2631 Connecticut Ave, NW

From Burton Heiss, CEO, Nando’s PERi-PERi USA via email:

“Earlier this year, the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment granted Nando’s permission to open a new restaurant in the Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington. The BZA ruled that Nando’s would “enhance the vitality of the street and provide a variety of healthy food choices at reasonable prices.” The local Advisory Neighborhood Commission also welcomed Nando’s to the neighborhood, and nearly 150 Woodley Park residents and business owners signed a petition supporting Nando’s plans. We were excited and ready to go.

But while authorizing Nando’s to open, the BZA ruled that Nando’s would have to reapply in five years for permission to continue operating. The Board ruled that it wanted to see in five years whether there were “adverse impacts” of adding another restaurant to the Connecticut Avenue strip. Nando’s asked for a reconsideration of the Board’s decision and requested a longer term, but the Board stood by its decision.

As a result, Nando’s is disappointed to announce that it won’t be opening in Woodley Park. While we appreciate the professionalism of the Zoning Board, Nando’s can’t move forward under those restrictive terms. Nando’s was prepared to create good-paying local jobs and construct a beautiful new restaurant in Woodley Park, filling it with original and contemporary South African art. But we couldn’t risk a seven-figure investment if, in just a few years, we might be told we no longer could operate in Woodley Park. The BZA gave Nando’s only five years, and started the clock ticking as of February 10, 2015. That would mean that, after construction, Nando’s might only have had four years before it had to reapply, an unacceptable risk on our multi-million-dollar investment.

Nando’s remains grateful to our Woodley Park fans for their overwhelming support. We built our U.S. headquarters in Washington in 2008 and remain committed to the District. We will continue to grow in Washington. In the meantime, we hope our customers will come and enjoy our spicy PERi-PERi flavors at our nearby Tenleytown restaurant and at our other DC locations.”


“Dear PoPville,

Last week on either Wednesday or Thursday, the construction crews at the Wardman Tower on Connecticut Ave chopped down a good number (I would guess 10 or so) Cherry trees from around the building, right across from the metro station. I’ve always loved this building and the beautiful, green grounds around it. I understand obviously the ground needs to be torn up for construction and everything, but the razing of so many trees on one of the city’s main thoroughfares seems like a big shame, I hope they don’t do this to the entire grounds.”

3000 Connecticut Ave, NW right across the street from the Zoo

Incredibly sad news out of Woodley Park. From Go Fund Me:

“Cheers, a place where everyone knows your name…

The Cheers show familiarized the world with the idea of a bar creating a sense of community and home. My father Steve McKinney, made this a reality in his own hometown of Washington DC with the Zoo Bar in Woodley Park DC.

Sadly, in one fell swoop both the livelihood of the Zoo Bar and my father are jeopardized after a double diagnosis of cancer – a reoccurrence of Liposarcoma in his leg and Leukemia (AML). The treatments and course for recovery would be tough on anyone, but for a bar owner who also bartends and who is not able to walk or stand strongly, one can only assume the complications and the need to ask for help.

What makes my father, Steve, and the Zoo Bar a special case is his dedication to the community and an even more special niche, the Blues community. The Zoo Bar has been a haven for Blues musicians in the Washington area to “jam” in a weekly open mic night and for bands to headline each weekend. As a customer…this is all free of charge. The Zoo Bar has remained in business for 15 years offering live music free of charge, FREE! This has been made possible because of dedication and compassion…My 61 year old father bartending 3 nights a week and using tip money to keep the bar a float.

Between the doctor’s bills and loss of revenue from not being able to work at the bar, Steve needs your help. His savings has been exhausted, credit cards are maxed out. Thousands have been spent on deductibles and co-pays, even from the initial cancer 2 years prior. All of this on top of an increased loss of business at the bar.. extreme DC weather, changing dynamic of the city and increased costs.

Without this help the bar will have to close – locals will be left without a home, Blues musicians will lose income they received from playing at the bar, the community will be lost.

Please help Steve and help keep the Zoo Bar and Blues music community stay alive!

You can donate here.


“Tickets are on sale now for the National Zoo’s 11th annual Brew at the Zoo, held on Thursday, July 23, 2015 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event, hosted by Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), will feature more than 70 craft beers on tap for the beer tasting extravaganza, all in support of wildlife conservation. Local favorites such as Port City Brewing Company and Atlas Brew Works will be joined by popular microbreweries including DC Brau Brewing Company, Flying Dog Brewery, and BadWolf Brewing Company.

In addition to sampling great hops, guests will be able to purchase food from local favorites including Ledo’s Pizza, and popular food trucks. Guests will be able to mingle with new and old friends while playing lawn games and enjoying live music by Bachelor Boys Band. (more…)

2621 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Back in January we shared some scuttlebutt that MacIntyre’s (an Irish bar) would be replacing Taste of India in Woodley Park. Eater DC now confirms:

“The team behind Maddy’s and Maddy’s Tap Room are looking to open Macintyre’s in Woodley Park this fall.”

They say there will be 14 beers on draft and seven 60 inch plasma televisions. Updates when they get closer to opening.

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jacques Arsenault

From the National Zoo:

“After carefully monitoring the behavior of both its giant pandas and female Mei Xiang’s hormones for weeks, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s team of reproductive scientists, veterinarians and panda keepers performed two artificial inseminations within the last 24 hours. The first procedure started at 6 p.m. on April 26, and the second began at 7:30 this morning, April 27. Daily hormone reports showed Mei Xiang’s progesterone levels peaked Sunday morning, an indication that she was in estrus and able to become pregnant.

For the first time this year, scientists used semen collected from a giant panda living at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, China. The chosen male panda, Hui Hui (pronounced “h-WEI h-WEI”), was determined to be one of the best genetic matches for Mei Xiang.

Although the Zoo’s male panda Tian Tian is not as genetically valuable as Mei Xiang, he is still important to the panda population. Scientists also used high-quality fresh semen collected from Tian Tian for the artificial inseminations. The first procedure used a combination of sperm from Hui Hui and Tian Tian. The second procedure also used thawed sperm from Hui Hui and sperm refrigerated overnight from Tian Tian. If Mei Xiang gives birth, scientists will use a DNA test to determine which male sired the cub. Mei Xiang was put under general anesthesia for the non-surgical artificial insemination(s). Each procedure took about an hour. The Zoo live-streamed portions of the first procedure on Twitter using Perioscope and live-posted to Instagram using #PandaStory. (more…)