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More Scare Tactics to Oppose a Local Business in Columbia Heights – Capacity will be 1/4 of a Thousand!!!

by Prince Of Petworth May 31, 2011 at 11:00 am 162 Comments

“Dear PoP,

Today I found a letter in my mailbox voicing some concern about the new diner at 11th and Monroe St, NW. Personally, I couldn’t be happier about the proposed diner, but apparently not everyone feels the same way. It appears an anti-diner contingent is organizing. Based on the last post and the showing at the ANC meeting, I’d say the PoP community generally favors this. How do those who support the diner show our hands?”

A sample:

My favorite part is “a capacity of 1/4 of a thousand inside”. Quarter of a thousand? Really? Why not just go full hog and say a tenth of 2,500!!! Or even better a 1/100th of 25,000!!!!!!

But to answer the readers question – I’d say if you support the new diner contact the same people provided:

  • bagels

    I’ve heard capacity could be 1/10th of 1/4th of 1% of 1 million. 1 million!!!

  • Maire

    I don’t understand why people can’t spell the Mayor’s name right. Haven’t they seen it plastered all over town? Weird.

    • SnarkCity

      I’m okay with it in this case since it completely undermines the credibility of the “movement”

    • notanerd

      It’s not their business’s!!!

  • Those ANC meetings are going to be fun!

  • C Money

    Raising property values, the horror!!!

    • caballero

      Yeah, that’s a good one. He mentions higher taxes twice.

  • IrvingST

    Wait…who describes Columbia Heights as “mystique”???

  • CH13

    POP, Can you or anyone else give us an update on where this stands in the process? Is another ANC meeting the next step? Is there a vote around the corner? Or are we headed toward it dragging out?

    I moved from T St. up to CH two years ago — so, sadly, I watched as the original incarnation of this project was stalled and killed by similar tactics. Hoping to help this version avoid a similar fate…

  • Dim

    A grocer’s apostrophe in the first sentence? Seriously?

    Also funny how they consider increasing property values to be such a bad thing. I reckon a lot of people would happily pay higher property taxes in exchange for more equity in their house/condo.

    • Elle

      Only if planning to move soon or with extra room in their budgets…

      Higher property taxes do a lot of the “forcing out” of gentrification and are a huge problem for folks on limited incomes. They’re right to be concerned about it.

      • Peanut Gallery

        Can you hold on a bit? I’ve just special ordered the world’s smallest violin to play for you – should be here in a couple of days.

      • Big D

        That’s not true, regarding higher prop taxes forcing out owners. It’s inadequate retirement plans — rising prop taxes are the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

        Prop taxes in DC are roughly 10 – 15% of your mortgage when you first buy a home (depending on down payment). For the sake of this argument, let’s say you pay 15%. Let’s also assume your mortgage is 1/3 of your initial income. That means in the first year of homeownership, 5% of your income services property taxes (1/3 x 15%).

        The question is how high would you taxes have to rise before you couldn’t afford it? Soc sec tends to pay about 1/2 of the income you earned at the time you bought the house (i.e., 30 years ago) if you retire “early” at age 62. Your housing expense is 5% (of your initial income) for taxes. 5% of your initial income is 10% of your retiree income if relying exclusively on soc sec.

        A housing expense that’s 10% of your soc sec check is dirt cheap. Even if your property taxes double, you’re only paying 20%; if they triple, it’s 30% of your income. Still reasonable — especially considering this is without having saved a dime for retirement over the course of your lifetime.

        Of course, if your house does goes up in value so much you can’t keep it, you can sell it and get rich. Not a bad trade off. So in a sense, people are being forced out by rising prop taxes, but it’s also rising food prices, insurance rates, utility hikes — everything in life rises in cost over time. Retirement has to accommodate for that — if it doesn’t (like in the case of a senior who relies exclusively on soc sec), then you actually don’t have enough money to retire. It’s more true to say that these seniors are being forced out because they stopped working before they had enough savings to retire to a lifestyle like the one they had while working.

        • Tres

          Ah, forgot to change my moniker back!

      • saf

        Actually, with the cap on tax hikes on property in DC, that’s FAR less true than in other cities.

        • Ms. D

          Agreed…rabble rabble.

          Property taxes in DC can only go up 10% annual, for starters, and most homes don’t achieve that in the long-term. The typical home in DC has increased in price 160% in the last 20 years…nowhere near 10% a year (that’s about 2.4% per year). But for those neighborhoods that see big price jumps in short time periods, the 10% cap is excellent protection.

          In addition, if you make less than $20,000 and own a home, you can get an income tax CREDIT (reduces tax liability dollar-for-dollar) of $750.

          In addition, if you’ve owned your home for 7 years and make a little below the median income, up to a 5% increase in property tax can be credited back to you (i.e., if your property tax increases 10%, you get 50% of the increase back, if it’s 5%, you get 100% of the increase back, if it’s 2%, you get MORE than the increase back). A family of 4 making almost $50K in taxable income qualifies for this.

          And finally…if you’re old or disabled, and earn less than $100K a year, your property taxes are halved.

          But yes, let’s keep dangling the red herring of “gentrification forces long-term *homeowners* out of the neighborhood.” That meme is so inappropriate in DC it isn’t even funny.

  • yourmoms

    this has William Jordan written all over it.

    • Adams Morgan (not AdMo)

      William knows how to spell the Mayor’s name and he also wouldn’t ever suggest someone contact the CM.

      • yourmoms

        “William knows how to spell…”

        um, I wouldn’t say spelling is William’s strong suit. Or grammar. Or logic.

        • Adams Morgan (not AdMo)

          I said he knows how to spell the mayor’s name, just like you know how to creatively edit someone’s post to achieve your goal.

          Also, since when has William done anything anonymously?

          • yourmoms

            Honestly, how do you know that he knows how to spell the mayor’s name? I think William’s prolific posting over the years provides overwhelming evidence that he probably doesn’t.

