The News Kennedy Street has Been Waiting for – A Big Score with ANXO Cidery and Future Restaurant Coming

5th and Kennedy St, NW

This is massive news – and could be the start of what puts Kennedy on the Upshur Street track of serious redevelopment that folks have been pining for. The Kennedy Street Association broke the big news on Wednesday:

“711 Kennedy (the old John C. Flood building, next to Culture Coffee) has signed a lease with a great tenant, and will be getting a major structural overhaul and bringing daytime employment to the street!

The owners of ANXO will be doing their cider production on-site on Kennedy, with the hope of opening a second restaurant there in the future.”

Washington CityPaper followed up with more details:

“The locale will have a new name and concept, although it may also be a Basque-influenced. An ANXO catering operation will also work out of the space.

The 300 Florida Ave. NW location is slated to open in February, while the Brightwood Park location aims to be up and running by next September. Fitz says that would mean that they’d be able to enter the market “in earnest” in early 2017.”

The die is cast – by 2020 we will not recognize the Kennedy Street of today. I’ve been hearing rumblings from lots of known players around town that they are all interested in Kennedy Street – this news might be just the kick in the ass they need. Stay tuned for lots more.

52 Comment

  • Fantastic addition. Looking forward to more businesses opening up on Kennedy St. There is a new international grocer opening up on 6th and Kennedy too!

  • Seriously? Awesome! I had resigned myself that Kennedy st would always just be a funeral home district… Can’t wait!

  • This makes me so happy! I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of cider, but I am a fan of development on Kennedy Street. 😀

  • Now if only get can get some development on Georgia from Kennedy to Van Buren.

    • lol yes. More like “Georgia Avenue from Upshur Street to Silver Spring.” But this is a great start. So much potential in this neck of the woods.

    • +1

      I do not understand why that stretch of GA Ave is so unappealing to retailers. I had hoped that the Walmart and future Walter Reed campus would lead to some additional development…

      • Ashy Oldlady

        Believe it or not, we’re probably reaching a saturation point in some ways.

      • walter reed will help. But I have always felt that this area lacked the density to ever gentrify these storefront.

        • not sure what you mean by lack density. There are huge neighborhoods that stretch between Georgia and north Capital as well as between Georgia and 16th street. I think the issue is that it is basically all liquor stores/convenience stores with a few restaurants sprinkled in between.

      • Wal Mart sucksthe life out of small businesses that serve poor to middle income people and doesn’t draw the kinds of places that usually are in the first wave of businesses that revive tired neighborhood strips like ethnic restaurants, hipster bars, funky boutiques, Yes! Organic, etc. The Walter Reed development may stimulate areas to the N more than those to the S. Although downtown Silver Spring continues to not live up to its hype, the new development at Eastern and Georgia suggests that things really are going to change in Shepherd Park. Silver Spring might ultimately benefit from that, too, but it’s comeback has lagged behind the hype for over 20 years.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I have no data to support this, but suspect that it has been hindered by the design of the roads. It is sufficiently dense that it could potentially be very walkable, but several of the main roads running through it more nearly resemble Interstate highways than urban streets and many of the intersections are dangerous, unpleasant, and kind of terrifying to cross on foot.

  • Awesome! I think Kennedy St and upper 14th St (north of Spring Rd) are on the verge. 14th St seems a little closer with all of the new condos and greater density.

  • jim_ed

    I’m not a big artisinal cider guy, but I’m thankful for any business willing to open up retail that’s not behind bulletproof glass on Kennedy at this point. Hopefully they follow through on the restaurant part quickly, and hopefully this helps drive additional development.

  • That’s big news! Hoping it will be the start of more good things coming to the area.

  • andy

    can we waste millions of dollars on a gigantic misguided transit project on Kennedy Street now?

  • awesome news! can’t wait for the full restaurant/bar build out.

  • Kennedy Street is on the move! Huge thanks to the Kennedy Street Development Association (KSDA) and to our ANC commissioners for promoting the street and bringing in this much needed investment.

  • Great news! I can’t wait to check it out.

  • This is great news for Kennedy street and all of the surrounding neighborhoods. The beauty of Upshur is that many of the restaurants and businesses are locally owned and some are even from the neighborhood (see updates on riyad market). This is a stark contrast from the outside investors who have built up 14th street so quickly. I am very anxious to see development on Kennedy street and the surrounding areas, Swampoodle, this place, the 14th and Kennedy Farmers Market… all are really turning heads (mostly in a good way) for the neighborhood.

  • YAY, so excited for this and for the opening of TropiMart and the restaurant at 3rd and Kennedy. Hope these will be great additions to the neighborhood!

  • Ashy Oldlady

    I think the stuff is gross and the prices these trendy new craft cider operations are charging for their products are well beyond obscene, but the level of disposable income in this market certainly supports it.

    • Strong words! I feel like the Islamic State’s beheadings are obscene. Profiteering on delicious ciders is a fine, capitalist enterprise, and as a resident, a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Myself and all the millennials and gentrifiers will definitely be happy to spend our vast pots of disposable income at this establishment. Don’t go there if you don’t want to spend your money on such obscenities.

      • Ashy Oldlady

        Since you’re a millennial I’ll let it slide, but let me help you out: $26 for 32 ounces of hard cider is without a doubt obscene.

        • Philippe.

          I could not agree more.

