Shaw’s Day of Greatness Continues with Too Much New Retail and Restaurant News to List in this Title

Rendering Atlantic Plumbing project by 9:30 Club

Holy mackerel – Shaw is tearing it up. Scroll down and you’ll already see tons of great news from just this morning. Now comes the mother mother lode from the Washington Business Journal. First let me say that June’s Warby Parker scuttlebutt has been confirmed but still no news of a Whole Foods. Now for the rest:

“Trendy eyewear boutique Warby Parker and restaurants from the folks behind some of D.C.’s hottest restaurants are coming to two high profile developments in Shaw later this year.”

The Business Journal then goes on to list who’s coming to the Atlantic Plumbing and the Shay (8th and V St, NW). Here’s a sampling “new concept from Neighborhood Restaurant Group of Birch & Barley and Bluejacket fame and a concept from the owners of Chinatown ramen and izakaya restaurant Daikaya, Declaration Pizza, and Tasty Burger.”

and a sampling for the Shay:

“Warby Parker, Freehand, a restaurant from chef Tim Ma, the owner of Water & Wall in Arlington and Maple Ave. in Vienna, and a second location of Compass Coffee, Benrus (watches), Kit and Ace (clothing from Lulu lemon guy), Read Wall (clothing), and Steven Alan (clothing).

Holy freaking mackerel.

62 Comment

  • Yeah, this is pretty freaking incredible.

  • I still have my fingers crossed for that Whole Foods announcement….

  • Holy cow.

  • “functional yet sophisticated T-shirts, leggings and sweatpants” is amazing (not in the good way)

  • Does anyone know of any condo developments happening in Shaw? Seems like there are a lot of new apartments coming on the market but not very many condos.

  • Great to see. The WaPo had an article today on how the big apartments in NoMa and other non-core areas are having a tough time leasing up. However, if I were JBG I wouldn’t be worried at all. I bet these buildings will fill right up. Location, location, location. These developments do a nice job of feeding off the existing vibrancy of the central city and expanding it further.

    • +1. This kind of development is why JBG makes the big bucks.

    • Much of that article focused on the newly minted “Pike District” (aka White Flint Metro) and Tyson’s Corner. Given it’s proximity to the “core”, I certainly wouldn’t call NoMa a “non-core” area, just one still in the process of being built-out. I do think that it’s hurt by a lack of trendy drinking/dining options in its immediate area.

    • Just read the article you mentioned and it primary talked about White Flint.

      With the city getting safer and safer there is little reason to live that far out unless your job is out there or the rent is much, much cheaper. There is a big difference in location of NoMa and White Flint….

      • The basic point remains that charming and vibrant areas like U Street/Shaw are a much easier sell than NoMa.

        • Can’t imagine that anyone would argue with you on that.

        • I guess – but rents already reflect that (U St already commands a 200~300 premium). I am curious what the lease rates are for NoMa.

          • I can tell you that when I was looking in the fall, a lot of the buildings in NoMa were offering 1-2 months free, waived fees, $1000 visa gift cards, etc. They were pretty desperate, it seems.

          • maxwell smart

            Personally, I always kinda forget that people live in NoMa – several times I’ll be taking the cab to Union Station and we’ll detour off North Capitol to 2nd or 3rd street or even coming down Mass and I always think “Oh yeah, there are apartments here… weird.” I associate the area with office buildings and hotels, so that could be part of their problem.

        • They also mention Navy Yard a few times. That’s getting hip and trendy.

  • If you’re gonna get a Whole Foods it will be at 965 Florida ave in 4 years if you’re lucky.

  • Fancy eyeglass shops and spoil-your-dog-since-you-don’t-have-a-kid boutiques are nice and all that, but why oh why can there not be even one regular, normal, unpretentious gym in the entire neighborhood?!

    • Simple answer: cost of rent/real estate.

    • +1000000. A Balance Gym, if we’re going to fantasize.

    • The new YMCA is amazing!

    • I mean, I know technically this is Shaw, but do people really refer to anything on or north of U Street as Shaw? I can’t think of a time I would have referred to the Brixton or Nellie’s really as Shaw. I would always call that U Street. Maybe it’s a generational thing for newness to DC.

      Exciting nonetheless.

      • And I recognize that Shaw’s Tavern is right near there, and that and places south of that are what I think of as Shaw. But who knows. Shaw seems to be anywhere people want to say it is because it is a trendy place to buy/develop at the moment.

