Renovated Building at 14th and U St. Leased and Gonna Be a “burger joint/steaks” Place!

photo(9), originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Dupont Circle isn’t the only one getting a new burger restaurant. The “burger joint/steaks” place will be a partnership between Omar Miskinyar from nearby Policy (just south of T St on 14th), Aman Ayoubi, (Local 16, 18th St Lounge, Marvin’s and formerly Dragonfly), and David Karim (Josephine’s, Policy and Current). They expect to open up in 5 months!

First cheesesteaks then crepes (not to mention Masa 14 and Birch & Barley/Church Key a bit further south) and now this. This has been a great couple of weeks for 14th Street.

43 Comment

  • Great news. Our current diets don’t have enough cheap red meat. With any luck the philistine hamburger will replace the DC flag.

    Perhaps a deli of sorts with a wider variety of meats (cured, smoked, etc…) composed salads, breads, condiments and pickles all made on the premises demands too much effort and taste.

  • yeah, what’s the deal with this massive proliferation of beer and red meat? gourmet does not = healthy.

    whatever though. my 2001 land grab in Shaw and near H street NE is looking smarter and smarter

  • How long has that property been vacant? I remember going to State of the Union in the early ’90s and thinking that would be a great place for a diner or restaurant. It was always covered with election posters for Faith. Why does it take nearly two decades for a property on prime real estate to get developed?

  • Yet another place to eat and drink. Okay I guess, but have you noticed that retail doesn’t survive here? DC is such a weird non-city, city. Just doesn’t get it.

  • Amen RoberPaulson

    I’m up in Boston this week and there’s all sorts of bookstores, music places, stores selling used vinyl, design centers… In DC I guess we just drink ourselves stupid every night and then watch Leno.

  • Gosh Boston sounds a lot like Georgetown…

  • DC really needs to up the ante in the burger wars. $15 burgers are so 2007. Where are the three-for-$80 ahi tuna tuna sliders with fois gras, osestra caviar, and powdered unicorn farts?

  • valves manufacturer: what?

    (pretty sure that’s some nonsense spam)

  • PLEASE remove that unnecessary apostrophe in the title. Please. It hurts to look at that. Plurals don’t need an apostrophe.

  • I blame the tight credit market. Everything has to be a sure thing to get a lender to play ball.

  • Not to burst your bubble but 14thandYou broke this way back in July ( Glad you could confirm it though.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @u street girl. Hahaha, thanks. I guess the exclusive is that the lease has officially been signed and they plan on opening in 5 months but thanks for bursting my bubble!

  • Man that corner is going to be buzzing with activity. The whole area really.

  • Will the people who gave us the name “Policy” for a restaurant/lounge come up with something equally bizarre for the burger place? I keep hoping for “Talking Points,” “White Paper,” or “Manifesto.”

  • I can’t believe this place was actually developed. I thought it had been cursed to forever be located in that spot and never get a proprietor!

  • I think it should have a REALLY cryptic name, so nobody knows WTF it is.

    Since it’s on 14th Street, I suggest “XIV.”

  • Unofficial name of those couple blocks – NOFU

  • DC completely lacks basic delis, such as the ones in NYC, and I was so hoping one would come to U Street. On the other hand, I love me a good burger once in a while. Five Guys does not count.

  • These delis that you guys desire (and I wouldn’t mind one either) probably derive most of their business from lunchtime crowds…something U St. doesn’t really have, since there aren’t any large businesses or gov’t agencies around. There are plenty of delis around Metro Center and K St. If you want a deli, maybe someone should try to convince a law firm or two to move to U St…

  • Quebecois,

    Just off the top of my head, in the general vicinity of 14th and U there is:

    bookstores – Kramer, Second Story, Busboys & Poets

    music places – Are you talking venues? If so, there are like eight places for live music within six blocks or so. If you’re talking musical instrument places, then yes, the only one I can think of is the Guitar Shop.

    vinyl – Som Records, Red Onion, Crooked Beat

    design centers – I’m not really sure what you mean by this. There are lots of galleries around, though!

  • Long live the AFGHANS!

  • Jeez. A new burger joint is announced and people bitch about red meat and beer. A new tapas place (Masa 14) opens and people worry about tapas oversaturation. Two new furniture stores (CB2 and Room and Board) are on the horizon and suddenly we are dangerously close to becoming a furniture district. A number of new wine bars (Cork, Fork, and Sfork etc…) are coming and we have too many wine bars and yuppies. There could be two new crepes places and people would rather have delis. A new pub (Birch and Barley) opens and people are worried about over-priced beer and the B&T crowd. It certainly sounds like the apocalypse is nigh. I guess I missed the part where developement and getting rid of empty storefronts was a good thing.

