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New Wine Bar Coming to U Street

by Prince Of Petworth July 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm 31 Comments

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It looks like the former home of Project 4 Art Gallery located at 903 U Street, NW is slated to become a wine bar. The liquor application says it will be called Dickson Wine, which you can see in the photo above is the name of the building.

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The application also says there will be light fare, charcuterie, and a DJ or small band with an occupancy of 75. Looks like this section of U Street is really starting to pick up with the addition of Nellie’s, Lounge of Three and now this.

  • Hey do people really goto wine bars?

    I’m just wondering….
    I see some of the new stores that come to DC and I just wonder how do they survive.
    I might be out of touch with the new face of DC so maybe its a big happening thing I don’t know about.

  • eric in ledroit

    yes i do! can’t wait for it to open!

  • Naomi

    YES!!!

  • Anonymous

    vonstallin, yeah, I go to wine bars. And then I get the bill, realize I’ve spent $50 and I’m not even full, and think, what the heck am I doing?

  • Victoriam

    Vonstallin – I was thinking exactly the same thing. I do love having neighborhood watering holes, but have never really understood the wine bar concept. There are so many good wine producers these days, and so many knowledgeable buyers in every wine shop and Wholefoods, that it is hard to imagine paying $9 and (way) up for a glass of wine, when you can buy a whole bottle for the same price.

    This isn’t the olden days of Gallo jug vs. “French” or Chianti. Any shop will offer 20 very good every-day whites under $15.00, and fifty complex, really interesting bottles in the $30 range. (Can most of you really tell the difference between a good S.Africa Chenin Blanc and a Marlbourogh Sauvignon?) Even decent reds are plentiful in the under $20.00 range, and there are excellent ones in the $30-40.

    I’m doubtful about the profit margin as well. Wine by the glass can be two, maybe three times your bottle cost, while liquor is at least ten times.

    Always wishing the best for new businesses though!

  • Anonymous

    Dickson Wine. Now say the name out loud. *snicker*

  • DCDireWolf

    Well lord knows the one thing this city needed was another wine bar. Not nearly enough of them around.

  • Thank God! Yet another snooty DC wine bar where I can always depend on an experience which includes:

    – Overpriced and painfully average entrees, appetizers, & sweet treats
    – Small portions on big Plates… don’t forget the decorative drizzle!
    – 200% Price mark-up on $15-25 grocery store wine
    – Staff w/ ovewhelming sense of intellect or entitlement …how’s life as a professional waitress treating you? Oh you’re waiting for your big break? How cute.

    I’m having a premonition… brushed steel furnishings, thought provoking silverware, Saturday night electropop DJ’s. May God have mercy on your soul.

  • Nita

    vonstallin – absolutely yes. although i wish one would open up in petworth… u street doesn’t need another one.

  • WestIndianArchie

    DCDireWolf Says:

    July 1st, 2009 at 6:05 pm
    Well lord knows the one thing this city needed was another wine bar. Not nearly enough of them around.

    ^^^Amen Brother!

    And given how flush DC and especially U-Street is right now, this will undoubtedly tip the balance in the race against our arch nemesis, Georgetown.

    *does hipster scowl*

  • That said, best of luck to a local business. Please prove me wrong; include a Half-Price Bottle-Night, offer affordable entrees, and make it a place that encourages ‘regulars’ rather than ‘explorers’.

  • eric in ledroit

    way to be all snobby and rude about waitresses. jeez.

  • @eric in ledroit – I have no problem with waiting as an employment opportunity. I was a waiter for a long time, I’m currently dating a very talented waitress, and there are some waiters at nice gigs who undoubtedly dwarf my salary and job satisfaction.

    That said, I think anyone who has worked in the food & beverage industry has had experience working with wait staff who are on the cusp of fine dining, have been for some time, and are more than willing to take their quasi-profitable frustration and dashed professional aspirations out on customers and coworkers.

    U-Street wine bars are the type of place where tips on $15 entrees may be enough to be enough to pay the rent and drown your sorrows but not enough to eat at your own restaurant without the employee discount and that sours some people, just saying.

  • eric in ledroit

    maybe. the waitresses and waiters i’ve had at Vinoteca, my favorite, have all been super friendly and generally look student-age. Also, we typically run $100+ tabs, so they’re making pretty good money relatively to a lot of other gigs.

  • Steve

    I will believe it when it opens. Still waiting for the wine bar on 11th. I think it is nearly a year over due.

  • eric in ledroit

    steve there is a wine bar on 11th – vinoteca.

  • Anonymous

    That corner on 9th and U is such an eye sore. Will be nice to see some development there.

  • Victoriam

    Flipflopirate – I haven’t got the sense from your earlier postings that you are a complete asshole – so i’m trying to chalk this up as an abberation – but you aren’t making it easy!

