el ray
919 U Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

My friend and I were having dinner in the back room of El Rey around 8:30 pm yesterday when a brawl broke out between a group of patrons. Only a few were actually fighting, but the crowd involved was probably about 40-50 people. Tables were flipped, chairs tossed, and at least one woman was throwing glassware at people.

The fight was eventually broken up (props to the bouncers on this!) and the crowd made their way out to the street leaving a wreck behind them. Our server told us that the two-top next to us had paid with a fake $50 and skipped out when the fighting crowd dispersed, so I imagine he was not the only server who got stiffed last night.

I am even sadder for the fact that while my friend’s first reaction, and that of several staff and other patrons, was to call 911, those closest to the fight pulled their phones out to film it. I feel disappointed and disgusted by the behavior I witnessed last night. I know there has been a long debate about whether and when to get involved when an individual witnesses crimes in action, but the very least people can do is call the police when a situation is escalating like that and putting others in danger.

Despite the incident yesterday, I will definitely be returning to El Rey. After the fight dispersed, the staff was really great and sweet to the patrons who were not involved, our server gave us a couple of beers and a series of apologies for what was clearly not his fault. I feel sad that this happened to them and their business.”

Photo of Willard Street by PoPville flickr user Ken Yu

“Dear PoPville,

I am writing to alert readers of a Peeping Tom in the U Street area. My husband and I live on Willard Street NW and we have a backdoor and back staircase/balcony that goes out to the alley parallel to U Street.

I am embarrassed to say that the presence of the Peeping Tom in this back alley has been known by many neighbors for years now. The Peeping Tom is an African American male, about 50 years old, medium build, and walks with a very distinct limp.

My husband, who has lived in our condo for 10 years, has pointed the PT out to me on several occasions over the past few years (not in the act of peeping, just walking around the alley) About two months ago our neighbor in the building next door alerted us that the evening before he shoo-ed the PT off our balcony–which is majorly creepy because my husband and I were sitting on the couch watching TV the whole evening, so he must have been watching us. We went to the police station and the officer we spoke to said to alert the cops the next time we see the PT in our area, and they will send someone out to question him. The officer said if we could also manage to snap a photo that would be ideal.

Fast forward to Friday night, my husband and I are getting home from dinner at around 10pm. Our neighbor (who shares the balcony with us/also has windows looking out to the balcony) intercepted us in the hallway and told us that about 5 minutes she was watching TV and she saw a man walk by her window and then 5 minutes later she saw a man wearing a big black hood poke his head around the corner and look into her window. At this point she had retreated into her kitchen, and as soon as she saw the man again, she turned on the lights and he ran away.

We called 911 who came out immediately (major props to the cops). The officer searched the area, didn’t find the PT, and we filed a police report. The officer recommended we get video cameras. I’m writing this because our neighbors need to be aware of this, and also because the more people who are on the lookout for this creeper, the better chance we have of catching this guy so he can hopefully stop terrorizing the neighborhood. I am SURE he is peeping in the whole neighborhood, not just the Willard Street alley. Peeping Toms are REALLY hard to catch and I want this guy gone.

update, the Peeping Tom was back last night (Sunday), so we called the cops again, and the cops asked my husband and me to ride around with them looking for the PT. We unfortunately didn’t find him, but is nice to know the police are genuinely trying to help us. In the back of a police car was not how we expected to spend our Sunday night. “

1939 12th Street, NW

Well it is supposed to get to 57 degrees today…

From a press release:

“Menchie’s, North America’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise, is celebrating National Frozen Yogurt Day by offering fans a free six ounce cup of frozen yogurt. On February 1 between 4 and 7 p.m., guests can visit the Menchie’s U Street at 1939 12th Street NW for their free cup. (more…)

2017 14th Street, NW

From a press release:

“Quarter+Glory, the latest addition to Washington, D.C.’s thriving hospitality scene along the U Street Corridor, today opens its doors at 2017 14th Street NW on the corner of U Street. Patrons will find a modern take on the classic American watering holes of past generations, where all walks of life convened over a shot of whiskey, a cold beer or a simple cocktail and enjoyed good conversation in a convivial atmosphere. (more…)

Photo courtesy Republic Kolache

From an email:

“This Saturday we’re celebrating Mardi Gras with the launch of a new collab with David Guas of Bayou Bakery: the king cake kolache!

Combining our kolache dough with David’s signature cream cheese & cinnamon filling (as well as the traditional icing & tricolor sprinkles) the king cake kolache will enjoy a limited run ending with Mardi Gras weekend on Feb. 6. (more…)

14th and V Street, NW

From a press release:

“Named after the 1930s collaborative play written by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, Mulebone, Washington’s newest restaurant will open February 12th 2016. Located on 14th Street’s restaurant row, Mulebone will feature a new chef, mixologist, speakeasy, and vintage store.

“Mulebone will be an experience that will bring together the two Harlem Renaissance writers in one curated space with events, cuisine and libations that celebrate the vivacity of Zora and the consciousness of Langston,” said Andy Shallal, owner. (more…)