New Tavern/Brew Pub, The Public Option, Coming to 16th and Rhode Island Ave, NE

1601 Rhode Island Avenue, NE

A recent liquor license application says:

“New Tavern/Brew Pub. Growler, soups, flat breads, and salad. Entertainment with dancing, small ensemble, music including acoustic setting, jazz and bluegrass. Occupancy load is 134. Sidewalk Cafe”

Hours are listed as Sunday through Saturday 8 am – 2 am.


The Rhode Island Insider reported:

“The owner, Bill Perry, is a life-long DC resident and lives in the neighborhood next to his restaurant. Generally speaking, they are planning to have a casual sit-down place featuring “healthy food made from as many locally-grown ingredients as possible.”

photo 4

and CityPaper adds a cool detail:

“This brewpub, however, will be a little different from other brewpubs and restaurants around town: The waitstaff won’t accept tips. Instead, Perry says he plans to pay a “living wage” of at least $15 an hour.”

Standby for a late summer/early fall opening.

38 Comment

  • So excited to see more options on Rhode Island Ave NE.

    • brookland_rez

      Agreed. Finally a lot of options are opening on RIA. New businesses coupled with DDOT’s plan to redo RIA should make a big difference.

      • what’s DDOT’s plan to redo RIA?

        • brookland_rez

          I just looked on DDOT’s site, it doesn’t look like they’ve posted the plans yet.
          I was at the meeting last week. They are spending billions to completely redo RIA. New sidewalks, new planters and landscaping, new benches, landscaping down the median. When they get done, it will go from being an eyesore to one of the nicest looking main streets in DC.

  • It’s a shame they don’t redevelop the center that housed Safeway. Mixed use seems to be the way to go now.

  • I don’t see how they’ll find any good servers without tips. 15/hour is much less than any decent server makes in this city.

  • The city is giving this project $85,000 of our money to open. WTF? Infuriating. Plus this ridiculous concept of paying $15/hour instead of letting the servers make real money with tips is never going to work, which makes the $85,000 even more infuriating since it is just going to be thrown away on a concept that’s not going to work out.

    • i bet if it doesn’t work, they can easily switch. why is it infuriating that they got money?

      • because the money came out of your pocket, that’s why. why is the city taking money from you and giving it to random people who want to open bars? it’s totally ridiculous.

        • because the city makes it up with taxes from sales, income tax from employees, and from subsequent development.

          • The money is for facade improvements, signs, etc. The grants went out to a large number of businesses throughout the city, every year.

          • ah the facade improvement thing. thats been going on for a loooong time and very few people have complained about it.

          • brookland_rez

            I don’t have a problem with this. The Verizon Center was built with tax increment financing (TIF), which I understand is different from a grant like this. Government intervention can help kickstart development in an area that is ripe, but the market doesn’t always see the opportunity. A grant to open a business on a corridor that needs help is good. It helps kickstart development and eventually it won’t be necessary to give grants for RIA.

    • If you’re a libertarian, it should be infuriating. If you believe government has a role to play in economic development, this should be applauded. I think it’s a good use of taxpayer money to seed development in a neighborhood that is ripe for revitalization. Same thing happened on U St. and H St., and I say it has worked out pretty well from an investment stand point, creating a lot more revenue for the city and the taxpayers than a small business grant costs.

      • If you don’t think government should be handing out tax dollars to random people to open BARS, you’re a libertarian? WTF?

        This is not government upgrading sidewalks and streetscaping. This is handing out cash to someone to open a business selling liquor. That’s totally crazy and should never happen.

        • i dont mind it happening. and i vote.

        • I guess since I don’t object to a business selling a legal product to paying customers, I’m having trouble understanding your objection. Seems like the beer and wine is making you madder than the taxpayer money part.

        • This is creepily similar to the non-nonsensical objections that Carolyn Steptoe and her out-of-state contingent posed in protesting Brookland’s Finest. Booze is legal for people over the age of 21. You may object on a personal moral basis,but the rest of us shouldn’t have to suffer for it. Also restaurants are the perfect leading edge for revitalization, and a great community asset.

        • I don’t have a problem with businesses selling alcohol (or marijuana for that matter). I just think it’s the height of absurdity to take money from you and give it to random people to open businesses that do so. Taking your money to upgrade streetlights and plant trees and whatnot makes total sense. Taking your money to fund some cockamamie business plan selling booze is crazy.

          • hahahahahaha. “cockamamie”? hahahahaha.

            do you have a link to information on the granted money? i’d love to know more about it.
            what kind of program is this?

          • Well I hope the tens of billions annually spent on “private-public partnerships” send you into this fit of rage. Lots of your tax dollars go into financing private businesses. It’s called economic stimulus and it’s turned out to be a damn good investment over the long run.

      • brookland_rez

        Exactly. The market isn’t always the most efficient. Government intervention to spur development has been widely successful throughout DC, and has played an integral role in gentrification efforts by the city.

    • If you live near Rhode Island Ave NE like me, you’re more than thrilled to see someone, public or private, invest in the corridor.

      A small public investment can be all it takes to start a wave of private activity. Perhaps you can direct your anger to larger government boondoggles than a long neglected area of town gaining an option beyond a liquor store.

    • Your use of the word “random” in 3 of your posts is far-fetched.
      Your opposition to a living wage is laughable.

  • i’ve been to fast casual restaurants that served beer but also didn’t take tips. worked just fine, especially providing for entry level jobs.

    i don’t think this is too crazy.

  • Expect food prices to be a lot higher then if he plans on paying his wait staff $15 a hr.

  • The city gives these grants to businesses on corridors that need a boost. That part of Rhode Island Ave. is in sore need of revitalization, so giving business owners an incentive to do business there is good for the city. With the amount of sales and use tax this business will have to pay, the city will make it’s money back within 2 years. If you’re a small business owner, like me, these incentives could make the difference in starting a business on Rhode Island Ave, where it’s needed the most, or starting it in an already developed neighborhood. I should point out, I started my business before these incentives were even available, so I got zero money from the city. I do however have a business on an “emerging” corridor, so I would have qualified if I were starting my business now.

    It’s pretty common for bars and restaurants to be the jump start for economic revitalization for a corridor or neighborhood. Retail development normally comes years after that. It’s much harder to have a daytime retail business versus a nighttime business, and stay in business. Most neighborhoods don’t have the foot traffic to support daytime retail.

  • Does this mean that Mao Jam Recording Studio is shutting down? If this is true, it marks the end of an era in DC. I can’t think of another recording studio in the region that specializes in Chinese pro-Communist hip-hop.

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