      • Maire

        Yeah, it doesn’t actually sound like William Jordan to me. His writing style is unique and he has to mention Donatelli Development and the phrase “pay to play” at leave five times in any correspondence ;)

  • Adams Morgan (not AdMo)

    Well at least the letter didn’t bring out everyone’s favorite whipping boy of Adams Morgan (the writer probably wasn’t aware that the person opening the diner on 11th street is the owner of The Diner and Tryst). If I lived on/near 11th street I’d be more annoyed about being labeled “The Hip Strip” than a new 24/hr diner.

    • D

      Speaking of Adams Morgan, there are similar scare tactics being thrown out there by opponents of the hotel proposed for the old church near 18th and Columbia. As the case with the flyer posted above, it is important for Adams Morgan residents who support this investment in the neighborhood to not let their voices be drowned by a small vocal minority that makes every effort to shout the loudest.

      • BC

        I think that’s a bit of false equivalence. Adams Morgan already has a thriving scene and high property values. The proposed hotel is pretty large if you’ve seen the drawings, and Marriott is getting a big tax abatement to move in.

        Now they probably are bringing up the higher taxes bogeyman as well, but in my mind that’s not the main issue.

  • Oats

    I can’t believe anyone would be upset to see the value of their property rise. Bizarre.

    • greent

      Nopt bizarre at all.

      Your value increases, your taxes increase. If you can not afford the tax increase, you would not wish to see your value increase.

      Simple math, really.

      • Dim

        Except that a 100k increase in property value translates to only an additional $850/year in property tax, which is itself tax deductible. So we’re talking max $650 extra a year for an additional 100k in net worth! If you can’t afford the higher tax, just refinance your home; you’ll be in far better shape than before.

        • Elle

          Net worth that doesn’t matter if you’re not planning on selling your home. And $650 to $850 more each year can be a real struggle if you’re on a limited income.

          • Bloom Res

            Home equity loan? Anyone? Simple Finance

          • Yes, yes!

            +1. And refinancing won’t help if the home was your grandma’s and is paid off. If you’re living hand to mouth, than an extra $650 a year could really hurt – and might even be unaffordable.

            This attitude is why ‘gentrification’ pisses so many people off. And the inability of the ‘newcomers’ to even be able to imagine themselves in the shoes of the long-time residents doesn’t help.

          • Tres

            To be fair, if you’re living hand to mouth and can’t afford an extra $60/month, the only smart move is to sell. Sell grandma’s house and walk away with somewhere between $300k and $1 mill. How is that a bad outcome?

            At some point in our lives, most of us will have to downgrade to more modest living arrangements in retirement. That’s not a issue only affecting the gentrified — it’s an issue that affects everyone.

        • bloom

          “Just refinance your home” — hahahaha — like the rest of the country did in the past few years? THAT went well.

          DC is the only market where housing prices went up. Did you hear the news yesterday?

          No, please do NOT be encouraging any of your neighbors to head down this path. Refinancing is not a solution to this problem.

          I do not want DC residents to be total tools to the bankers either.

      • Anon

        What is simple math is that no matter how high your property assessment goes, you will only pay 10% more taxes each year.

        • greent

          Simple math is simple:
          Can you refinance?
          Can you afford that 10% increase?
          What good will an increase in possible net worth be, if you cannot afford the taxes on that increase?

          If not, you lose. So, sell your place, say goodbye to your home, and GTFO.

          • Anon

            You clearly dont pay property taxes.

            A 10% increase on a house valued at 367,000, your taxes would be $2550. If you got an immediate 100,000 equity bump (extremely unlikely) from development and your house increases in value to $467,000 you’re bill would go up for the next 3 years, $255 in the first year, ~$275 more the next year, and then about $300 bucks the next year. At that point, if property values dont go up, your tax bill will be the same: 3 years later, 100k more in equity, and less than $1000/year in taxes.

            For Seniors, the increase is practically none, so basically the only people we’re talking about are folks who own their home and are under the age of 65. As someone who fits into that category, you know how many sacrifices I would make to afford that extra $1000 in taxes in order to hang on to 100k in equity? A lot. Cable would go if necessary, eating out, vacations.

            The folks who are long term residents have tax bills WELL below their property assessments, so they’re making out extremely well, compared to their neighbors.

            Its time people stopped crying about their property assessments going up. Did people buy their house in 1980 for 60,000 and expect it to never appreciate.

          • Denizen of Tenallytown

            “Its time people stopped crying about their property assessments going up. Did people buy their house in 1980 for 60,000 and expect it to never appreciate.”

            Potentially, yes. Living in Columbia Heights in 1980 was no picnic, and it was probably all people could afford. People who lived there put down roots, had a family, and want to stay in the area. But rising property taxes are forcing them out.

            Welcome to class warfare!

          • greent

            No Anon, you clearly don’t understand that if living on a fixed income, a 255$ increase is alot of money.

            You assume more sacrifices can be made. You assume that equity is more important to all residents than the ability to live within their means, in their homes.

            But you are right, I no longer pay property taxes. That is not to say I never have.

            “If you can’t afford it, take the equity, sell and move”. Who cares that this is your home, and has been for decades. You cannot live here anymore. Class warfare indeed.

          • Anon

            As I said, seniors have even more exemptions. If you dont mean seniors, well I live on a fixed income too. I cant go to my employer and say you need to pay my property tax increase.

            Beyond that, a 10% increase a year on a small portion of your cost of living, for probably only a few years, is FAR less than the increase you would see if you rented.

            Property taxes pushing people out is usually a red herring. Yes, sometimes its a problem – but property valuations rarely increase so rapidly that there are year long increases of 10% compounded over and over.

            The 10% cap is already unfair to new homeowners, but there are always unfair inequities in our tax system?

            what do you propose instead? warehousing the poor in areas with no amenities, no public transit, and no hope of ever building wealth? Or do you think new comers should shoulder an even greater percentage of the property tax burden?

          • Jamie

            There was an analysis done on the Williamsburg neighborhood in NYC that studied housing turnover over a span of several decades before, during, and after it’s infamous gentrification.