        • Ugh, I take back my comment below. U Street is a street in Shaw and became “U Street” when Shaw was not trendy and people didn’t want to live in this area. I guess this is the turning point for Shaw finally being considered trendy. Logan was part of Shaw when I first moved here. That was until that Whole Foods arrived and Logan Circle became more than just a circle back in 2001. Actually, I remember Logan’s short stint as “Dupont East” for a year or two before settling on Logan after the WF was finished. @Truxonite, Truxton Circle was Shaw too at one point at the height of Dunbar High School’s prominence. Shaw was/is large. Similar to Georgetown, The Hill and many other neighborhoods until it started getting diced up by realtors during the housing boom to encourage gentrification east.

          And technically The Shay is in Shaw and Atlantic Plumbing and 9:30 Club are not. Shaw’s northern border extends up to Florida Avenue and downward south to M Street.

          Sorry, historical neighborhood changes really bother me…maybe because it feels like it is a clean wash of history made by a new community of people settling in.

      • Does anyone remember when 14th Street was “Dupont East” and North of U was “Dupont North”? Shaw and Logan Circle were never mentioned due to the “scare factor”…my how things have changed (having lived in Shaw Proper since 2005).

        • Yep, I was just saying something about this (15th Street being marketed as “Dupont East”) late in the day on yesterday’s RRRR!

    • I was just saying this the other day. Why doesn’t a cardio express open up around here?

    • regular, normal, and unpretentious cannot coexist in a whole foods (or hoping for a whole foods) vicinity. There is a Golds Gym near the Van Ness stop for $600/yr.

    • I’m kind of surprised that there’s not more hesitation before applauding this. I’m all for there being more fun things to do in more places in the city, and economic stability, but why must every neighborhood “develop” in such an upscale way, especially in ways out of character with the history of a neighborhood? The place of DC’s Harlem Renaissance will now be home to shops for hipster glasses and bald white dudes stepping out of Porches. I guess that’s progress.

      • +10000000

        Development = upper middle class/rich white hipsters columbusing a neighborhood that formerly housed people of color

        • Close, but not quite:
          development = those with capital building in places that had less capital. Race plays here (because DC), but it’s not a requirement.

          • I just find it an upsetting trend in DC that two of the things that make neighborhoods gain some appeal is their diversity and affordability, and then investment groups come in and effectively push out both of those factors. Unless you count Nando’s as being ethnic. ๐Ÿ˜›

            Why doesn’t development occur in a way that parcels some space for lower rent commercial and residential space, such that the restaurants that we love that are NOT associated with Jose Andres can remain in the city?

            I feel like putting all one’s eggs in the high-market, high-rent real estate market isn’t creating the most diverse portfolio for the investors, either. The point of this thread is that there are a lot of people willing/wanting to spend their money at less pretentious, more affordable places, and a neighborhood would do well to develop to preserve those retail spaces, and have housing that preserves those customers, at least with better balance than DC has been achieving.

            I feel like with this kind of planning and investment strategy, our nation’s capital will look like a big pedestrian mall in 2025.

      • @jdre, I guess I kind of get your point, but I think your association with this being DC’s Harlem Renaissance and the area being affordable is not 100% accurate. This area of DC is where mostly affluent African-Americans lived…it wasn’t a place were everyday black folk would go to hang and shop. DC was unique with the federal government paying black people a higher wage than anywhere else in the country–hence the massive influx of blacks from the south to the region–here the African-Ameriocan community thrived. We always hear of “white flight” after the riots, but there was a large amount of black flight as well. That is why we have Prince George’s County as the wealthiest majority African-American county in the country–they packed up Shaw and moved to Bowie. Anyone black who had the ability moved from this region, just like their white counterparts when times were rough.

        • I should clarify – I didn’t mean to use diverse and affordable interchangeably. I actually don’t think I did, but I may have juxtaposed them (and blended decades) enough to make it appear I was equating them.

          • I may have read more into your comment than I should have, but I do not think you intended to use the two interchangeably. I was only raising the point to remind people that this area has gone from extremes of poor to wealthy like many neighborhoods. It’s never good to feel like you are no longer able to afford an area you once lived, but this isn’t the first time it was an upscale community.

