Dear PoP – What’s Coming to the Old Mayorga/Nori Sushi Space in the Tivoli? And How Can We Fix up the old Ticket Booth out front?

“Dear PoP,

Walked by the Tivoli theater yesterday to see guys inside jackhammering up the floor. The permits in the window weren’t really clear to me and none of the workmen spoke much English, but one guy said (I think) it was going to be a new restaurant called “Zebra Girl.” Do you know any more?

Also, perhaps a question for the crowd – I think everyone agrees it was great that the original Tivoli was saved, but the old ticket-booth is now not only an impediment blocking what could be a great restaurant/bar space, but a truly disgusting open-air toilet.

What are the chances that- A. Some creative architect could design a way to remove or change it to open it up, maybe install something completely new and modern while still keeping the historical integrity – (think the pyramid at the Louvre) and B. – Whoever has the say-so would say yes?”

That would be a Z Burger that is moving into the space. Though Zebra girl could be a fun place as well!

And I think the question about the old ticket booth is a great one. What do you guys think can/should be done with that space and how can we get it done?

34 Comment

  • Hilarious! If you say “zebra girl” with an accent, it totally sounds like Z Burger! Or vice-versa.

    • Funniest thing I’ve seen all day.

    • Definitely gave me a great laugh to read this!! At first when I read zebra girl I thought hmmm.. that’s interesting I thought it was going to be Z Burger… OHHHhhhhh LOL. Zebra girl sounds like it would be better though. I’m imagining a hooters mixed with coyote ugly but the girls all wear zebra print. CH could use a little excitement!

  • I had never noticed any sort of “open-air toilet” activity in the booth, but maybe that’s because there used to be a natural crowd of people watching over that corner. But after they rebuilt 14th St., they moved the bus stop to the north end of this block, which I still think was a dumb move. It’s also not the way it’s drawn in the steetscape blueprints. Anyone know who made that decision and why?

    • Natural crowd of people? Huh???? Any “natural crowd” of people hanging around a corner there isn’t likely to be disturbed by, or even noticing, the 100+ people pissing back there every day. Just walk back there – especially with a dog!

  • I think we should dub whatever goes into that space “going out of business” because that is what it will do. Tivoli is such a disappointment. When oh when is Gala’s wasted lease going to come up. That thing could really be something but sure isn’t.

  • lol @ “zebra girl”

  • The roofing screams patio seating to me! Cafe, restaurant, bar?

  • If they built a Landmark-style movie theater here- I would seriously never move.

  • saf

    Ticket booth = visitor information center! (See: upstairs at Ben’s.)

  • It’s hardly pressing, but I also wish they would replace or remove most of the old movie posters. They were an odd set to begin with, and a lot of them are really yellowed and faded.

    • I agree. I was looking into some custom woodwork for my house and came across the website for the local shop that rebuilt the poster boxes. They’re really intricate and apparently track the original detail. I.e., they weren’t cheap. That’s why I’ve always been disappointed that the owner has used the fancy boxes to hold ill-fitting, faded movie posters. Era-appropriate movie posters seem like a good idea, but they really need to execute it much better. I think those kind of details matter when we’re trying to keep the CH plaza from looking too shabby. For another example, look across the street where the owner has taken months to respond to the damage when a car took out a tree a three handrails. How long will that take to fix? Embarassing.

  • Do people really think Z Burger will go out of business in that location? I personally dont eat burgers, and I know everything else that has been in there went bust, but I hear they are good and I think Z Burger is the type of place that will be pretty popular in this hood, catering to all types of people that reside in CH. even with 5 Guys a block away I think it’ll be ok.

    Also, I almost peed my pants with excitement when I found out Panera was coming!!! FINALLY there will be a place withing walking distance to get fancy-pantsy bagels!!

  • Panera? Where?

  • Panera is supposedly coming into DCUSA.

    A lot of the problems with this location have been the layout, and that is being addressed right now, from what I understand, with structural changes to make this into a more conventional restaurant space.

    And really, I don’t think the space is jinxed. If something that made sense went in there, it would have thrived. Instead, we had a Sushi / Korean place with god-awful, barely edible sushi, and before that, an ecletic coffee shop / cafe / bar / tapas place / sandwich place / occasional sex-oriented night club that suffered from multiple personality disorder.

    It’s as simple as this: do ONE thing, keep your focus narrow, and do it really, really well, and you’ll do great. A business concept that some folks have a hard time figuring out. Look at Redrocks — that was hardly a great location when they first came in, but they have thrived from the get go because they knew exactly what they were.

  • Really? Another burger place? Seriously- is 5 guys/Ihop/Ruby Tuesdays/Lou’s/Heights etc not enough generic food for one are of the city? I agree with Lola- a movie theater with comfy seats and beer seems like what that space is crying outfor. I predict everything that goes in there will go out of business until someone turns it into a cool theater

  • Why can’t it be used to sell TICKETS for The Galla Theater – and other events (maybe even evil Ticket Master???)

  • The space itself was/is awkward – a narrow boomarang shaped dining room with few windows to provide a real connection to the world outside, and that weird upstairs area even more disconnected.

    People eating in this neighborhood are not (so far) here for a culinary experience, but for hopefully decent food in a comfortable neighborhood place. You go to a restaurant because there is something more going on than you would have at home.

    No one will come here from elsewhere in the city just for sushi or a burger or pizza. No one comes here to go to The Heights for the food. But the patio-bar-happy hour-atmosphere-general vibe and decent enough food have made it a success.

    The attraction of 11th St. now – with Meridian Pint, Red Rocks, Room 11 & Wonderland is not extraordinary food, but a place to “be” – to see people, meet people, generally groove on the vibe.

    I’m not saying the food is bad – just that there is no reason to come here from another neighborhood just for the food. (But there are really no more than 15-20 restaurants in the whole city that anyone would specifically travel to for the food.)

  • Seems like a great location for a beat patrol box. You could staff it with three or four officers 24/7; two could walk the area and two could staff the box.

    • That might be the best suggestion yet…Now that photomats are long gone, I’m hard pressed to think of a viable commercial option these days that can operate in 5 sqft.

      As things develop over time it might evolve into a CH-BID location…like a home base for CH’s version of the red jacketed folks you see downtown.

  • That open air toilet is useful from time to time, it would be a shame to see it go.

  • God awful burgers, shakes and fries….I went to the one in Tenleytown once and even waiting for a burger took FOREVER (yes, I know it takes a while to cook a burger, but seriously if you’re going to be a fast-food joint you’d at least think it would be FAST). And, not to point out the obvious question, do they realize there is a Five Guys a block away?

    A disgusting tenant for a pretty kick-ass location.

    What a disappointment.

  • The TicketMaster and beat patrol box ideas are good; the latter in particular if it was 24/7.

    Barring those, I would install doors on either side of the booth, and open up the wall to expand the interior. If you can’t hide, most people won’t pee.

  • ticket window = Bluth frozen banana stand

    • YES. I sense a wonderful licensing opportunity. Maybe a GOB’s Magical Segway tour of the wonders of Columbia Heights can pop-up, and Gala can host an extended run of Blue Man Group. Synergy!

  • They should have turned the theater into an IMAX movie theater similar to the Uptown… They missed opportunity to make an excellent date spot. Either that or the 9:30 club should have bought it and converted it to a large-scale concert venue, but music isn’t generating much money right now… I vote for “indoor water park with putt-putt”, because I can dream.

  • Medical Marijuana dispensary?

  • At least the A&A. Balloon stuck in the tickt booth is gone!

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