            The study found that people of all income levels stayed *longer* on average as the neighborhood improved, despite rising rents and property taxes.

            Shocking conclusion? Most people actually would rather live in a neighborhood that’s not a total crime-ridden crap hole, and are willing to pay a little more in order to do so. The effect of gentrification was that on average people kept their roots longer.

          • greent

            Long post lost due to stupid captcha.

            Short response:

            To older DC residents who lived thru the hell hole years: get out.

            love, new residents of CH.

            “Property taxes pushing people out is usually a red herring. Yes, sometimes its a problem – but property valuations rarely increase so rapidly that there are year long increases of 10% compounded over and over. ”

            How has that been for the last 10 years in the DC area?
            $255 a year, then $275 a year… that’s easy for some. Impossible for others. So, if you cannot pay, lose your home. I’ve watched many a neighbor move away, I watched the entire block of W tween 14/13 turn from black families to white couples.

            Pay to play. It’s the DC way.

            What do I want? Simple, I’ll quote Yes Yes above:

            “And the inability of the ‘newcomers’ to even be able to imagine themselves in the shoes of the long-time residents doesn’t help.”

            I want stupid anonymous bloggers to understand why their stupid comments piss off people who have lived in this town for 20+ years. Not to care, goodness that would be beyond the ability. Simply to learn and acknowledge what is actually happening.

          • Tres

            All these (impassioned) arguments are beside the point. If you’re teetering on the bitter edge of financial solvency, anything could put you in foreclosure: rising gas prices, a surge in the cost of electricity, a year of bad inflation, a roof that needs replacing, medical bills, etc. Pretty much, anything can. Taxes are just one of those things.

          • Another guy named Chris

            Tres is absolutely right.

            If $100 a month is life/death or stay/sell perhaps they should downgrade, and move to a more manageable home. Sorry, this is life, and so sorry they didn’t have the foresight to realize any change would come to DC for 40+ years. Maybe if you raised your kids better they could help support you.

            *cry’s and plays violin*

  • logan

    I know that some may take offense to the advise I always give to the NIMBYs who are opposed to anything being developed in our city but seriously…people like the one who are inciting fear over any legitimate business trying to come into a neighborhood just need to move out to the surburbs. It’s that simple….

  • I didn’t attend the meeting, and I’m not sure what the Voluntary Agreement says, but it seems that the ANC has already voted in favor of this business. I imagine the only step left is whether they are granted a liquor license, and if so, whether there will be any restrictions in terms of the hours they can operate. Of course, no matter what, they can’t serve liquor past (I believe) 2/3, depending on the day …


  • ranbo

    More commercial activity and higher property taxes generally = higher rents. Lots of renters can’t handle increases in their living costs and are forced to move, which is a bother in the very least. Lots of owners also can’t handle increases in taxes and are forced to sell before they can realize fully the increase in property value.

    This is gentrification 101, folks. Surprised to see so many profess ignorance as to how increased property taxes and values would hurt anyone. Speaks to an inability to see outside their own experience.

    • Bridget

      THANK YOU! I am so surprised to see so many commenters with the whole “who wouldn’t want to pay higher taxes or rent?” attitude!

      • bloom

        +2 If change occurs quickly, expect blowback. This person’s response is not shocking, but predictable.

        The wo/man offers an argument. Property values rising [aka ‘money’] is not everything to everyone, believe it or not.

        Adams Morgan IS a sucky place to live compared to 10 years ago, in my opinion, sorry neighbors. And, Columbia Heights IS now dominated with large corporate stores, which some do not like. That is probably what this writer sees, not only property values. Many good things came with gentrification and development, and some bad come also. It is happening quickly here…

        I am also interested to see how this city turns out in ten years. I am sometimes suspect too — when I see how greedy some new residents are.

    • CH

      I call BS on the taxes forcing people out. DC property taxes, if you have the homestead exemption, have a capped yearly increase. My taxes on my CH house are much, much lower than those of my newcomer neighbors because I’ve lived here for a decade. Also, if you’re a senior, there are programs that specifically there to help you.

      • El Gringo

        I also call *major* BS on the gentrification argument.

        Might have been valid in 2004. Dead argument since 2008.

        If tax increases due to increased property values were going to “force someone out” that would have already happened in ~2001-2007.

        In fact, my property taxes on 13th/Monroe have *decreased* over the past 2-3 years from the heights of 2006-2007.

        • Fonzy

          I agree. There is the Homestead Act you can sign up for (it’s only one sheet of paper) and other programs available to seniors and other low and mid income folks to keep them in their homes. Rising property taxes are real, but it takes very little homework to find ways to reduce the actual burden.

    • greent

      IF you can refinance. If not, you pay that extra.

      And if you are barely holding onto your property, any tax increase is not a helpful thing for you.

      • greent

        Dammit, this is not the post I hit reply to.

        I agree ranbo, I agree.

        That said, I do support the diner here. It is a diner. Do only hipster white kids eat diner food?

    • C Money

      It’s not that we don’t understand gentrification or how increased taxes/values could hurt some residents, but not all of us are against gentrification.

    • thor

      If the owner can’t afford the taxes he should rent out his basement. Win-win for him and renters.

      • Yes, yes!

        Let them eat cake if they have no bread!

        • BW

          Well put Marx.

