Some Scuttlebutt For Ya – Wine Bar Coming to 11th Street in Columbia Heights!

by Prince Of Petworth May 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm 27 Comments

IMG_0631, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Now remember all posts that have the word “scuttlebutt” in them must be taken with a grain of salt. However, a particularly good source has emerged who will be known as the Park Road Prognosticator (PRP). So PRP has tracked down a phenomenal scoop. Apparently 11th Street Deli has been sold. In and of itself that would be a sad thing. But for the fact that a number of sources are saying that the new owner plans on opening a wine bar and pastry shop! I’m telling you 11th Street keeps getting better and better! Has anyone else heard this rumor?

  • New2CH

    They did indeed announce this at the ANC meeting last night (it has not been sold, they are just taking over the lease). It will be a wine bar also serving deserts, cheeses, and charcuterie. Plan to have it renovated and opened by september which sounds a little ambitious … but at least they plan to move forward quickly. They hope to seat 15 inside (which will require some major creativity / reorganization of the tight space, much of which as currently situated is inaccessible to patrons) and up to 20 on the patio, and will be back at next month’s ANC meeting with more details and a liquor license request.

  • Geezer

    Sounds awesome. It’s a great storefront with major potential for a very appealing wine bar.

  • New Hampy

    Fantatic idea. Was not a fan of the “deli” – as it wasn’t a true deli in my humble opinion.

  • Stockard Channing

    Too bad it has to open in a functioning business instead of a vacant space 🙁
    I like being able to stumble to breakfast takeout on Sunday mornings!

  • Steve

    The space would be perfect for an Italian style bar. In places like florence bars are usually very small offering cappuchino, espresso, and pasteries in the morning and small sandwiches, wine, beer and aperitifs the rest of the day. Such an establishment would be just incredible!

  • GforGood

    Err… what is “charcuterie”? Ok, scratch that, Google to rescue. Anyway, sounds great! Sounds a bit on the posh side, but should be nice, especially if the pastry are actually good (and not some yucky “Cake Love” style overly sugarly buttercreamily nasty caky things.. yeah, FY too, Cake Love lovers.. or just the same o samo muffins and scones) ;-P

  • New2ch

    I’ve seen the prospective menu and if the final version in any way resembles that, it will be fantastic, especially on the desert / pastry side. Let’s just hope the city / ANC does not create unnecessary stumbling blocks.

    As for the business, I hate to say but I was not a fan at all, I thought the food was very low quality. It was a LOT better when it was Franklin’s … with all of the many food options coming to CH, it is really going to be survival of the fittest (which is why I hope CH Coffee gets off their a– soon and expands, lest they get crushed by Mocha Hut, Starbucks, etc. …).

  • Otis Gal

    Charcuterie and wine? Crap, my husband’s two favorite things, there goes our budget.

  • Markus

    mmmmm, charcuterie.

  • Too bad it has to open in a functioning business instead of a vacant space

    That was my first thought, too, Stockard Channing! With all of the vacant and underutilized storefronts on 11th and on 14th north of the Tivoli, it’s too bad it didn’t open up there. They had their issues, but Franklins/11th Street deli did make a decent breakfast sandwich. It wasn’t a true deli, though, that was a disappointment.

  • Anonymous

    I am sorry if the owners of the deli are being forced out and closing their business. I didn’t support them as much as I would have liked. Now: to put my two cents in. The owner/wine bar people need to put an addition on the place where the patio is and leave a few spots for a table or two. Too much patio is not neccessary. I witnessed a Starbuck’s renovation at UDC/Van Ness where they basically enclosed the patio and doubled the space of the place. The downfall of the deli/franklins I think was that half of the space was for the kitchen/prep area. If the owner/leaseholder enclosed the patio it would double the seating but also make the place feel twice as large. With the current configuration I can’t see how they could even fit 15 spots comfortably- even if they reduced the size of the prep area. I really think they could build a room for 50k or less- even call Long Fence and have them build one of those enclosed sunrooms! Or something like that beautiful enclosed deck with the long lantern lighting and slanted roof west of the giant??
    I second the mmmn charcuterie vote. Can’t pronounce it but love it anyway.