    “- Staff w/ ovewhelming sense of intellect or entitlement …how’s life as a professional waitress treating you? Oh you’re waiting for your big break? How cute. . . ”

    “. . .anyone who has worked in the food & beverage industry has had experience working with wait staff who are on the cusp of fine dining, have been for some time, and are more than willing to take their quasi-profitable frustration and dashed professional aspirations out on customers and coworkers.”

    Yeah – It was really cute being a waitress for 25 f**ing years, during which I wrote SIX published novels. (While being a damn good, entirely professional waiter/bartender.) Even with some good reviews, contest finalists, book lists, good sales, (over 50,000 for one,) I couldn’t live off that income. ($15,000 a year on average.)

    How many books did you buy last year? How many plays did you attend? How many artworks did you buy?

    Sorry, you get no points for dating a waitress – she should in fact, dump your sorry ass tonight.

    Shut the f**k up and tip well.

  • colelady

    I think the sense of entitlement was just made clear…. However, I’m very excited for this new wine bar! Not being a big fan of the large crowds at Nellie’s, I’ll certainly frequent this place.

  • ro

    you would be surprised at how much money a waiter can pull in this town

  • Zoom268

    Really? Honestly?

    Can’t I drink wine in my living room, while enjoying the company of friends?

  • What’s the point of drinking a $9 glass of wine if nobody can see you do it? You might as well sit alone in your walk-in humidor on a pile of money wearing nothing but a coat made out of baby seals. “Consumption” without “conspicuous” is like sex without love.

  • Anonymous

    They aren’t really going to call it Dickson Wine, are they? That’s one hell of a double entendre.

  • Sammy

    I’m so disappointed to see so much negativity on PoP lately.

    I live around the corner from this place and I’m delighted to see another local business in the mix, and look forward to giving it a try!

  • Awesome news! 9th and U is really becoming a hub of excitement. I hope the vacant building on the northwest corner is soon sold and transformed into something cool… maybe an all night diner (would be a great compliment to Town, 9:30, etc.).

  • Anonymous

    I agree. Dickson Wine is a poor double-entendre.

    It should be Yuppiedildos Wine.

  • MPHS

    I have visited the wine bars, and I thought the food was great and the wine was great, but the bill was big.

    Question: if a wine bar opens, but then doesn’t make it financially, is there anything to stop them from switching to Coors light and featuring buffalo wings? Does the license restrict them to fancy, shmancy, or could the economy lead these owners of liquor licenses to become Hooters franchisors?

  • Jay’O

    Yeah, I live nearby and just last night comented that that corner needs to be developed something firece! While the corner building would be to die for, a wine bar next door should really move things along!

  • Binkesworth

    Sammy – totally agree. People just never have anything positive to say about anything on PoP these days. Bloody depressing.

    I, for one, love the idea of another wine bar, giving the opportunity for a wine bar crawl. Awesome.

  • “It is hard to imagine paying $9 and (way) up for a glass of wine, when you can buy a whole bottle for the same price.”

    It is hard to imagine why the idea of paying more for something when you’re out, is so hard to imagine. This seems to come up on PoP every time a new wine bar/drinking establishment/social place of any kind. Just so there’s no more confusion I’m going to try to be very clear.

    Top 7 reasons why you might go somewhere else and pay much more for wine/beer/mixed drink/organic carrot-mushroom smoothie than you could if you just bought the same thing at the store and stayed home

    — OR —

    “Why on Earth Would Anyone Ever Go To A Bar, Night Clubs or Restaurant,
    So How Can They Possibly Exist?”

    7) Not everyone has space to entertain
    6) Not everyone likes entertaining
    5) People like to go places where they might new people
    4) People like to be in cool/different environments
    3) People like variety offered by bars/restaurants, which would be impractical to have at home
    2) (For wine bars in particular) people like being able to sample lots of different wines

    1) People just like GETTING OUT OF THEIR HOUSE!

    Here’s the bottom line which is simply unassailable: bars exist. People go to them. Therefore, there is a market for them.

    Perhaps you are not one of the target customers? So don’t join this conversation.

    This conversation is about wine bars.

    When PoP posts about a widget store opening, I don’t post “It’s hard to imagine buying a widget.” Who cares? Obviously some people buy widgets, so widget lovers, knock yourselves out discussing this widget store.

  • Isabel

    Wine bars are, generally, not snobby, number one. The proprietors are genuinely passionate about wine and want to
    share their knowledge/expertise. Every now and then you have a bad experience; it’s not exclusive to wine bars…
    #2 It has nothing to do with whether you can tell the difference between wine A and Wine B, it has to do with what you LIKE.
    #C One cannot compare the price of a bottle at a grocery, liquor or wine store to the price at a restaurant; they have to store it, open it, serve it, and wash the glasses for cry eye. It’s called mark up, to offset the cost of doing business. OK?!

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