Black and Orange Gets Outdoor Seating at 1931 14th Street, NW

1931 14th St, NW

Before Black and Orange opened on 14th St, NW just south of U Street, there was concern that outdoor seating would obstruct pedestrians on the sidewalk. Looks like there was a bit of a compromise, instead of the original 40 seats requested, I saw only 12 seats out front. There is plenty of room left for pedestrians to pass on the sidewalk out front. Do you think this is a good number or should they be able to add one more?

44 Comment

  • Great theft potential for the lawless element of the community since diners can not eat or function without their umbilical telephones on the table. Gentrification ain’t so bad after all.

  • Bad timing right before winter. Honestly see non-patrons using these more than customers if the area isn’t roped off

  • I think 12 is a good number of seats. More than that would have indeed crowded the sidewalk. Maybe once the 14th Street revovation project is done to widen the sidewalks there will be room for more.

  • Just curious……what about the vacant lot next door that once was a used car lot. Any news on any plans for that space?

  • Black and Orange. So it’s a Halloween themed restaurant?

  • On the most basic level, it’s silly to put these out as it’s starting to get cold. As a resident of the area, I still think it obstructs the sidewalk, especially on weekends. Most of the times I’ve walked past it, even later at night, it’s not like the place is filled to where you can’t find a seat. And finally, as others have pointed out, I think it’s a potential safety issue. Unaware ladies put their purses on the ground next to their seat or hanging on the chair – bad enough inside a restaurant but worse being outside so close to the sidewalk and without ANY sort of separation.

    • For some of us outdoor seating has only become comfortable in the past couple of weeks, especially in a place like that that has no shade. DC typically has a pretty long and relatively mild fall, there will still be many days when people can sit outdoors (at least in the afternoons) before winter really sets in.

    • This is why I would love to see fannie packs come back in style. That way I can keep my phone in it while it is strapped to my waist while I am eating at B&O—home of the purse and phone snatchers on the sidewalk cafe.

  • Not such a great idea. I foresee lots of naive people getting their stuff stolen in 5, 4, 3, 2,…

  • Isn’t amazing that only one comment above is addressing the original question. All others seemed to have ventured off to something else rather than answering the question PoP posted.

    • Just to appease you. Yes, this is a good number of seats. No, they should not add more. Happy?

      • Yeah. Also, since when does outdoor seating around here lead to snatch and grab thefts? Anyone at St. Ex or other places have this happen? Is it just because there isn’t a fence??

        • I am guessing you are new to the blog. Stuff happens all around that area. And yes, a fence does make quite a difference. It may not happen all the time or right away but trust, it will happen.

        • Happened to me at St. Ex at an outside table. I was new to DC at the time so it taught me a quick lesson. Luckily years of slap jack and spit with very competitive older brothers saved it from being a costly lesson as I beat the thief to my phone.

        • Agreed, I’ve never seen or even heard of a snatch and grab at an outdoor dining area. Obviously not a valid reason to disallow sidewalk tables. Concerned citizens can preach to the patrons as they walk by if they need to feel sanctimonious.

  • Nothing goes better with burgers than bus exhaust!

  • The business should be allowed to at least double the number of seats — look at all the remaining pedestrian space in the photos! To be fair, they should be able to utilize the same amount of space as the other establishments along 14th Street. The comments suggesting that the business enclose the space is also a good one — but just wait for the “outrage” from the antis on that!

    I can only chuckle at the oft-repeated notion that somehow all these sidewalk patios pose such an obstacle for the woe begotten pedestrian. Really? The benefits to the streetscape, to neighborhood ambience, and local conviviality far outweigh such nonsense!

    • While I’m not worried about Black & Orange’s moderate sidewalk presence, other sidewalk patios can be quite obtrusive to the people that walk past them everyday. They can create bottlenecks if the sidewalk dining area is across from a tree, mailbox or other permanent fixture. If there were double the amount of tables at B&O I’m positive this would happen, whether the tables are empty or full.

  • They’ll probably be investing more money into constantly cleaning the construction dust off the furniture than it will bring in from dining revenue.

  • If people are getting their phones snatched off their tables, that is because they are foolish and careless. It is not the fault of the restaurant for offering outdoor seating. That seems like a ridiculous reason for a restaurant not to have outside seats.

    One could argue that more outdoor seating everywhere could cut down on this, increasing the number of potential witnesses and generally making it harder for people to do get away with a snatch-and-grab.

    • +1. I’m surprised at all the posts equating outdoor seating with crime. Whatever happened to the “move to the suburbs if you can’t handle life in city” crowd? If you think sitting outside and eating is scary, you really should be at a food court in Loudon County.

    • +1. When I eat outside I keep my phone stowed in a secure location.

    • having a phone holster can look dorky but is preferable to whining about a stolen phone because you don’t like having pockets. It’s a bit like phones being snatched from people cluelessly chattering away as they walk down the street, yammering about nothing.

      • Well according to people on this post, that does not happen. I mean, who would snatch a phone from someone walking to down the street? I mean c’mon.

  • Twelve seats is a good start. As for why it took so long for outside seating to get started, I assume it’s because the Wallach Place NIMBYs slowed things down. When this place first opened the NIMBYs acted like a brothel was moving in.

  • Given the room that those 12 seats take up, I can’t imagine how they could fit 28 more – to reach the original plan of 40. Maybe they were going to put seats in the empty lot next door.

    All I can think of when I see that DTLR store next door is that it was the scene of a flash mob theft a couple of years ago. Kids overran the place and ran out with stuff en masse.

    • I was walking by that store one early morning a few weeks back. There had to be at least 50 people in line waiting to get inside . I figured a new Air Jordan (probably $300) must have been released that day.

      • You are probably right. I rolled into NYC late one night and as I was walking from Penn Station I saw a line outside Athlete’s Foot that ran around the block. No idea what people could be lining up for a 10 pm on a Friday night. Turns out it was for the midnight release of the new Air Jordans. Apple has nothing on Air Jordans!

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