  • Anonymous


  • Newton

    I wish they were opening another pizza place instead, say a ‘california-style’ pizzeria, so that the ubiquitous pizza debate could start up all over again.

  • j of the jtl

    been wondering what was going on with this space. gonna miss janine and rolling in there hungover for breakfast on sundays. its a shame.

  • GforGood

    How about chicken or nasty chinese or “sould food” debates? Those would have ample material to rave about…

  • mking

    In other retail news, Mocha Hut on 14th and Crittenden has opened! Finally. They appear to have some outdoor tables and nice big open windows. Looks like a great place for a morning cup of Joe.

  • Anonymous

    Mocha Hut on 14th & Crittenden???? POP, is this true? Where are the pics? How did this news not get out????

  • katch

    nooooo!!!!! not the nook!!! (that’s what i call it…) they were so sweet and friendly over there. it was the best breakfast take-out ever, and their grits had more butter in them than actual grit. man, and the banana pudding. shucks. i’m sad that they are gone. i really liked them. and the football pool! i bet they won’t have a football pool at a “wine bar”.

    also, i hate wine.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I have heard the news about the Mocha hut reopening. I’ll get pictures this weekend!

  • Anonymous

    dont get me wrong, people. i am not a hater. but all of the requisite chatter about “diversity” notwithstanding, it’s interesting how changing communities almost always wage war on, as “g for good” put it, “chicken or nasty chinese” establishments.
    once a neighborhood’s transformation is complete, there is…. voila…. none of the aforementioned remaining. i guess because the chicken wing crowd has flown….
    just an observation…

  • Richard

    Can someone translate Anonymous’ comment (May 15 at 1:41pm). I’m not really getting it.

  • New2ch

    Personally, all I want is good food. I would love a good, authentic chinese place, the kind they have out in Rockville. What I don’t want is a depressing, bullet-proof glass, grease / MSG laden bastardized version of Chinese “cuisine.” It’s not about diversity, it’s about quality … hence good ethnic places, like Federal Distrito or quality chicken places, will survive and thrive, and the places that serve awful food will die a rightful death. Bring in the pho, or the taco places, or Chinese noodle bars, just make sure they are authentic and tasty!

    I think the problem with the 11th street deli is they tried to do too many things, and didn’t do any of it right. You can’t do burgers, and deli, and seafood, and italian, and so on, and hope to be able to make food correctly. If they had JUST been a burger joint, or JUST a sandwich place, and focused on making a few high-quality items, I would have been a regular customer … even Franklin had a much more limited, and better, menu in my view. They also employed no marketing whatsoever — one ugly, cheap looking sign, no web site, no effort to publicize themselves in the community … I don’t lament the failure of businesses that don’t even really try, I’m sorry …

  • Miss K

    Isn’t the Carvel on 14th street opening this week as well?

  • Miss K

    Yes, Anon, please explain…what exactly makes you part of this “chicken wing crowd”?

  • Anonymous

    Miss K, the Carvel has been open there for quite some time now, I believe…

  • RCR

    Not really understanding 1:41pm’s comment either, but there are still plenty of crappy chinese and wings places. Eastern Empire doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, for example.

    And the Carvel/Cinnabon has been open for over a year.

  • bogfrog

    I tried both Franklin’s (bullet-hard biscuits) and the 11th St Deli (turkey sandwich on wonder bread the blandest thing I have ever tasted; oatmeal with BUTTER on it… yuck) and then gave up.

    So what’s the “greasiest” Chinese place? Might be worthwhile to know in case of a hangover?

    P.S. WHO IS the “Park Road Prognosticator”???


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