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A reader reports:

“All streets blocked in Chinatown. Evidently there is a body in the covered green car.”

Another reader reports:

“Police closed off all of 7th St between H & I as well as H St in front of the metro entrance and between 7th 8th. They also evacuated Walgreens across the street, someone said there was a dead body found in a car in front of Fudruckers (car was covered with a sheet). The police cars were positioned in a way to block the view of the car. Someone else said there was a suspicious package and that’s why everyone had to leave the area.”

On twitter another reader writes:

“Any idea why Chinatown is all blocked off by cops? No vehicle or pedestrian traffic for a few blocks. all of 7, 8 and 9 between H and I that I walked past. Couldnt get through on any.”

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UPDATE: Reports on twitter indicate this could be a suspicious package situation – MPD looking in care now as of 1:05pm:

@jszmajda tweets us:

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633 D Street, NW

From a press release:

“Ashok Bajaj’s landmark Rasika is closing briefly on July 5th, for four days, to undergo a total makeover. It will reopen in time for dinner service on July 9th. Located at 633 D Street, N.W., (between 6th & 7th Streets), the four-star restaurant will soon be celebrating its 10th anniversary as it opened in December 2005. Rasika was quickly recognized as one of the America’s “Best New Restaurants” by Esquire, as well as one of Food & Wine’s “Hottest Restaurants in The World” during its first year. This crowd pleaser is known for exceptional Indian fare, created by Rasika’s Group Executive Chef Vikram Sunderam, who captured the “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” James Beard Award in 2014.

Guests will find an eye-catching transformation of the 140-seat oasis. The new décor is being spearheaded by Harry Gregory, the director of ara Design of London, England. Gregory designed the opening interior for Rasika and has worked with Bajaj on several of his award-winning restaurants over the years.

“The make-over is necessary to maintain Rasika’s good looks and cutting edge appeal,” states Harry Gregory. “Without transforming the restaurant’s appearance too much, it was decided to freshen up the interior by changing the colour palette and by providing new lighting, fabrics and furniture. However the first step is to install a new acoustic ceiling to lower the noise level which will make the restaurant an even more pleasant space to dine.”

In the main dining room, silk effect wall covering will be employed in a soft range of mustard colors that harmonize the whole space and work alongside the new chair upholsteries, which will be in shades of olive green and brown. While in the private dining room, a whole new feel is being created incorporating a specially made wall covering from Europe’s Timorous Beasties. This company is known for being bold when it comes to use of both pattern and color. In fact the new private room will be quite a special and striking place to entertain up to 16 guests.

New lighting is being imported from United Kingdom-based Chelsom Lighting. The “artichoke” lights are finished in a soft brushed gold tone to bring a sense of glamour to the interior. These will enhance Rasika’s signature red and clear glass crystal curtain which will remain in place. The new lighting will enrich the middle section of the restaurant while accentuating the Indian atmosphere.

Patterned fabrics from Rubelli in Venice, Italy will also add a quality touch to the new interior and again invoke the feel of India. The contemporary feel of the restaurant is enhanced by new armchairs from Potocco, a company also based in Italy and specially sourced for this important make-over. Finally a new feature wall with shelves and lighting exhibits original artifacts brought from India by Ashok Bajaj. One will see antique pots and vases which add the atmosphere of the new and fresh Rasika restaurant.”

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You can see their menu here.

Lots more photos after the jump. (more…)

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575 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

From a press release:

“On Monday, August 3rd, The Source by Wolfgang Puck will close for two weeks to redesign the two-level restaurant space. The restaurant will reopen to the public at the end of August with a new look. During the last week of August and the first two weeks of September, Executive Chef Scott Drewno will change over his menus in order to offer guests a new lounge concept and dining room menu that will launch at the end of September.

The Source’s first floor bar and lounge will be completely renovated and will focus on offering guests a new menu of innovative takes on classic Chinese cuisine. Additions to the space include an open wok station and new seating throughout. Beginning in September, the upstairs dining room will become home to a hot pot table designed by Art Drauglis, offerings guests a traditional Chinese hot pot experience in a tasting menu format. Guests will experience a progression of dishes that they will cook themselves at the table in a spicy Sichuan peppercorn and Facing Heaven chili broth. Both the lounge renovation and dining room update are being done by Waldo Fernandez.

A roving tableside soup cart will also join the new dining room offerings, with updated versions of traditional Chinese soups. Chef Drewno will dedicate a section of the new menu to large format dishes, which will include his dining room signature, Chinese Lacquered Duckling, served two-ways.”

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6th and H Street, NW

Last week a reader wrote in about Beef ‘N Bread coming to Chinatown. It’s now confirmed that it’s coming from the owners of the great Wiseguys pizza.

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I spoke with the owner who tells me he hopes to open in about two months if all goes well:

“Beef n Bread is a fast casual down to earth sandwich shop inspired from living in Boston (what pizza is to New Yorkers, Roast beef is to Bostonians) I lived there like 4 years. It’s also inspired from NY and CA. Combined with our unique homemade sauces.”

Given how good the pizza is at Wiseguys – I can’t wait to see how the sandwiches turn out. Stay tuned.

Building freshly painted gray:

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705 H Street, NW

Yesterday a reader wrote in noting it looked like &pizza’s Chinatown location was no more. Their PR people got in touch with me and say that the coming soon signage was vandalized so they had to take the rest down and that they removed the coming soon from their website because they like to wait for a more definitive date. At the moment: “they are unclear on the exact timetable given the current site conditions of the space.”