New Bistro, The American, Coming to Downtown Boxing Club Space in Blagden Alley

1209 – 1213 10th Street, NW (actually in Blagden Alley)

Major development coming to Blagden Alley. A liquor license posted out front (on the awesome mosaic) says The American is coming:

Classic American Bistro with 70 seats with recorded music and Summer Garden with 75 seats. Total occupancy load of 175.”

The CityPaper reported that is from none other than Xavier Cervera:

Longtime Capitol Hill restaurateur Xavier Cervera sold his nine restaurants, which included Hawk ‘n’ Dove, The Chesapeake Room, and Molly Malone’s, earlier this year. Now, he’s establishing roots in Shaw with a new American bistro.

More details when they become available.

Unfortunately this could be bad news for local boxers as this space is currently home to the Downtown Boxing Club. Though the manager doesn’t anticipate needing to close in the near future as the process to open up a new restaurant should take “a few months at least.” If they do end up closing they hope to move to a new space nearby. Updates on that front when/if they happen.


29 Comment

  • saf

    It’s bad news for local diners too – mediocrity spreads!

  • I have to admit, I was excited when I read the headline. Then when I read who was involved, my heart sank.

  • yaaay more overpriced american food, im glad someone is finally tackling that niche in DC

  • Womp womp…Xavier Cervera’s restaurants suck.

  • The boxing club might be able to find space at the empty storefronts at New Jersey and Q. We’d love to see something happen there (especially if that thing is replacing the used furniture parking lot weekend sales).

  • I’m guessing this is what most new residents want? That would be the logical explanation why every “transitional” or now revitalized area is peppered with new overpriced, bland american restaurants (many the small plate kind). People clearly patronize these places in droves.

  • If his restaurants are so bad, then why do people go to them? Why did he likely make a killing when he sold them? Why have none of them closed down? I’m not here to say his places are the pinnacle of great dining, but I think you are being a bit of a hater.

  • Blah, starchy forgettable food. It means that the neighborhood has hit the maintream. I’d rather have boxer-wannabes.

  • brookland_rez

    From Fight Club to mediocre “bistros”. I miss the old Blagden Alley.

  • This is the second time that Dave White’s gym has been forced to more for progress. I hope he finds a new space.

  • Please get in touch with the owner, Dave White, of the Downtown Boxing Club. He’s actively looking for a new spot and has found nothing yet. He has been in this location for 17 years and everyone is very disappointed that he has to go. He has a successful business but the rent increase is simply ridiculous (I workout at the DBC a few times per week, I’d love for it to remain in the area).

    Also, it’s pretty shitty that they posted the permits on top of the wonderful street art. The artist lives and works not more than 20 feet away, directly across the alley. It’s sort of a big middle finger to everyone who has spent years living and working in Blagden. Until a few years ago, the area was filled with junkies and prostitutes.

  • In Capitol Hill I think it’s more something the visitors want, not the residents. Xavier’s restaurants get a lot of the baseball crowd, and the Navy Yard employee crowd, and the Eastern Market crowd on the weekends. I’m not sure his restaurants will do as well in a neighborhood like Shaw where they will have to rely almost entirely on business from the locals.

  • Marriott Marquis, Washington Combention Center not a block or two over- he is poised to repeat his Capitol Hill success. This isn’t for the residents, it is for the tourists.

  • The buildings around what is now Downtown Boxing Club are, I believe, mostly residential. I’m sure those folks aren’t happy about the possibility of noisy outdoor seating. Has there been any pushback from the neighbors?

    Plus, who’s going to bother to go to a Cervera joint in Blagden Alley, which isn’t near other destination points?

    Also, Downtown Boxing is great. No frills, no nonsense, everyone works at his & her own pace and minds his & her own business. I’ve been going since the spring, with excellent result. I’d hate to have to give it up because Dave had to move way out somewhere. (Unless it was somewhere in SE; that would be great.)

