Swampoodle gets Permits – Looking Good Inside at 14th and Colorado!

Progress photos via Swampoodle facebook

Ed. Note: When asked when they hope to open they responded on facebook: “-6 weeks to 2 months.”

A reader writes:

“Word on the street is that Swampoodle finally got their permits from DCRA yesterday after a lengthy and inexplicable delay. There were people working all day today with the windows open and the boards gone, and they have gorgeous new photos of the upstairs posted on their Facebook page. There’s also diagrams posted on the doors on the Colorado Ave side showing the sidewalk seating plans and it looks great, with an outdoor bar on the 14th Street side.”


another reader writes:

“Was walking the dog this morning, finally saw some progress on Swampoodle. I took the picture of them installing windows. These other pictures are from their Facebook. It’s looking awesome!”


34 Comment

  • Those floors are gorgeous

    • Right? I cannot wait to walk over there, meet my friends, and have a nice cold beer! So great to see places like this coming up this way.

  • Now that we’ve got Swampoodle in Brightwood and Brightwood Mart in Petworth, all we need to make things complete is for someone to open a joint called “Petworth” in Swampoodle.
    I’m glad that this project is coming along, though.

    • That would be great. I want an explination from the owners as to why a place called Swampoodle is not located in Swampoodle.

      • I imagine they chose the location first, and decided to call it “Swampoodle” because it’s a funny name and because Swampoodle isn’t all that well known as a neighborhood designation.
        Brightwood Mart has no such excuse.

        • From what I have heard, it was originally supposed to be called “Brightwood Bar”, which got some push back because it is not in Brightwood. Then the owner heard the name Swampoodle and liked it, I don’t think realizing that it is also a neighborhood in DC. There may be some information missing in my storyline, but I think that is the general gist.

        • I think rather than “not that well known” you mean “known only by a single internet commenter who complains about it incessantly.”

          • saf

            No, plenty of us know the name and what it is. And yes, it’s stupid to name a place in Brightwood “Swampoodle.”

          • Agree with @saf. My mother’s side is from D.C. and I grew up here… Swampoodle was a combination of swamp and puddle that stuck. My grandma still finds it derogatory to this day. To have it resurrected in another part of the city in such a lighthearted manner is a bit callous in my mind.

      • In the parallel universes of Things That Matter In Some Way and Things That Are Entirely Inconsequential, any issue anyone has with the name fits firmly in the latter. Being in any way concerned about this name is the very definition of pedantic.

    • so true! once this opens – my new saturday routine — Zumba @ Twists and Turns followed by farmer’s market and then afternoon drinks at Swampoodle! This corner is getting so hip

    • yes! this. still excited though.


  • It would be interesting for someone to figure out exactly how much money everyone looses when DCRA delays permitting so long. Owners loose income, and both DC & Fed govt. loose taxes.

    When DCRA screwed up permits when I was building my basement apt. it delayed completion for 6 weeks, meaning I lost over $3000.00 income.

    • I totally agree. If this was just a matter of DCRA not getting around to issuing permits, that is completely unacceptable. It is too expensive for non-chain restaurateurs to sit around for the better part of a year and wait on permits.

      Also, can’t wait for Swampoodle!

    • Great idea. It took Swampoodle 6 or 8 months for them to get a permit from DCRA. In DC people get hired just to help businesses get their DCRA permits because it’s such an unclear and lengthy process. That’s ridiculous–that job shouldn’t have to exist.

      Another question: how many businesses later close because of all the debt they’ve incurred (paying rent for months before opening) while waiting for their permits to be approved or because they have to make their prices so expensive to pay off that debt that customers don’t come? And how many businesses don’t even ever open up because they can’t make it through the lengthy permitting process. Only huge chains could front those bills for months, not a small entrepreneur with a dream. Why is it that everywhere outside of DC makes the permitting process much more quick and clear?

  • Anyone know what type of food they are planning?

  • Ooh I like those floors!

  • Awesome to see this moving forward! The whole neighborhood will be there

  • So happy to see these photos! The place looks amazing!!! Happy neighbor here.

  • I am so excited about this! Cannot wait to be able to stop by the Farmer’s Market and maybe grab a Mimosa or Bloody Mary at Swampoodle afterward!

  • Looking great. Can’t wait to see it opened!

  • What a beautiful space! We can’t wait to try it out and become regulars.

    Also, DCRA is an absolute atrocity. We need to be clearing a path for investors in our neighborhoods, not creating bureaucratic hell for them.

  • So excited for it to open!

  • Thank goodness! we need this soooo much in our neighborhood!

    As regards “inexplicable delay” from DCRA, this is not an isolated case. I strongly suspect that some DCRA processors delay the licensing process on purpose, in an effort to extract a bribe. I’ve seen that at work before with at least one other neighborhood business.

    DCRA is a menace to this city’s wellbeing. Should be cleaned up and cleaned out.

    • The owner met the Mayor’s representative and CM Todd at the Farmer’s Market last week, and talked about how long he’d been waiting to get the final construction permits for the exterior. A few days later, he has the permits. Great that they helped, but this is not how the system should work. What does it mean for all the little guys, the immigrant-run businesses who are not so well connected?

      Those ugly boards had been hanging on the building for months – even though he already had the glass to put in them, he legally could not put glass into the his property because DCRA would not issue the permit.

  • Wow look at that floor! Floor of the week?

  • Excited for you guys! Floors and outdoor patio is awesome idea!!

Comments are closed.