Bloomingdale to Get a Neighborhood Bar! Really!

by Prince Of Petworth January 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm 47 Comments


Bloomingdale has been teased with the arrival of a neighborhood bar for years. Many thought that Baraki to be located at 1st and T Streets, NW would be the answer. Baraki’s opening has been delayed for months and there is no indication that it will open any time soon. On Twitter, there is some talk that Big Bear Cafe (1st and R) has applied or will apply for a liquor license though I didn’t see an application in the window when I walked by last weekend. But what I did learn was even more exciting. I ran into the owner of the soon to be Rustik Neighborhood Tavern to be located at 1832 1st Street, NW.

The owner, Diton Pashaj, told me that there are still a few hurdles to clear and some construction to be completed but his description sounds like just what many residents of Bloomingdale are craving. He hopes the space will be ready to open in May. He are some details:

“Yes, we will have food

Yes, we will do brunch

Happy hour…check

Yes we will have outdoor seating

Jukebox…no problem

Yes, it will be a cozy, neighborhood bar

Yes, we will have many delicious kinds of draft beer, and a wine or two for you wine lovers

Yes, we will be active participants in the Bloomingdale community”

  • JohnDC

    That sounds like incredible news. Any word on the liquor license? I know that tied up Baraki for quite some time.

  • excellent news!

  • Anon

    F*(#!n’ A right!! Here’s hoping DC red tape doesn’t push that opening date to 2011, though ….

  • Eric

    This is one thing that Bloomindale has really needed. I couldn’t be happier!

  • Sully

    I died and went to one block from my house heaven. Outdoor seating, brunch, beer, happy hour? I am already your biggest customer Rustik. You are gonna make a killing in this neighborhood!

  • FH

    Please please please let this happen. I’ll be their second biggest customer.

  • C

    This is going to be great, mainly because it will keep the Bloomingdale types from polluting the nicer bars in Adams Morgan and Georgetown.

    • Drew

      I think I know what the “C” stands for! HIYO!!!!

    • Matt T

      You are the type of person who probably strived to hang out with the Real World when they were here. Complete tool.

      Also, Drew is completely right haha.

    • BloomingdaleGuy

      What’s a “bloomingdale type”?

  • ET

    Nice Mardi Gras paint color choices.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s to hoping it doesn’t get overrun w/ the hipster crowd looking for the latest new/cool thing. I want my local bar!

  • Eric

    This should be great, but considering the comments I’ve seen on the Bloomingdale list, I’m just going to assume its going to have the most restructive voluntary agreement in the world and only be able open until like 10pm.

  • Ward One Resident

    @Eric–which is why everyone who is on this list and is so excited for the bar to be opening should contact their local ANC and/or whatever civic organization there is in Bloomingdale and let their voices be heard. Let the folks know. Here is a link to the list of ANC5C Commisioners (the address for the proposed bar falls within that commission–specifically ANC5C03):


    Being excited about it on a blog is great, but you have to let the decisionmakers know that too.

  • yay! Thanks for the link, Ward… I’m going to contact them right now.

  • Bloomingdale

    I don’t think you have to worry too much about the ANC. Stu Davenport is the rep for that SMD, and he also owns Big Bear. John Salatti is the rep across the street, and he is strongly supportive of retail/bars/restaurants. The whole ANC tends to go along with the recommendation of the SMD representatives, so in principle, there should be support. But you never know… Of course, it is in a residential area, and last call at 11pm or midnight on weekdays seems pretty reasonable to me.

  • Yay! Peewee’s playhouse on crack!

  • anon

    If people are looking for good examples of VA’s with the community, I encourage you to look to the VA’s we have with our neighbors along 14th street NW between Oak and Quincy.

  • Anonymous

    is there a connection to the brooklyn bar?

  • Jason

    @C: Sorry to restrict your date rape fodder.

  • Eric

    @bloomingdale. look, last call at 11 is, to put it bluntly, absurd. No bar could survive that restriction. Reactions like this is why DC will never have the tradtional corner bar like every other major east coast city.

    • JohnDC

      last call wont’ be at 11pm. Didn’t baraki have decent terms? Yes outside patio had to close arond that time but that’s fair enough.

    • Anonymous

      neighborhood bars close early.
      thats part of what makes them neighborhoody.

