner or whatever it is you want. NOTHING was there before, and now SOMETHING–and a potentially good something–is going to be there, increasing the value of the neighborhood overall and making it, perhaps, more desirable for other establishments to move in. Geesh.

  • This is very exciting!

    Gotta YouTube Guns of Brixton, now. Emmitt Swimming used to do a great cover of it.

  • I just wanted to make fun of the name, really. Something’s always better than nothing. But I would kill for a diner.

  • I second a DINER!

  • Isn’t there a diner two blocks away?

  • I’m not happy because I have higher standards than Eli.

  • anon: Unless it’s new, hip, trendy, or has some real street cred and faux history, existing establishments don’t count.

  • Just to be nitpicky, Brixton is not in “East London.” It’s south of the Thames and considered to be in Southwest London. I hope the owners are better at food service than they are at geography.

  • Do we think they’ll overhaul the exterior? That formstone looks like crap.

  • Geography FAIL.

    Brixton is in South London, init?

  • interesting @ 4:00

    Seriously? Your position is that this building should remain vacant until something comes along that meets your approval/tastes. Absolutely ridiculous. Hopefully you are just a troll because I have never seen so many anti-business whiners.

  • @Anonymous 4:00 & Anonymous 3:53: Please. What diner are you referring to, the Florida Avenue Grill? Their non-open status for large parts of the week, limited menu, and spotty quality don’t really fill the bill. Despite your assumption that I’m a slightly bigger douchebag than you, I am actually looking for something more or less like The Diner that is closer to where I live. Given that The Diner is constantly busy it seems pretty likely there’s a demand for such a place.

  • Im assuming the whiners will not stop whining till shopping options as set forth below (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) are delivered. And while I admit such an array looks nice, I won’t complain with what U Street is getting now.|0

  • I’m the bakery person. Just want a place where I can buy a decent baguette or some other bread that was made on site and is nice and crusty.

  • Anything east of the West End is considered East London mate.

  • Suuuuuuuuure, 9th & U is exactly like Brixton.

  • Great concept, great location, keep the formstone.

    Given the rents on U Street, I doubt a diner is economically viable. You’d have to go high-end with $8 halfsmokes like Bens. Or move it to Bladensburg Avenue like the Cap City Diner guys, and those guys are going through hell just trying to setup shop. They really need to hire one of Fenty’s frat brothers if they want to get something done.

  • @monkeyrotica, given that The Diner seems to be making bank at 18th and Columbia, which is at least as expensive a location as anywhere on U Street, how do you figure?

  • As far as the guys in Bladensburg, while I wish them no ill, having read their trials and tribulations from the beginning (such as: being surprised that there was no gas service on their lot when they went to hook up gas service), I can’t help but think they have no idea what they are doing.

  • Anon 3:53: 2 diners, actually. There’s Wilson’s on Georgia right across from Howard U. Hospital. There’s the Florida Avenue Grill at 11th and Florida. There’s also “Ohhs and Aahs” at 10th and U, which could be considered a diner. All three are “between here and Chevy Chase.” Too bad no one actually knows what they are talking about before they post their comments.

  • monkeyerotica -lwe need a formstone fan clubhouse!

Comments are closed.