  • As others have mentioned, it’s a long time coming to see something in that space. Anyone have a before shot of that corner? I always thought that building had potential, but it’s great to finally see it looking so nice after looking so shabby for all those years.

  • People bend over backwards to defend this city’s development style. Go visit major cities in the rest of the country, and the world, then come back. You will be saddened by what DC has to offer. I promise.

  • i love this city but, unfortunately, can’t stand the whiners that fill it.

  • @ Claude Henry Smoot….RIGHT???!!?!?!?!

  • How exciting. Its so good to see the city still brining new business even in this economic climate.

  • I wonder which one of Fenty’s frat brothers got the development contract.

  • This place will have the distinction of being the 500th burger-themed restaurant to set up shop in the District. We now have nearly as many burger joints as we have wine bars, tapas restaurants, fancy overpriced frozen yogurt shops, and cupcake shops.

  • The last business I remember in that location was a barbeque place but that was back in the 90s.

  • Back when I first moved to DC(’91), that was a Hogs on the Hill BBQ joint located there. A small local chain. Pretty good but then again I was always drunk and/or high.

    @Eli: As for lunch crowds, Busboys and Poets does GREAT lunch business and the muncipal building is located across the freaking street! 8 flooors of DC gov’t workers

  • Haven’t eaten red meat in 20 years but I am excited that this property has been developed and leased. It will provide tax revenue to the District. I wish then much luck. To all of you naysayers get your acts together, create a business plan, lease property, acquire all of the proper permits and open your deli but until then don’t rain on those who have put a lot of hard work into something.

  • I hope this place doesn’t cut in to McDonald’s business. /sarcasm

  • To Anonymous: I’m not raining on anyone’s parade here, but about two years ago residents my neighborhood were asked by the local ANC what kind of businesses they wanted to attract to this corridor. I wonder how reflective the results are at this point, or whose opinions won out. We still don’t have some of the kind of basic neighborhood places that anchor blocks in other urban cities. We’ve been told that high rents have prevented some of those from setting up shop here, and that’s a shame.

  • “Basic neighborhood places.” I am just curious as to what you mean by this?

    I swear, I’m not being sacrastic. I just would really like to know what places we don’t have, that would serve as an “anchor” and qualify as a “basic neighborhood need?” And please don’t say deli or bagel shop.

  • How about a store, any store, that isn’t a CVS and doesn’t sell food/drink?

  • Sort of like:

    DC’s Best Market
    Whole Foods
    Home Rule
    Go Mama Go
    Busboys and Poets (Books)
    Various Bodegas: 16th and T/New Hampshire and 17th – Sorry those are the ones I visit
    Garden District
    Flowers on 14th
    Green Pets
    Gas Station on 15th and U
    Miss Pixies
    Universal Gear
    Logan Hardware

  • My apologies for throwing in Whole Foods, DC Best etc…I misinterpreted food/drink for restaurants.

  • Thrilled that SOMETHING’s going into this spot–it’s been empty too long. Less thrilled that it might end up looking like a submersible vampire bordello like Policy. Fingers crossed that their designer exhibits some taste/restraint, and the neighborhood can support another restaurant.

  • Yep Smoot. That’s the WHOLE list. It doesn’t seem very, very short to you? I mean, four are grocery stores, one is a 7-11, and one is a gas station. The other dozen are okay, although one is a more a bar than a bookstore. But that’s a crappy showing for a pretty big stretch of neighborhoods in a big city. Comparatively speaking.

  • You must be from somewhere pretty awesome. I bet it has no tapas places, or wine bars, or grocery stores, or restaurants, and everyone eats off gum drop trees…, Tulsa.

  • Pretty much any city in the U.S. of DC’s size or close to it has a wide array of neighborhoods full of diverse retail options. I love this city, but I recognize its faults, and commercial development is one of ’em.

  • Alert!!!! Two Nightclubs planned for 2001 14th Street, NW

    Are you kidding me??!!

    Like many other greater U street residents, I’ve been wondering what will finally go into the vacant corner of 14th and U. My friend just informed me that the owners of Local 16, Policy and Josephine’s have signed a lease on the grand old bank building and there are liquor license applications filed for 2 new nightclubs to be opened in the building. As a concerned citizen and avid supporter of the recent revitalization of the U Street corridor, I feel that this is a horrible turn of events.

    Having moved from Adams Morgan, I was hoping that my new neighborhood would develop in a more sensible manner. Apparently, that’s not the case. For those of you who are not familiar with Local 16, Policy and Josephine’s, I’d like to provide a little background on these 3 businesses that are merging together to create the most congested corner in DC.