  • alex

    This is such incredible news. Rustik – the new home away from home. . .

  • Excited on 2nd street

    Excellent News – Agree with @ WardOneResident, everyone contact your ANC rep. Hopefully they won’t have any problems but better safe then sorry. Too often the silent majority is overwhelmed by a vocal minority when it comes to liquor licences in DC. Let’s not let that be the case with Rustik.

  • CSnBDale

    I am thrilled. Aside from the need for a bar, we need an anchor on that end of 1st, especially with a PM crowd. I think that this will also benefit Baraki. And a midnight or 1 A.M. Thu – Sat closing is not unreasonable. But, if like an earlier poster commented, we look to some of the bars on 14th, noise and later hours is not likely to be a problem. I see “Saint Ex” (14th & T) as a good example of a late night (now) neighborhood bar that has had very little in the way of disturbances, at least that I have heard about. The has deserved something like this, and it is about (the perfect) time. Let’s all remember that this has been zoned commercial for a long time. Those who bought across from it were taking a risk. Residents should not have to put up with unreasonable nuissance, but should not have expected eternal and absolute quite either. Finally, the existing purple color was done by the property owner to get the space to stand out in order to get it leased. I expect the lessor has a “non-Barney” vision in mind.

  • YEAH!!!!

    This is exactly what this neighborhood needs. I fun place for the neighbors to hang out after 6PM when Big Bear closes. I love the BB, but closing down and sending neighbors, students, etc home at 6pm really hurts the true neighborhood feeling. Bring on the hipsters who live in the hood and want to hang out and enjoy a nice beer. Open the BB at night, too, and where the hell is Baraki? I think those folks are frauds. I am sure that they would open the place if they could, they are just not motivated.

    Now, the real big deal…tell the ANC. Don’t let the old stalewarts kill the tavern idea like they put the hurt on Baraki. Relax people, live a little, and let’s bring out the Bloom in Bloomingdale…in MAY 2010.

  • The Rat King of Adams Morgan

    So what have you all that live in Bloomingdale been doing for fun up to this point?

    • Anonymous

      Observing the migratory patterns of the vagrants as they sweep down from Emory to SOME in the morning, disperse to their clinic/services and re-congregate at Florida Park or the numerous liquor stores. All the while using our houses and alley ways as a public urinal.

      Oh, for excitement, we get to the dodge the roving packs of teens looking for prey.

    • Johnson

      Not much! It’s the sort of place you go to live if you don’t like to go out much. It’s a pretty quiet little community.

    • What have we been doing for fun? Taking a short-ish walk to U Street or a bike or cheap cab ride to basically anywhere in the entire city. That’s why this neighborhood is awesome… quiet home life but close to everything.

      It’s amazing how people who don’t know the Bloomingdale/Ledroit area are so judgemental. Take a walk one day and try to learn about something before you comment.

      I’ve never been happier with my neighborhood- it’s wonderful here.

  • Chris on Seaton

    This made my day! It makes me so happy to see Bloomingdale keep on getting great PR. I think Rustik could be an excellent addition to the neighborhood and hope that it gets others to take a second or closer look at opening a business here. With the planting of trees, the clean-up crews and neighbors watching out for each other, the neighborhood is improving. By having not one but two restaurants with outside seating should also help bring our community together. The more people the better. Now I am still praying that we don’t have a Chinese take out at the end of the block. Would like to see something a little more substantial than a grab and run. Fingers crossed!

  • Stu Davenport


    I am the ANC Commissioner for the area, and I know Diton Pashaj from his association with Vinoteca on U street, NW.

    I think that there is a huge amount of demand in the neighborhood for a pm restaurant or a tavern, and I think a quality run place would get a lot of support. Also, the small commercial zone on 1st street between Rhode Island and Seaton, NW could be a beautiful spot in the afternoon or evening – especially with outdoor seating. There is a lot of potential in the area.

    I have been meeting with prospective restaurant owners over the past few years – including local residents looking to open an Italian restaurant with hand made pastas at 1st and Seaton (east side), or an Irish Tavern at 1st and Seaton (west side) – but nothing has worked to date mostly due to lease or property issues. Only Jasmine and the Yoga District have made the commitment, and they are extremely successful and well run.

