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1946 New Hampshire Ave, NW

Thanks to a reader for sending word:

“Back in January, you blogged about the Subway closing at 16th/NewHampshire/U Street. On Saturday, I walked by and there was some construction going on. A man happened to walk out, and when I asked him what was going in there, he said it would be a Yamas Mediterranean Grill.  I’ve gotten takeout from the one in Bethesda a few times, it’s pretty good. Certainly an upgrade over the Subway.”

Yamas’s website says:

“”Yamas” is a word of Greek origin (Γεια µας) that means “to our Health” and is like “Cheers” around dining tables in Greece and around the world. We are dedicated to providing the best quality tasting food based on the Mediterranean diet for lunch on the “go” or sitting with a table of mezzes (small plates) philosophizing with your friends and family.

We are proud to offer a Mediterranean Menu using only naturally raised antibiotic free meats, olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables – including locally sourced and organic when available.

Enjoy our delicious signature dishes featuring hand made lamb and beef gyros, our juicy Yamas rotisserie chicken marinated with lemon and spices served with fresh sides and fresh grass-fed beef burgers with fresh cut potatoes fried in olive oil. Don’t leave without trying the Opa! Fries! – Hand cut fries with feta cheese mixed together for an amazing side.

Yamas above all is a state of mind. A place where the mind clears and the Mediterranean region’s timeless culinary traditions, vibrant cultures and passionate zest for life come alive.”

You can see their menu here.

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1926 14th Street, NW

Located next door to the coming soon Wydown Coffee and a few storefronts north of the new Trader Joe’s is Tico:

“A place that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Tico has a fun, sexy atmosphere, delicious and unpretentious food, amazing cocktails, cold beer, lots of tequila, cool music and great people watching.

Tico is all about your good time.

Conceived by Chef/Owner Michael Schlow, Tico is a new and exciting style of restaurant; American at its core, the menu is influenced by Schlow’s travels and love for Spain, Mexico and South America.”

You can see their Boston menus here.

An old liquor license application says the DC spot will have an occupancy load of 250 with seating for 150.

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We first heard about Tico coming to DC back in 2012 when 14th and U looked like this:

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Compass_Rose
1346 T Street, NW

From a press release:

Compass Rose Bar & Kitchen will open on Thursday, April 17 at 1346 T Street, NW. The intimate restaurant was inspired by co-owner Rose Previte’s international travels. She and her husband, NPR Morning Edition Host David Greene, spent three years based in Russia, and the couple has traveled widely across Europe.

“Everywhere we went, David and I always said some of our best memories were strolling neighborhoods and experiencing a place through its food,” Previte says. “The former Soviet Republic of Georgia? I knew little about it five years ago. Now, I know it’s one of the friendliest, most interesting countries on earth. And when I think about it, I can literally smell and taste the khachapouri, the cheese bread sold everywhere, often by ladies who pop their heads out of the windows of their bakeries to give you a taste. That is one of our features at Compass Rose.”

Previte, whose Sicilian father and Lebanese mother taught her to cook, spent a decade in the restaurant business and helped her mother open a small family restaurant in Bluffton, Ohio. She and Greene now live in the 14th Street corridor.

“Making people feel at home, and being part of a community — those two things are so important to me,” Previte says. “So while our menu will take you on a tour of the world, Compass Rose will be a local, neighborhood gathering place where you can meet new people, kick back, and talk about life.”

Early in her career, Previte worked for her now-business partner, Mike Schuster, who has run neighborhood taverns across the city. He also co-owns Star and Shamrock, the recently opened Barrel, and Trusty’s, which defined itself as a neighborhood gathering place when it came to Capitol Hill in 2005. Schuster says he’s excited to bring his approach to a fast-growing part of the District.

“I got into the bar and restaurant business because I love community gathering spots–where people can eat, drink, share stories, meet new friends, just be comfortable and enjoy themselves,” Schuster says. “That’s what Trusty’s is about. I’ll never abandon that approach. Compass Rose Bar & Kitchen will wrap great food and drink with comfort and accessibility.”

JohnPaul Damato is the new restaurant’s executive chef. Damato has been front and center at some of Washington’s culinary jewels. He worked at Restaurant Nora, and later worked closely with famed chef Jose Andres. Damato also worked as executive chef for the Jaleo restaurants in the DC metro area.

Compass Rose Bar & Kitchen will open on Thursday, April 17 at 1346 T Street, NW. It will be open daily at 5 PM and close at 2 AM during the week, and 3 AM on weekends. Brunch and a late-night menu will soon follow.”

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1301 U Street, NW

The transformation of U Scream Ice Cream to Bin 1301 Wine Bar is nearly complete. Looks like it’ll turn into a sweet little spot. An amazing transformation if you remember what the ice cream store used to look like. Updates when construction is 100% complete and an opening date is announced. But to give a little idea, I stopped by on Saturday for a quick look:

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Compass_Rose
1346 T Street, NW next to St. Ex

They were hoping for the 12th and while you might see some activity starting tomorrow, those’ll be some friends and family events – but the good news is – Compass Rose opens to the public on Wednesday:

“will officially open our doors to the public on Wed, the 16th!! I’m so excited. After a 7 month liquor license battle, a government shut down, something like 10 snow days and 2 polar vortexes-we are ready to roll.”

If you missed the sneak peek – you can have a look inside here.

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Not a proper Streets of Washington like the awesome one from earlier this week but this photo from the collection of John DeFerrari is so freaking cool. John is the author of Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats

I had no idea that:

“The storefront at 1610 U Street NW supposedly housed a speakeasy in Prohibition days. In the 1940s and 1950s it was Alfred’s Steak House, prominently located at the western end of the “Black Broadway” of U Street. According to Stetson’s web site, Alfred’s customers included Duke Ellington, Pearl Bailey, Nat King Cole, Count Basle, and Sarah Vaughn. Stetson’s Bar and Grill opened on the site in 1980.”

I also had no idea that Stetson’s has been open since 1980!?!…

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1610 U Street, NW today

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1916 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Why does the Trader Joe’s on 14th Street open at 9AM instead of 8AM? There are so many people who live near by who could stop by on the way to work for fruit, prepared lunch items, etc.

A review of their website shows that every other Trader Joe’s in the Washington, DC area opens at 8AM.

I had hoped these hours might be temporary, however the sign on the window seems pretty permanent.”

04/03/14 10:30am

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1346 T Street, NW next to St. Ex

We’ve been waiting a long time to see how Compass Rose turned out in the former Collage Cafe space on T Street next door to St. Ex and though I feel like I say this a lot – this one was definitely worth the wait.  At least from the looks.  This is one of the nicest transformations of a space I’ve seen since Rose’s Luxury on Barracks Row.  Though not affiliated there’s gotta be something to having Rose in the name… This one’s a bit smaller but equally as sweet.

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You can see some background and what Rose’s Compass used to look like here.  This was the spot that had a vision to give the space the feel of an outdoor market place.  Stay tuned for an April 12th (5pm) opening – and here’s a boatload of photos to whet your whistle:

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Tons more photos after the jump. (more…)