    Local 16 has a CR license, but has clearly operated as a bar/nightclub since it’s inception. At one point, they even had cover charge. The establishment is clearly operated as a nightclub. They also have numerous ABC violations. On any given weekend night, nearly 1000 people go through the doors of Local 16 and there is often a large line on the sidewalk. Anything like that would be a disaster at 14th and U.

    Policy, like Local 16, also carries a CR license. While it is still a relatively new establishment, it is clear that they are not focused on respecting their obligation to operate as a restaurant. An ABC audit would certainly reveal that Policy is a nightclub in disguise and their food sales ratio is probably woefully low. The business seems to survive on promoted, nightclub events.

    Josephine’s is a large nightclub located on Vermont Avenue, NW. This establishment apparently shares some ownership with Policy and their operations are strikingly similar. Josephine’s is very crowded and there is an extra-large security detail there at all times. The expensive cars are lined up 10-deep in front and there is usually a cluster of one to two hundred people waiting on the sidewalk to get in. Recently, the police blotter showed that there was a knock-down, drag-out fight there!

    Clearly, a union between these 3 establishments on one of Washington, DC’s premier intersections is a recipe for disaster and would do severe damage to our neighborhood. The following serious problems are the most important to consider:

    1. Sidewalk Limitations and Traffic

    The sidewalk on U Street at 2001 14th Street, NW has more pedestrian traffic than any other for many blocks. It is also extremely narrow at a mere 8 feet wide. The proposed occupancy for the nightclub establishments at 2001 is 598, and this does not include the street level space, which will probably add another 299. Clearly, this is a tragedy waiting to happen.

    The narrow sidewalk will not be able to handle that level of increased congestion from entering and exiting patrons, as well as those waiting in line. Those wishing to merely pass the establishments won’t be able to use the sidewalk and will be forced into the street. The potential for someone to be struck by a car will be extremely high.

    Another result of this level of pedestrian congestion will be increased traffic delays on U Street. People stepping into the street, or being forced into the street, will surely create a very considerable traffic back-up on U Street. This will cause an Adams Morgan-like situation, and we could soon see U Street blocked at 14th Street on Friday and Saturday nights. 1000 extra people on one corner could easily do this.

    2. Valet Parking and Traffic

    In addition to vehicular traffic being impeded by pedestrians, valet parking will surely make matters worse. Both Policy and Josephine’s rely heavily on valet parking and many cars with Maryland and Virginia tags are often lined up in front of those establishments, waiting to be parked. This will simply not be possible at the corner of 14th and U, NW. Any attempt to valet on U Street or 14th Street will cause traffic to back-up for several blocks. This is a certainty.

    3. Potential Violence

    When the explosive mixture of hundreds of extra people on the sidewalks and in the street, and double-parked valet traffic creates its effect on 14 and U, the potential for violence will be greatly increased. When people have been drinking, and then have their freedom of movement curtailed to such a degree, violence is almost a foregone conclusion. Again, Adams Morgan is a good case study for this phenomenon.

    4. Lack of Neighborhood Benefit

    Unlike establishments like Eatonville, Busboys and Poets, Marvin, Coppis, U-Topia, and Saint X, which cater strongly to the neighborhood, these new nightclub establishments will most certainly not. Clearly, they are too large to sustain themselves with a customer base from the immediate area. Again, this will create an Adams Morgan-like situation, and we all know what that looks like. You cannot cluster that many entertainment establishments on one corner and expect the peace to be kept.

    In the past, when Republic Gardens was at its apex, U Street was a nightmare. With its narrow sidewalks, the pedestrian traffic overtook the street and chaos and gridlock ensued. This situation with 2001 14th Street will probably be far worse. That will erase many of the recent gains that the neighborhood has experienced. Growth is good to a point; and certainly there is room for improvement in our neighborhood. Adding 598 additional people to 14th and U goes way beyond normal growth and will work against the interests of the neighborhood.

    For these reasons, I implore all citizens and responsible parties with in the city government to consider these concerns and heed these warnings. Our neighborhood is a wonderful place with vastly improved dining and entertainment options. The corner of 14th and U Streets could be the next great Washington, DC intersection, and the defining anchor of this neighborhood. However, this style of anchoring is typically created by shops, bistros, cafes, banks and other retail establishments. It is not created by 1000 people crammed into 2 nightclubs under one roof. That is not an anchor; it’s a lead weight that will take us to new depths and set the neighborhood back for years to come.

    Tell your representatives we don’t want this in our neighborhood. Email:

    Jim Graham: [email protected]
    Linda Argo: [email protected]
    Ramon Estrada: [email protected]

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