Thanks to all who emailed and tweeted us:

“Same block as the fire over the summer (this one 1626). Firefighters arrived at 7:45am. Had to break down the door and through all of the windows on each level. Sawing through all of the window bars. Unsure if anyone was home or injured. Now at 8:05 there isn’t anymore smoke billowing out of the house and firefighters are coming out.

Update – thankfully no one was inside.”

1711 Rhode Island Avenue, NW

“Today, the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington approved the decision to enter into a purchase agreement for the YMCA National Capital facility, located at 1711 Rhode Island Avenue, NW. As part of the Y’s longtime mission to support families, kids and its community, the nonprofit’s volunteer board and staff leadership are reallocating its limited resources and restructuring operations to meet changing needs and emerging gaps. The Y will continue to have a strong presence in the District, and its primary focus is transitioning its staff, members and services, as well as maintaining community outreach programs.

“This was not an easy decision, but as a nonprofit organization with limited resources, the YMCA must continually evaluate community needs against available resources to strike the right balance in fulfilling our mission,” said Keith Smith, Chair of the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. “Our buildings may house us, but they do not define us. We have a tremendous opportunity to grow and broaden our reach, but in order to do so, we have to establish more appropriate and efficient models for service delivery.”

While the YMCA National Capital facility has served the downtown business district for 37 years, the needs of the community require that the Y evolve its approach to a community/ neighborhood-based model where it can serve more children and families. With more than 30 like-service providers within walking distance, membership at the YMCA National Capital has declined from a peak of 11,000 to today’s 3,400. As a result, the facility operates at an increasing financial deficit. The Y has invested more than $1.5 million in capital improvements in the building, but because the investments necessarily addressed inefficiencies of the facility and not aesthetics, they did not spur membership growth. After reviewing several proposals, the YMCA has selected a developer with which to move forward. The facility will close as a YMCA as of December 31, 2015. (more…)

1711 Rhode Island Avenue, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I learned to my dismay that the YMCA National Capital branch will be put up for sale (or is it already up for sale?). This was told to me by a reasonably strong source who was communicated this last week by management officially. They are seeking the big bucks for the location and trying to get over losses they had at the new Antony Bowen location (14th and V). They will let go eventually all of the hourly employee and move around the permanent staff.

This is quite shocking news since this is the only somewhat affordable community gym facility in downtown Washington, not to mention one of the very few swimming pool of a decent size… plus it offers the community some activities such as kids summer camp, and so on which will likely not be easily replaced…Also very weird since they closed the Potomac Branch on June 1. Seems that the Board is completely careless about community needs and instead of replacing the incompetent management and manage the place once and for all professionally, they’d rather cash in. I can’t believe it!”

Ed. Note: The 17th and Rhode Island Ave YMCA location were having a membership drive this weekend. When asked about a possible sale of the building – they said they hadn’t heard this news. Updates when/if more info becomes available.

UPDATE from the Board of Directors & staff leadership of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington:

“As part of our ongoing strategic planning process, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has been reviewing its operations, services and resources including a comprehensive assessment of YMCA National Capital’s long-term feasibility and impact. We are in the process of reviewing proposals from multiple local real-estate developers interested in the redevelopment of this property.

As a non-profit organization with limited resources, the YMCA must continually evaluate community demographics and needs to strike the right balance in fulfilling our mission. Our buildings may house us, but they do not define us. We have a tremendous opportunity to grow and broaden our reach, but in order to do so, we have to establish more appropriate and efficient models for service delivery. To that end, we are actively looking for new sites in the District to open a family-centered YMCA. Our goal is to serve more people and to be a positive force in the District and beyond. The YMCA takes great pride in being a vital part of the community for 163 years.”


1528 Connecticut Ave, NW

From a press release:

“José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup announces the opening of the second Beefsteak location in Washington, D.C., in its historic Dupont Circle neighborhood. Beefsteak first debuted in spring 2015 in the city’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood and recently announced plans to launch its first Philadelphia location at the University of Pennsylvania campus in the spring of 2016.

At Beefsteak, farm-fresh, market-driven vegetables take center stage, showcasing the season’s best and year-round favorites to create hearty, nourishing meals you can feel good about. The central focus of the menu are the grain bowls, with countless options combining flash-prepared vegetables, hearty grains like bulgur, house-made sauces such as garlic yogurt, crisp and fresh toppings and optional meatier toppings such as salt-cured salmon, chicken sausage and a poached egg. (more…)

1633 P Street, NW

Finally word on what’s happening at the former Heritage India (Cafe Mirasol, and previously Cafe Luna and Skewers spaces) on P Street. Some details from the owner:

“NAZCA MOCHICA it’s our new peruvian concept, we are gonna have a cebiche bar, tapas bar, Pisco bar and a beautiful open kitchen.”

Could be awesome – stay tuned for updates as they get closer to opening!