  • Bridget

    I live in this area (11th and Park) and I oppose the proposed business opening. Even though I enjoy Tryst and The Diner and the idea of a new bar /coffeeshop nearby (in theory), I think it is easy to overlook the concerns on older permanent property owners in the area. Let’s be real: this place will be catering to the new young demographic in the area, not the longtime residents. I for one feel like we have enough establishments in the area to serve beer and coffee to twentysomethings. Meridian Pint, Red Rocks, Wonderland, and Columbia Heights Coffee are not enough?
    Also, I think a new establishments does have the potential to alter the residential vibe of 11th street. As someone who actually lives on 11th, I’m not thrilled about that. And the letter is correct– parking is already terrible on 11th street and this will only make it worse for people who live there. And while I agree that the proposed establishments has to the potential to increase property value that WILL increase taxes as well. Even while some property owners might be okay with that, don’t act like it is unreasonable for someone to NOT be okay with that. I can tell you from talking to people in my community that some of the less monied people are not okay with paying more in taxes even if it means the value of the property will increase. Are these people not allowed to voice their very real concerns about this issue? Does every single part of DC have to cater to hip young twentysomethings who are new to the area while totally ignoring the concerns of the property owners who have been here forever? Make no mistake, I consider myself to be a gentrifier as much as the next educated upper middle class 26 year old, but I think it is important to at least consider the concerns the longtime residents are making instead of just mocking their letter on the internet.

    • Change is inevitable and the “concerns of the longtime residents” are finite. Should progress stand idle waiting for them to die off, Bridget?

      • Bridget

        No. But what’s so wrong with listening to their concerns and addressing them? Why is their letter something to be made fun of as opposed to something to be considered? I think they make some good points that should be addressed.

        I’m all for change, but I think there’s nothing wrong with having an open dialogue about the realities, both good and bad, that will come from that change. It seems like many of those commenting on this article are not so into that.

        • billindc

          The letter is made fun of because it’s alarmist.

          • Amen, Bridget

            The writer still has a point, though. The majority target demographic for this diner are people who likely have little interest in what Columbia Heights will look like in five years after they’ve moved to the suburbs or California or wherever their next interest takes them. Why should DC be the city that changes for its newcomers? People move to Austin for Austin, people move to Atlanta or Boston and accept what’s there. Why do newcomers approach DC with this bizarre pioneer spirit, not much caring for what already exists here?

            I think it’s easier for the target demographic to find a burger elsewhere and get a cab than it is for these homeowners to move. I also think that anyone who live in a place get to comment on what’s coming there–and let’s be real, if this “alarmist” letter was about a Wal-Mart, the writer would be hailed as a hero.

            My fear for the District of Columbia is lace and starting being a continually urban planning experiment, shaped by the notions of transient 20 year olds of what a city should be –a place of never-ending trends and no home. Think about it, for all the great growth why are there so many cupcake shops but so few bakeries? So many pricey craft shows but so few art supply stores? It’s because many proprietors have decided to make trends pay rather than build communities. It’s fun if you’re passing through but terrible if you want to stay.

    • steve

      this restaurant will employ 30+ people in a city with a 12% unemployment rate

      for some reason you forgot to blame young people for that one too

      • Anon

        30? I’d imagine a lot more than that, if the company’s other restaurants are any indication. I think Open City has more than 30 servers, not counting bartenders/coffee people and kitchen/bus staff.

      • BW

        Who says these people won’t stay?

    • Anon

      So what would you propose instead? You know one that can cater to the older residents? A Scooter Store?

      Look, oppose it all you want, but if you want anything in that space, it has to be something that is profitable. Your belief that it needs to cater to a small population that doesnt have a lot of expendable income means that nothing will open, because something along those lines cant afford t operate.

      So Grandpa is either going to have to suck up his problem with going to get his coffee at the new “hip” place, or he’s just going to have to get coffee however he’s getting it now.

      • Tres


    • CH

      I’ve lived her longer than you (I remember then Mayor Barry coming through the hood) and leave just down the block near Tubman, and I support this. I want the vitality and energy this place will bring. The funny thing, is that these neighborhoods were much denser and busier sixty years ago. Is it’s golden era, back in the 30s-40s-50s, Columbia Heights had far more residents and business than it does now. Back in the day, all those board up and run down store fronts on 11th, were busy and thriving businesses.

      • Ben

        Not to mention more foot traffic = less crime.

        • Anonymous

          The argument can be made that more foot traffic at all hours provides more opportunities for muggings and robberies and would actually increase crime as opportunity is increased.

          • Yes, yes!

            Begs the question: why does it have to be a 24 hour establishment? Seems like a focal point of the neighborhood opposition is the hours of operation. If the owners felt like they wanted to be better neighbors, maybe they should consider changing their hours.

            A 24 hour joint is by definition going to cater to drunk 20-somethings, especially on the weekends. Don’t criticize residents because they want to maintain some semblance of peace and quiet in their neighborhood.

          • Local Resident

            Yes, of course, dumb arguments can always be made. But that doesn’t make them true.

          • Tres

            That’s true, but crime on a per capita basis would decrease(!) — which is the true indicator of your risk of being mugged.

      • El Gringo


        Thanks for the historical perspective!

        Even after that diner opens, the 11th St commercial zone will still only be operating at ~80% of its original capacity!

        • rooty tooty

          80%? I doubt it’s even that high.

      • Anonymous

        true, but that’s partly why people fled to the suburbs in droves.

        • anon

          ah, nope, you’re wrong. People (whites) fled to the surburbs in droves because the DC school system became integrated. They fled because of their hate and racism. The very same people are still around and trying to keep anything that resembles hip or integrated from coming into the city because they are now comfortable with their neighborhood as it is even if that includes having a abandonded building sitting in it not contributing to society or the city’s tax base whatsoever. Progress is inevitable. We will not stand by and let a few stop us from having a city to be proud of.

          • Anonymous

            people, both white and black, fled the city in that time period. en masse.
            look up the statistics.

          • Jamie

            Sorry Anonymous, you’re wrong.


            First the flight began in the 50’s, DC’s population boomed from the 30’s through the 50’s.

            Between 1950 and 1960 there was a drop in population of about 40K. Yet at the same time the breakdown went from 65% white to 45% white – a change of roughly 150K people.

            Clearly there was a mass exodus among white people while the black population increased dramatically. This trend continued until about 1990.

          • bloom

            Just so you get it clearly, young chump, the integration plan included bussing any and all out of neighborhoods and across the city — just so you know. Bussing kids for two hours a day didn’t appeal to a lot of parents –black or white– who were not racist.

