Big Restaurant News for Logan Circle – Italian on the way!

by Prince Of Petworth — June 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm 24 Comments

Tom Siestsma shares the big scoop:

The local Whisk Group and Abdo Development have partnered to bring a two-course Italian menu to Logan Circle. Italian Shirt Laundry, named for the long-ago business it replaces at 1601 14th St. NW, will be a combination pizzeria and bakery; the slightly more upscale Italian Cinema, expected to replace Abdo’s current office at 1404 14th St., NW, will serve pasta, charcuterie and, as the title suggests, Italian films screened against a wall on the restaurant’s roof.

As an admitted lover of Italian restaurants, I’m super psyched by this news.

  • Anon

    hmm… while there needs to be something here, I have to say, ANOTHER italian place?
    Currently there is Posto 1/2 a block south (pizza and handmade pasta), Homemade Pizza across the street from posto. So, there are going to be 4 places to get italian food within a 2 block radius. Really?

    • ReneeB

      While I agree that there seems to be a concentration, you can’t go wrong with Italian food if it is done well. Homemade Pizza is more for takeout, so I don’t think there is direct competition. Posto is very close but there is always a very long wait and it has been open for a while. It seems there is pent up demand for good Italian food and these places will do well, assuming good food and good service.

      • sparemonk

        ooo, we said the same thing, but you beat me to it. i owe you a coke.

  • sparemonk

    i’m not convinced homemade pizza will be around all that much longer. they’re a bit overpriced for a cook-it-yourself pizza joint. and it’s takeout, so it doesn’t necessarily directly compete with this new place. i gotta say, though, “italian shirt laundry” doesn’t exactly make me salivate. it basically makes me thing of a box of detergent, which i’m guessing isn’t delicious. i get the point though…

    • Definitely agreed on Homemade Pizza. I don’t know the plan for these other two restaurants, but Posto doesn’t ahve the cheapest menu either.

      I’m just glad to see that someone is doing something with the Shirt Laundry. That is a large building that brings down the appeal (visually at a minimum) of that block. To have an operating, well-lit business in that location will help 14th street.

      • the verbotten one

        Really? I love homemade pizza. Every time I go there are people waiting in line. It’s a great takeout option for sunday through thursday nights when you don’t feel like hitting the town.

        • first time caller

          They seem to be doing very good business, if the constant crowd of folks waiting in line (or walking up and down 14th Street w/ bags of pizza) is any indication. And it’s a pretty genius business model, too. Minimal need for capital investment (no need for pizza ovens) probably gives a healthy profit margin.

  • Geezer

    Would have like to seen this location redeveloped to bring more density.

    • Mud

      I believe it will be eventually… they are probably waiting for the project across the street to finish, as we’ve just witnessed, gradual housing supply coupled with constant demand is more lucrative than constant supply with gradual demand.


    • Nofiction

      One problem with developing this property? The church just north of it has stained glass windows that are historically protected. Therefore, any development on this property can’t exceed the height of the building currently occupying it.

  • Wait, I never even heard of homemade pizza, how did I miss that place?

    This place sounds cool. Here is how they can differentiate themselves from Posto — go simple / basic / downscale, but do it RIGHT. Traditional, classic pastas, just made really, really well / fresh / with top notch ingredients. Sort of like Pasta Mia, without the lines / limited hours / attitude. Boom, recipe for a huge success. Also keep the decor simple, old-school, minimalist, sort of a classic old Italian deli feel (the exterior, name, and concept all seem to mesh with that type of place anyway), you know, black and white checkered floor, canned goods on the wall, that type of thing. And if they combine a great Italian bakery with fresh cannolis and the like, the sort of place you’d find in a Little Italy somewhere, this place will be packed to the gills every single night. I guarantee it.

  • Here I was patiently waiting for that decrepit laundromat to eventually collapse under its own neglect, disintegrate into dust, and blow away. Would’ve been a spectacular sight. Oh well . . . I suppose another red-sauce pizza/pasta joint will have to suffice.

  • What Logan Circle really needs is a good cheap sushi restaurant or a karaoke bar…but, I can’t complain. I love Italian, too 🙂

    • Prince Of Petworth

      They have karaoke at 1409 Playbill Cafe.

  • Ruby

    This would have made a perfect Diner. Just look at this place! I am sick of Italian, small plates and wine bars. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still eat at them – but it would be nice to get something kind of less fussy for a change. Can’t you just picture sitting at a booth in the window eating a turkey platter, slice of pie and coffee?

    • Agreed that a diner would be great. Either the Tivoli theater vacancy or the former furniture store on 14th and Park (PNC bank building) would be the PERFECT spaces for a diner open late. A man can dream …

  • Anonymous

    How about an Indian restaurants around here? CH, Petworth, U street area?

  • djdc

    Italian Shirt Laundry is an excellent name. Excellent.

  • angrychicken

    I’m just happy to see something going into this building.

  • I thought this was going to be a healthy diner of some sort by the person who owns Results or Vida one of those gyms! what happen to those plans?

  • mid city guy

    to nofiction….really? where did you hear this? This would be very surprising if true. It might *limit* the design, but restrict any height?? doubtful.

    • Nofiction

      I was told this bit of news by the owner of Well Built, the sustainable furniture shop on the corner just south of the Shirt Laundry building. She seems pretty plugged into the neighborhood and it’s development, so I’d give her some info some weight, but happy to be corrected if wrong!


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