    • Now you’ve piqued my curiosity in checking Downtown Boxing out (wherever they may land). I’ve gotten a little out of shape, but would love to find a good boxing workout to get back into the routine (and it’s not easy finding classes that involve real bag-work, as opposed to “cardio” boxing). Is DBC women-friendly? By that I don’t mean it needs to have pink walls and scented candles, or anything…just that I want to be able to work out without catching attitude.

  • Yes, you are correct. All the property owners are expecting the new hotel to transform the area into an extension of Chinatown (i.e. lots of things catering to tourist tastes). That’s why there’s so many empty store fronts on 9th Street, right near the Convention Center – property owners are waiting for the big boom.

  • He hasn’t been there for 17 years. He was located above the old Popeyes on 11th near the Barns and Nobel for a long time before moving to this location about 6-7 years ago.

  • There’s a reason he’s sold everything else. He gets out when they stop being profitable because the luster wore off and people stopped going to them. He leaves them for someone else to clean up. He did the same thing in Miami.

  • The area is changing very quickly. There’s a new restaurant/bar/lounge going in right next to Rouge 24, they are doing construction now.

    They are also doing demo and digging out the corner at N and 9th. Is this where the new hotel will go?

  • The 9th and N corner is going to be micro condo units with a restaurant/retail space on the first floor. The hotel is on (th and Mass and is so huge you can’t miss it. The building next to Rogue is going to be a coffee roasting place.

  • Wow, a coffee roasting place? The permit on the wall of the building said something about a “lounge”, but I guess that might be a technical term used by the city that covers a lot of types of businesses.
    Thanks for the updates!

  • I live in the area, there’s still looks of hooker action. But luckily they tend to use condoms. How do I know? there are used condoms all over the streets in my area. It’s lovely.

  • there’s going to be a La Colombe (from philly) as per a POP post a few weeks back

  • Sasha

    Extremely disheartened to see this. I worked out in that gym, and took lessons with Dave, years back. Great man with an amazing business for active local Washingtonians. It truly sickens me how DC has allowed themselves to become commercialized and unauthentic. I don’t get it… rid us of things with actual cultural significance to bring in commercialized crap to benefit Tourism? As if we aren’t already the Nation’s Capital, that just isn’t enough. What’s next? Ben’s Chili Bowl gets flipped into a 5 star dining experience? Museums will start charging entry fees? The Big Chair in Anacostia gets torn down for new Multi-Million dollar Condos? This is extremely pointless and a huge loss to that neighborhood.

  • Ugh – the condoms. Hubby and I often troll the alley late night under the pretense of walking our dog just to tick off the prostitutes and their johns looking for a secluded area for “the deed”. just doing our part to help the hood we’ve called home for 15 years.

  • +1 to Sasha 12:01. I used to work out here (and the old place downtown) too. It was one of the few businesses I have encountered in DC that isn’t trying to be high end and maximize every last dime. Just a good guy who knows and loves boxing trying to make a reasonable living doing something he loves.

  • Pretty sure that they don’t have the proper license for that “used furniture store” either. Kevin Chappel where art thou?

  • I’m a woman (on the plump and clumsy side, at that) and haven’t felt uncomforatable at Downtown Boxing. There are usually a few other ladies in the sessions I go to, and even if I’m the only one, the dudes don’t seem to treat me any differently. In general, folks keep to themselves during the session. Maybe a little conversation, but it’s not a super social hour.

    It’s nice that the sessions feature a mix of people at different fitness levels and athletic abilities. The guys who are obviously quite good and who spar don’t make a big deal about it. Occasionally there will be a dude who gives off an arrogant/meathead vibe, but those are rare, and anyway, they’ve never hassled me. Plus, they usually have terrible push-up form, for which I (mentally) make fun of them. 🙂

    Dave, the trainer, is crusty and no-nonsense, but he’s like that with everyone and he knows his stuff. The place’s biggest drawbacks are that it has no air conditioning (it gets HOT in there) and that the bathroom is gross. Still, I find it to be all part of the gritty charm.

    Yay for fellow boxing ladies! Come join in the fun!

  • (My 2:29 comment was in response to bmoredc’s from 11:11)

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