    • Anonymous


      There is absolutely NO need for a 24 hour establishment of any kind in our quiet, residential neighborhood.

      • Local Resident

        Our quiet “mixed use” neighborhood. Columbia Heights is NOT a residential neighborhood.

        Why weren’t you all up in arms when Giant went to 24 hours a day operation in “our quiet, residential neighborhood?”

        • Anonymous

          I was. But grocery store and restaurant/bar are two different animals.

          • billindc

            That’s odd…the grocery store with it’s large size and ample parking lot is a much bigger driver of vehicular congestion and street parking usage than Tryst/Diner could ever hope to be…even if it’s at full 1/4 of 1000 capacity.

        • 11th

          a grocery store is fundamentally different than a bar/restaurant coffee shop. i support the diner at 11th and park (and live a half block away), but i think there are reasonable concerns for what the new business will mean for the immediate surrounding area. you can be against the diner and not be an idiot.

          and to throw it out there, what i’d heard is that the 24 hr thing was proposed knowing it wouldn’t probably make it through. but having that nixed would allow other aspects to get through that were more important. that would make the project look reasonable and like it compromised with neighbors.

          • Anonymous

            if you are correct, the owners don’t really care about the neighborhood at all and have little respect for the people who live here. if you are correct.

    • Anon

      None of those places have great food. I don’t need beer or coffee, I want hot food. And sometimes I work the early shift and would love to see a 24 hour diner on my way to work right on the 64 line, or open before the bus and Metro are running in the a.m. Also it will make the neighborhood safer because there will be more cabbies, cops, newsroom staffers, writers, artists, musicians, and restaurant and bar workers who want to hang out around the area in the wee hours.
      If you look at old pictures of DC you would be amazed at how some supposedly ‘hip and gentrifying’ areas were once way more happening than they are now. Adams Morgan had jewelry stores and live theater. Things change.

  • Not so sure

    I think you are being ignorant. How exactly do you think the City pays for ANYTHING or social service? through taxes. Without increases in property tax etc we can’t pay to keep all the poor people around. We need property values to continue to appreciate (maybe not as quickly as they have recently) but its the only way to keep up with demands for new services, school improvements, homeless shelters etc. I never understood why so many people hate homeowners or people with high incomes, they pay for half this City to keep on living here.

    • ranbo

      Please don’t make ad hominem attacks against me. I do understand how cities pay for things like “keeping all the poor people around”. Nor do I hate the homeowners that pay those taxes. I was simply pointing out that it is completely reasonable for people living paycheck-to-paycheck to not want their rents to go up, which happens when neighborhoods increase in popularity and add businesses. Other commenters seemed unwilling to see the matter from that perspective.

      • rooty tooty

        I believe that in a free-market economy such as ours, it’s also completely reasonable that people living paycheck-to-paycheck will not be able to afford to rent in the most popular neighborhoods in the city. Congratulate yourself on having excellent taste, and pack up and move a few more metro stations down the line to somewhere more affordable.

      • BW

        Look. I think we can see that perspective and appreciate those people’s plight. But poor planning and an anti-growth sentiment among those who are against development just isn’t sustainable in the long run.

        I’m sorry but “our neighborhood” and the status quo are untenable solutions. 60 years ago it wasn’t “our neighborhood” it belonged to someone else and the status quo cannot stand in the way of increased demand. The proposition was changed by Jefferson to say you have the right to “pursue happiness” and not property.

        You may not like the “character” of the new neighborhood but that is a very subjective argument. Crime rates going down and property values rising are clear and quantitative. And they do have value.

  • Jamie

    It’s illegal for anyone other than the postal service to put stuff in your mailbox. Of course, there is no recourse since the “writer” (and I use that word loosely) of this protest has chosen not to divulge their identity.

    You know what’s a lot worse than a cool new business on 11th Street? More litter blowing around from losers leaving crap stuck halfway in our mailbox or pushed through our railings.

    Anyway, that’s neither here nor there, but I urge everyone to take advantage of the contact info they have provided us with, and shoot off an email of support to Jim Graham.

  • oneal

    Although I support the new dinner/tryst establishment, this letter does raise a legitamit concern. I do feel that the bar/restaurant scene is getting a little dense and I would very much like to see more boutique business, and diverse businesses open up around the neighborhood. That said, the letter’s association of increased property values and higher taxes is a tad shy from just being retarded and the complaints about parking are obviously from someone who hasn’t looked around and noticed that there is no parking in columbia heights anymore anyway. All in all i am in full support of the dinner/tryst establishment at this location, however, if more bars/restaurants were to start opening up, I would start to get concerned that the available space was not being used in a properly diverse manner for the neighborhood. Just my thoughts.

    • Jamie

      If the only downside to having what was a desolate, useless stretch of “unique, charming businesses” be converted into a strip of places that people actually want to go is less parking, bring it on. There are two metro stations within four blocks of anywhere on 11th Street. There is a massive parking lot that’s never more than half full under Target. There are bike share stations all over the place. This is one of the most walkable parts of the entire city, transportation is excellent and even if you choose to drive, there is a giant underutilized parking lot. If only Adams Morgan were so lucky, on either count!

      Bring it on. Bring it on full. I’m sick of empty buildings and trash that is not picked up by the non-residents of those buildings. (Nor is it picked up by the homeowners who live across the street, who apparently care enough to complain about the development but not enough to pick up trash on their street once in a while).

  • Andy(2)

    This is the worst argument for urban blight.
    What about he commercial property owners’ interests? I’m sure they are for development and increased rent. What about the unemployed in the neighborhood that would love to find a local job? What about the local businesses that would like to see their revenue increase do to additional foot traffic?
    We are lucky to live in a dynamic city that is growing and experiencing some great urban renewal.
    As Mr. Zimmerman sang “Come mothers and fathers,Throughout the land, And don’t criticize, What you can’t understand, Your sons and your daughters, Are beyond your command,Your old road is Rapidly agin’,
    Please get out of the new one, If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.”