    Bloomingdale residents have always been strong supporters of local businesses, and all that residents need to see is quality and respect for the neighborhood at large.

    I have heard Diton has a lease on the property and is moving forward with his liquor license application, but we have not yet had a chance to meet and talk at length. So I cannot give much of an update on the situation…

    If anyone would like to contact me directly please send me an email – [email protected].

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Pub the world!

  • Roger

    The neighborhood is a mix of 20- and 30-something hipsters, young families, and long-time residents. It’s a lovely place to live but don’t go expecting a Whole Foods or a Starbucks anytime soon.

  • Diton

    First, I would like to thank all of you for the supporting comments and numerous emails I have received today.

    I did just recently sign a lease for 1832 First street. I was holding back on announcing anything before i was certain that there will be no glitches and surprises. Little did I know that the gentelman asking me a simple question-“what is this going to be?”- would be Mr. PoP himself.

    Please understand that at this point I am just trying to put all the pieces together and I have already hit a bump in the road. It is something minor, that I hope will be resolved soon, depending on the parties involved.
    Once everything is in order, I will reach out to the neighborhood and invite everyone interested so we can see what this project looks like and what we are trying to do. And of course, suggestions are welcomed and needed.
    I do appologize for not responding to all those who emailed me today.
    Needless to say that today I knew I had made the right decision for coming to Bloomingdale. Your support and comments are much appreciated.
    Please email me at [email protected] if you would like to be added to the mailing list once its ready.
    Thanks again,
    Diton Pashaj

  • Stephen B

    Wow – this is such great news. I thought about even opening one myself until I realized I know absolutely nothing about this business.

    Diton, please let us know if you need any assistance and please keep us posted. I have been waiting years for this event to finally happen. I will see you every Sunday for an ice cold Belgian beer and gourmet burger

  • Skip to my Lu

    Do you know if the new bar is looking for a bar fly, I am a natural/functional drunk, who would not mind being the Norm of the new bar, any body looking to be Ciff?

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully it works out and becomes a neighborhood bar…I think most who live in Bloomingdale and the surrounding neighborhoods will appreciate it. Does anyone know what is going to become of the location on P and 3rd in Truxton Circle, I had seen things on the web about a wine shop or possibly a cafe, anyone know?

    • TC-Anon

      Still undetermined at the moment.

  • Kamal

    I think a bar will ruin the vibe of the hood. Just saying.

    • Saudade

      5 years from now that vibe will be gone.
      revitalization is inevitable.
      empty spaces will get filled.
      there will be more people on the streets that only have a connection to the neighborhood because of where they eat/drink.
      fewer people will know each other, or even say hello.
      even fewer people that grew up here will stay here.

      but also, older people that have lived a long time here will feel safer and safer, and maybe even walk around more.
      it will be cleaner as takeout places and liquor stores are replaced by sit down joints
      there will be less and less tolerance for public urination/defecation/ drugs/ prostitution/ harassment

      things will be lost/ things will be gained.

    • PSA

      I have a little bit of a different view on this. I don’t think having one or two sit-down restaurant/bars is going to turn the neighbhorhood into the next Adams Morgan. In fact, I feel like it can strenghen the community – it will give people in the neighborhood a place to relax and hang out together, get to know eachother.

      • Anonymous

        i hear it a lot but i have no idea what “the next adams morgan” means.

        AM is a very unique place, how would anything else in the city be like that?

        bloomingdale especially could never be anything like adams morgan. the commercial strip is only a block long.
        while its closer to a metro stop, it has far less density and zero parking, so its fairly unlikely to become a destination.

  • Amy

    I have been around Bloomingdale long enough now to know that until I see a grand opening sign, I am not going to hold my breath. Unfortunately for our community there is too much red tape. I was helping the owner of Barki cut through this red-tape for some time. DCRA has simply not given him the construction permits on time. He received his outdoor construction permits (which is why working on the outside commenced) but still has not recieved his indoor construction permits. He applied for those over a year ago.

    That being said, I’m delighted that people are investing in our neighborhood and I will be a regular at Rustik.

    • Anonymous

      how do we force dcra to make thing easier? it sucks being a small business in this town.

  • thirsty

    this place would have made a killing if it had been open during the snow.


Subscribe to our mailing list