‘The Post Office’ bistro Coming to 1407 T St, NW

Back in Dec. ’10 I was talking about how much I loved this building. I’m so psyched to hear of these new plans. And it sounds like the new owners are happy to talk with anyone who has concerns.

The description of the new place sounds very promising.  A recent liquor license application says:

“Casual and relaxed bistro restaurant serving an extensive Saturday & Sunday brunch with and total occupancy load of 259. Request a Sidewalk Café with 56 seats and Summer Garden with 14 seats. In addition, requesting an Entertainment Endorsement featuring recorded music and DJ.”

Sound good?

20 Comment

  • Cool idea, and nice building. In college, someone had the great idea to name a bar ‘the library’, so you could always say ‘im at the library’. Same could work here… “Where are you?!” –> “Oh, just stopped by the Post Office on the way home from work.”

  • Of course, the “Post Office” naming technique did not fare well either for Station 9 on U Street or the General Store & Post Office Tavern in Forest Glen. I’m also not sure that the practice of including outdoor seating at restaurants in what were not historically restaurant properties that abut residential properties is a promising one. I certainly would not want to be one of those people on S Street living in the houses directly across from the constant din created by the new Standard in the former Garden District space.

    • Please, get over yourself.

      1) you live in a city, the “din” created by people utilizing outdoor space is no worse than the constant sirens or homeless screaming anyone is used to living on this street.
      2) 14th street is a major thoroughfare that has been revitalized by restaurants and stores. It was an absolute scary trash hole 5 years ago. This is the exact place where restaurants/nightlife and outdoor seating should go.
      3) DC has amazingly beautiful weather in spring and fall (and summer if it’s not too humid). If anything, there should be MORE outdoor spaces.

      • jburka

        Funny, @otberbur lived in the Cairo on Q 30 years ago when 17th Street was, “an absolute scary trash hole” and it was well over 9 years ago when he and I bought our house roughly a block away from what’s now the Standard. Our neighborhood was fine back then, it was fine 5 years ago, and it’s fine now.

        It’s one thing, though, to have a restaurant with some outdoor seating, and another to have a restaurant with almost nothing but outdoor seating — particularly one selling as much beer. There are plenty of places in the neighborhood with quiet outdoor seating (Ulah, Eatonville, Masa 14, Cork, Bar Pilar, St. Ex all come to mind) but none of them put out the kind of noise the Standard does.

        (yes, I’m defending my husband, who is neither a NIMBY type nor a suburbanite frightened by the Big Scary City)

      • 1. I’ve lived one block from 14th Street for 9 years and no more than two blocks from it for nearly 20. Perhaps 20 years ago it was a “scary trash hole.” Not since the turn of the century, however.

        2. I’ve also walked past the Standard several times at 10:30 on a pleasant Friday night. The constant din there is a lot worse than the occasional noise one might get from sirens or homeless people.

        3. I’m all for outdoor cafes — as long as they don’t involve inebriated people using their outside voices during sleeping hours. For outdoor cafes located within a certain proximity to a area zoned for residential, cut off booze service outside by 9 and outdoor seating altogether by 10 and it would be fine with me.

        • i think it’s actually usually people that have lived here the longest and know the city well that are most concerned by noise. newcomers think thats life in the big city and they kind of enjoy it.
          the flippant disregard for legitimate complaints is sad.

          • Ive lived here for six years and am always for more restaurants and bars. maybe im weird, but i like food, drink, and people.

            also it kind of annoys me when people oppose new or expanding businesses on nimby grounds. you may say that is not what it is, but no one here seems opposed to bars with outdoor seating just ones near them. it increases the tax base, boosts employment, raises property values and provides people like me a new place to hang.

        • The Dupont DC ANC just put out guidelines for outdoor sidewalk cafes (different than outdoor beer gardens like Standard which are on private property), they came up with 11PM (weekday) and Midnight (weekend) as the starting point end times for sidewalk cafes near residential areas.


    • I’m not sure I understand your comment about the name. “US Post Office” is literally engraved in the front of the building, it’s kind of hard to ignore.
      The property also does not face rowhouses, it faces Room & Board and an alley, with I think an old apartment building next door. Doesn’t sound like it’s going to add that much more commotion to the din that already comes from 14th Street. The more places that go in around here will increase property value and brighten the neighborhood — especially a bistro, and not another dingy rock bar.

  • Sounds great. That building is indeed very cool, and I second super_b’s comment above – I love when places get cool names from their buildings.

  • Perhaps this place will absorb some of the brunch crowd from neighboring establishments and free up some seating.

    Expect HEAVY protests for this place, though. They’ve got the trifecta: sidewalk cafe, summer garden, and an entertainment endorsement. Cover your children!

  • Isn’t that the annex of Ruff and Ready? Interesting! There is definitely space for some nice outdoor seating and it is off the busy 14th Street side. Nice.

  • I love this post office too. I used to live around the corner and was always intrigued by it. The contrast between this nice little spot and the monstrous, plexiglass-enclosed post office across the street is telling.

    I wrote a book, Murder in Ocean Hall, part of which takes place in this neighborhood. In my mystery, the detective working on the case used to live on T street and hopes to buy the post office and turn it into a cafe. Looks like that’s not going to happen!

  • Finally a good use for the little building!!! And I thought the note they wrote to the community was SO thoughtful.

    I’m sad to say that the neighborhood NIBMY’s will be out in force to protest this. But that shouldn’t deter the proprietor. These curmudgeons are opposed to any kind of progress in the neighborhood and they simply have no credibility left at this point. Decision makers are seeing right through the claims of these “serial protestors,” because they realize that you can’t take people who protest EVERYTHING seriously.

    Can’t wait to have another restaurant in our neighborhood.

  • Great idea. Can’t wait! Now we need a little butcher shop!

  • I’ve lived 1 block from this for over 20 years and I am looking forward to this (and I love Standard).

    One more building being used and contributing to the tax base! Its win-win!

  • Interesting, if it’s the same person, John Dempsey is a mini restaurant mogul from NYC who runs several establishments (e.g. Vynl). I guess DC is akin to the “new world” for all of the NYC investors opening up shop here.

  • Looking forward to this. It could be a really nice addition to the area.

  • occupancy load of 259. Request a Sidewalk Café with 56 seats and Summer Garden with 14 seats.

    Is that a typo. a total of 329 seats?!?!?

    I’m all for a cafe in this space but those figures seem excessive especially for building not fronting directly on 14th.

    • Agreed, I don’t understand how you could possibly fit 56 seats on the sidewalk there. The front of the property is not that big. Maybe it’s the other way around — 56 seats in the back garden and 14 seats out front??

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