    Property taxes and values will rise in this city – that is a given.

    Here is to hoping that this goes through.

  • cookietime420

    Bridget is correct. The (unnamed) author of this letter makes some legitimate points. I feel differently about the project but I am also likely to benefit from it in that I will likely patronize it and can afford any increases in my taxes.

    This is a much bigger business than anything thus far proposed on 11th st. and it’s reasonable to want an examination of these issues.

  • Anonymous

    I generally consider concerns about traffic, noise, and crime to be valid when discussing the relative merits of whether an ANC or the ABRA should support a new business or approval a liquor license, respectively. However concerns about what demographic a business caters to, whether it’s the right “fit” for a neighborhood, or its theoretical impact on property values is totally inappropriate. Yes DC government can and should offer incentives to businesses opening in underserved areas (think tax incentives to open supermarkets in food deserts), but has no justification determining the demographic or cultural appropriateness of a perspective new business. Imagine if folks in the Palisades opposed the opening of a bulletproof chinese/chicken wings restaurant because it didn’t cater to the neighborhood’s demographics? What galls me most about this is that you have a local entrepreneur trying to improve the neighborhood by spending tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars transforming a long vacant storefront into a new business that will create jobs and tax revenue for the District.

    • Andy(2)

      Thank you – couldn’t agree more.

      PoP – it’d be an interesting feature on PoP to see what a neighborhood looked like say 25/40 years ago especially where a new business is opening up. Perhaps this new diner is replacing a business that existed a generation or two ago.
      The Georgetownmetropolitan.com has a cool photo/slider feature where you can see the old and new side by side – perhaps you could adapt it to PoP.

    • ET

      Not to be bitchy but I business are usually in the business if “trying to improve” the neighborhood and they don’t give too hoots in hell about improving employment and tax revenue for the District. They are in business to make money. Some are better neighbors than other but make no mistake, they will do as much a possible when allowed to maximize profit. In the case of this it is being open 24-hours and as many seat as possible (i.e. out-door seating).

      • anon

        Regardless, when a business invests in re-developing an old, abandonded building, and hires employees to work in the new business, they are contributing significantly to the city’s tax base and to the neighborhood by providing jobs. This is exactly why we should be in favor of all businesses coming into our neighborhoods. There are other city’s around the country that are dying to have the economic interests that we have here in DC. The organizers generating the fear and hate towards any new development should be ashamed of themselves. We need to support this diner as well as the bistro on T Street. If the NIMBYs want these buildings to sit vacant and in dis-repair then they should come up with the funds to develop and maintain them for historical preservation purposes and as a community service. Otherwise, move on. We cannot sit back and allow them to keep us from having a city services, food, and retail.

    • Denizen of Tenallytown

      I agree with everything but this:

      “Imagine if folks in the Palisades opposed the opening of a bulletproof chinese/chicken wings restaurant because it didn’t cater to the neighborhood’s demographics?”

      The residents would oppose it for this reason, but would claim otherwise. They’d reference historic character or some other such nonsense. Not to mention this would never happen since it wouldn’t be profitable, but I digress.

  • Anonymous

    Some clarity is needed here: First, the business is primarily about FOOD and coffee. Diner food is not available in CH and the owner is very succesful selling solid reasonably priced diner food. 2nd, the business is LOCAL and hires locals, something detractors always demand. Third, 11th street used to be more business centric before today and always handled it fine. Third, Tryst will not increase values by $100K. Let’s hope $25K. For residents with a 10% cap increase and tax deductability this means very little per year. Can’t keep businesses out because they would be so succesful that more people want to live here, can you? And regarding parking -any store will generate traffic and this location does not have parking for anyone who would occupy.

    • Anonymous

      IHOP is diner food, and 24 hours. We don’t need another 24 hour establishment a few blocks away in a quiet, residential part of the neighborhood.

      • Kenyon Street

        IHOP is diner food the same way a McNugget is fried chicken.

        • DCBrewer

          +a million

      • Anon

        YUCK! IHOP is not food.

  • billindc

    I understand some of the concerns mentioned above but the logic of the anti-crowd doesn’t in the end compute for me. When anyone and everyone who moved into the immediate environs of 11th Street did so, they had to be aware that they were moving into a commercially zoned strip. If they were not, then they simply did not do their due diligence or didn’t care at the time because they failed to appreciate the possibility that development would occur here. Either way, those that bought certainly paid relatively less because of it.

    But now we see that development is occurring and suddenly they behave as if the consequences of the decision they made to live on a commercial strip shouldn’t apply to them. That’s not only unfair to the businesses that attempt to move into the area, it’s also unfair to those who paid relatively more to live a block or two away with the expectation that the commercial strip would eventually develop.

    The cold reality is that as these properties are zoned commercial, you are going to get commercial development whether you like it or not. The only question is whether or not you follow the Mount Pleasant Street approach of total resistance and end up with cellphone stores and 7-11’s or if you try to attract reasonable, neighborhood friendly businesses (which Constantine has an extensive track record of being). I lived for many years in Mt. P. and saw the viability of the commercial strip get completely trashed by an excess of NIMBY-ism. It would be a shame if the same happened on 11th.

    • Jamie

      Agreed. The irony is that the only people likely to be affected in any way by noise, parking, etc. would be those living immediately adjacent to the long-vacant building. And there aren’t many houses that qualify on that count.

      But anyone who’s really been here so long (as if that really matters) probably lived here when that building had 50 apartments, and most likely, added 50 or so more cars to the street… and back then, there was no Columbia Heights or Petworth metros meaning you really had to drive from CoHi.

      Parking concerns are lame. As the writer notes, it’s the densest part of DC, it’s also one of the best served by transit and services. Things change and street parking is a privilege, not a right, no matter one anyone may think.

