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  • still haaaaate the look/design of this place tbh

  • It’s really a sad reflection on this city that so many of Popville’s posts are some version of “Man, we’ve been waiting for X to open up for years, what’s the holdup?” I can’t help but wonder how much more quickly investment would flow into neighborhoods like Petworth/Park View/Kennedy Street if owners faced a more reasonable path through the bureaucracy. Yeah, it’s true that some issues cannot be blamed on the city’s agencies or the utility companies, but more often than not they are the root cause.

  • Are any of the Ward 4 council member candidates speaking to the issue of helping small businesses get past overly complicated and inefficient/corrupt zoning and DCRA permitting. I have heard from the owner of another small business that the only way he was able to get his second location up and running was to spend almost $25,000 on a consultant/fixer, who was a former DCRA employee who knew how to press the system and jump the line. The overly burdensome permitting and approval system is also why developers are so good at buying and flipping houses; they know how (and basically pay bribes) to get through the system fast. So we are left with a huge hurdle for small businesses to get started, and homeowners who might otherwise renovate themselves, but can’t because of the huge bureaucratic hurdle. Any Ward 4 Candidate should be speaking to how they are going to help small businesses.

    • Amen, if you find them let them know they have my vote.

    • The permitting process for a row home renovation or conversion is much simpler than for a business (in these cases, restaurants and bars), and it is still burdensome. Just because you see those happening more frequently than businesses opening doesn’t justify accusing developers of bribery

      • Yes I am doing a major renovation of my Ward 4 rowhouse and get my permits including structural all approved in a few hours at DCRA. It helped that my drawings were absolutely perfect, but it was easy and I certainly didn’t bribe anyone, nor would I.

        • I don’t see any ward four candidate talking enoug about economic development, business recruitment or helping small businesses open.

    • The permitting process in this city is an unmitigated disaster. There are just too many restaurants that get bogged down in permitting for it to be possible that all of the owners of these places, some of whom are experienced restaurateurs, are messing up or don’t know what they are doing. Do the mayor’s office, DCRA, and the Council not understand how much tax revenue they are missing out on because the city makes it so damn difficult to open? Does the city not understand that it is deterring new investment? It is extremely expensive to sit on a lease while the city dithers over permits. Unless something changes, we are going to chase away all of the small business owners.

  • Can someone explain all the problems filling space on this stretch? Park Place has been there for years and still has at least 4 vacant commercial spots. What about Fahrenheit? Any movement there? It’s been a while at this point.
    And that doesn’t even address the many dilapidated structures. What about the beer garden by Morton? Is that waiting on permits? And Reliable Tavern? What about Alfies on Upshur?

    • I heard Midlands is waiting on some DC govt stuff, but I’m not too surprised with that since it seemed like an aggressive timeline. Reliable Tavern seems to have gone completely dark. I’ve seen multiple people ask about it and no answers. Lastly, rumor is that Alfie’s is staying in the Mothership spot, but not sure if that’s true.

      • It’s almost as if the mayor and DCRA are actively trying to discourage places from moving to the neighborhood.

      • hammers

        I’ve heard that Reliable Tavern just got their liquor license approved, and will open once the remodeling is complete.

        • Oooh!
          But when will the remodeling be complete? They’ve had that space for 10 or so months now, no?

    • On that note, what about the place that Ivy & Coney were going to open on Kennedy?

    • I think Alex McCoy is still planning to put something in the China American Inn but he’s leaving Alfies in Park View. Sucks because Alfies is pretty spectacular.

    • I think the retail space below park place might be too big/ $$ for some of the smaller neighborhood stores we see on upsure and with the large mall like stores ready in co heights i am not sure what would go well their.

      • If you go back in the archives here you will find discussion of this at length. It’s not that small businesses aren’t interested in the space it’s that the developer (which I believe is in CA) is receiving a tax abatement for the space and has no incentive to rent these units out. They have only accepted applications from national chains, with the exception of Sala Thai, because they view smaller local businesses as too high risk. Sala Thai had to fight like hell to get in there, and the fact that they are essentially a local chain most likely contributed to their success.

        • IIRC, the Donatelli group ended up buying the California partners out.
          So we all thought we’d see some movement, and maybe some non-chain establishments coming to the place.
          Since then, though, only the Dunkin’ Donuts has opened (if I remember the timeline correctly), and of course that’s a chain. And the Wells Fargo (also a chain) location seems to be stalled.
          This is a disappointing result.

  • I loved a PoPville reader’s comment a while back on this one: “I walk by everyday and see that dude laying bricks in the front at a rate of about 0.5/hr.”

  • I hope it does well! its right across the street from me. I get nervous because Chez billie also can accommodate a large number of dinners but often times feels a bit dead . I hope this place will be better.

    What type for food is it suppose to be?

    • I don’t think investors or restaraunt entrepreneurs even understand the lack of family or fast casual food options in Petworth. There is so much great real estate near the metro (especially Park Place!) that sits vacant or is occupied by some hole in the wall with sporadic hours. Don’t get me started on the predatory lending places… So much untapped opportunity. Just watch how well Slim’s Dineer does. I can’t speak to Homestead, but it’s sad that there is not better food and retail in southwest Petworth.

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