          I mean, to each their own, and if you like spending $26 for 32 ounces of hard cider (really!!!) than all the power to you, but let’s not try and pretend that this is something the neighborhood actually needs or even demanded. I say this as someone who used to live two blocks away from where this place is going to be to a place that is about 7 blocks away from where this place is going to be.

        • $26 for a limited edition bottle is one thing. But that’s not representative of what people drinking cider on tap at the restaurant will be paying.

  • AMEN! Let’s get these businesses up in here!

  • I know this is supposed to be a great thing, but I just imagine this is step one in me being unable to afford to live here. My neighbors with young kids and just-getting-by jobs will no doubt be gone by 2020 too. But hey, there will be cider. This might be the news a lot of people are waiting for, but I’m not one of them.

    • Agreed. I want development that enhances the existing community and gives them an opportunity to live with the dignity and conveniences that white people otherwise reserve for themselves.

      • @nunahya. If you’ve got specific suggestions on how to bring daytime jobs and non-liquor or convenience store retail to Kennedy, by all means let’s hear them.

        Also, what exactly do you mean by the “dignity and conveniences white people reserve for themselves?” All that happened here was a locally owned business investing in a long blighted property. Would you prefer that it stay vacant?

  • I find this insulting. “Massive news that could be the start of what put Kennedy on Upshur Street track.” Really??? Andrene’s has been around for 9-years; we chose Kennedy Street when you could not pay folks to walk down the street. I always complain how monopolized this business is. You have folks getting handouts who could well and afford to pay out-of-pocket, now you’re giving them credit for reviving the area. I am just irritated. I guess I am just a well kept secret. I was featured in the Washingtonians, Washington Post, and cover of DC North. Andrene’s is The Greatest asset on Kennedy Street.

    • Real talk, places like Andrenes, Culture Coffee, Taqueria DF, Tonys, Yums, Corina’s, etc. are all strong local businesses offering amazing food that are already here. It’s insulting to talk about a yuppie cidery as if it’s going to be some savior. Business is better than no-business, sure, but can we talk about wyat this business is actually gonna bring to the neighborhood? Alternately we could talk about how this is part of a larger pattern of narratives of privileged people saving the world from itself, one block at time.

      • I love all the places you mentioned. The point is not that these places will have to be replaced (Lord knows I cannot live a life without Taqueria DF and Andrene’s, two of my favorite places). The point is that there is room for so so much more. More options, more businesses, more jobs, more tax receipts is a good thing. And also, given Kennedy Street’s current lack of Metro, I wouldn’t worry about it turning overnight into Barracks row. I kind of picture it as an offbeat, inclusive place with businesses directed at different income levels.

        • I agree that the tone of the Popville piece is a bit off-putting. I also agree that there is plenty of room of Kennedy Street to accommodate new businesses of all sorts. The seven hundred block of Kennedy has at least three vacant commercial spaces, one of which will be occupied by ANXO. Putting these places to good use will make the neighborhood a better place. This is not a zero sum game.

        • justinbc

          “What’s it going to bring?”
          How about more money to the neighborhood? I’m sure your Yum’s Chinese carryout and Caribbean restaurants are super great, but this city is packed with identical businesses to those in practically every neighborhood. ANXO would be unique, and bring in people from other neighborhoods with lots of money to spend, and some of that may be spread around elsewhere once they see just how awesome your General Tso’s chicken is.

      • LisaT

        This is a run down and blighted strip full of liquor stores and funeral homes and drug dealers. The few businesses you mention aren’t doing much to contribute in the first place. I personally have no need for a “cidery,” but let’s not get so hung up on the glory of weak existing businessss we can’t celebrate when something with potential does open. It doesn’t diminish what others are doing, but the piece is about this new business, not the others, it’s just the basics of staying on topic. Everyone wants to be insulted over something all the time. If these other businesses want attention (and business), maybe they should step it up (like Andrene’s did).

        • It’s not a run down, blighted strip. It’s a working class neighborhood with a mix of restaurants and services. The first step to people claiming space is claiming it isn’t being used right. That’s some fundamental Americana right there. There’s plenty of room for new business, but I got no room for claims about blightedness, revival, or the news-everyone’s-waiting-for in the form of a cidery.

    • Andrene is absolutely right – the tone of this post is pretty dismissive of everyone who has been building Kennedy Street NW. No one really recruited a cidery to this long-empty building. The promotion and outreach that KSDA has done with the new owner of the building and the public at large may have made a difference bringing a maker/restaurant combo to this spot. But we expect that every new business will adapt to the street, instead of the street adapting to them And we are sure that the folks at ANXO know (or will learn quickly) the unique character of their new home street and contribute to building on it. There are lots of longtime (black and white) residents of the area who do want big changes on Kennedy Street, but also lots of small businesses and renters who are concerned that a street they’ve grown with and helped make a better place will become too pricey for them. That sucks, and if there is any way we can try to mitigate that, we should try.

  • hahaha… I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you if you think Kennedy Street is going to be able to support a Basque restaurant and artisanal cider place anytime soon.

  • I understand the sensitivity towards Popville’s language, but I think the enthusiasm is well meaning. There already are great businesses on Kennedy St that neighbors love and that support the community. But there are also many empty, unused properties. And the city and many property owners have neglected the street for a long time. Many sidewalks aren’t ADA accessible. Too many property owners have empty places in awful condition yet aren’t willing to invest a cent to turn their property into a usable space. One thing that’s nice about this story is it’s unique for the street in that the property owner is actually investing to improve his space (usually it’s just been renting business doing upgrades which is financially risky for a business that doesn’t own).

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