      • billindc

        I do understand the parking concerns but that is something that can be dealt with decisively with the RPP (residential parking permit) program that’s currently used elsewhere in DC. The real canard here is that the letter and some posters against the development frame their concerns as if they are impossible to address. That is simply wrong. Noise can be addressed in the Voluntary Agreement as can garbage pick up, loitering, light, et cetera.

        • Jamie

          Absolutely. Concerns about trash are a joke. That block is always a mess. Obviously the people who live nearby don’t bother cleaning up their block. They should be glad to have a business that most certainly will. There’s no way that this could make things worse for trash.

          As for noise, is there any possible way this could be worse than Wonderland? There are far fewer houses in the immediate vicinity, too — only a couple on Monroe street would even be likely to be in earshot. There are no residences opposite on 11th.

    • anon

      DC Zoning is kind of backwards. Lots of areas have mixed or dated zoning that doesn’t reflect the characteristics of a given neighborhood. Lots of “commercial” development is not well suited for a variety of reasons, including older structures with low ceilings and being interspersed with residentially zoned properties.

      This property may have commercial viability, but it also has lots of existing residential properties immediately surrounding it and development should be sensitive to that fact. I don’t see much opportunity surrounding this property for further development, which seems limited as a commercial strip.

      Before you call me NIMBY, I don’t live here or have any horse in this race, and I’m agnostic about this diner. I just don’t see a whole lot of development potential along this drag on 11th. Ditto for Mt P. The building looks perfectly suited for a dry cleaner or the like.

      • billindc

        I know a whole lot of restaurant and commercial real estate types with skin in the game who disagree with you wholeheartedly. There are few locations like this in DC with such a good demographic, still somewhat reasonable real estate costs and without the overall commercial area to balloon into an Adams Morgan/H Street mess. If you are ambitious to open a neighborhood restaurant with a long term vision 11th Street cannot be beat.

      • Jamie

        The long waits at Red Rocks and Meridian Pint almost every evening do not agree with you. It’s astoundingly obvious that the area can support more restaurants.

        Mixed commercial/residential is EXACTLY what makes urban communities vibrant. What’s the use of living in a city if there’s no corner store to walk to? It’s the WHOLE REASON for living in a city. Why pay all that extra money and dela with crime, etc., if you still have to drive to do anything?

        Beyond that the irony of your comment is that that particular block has zero, count em, zero residences. The only ones nearby are on Monroe street. It’s about as low-impact a spot as you could ask for.

        • anon

          I never said the area could sustain more restaurants — this drag looks residential to me, even if some wants to homestead a little slice for commercial use.

          There are lots of places within walking distance. Maybe I’m just weird, but I prefer to just walk a few blocks to eat instead of having something in my face.

  • Anonymous

    11th street needs a Cricket store, and is underserved by pawnshops and check cashing businesses. These are real community needs !

    • anon


  • Diomedes

    hope this doesn’t hurt columbia heights coffee… i love that place

  • Marcus Aurelius

    Say what you will about the grammar and spelling errors, but the overarching point of this message is true – A 24 hour business with a capacity of 250 people will unquestionably change the character of the neighborhood. Whether on balance that’s a good thing or a bad thing can and should be debated. There are reasonable arguments on both sides.

  • yourmoms

    This letter is BS. For instance, the DC OFfice of Tax and Revenue offers an Assessment Cap Credit, which currently provides that a property may not be taxed on more than a 10 percent increase in the property’s assessed value each year. This credit does not reduce the assessed value of your property on the tax roll or the assessment notice, but it will appear as an automatic credit against your real property tax bill.

  • ET

    Yes this flyer is alarmist. But too often these discussion devolve into hurling of insults that only serve to reinforce a previously held opinion and not address any legitimate concerns.

    Those that are against a project are scared of change and what it means for them, their neighborhood, etc. Those that are for the project are thinking this can be really great. The opinions on this project are valid no matter what side of the fence one is sitting on. And to be so dismissive just reinforces the belief that the other sides concerns or desires are not valid.

    I often find myself torn. One one side I am sitting on the “resits the project” side of the fence because so often the projects are oversold as being so fabulous and are going to do all these wonderful things and it never works out that way. Predictably. I just want the project to be thoughtfully done so it benefits everyone and not just those who patronize the new establishment.

    On the other hand I find myself rolling my eyes at those who resist projects just because all of their arguments and fears seem so overblown and they sound so fucking whiny when they make them.

    Saying that at no point to I dismiss either sides concerns/desires.

    • BW

      I’m sorry. What do you expect from a business? To tell you… “this place is gonna suck!”

      And businesses are not created to “benefit everyone.” They exist to fill an underserved need in the market.

      I do feel bad for the people affected, I’m not heartless. But I think they ought to grownup enough to realize the nature of our world.

      People fail to understand what neighborhoods and businesses and administrations and governments exist for.

  • J

    If you’re interested in “different” businesses to come to the neightborhood, other than “hip coffee shops” and the like, perhaps you can step up and start one.

    • Yes, yes!

      Yes, because people who are worried that a slight increase in their property taxes will force them to have to sell the home they’ve lived in for decades have a whole bunch of capital to start up a “non-hipster” store, whatever that means.

      This is the “let them eat cake if they have no bread” argument.

  • Larry ray

    As former ANC for this district, I support the diner plans

    • Mr. Poon

      That’s a big relief, Larry ray.

      Thank god.

  • Anonymous

    I can not wait for this to open.

    If anyone is looking for a nice quiet neighborhood without services and low property taxes I hear Detroit and New Orleans are still on the way down. Sell your over valued Columbia Heights house and move out to the simple life.

    • Columbia Heights has a lot of commercial activity. It also has a lot of empty store fronts along 14th street and Georgia Ave that better accommodate a large mass of people. The area in between 14th and Georgia is largely residential. The past couple of years a number of very nice restaurants have sprung up that make life very enjoyable for the local residents. It is nice that these develpments are in place. 11th street is not set up to accommodate lots of traffic like 14th and Georgia. At a certain point 11th street will have too much development if it goes on unchecked. A diner this size should do better along 14th street closer to the metro. To blindly claim that all development is better is just wrong. Smart development is important. Restrict large restaurants to areas that can accommodate them.