      • I can’t say for sure, but I would guess that at least the majority of people who frequent this site are in favor of the trendy, upscale places that are popping up everywhere and dc locals rarely go to. I sure would be excited though if I were a homeowner in these “transitional” neighborhoods… I used to live off P street, and after several years had to move in 2008 when the landlady decided to sell her house for a tidy sum (I don’t blame her)…

        It’s just unfortunate that these neighborhoods have gone from hood carry outs to super trendy, there’s no middle ground. It’s all very weird and fake now – higher end small plate places across from housing projects haha. Like I almost want to get it over with and just completely change the area because you know it’s coming soon anyway. There’s no stopping market forces so you are correct, soon most of these areas will be pretty sterile and home to the rich and mostly white. It suck son a cultural level, but it just is what it is and no one is really at fault.

        • I agree that much of the development seems to be going from one extreme to the other — from very downscale retail and restaurants to very upscale ones, with little in between. It still amazes me to think how 14th Street NW went from being a place with used-car lots, vacant storefronts, etc. to a place with fancy boutique-y shops that I don’t see myself buying from.

        • maxwell smart

          I would agree that the one-size-fits-all approach to these developments is starting to make DC fairly generic. It’s funny how people always complain about when Walmart comes to town it wipes out local mom-and-pop businesses (and I know that there’s larger issues of unions, fair pay, benefits, etc.) but these developer driven projects are kinda doing the same thing – you can just play the “Which corporate tenants are gentrifying this development” game – Will it be a Whole Foods, SweetGreen, SolidCore and a CVS? Or maybe a Safeway, Starbucks, VIDA and Citibank? Which DC celebrity chef will open a small-plates locally-sourced restaurant?

          The problem is that from a developer stand-point, locking in a chain tenant that can A: afford to pay a higher rent and B: less likely to go out of business is providing a better return to their investment. But there really should be a middle ground that supports local business while also providing growth.

          • There is a middle ground. Chain and locally-based retail and restaurants are opening up at the same time in the neighborhoods. It really isn’t all just chain. DC-based restaurant groups are indeed local. Regional chains are also quite local. Specialty boutiques opening up in DC (see the article in WBJ) with just one or two or three stores in the entire country are not in the same category as a Walmart, etc.

  • maxwell smart

    I was just down in this area this weekend for the first time in probably 2 years and was blown away at how much construction is going on. Crazy. I personally wouldn’t want to live in the area, but I doubt they will have any trouble filling those units.

  • I sure hope the new restaurant by the Birch & Barley/Bluejacket people has a good beer program (and there’s no reason to believe they won’t), because they are not good at food. At all. And I hope the upscaling of this corner of Shaw doesn’t end up pushing out the 9:30 Club.

  • I Dont Get It

    Wow. Such a rapid change in that area!

  • Nice to see the “great Shaw debate” has come to an agreement–mostly–that this area is Shaw.

    So pumped about this all! To think we were begging for a Harris Teeter just a few months ago. Do we know if we will also get the W Street extension we desperately need to connect norther Shaw to LeDroit?

    • The best news you can hope for in the short term is that JBG/MRP extend W st from Florida Ave across 9th St to 8th St NW. They have suggested that they want to do that with the 965 Florida Ave parcels. That will be helpful for people trying to get around/circle the block to get to the parking garage at north end of atlantic plumbing. Follow the 965 Florida ave chatter for any updates on that.

      I have never heard Howard University’s position on extending it from 8th to Georgia. Hopefully they do that but for now Howard seems content to do nothing with land (mostly parking lots) there that is probably 5-10x the area of the parcels that now hold Atlantic Plumbing.

      • From my memory of the initial proposal from JBG, they had that extension going all the way to Georgia–even with Howard’s ownership of that parcel.

        Re: Howard Town Center, Howard is working faster than people give them credit in developing/selling their land over these past 6-7 years….even more rapidly in the last three. They’ve sold just about all of their property in LeDroit and are wrapping up the last of the three new buildings started just a year ago east of Georgia. This area of the city is just getting to a place that people think is “suitable” to live and Howard is finally reaping those benefits. I don’t blame them for waiting for the market to prime up before selling off their land. GW sure took their time fixing the dilapidated Foggy Bottom back in the 90s and early 00’s. Plus, Howard, as a unique hybrid private and simi-federally funded institution had some serious bureaucracy to work through with a bloated staff, a community hospital always in the red–the city’s only community hospital now–they fund independent of the city; not to mention a sharp cut of funding from sequestration in those federal funds. That parcel driving those west of Georgia Ave crazy will get developed.

  • So many fun things happening in Shaw. Too bad I can’t afford to live there.

  • Shaw seems more affordable closer to downtown. Strangely I think the area that borders logan/shaw is closer to downtown dc and more affordable. Also, not everything there is Jose andres. Table is excellent, and Tortino’s truly is a neighborhood gem!

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