      • Marcus Aurelius

        You make a very good point. The “retail strip” that is 11th St. consists of a grand total of 3 blocks – starting at Wonderland and ending at where the diner will be. And it is nestled in the middle of a residential area. Just because an area is zoned as commercial doesn’t mean it’s amenable for any business of any size.
        And I say this as someone who won’t be affected by this. I live in Park View so it’s not like I’ll be dealing with the noise, traffic, and other inconveniences this will bring.

      • Anonymous

        You are joking right? Can we take Georgetown or Soho / London / NY or St-Germain-des-Prés or Haight Ashbury or Cambridge or centro de Málaga or Palermo or any other great walkable residential place in a city as an example of how services do not destroy residential neighborhoods?

        All the arguments I’m hearing against the rebirth of 11th Street are totally self centered.

        • billindc

          I’m curious what the metric is that says that 11th Street ‘is not set up for lots of traffic’? This was the terminus of a tram line at one point and was much more heavily populated back then with a multitude of shops but I’ve yet to find any reference anywhere to the burdensome overcrowding of the 11th Street corridor in the middle of the last century.

          In truth, this neighborhood can easily stand much greater commercial density….especially as the vast majority of the clientele are walking and biking from nearby residential housing.

          • El Gringo


          • Here is your metric. 11th street does not have North access past Monroe. Both 14th and Georgia have metro, four lane roads, parking, etc. Whoever made the Georgetown, etc comment above makes no sense. People should live comfortably. Georgetown condenses its commercial activity to the areas around M and Wisconsin. (14th and Georgia???) The diner guy is exploiting the success of small neighborhood restaurants (Red Rocks/Meridian Pint) and has everyone excited that it is going to be a similarly nice place. It is not wrong to question the result of putting this diner on 11th when 14th or Georgia could accommodate it and are set up better for it. 11th street is only attractive now because of the residential feel. One more (larger) restaurant could turn this into an Adams Morgan. I do not want that.

  • J

    I support the diner being opened. I love a good 24hr diner.

  • queenedix

    I support the idea of this place going in, but I have concerns about a 24-hour establishment as someone who has lived a block away for over 5 years and has watched the neighborhood change (mostly for better, some very small parts for worse). I am mostly disappointed that the overwhelming tone here is that this is a unilaterally good development and anyone who has concerns is some sort of idiot. The overall change in the neighborhood over 5 years has been overwhelmingly positive, no question–an almost complete elimination of vagrancy and public drunkenness, more families of all types outside watching their kids play, an increase in relative safety and reduction in violent crimes, etc.

    However, I also don’t feel this place will automatically 100% assure less crime–I think it might attract more potential robbers who smell opportunity in the form of drunk people going to eat at 3 am. I also don’t think this place will guarantee everyone’s home values will increase, even a little bit. Thirdly, an increase in people hanging out, foot traffic, and people on the streets has already created quality of life issues (just look at the ridiculous amount of trash left by the CH fountain at the end of any given day to see the result of this).

    People who have genuine concerns about this place are not looking to stop the project; they just want to make sure there are constructive solutions or preventive measures to reduce the very few negative consequences of rapid development. People like anon 1:12 need to get a reality check–a lot of people who live in Columbia Heights like that it has a quiet balance of residential and commercial options and live there because they want a quieter life close to downtown. It is extremely unproductive and, frankly, incredibly ignorant to view the only 2 sides of this discussion as either 24-hour establishments or undeveloped urban wastelands. Commenters who welcome development without truly examining all sides of the argument for and against aren’t very responsible citizens or neighbors.

    • Anonymous

      + a billion.

    • Jamie

      I can’t disagree with anything you have said. But that’s not what we have here. The note said nothing about discussions, examinations, compromises. It said “enough is enough” and tried to scare people into opposing the project. That is what we are responding to, not the idea that all sides should be considered. The note that is the subject of this post is one-sided. I think that’s what most people are reacting to.

      • queenedix

        I wasn’t necessarily responding to the letter-writer, but more the tone of the back-and-forth on here. I’m just sick of the response that “anyone who sees anything wrong with this is an idiot.”

        • anon

          Agreed… people seem to be creating a lot of false binaries. Love it or leave it, 24-hour operation or vacant storefronts, etc.

        • BW

          I began to write something, but there are just too many half arguments filled with cherry picked truths to even start.

          I’m not saying you’re an idiot. I just wonder what you mean when you say people have a “right to question it.” Of course they do. But what are their questions? Are they valid ones that seek to come to a resolution? Or are they questioning as a means to kill a legitimate business deal?

          You can’t have it all unfortunately. If you run good businesses with good business plans out of a community then it will stagnate. Crime and poverty will eventually creep in. This has been the model for quite some time. If however you want development, you have to understand that it may not take the shape you want it to. We can’t all agree.

          Therefore you have to choose. If you want a “sense of community” (and we all define that differently btw) then you need to find some place where you believe you have it. There is NO guarantee that that place will be where you currently live. I am sorry. Life offers 0 guarantees.

    • A

      I agree with a lot of this. I’m generally supportive of this business but it strikes me as odd that it’s planned to be 24hrs. It’s hard for me to imagine that being viable in this location.

      But I also agree with Jamie that the person who wrote this flyer doesn’t have any credibility and isn’t trying to achieve a compromise. It’s a shame b/c I think they do a disservice to their cause by drowning out any of the reasonable voices who might have concerns about this venture.

    • Cait B

      Ditto! My concerns, exactly.

  • BS

    I gotta say, I live around the corner and generally support the diner plans…and the renovation/use of that building in general…
    I am SUPER concerned about parking. Even if only the new condo residents brought their vehicles (lets aruge 28 of them, as I believe there are 28 units at one car per)…I cant imagine there are 28 spots available on a nightly basis in the immediate area. Add in the added traffic that I have observed Meridian Pint bring in, and ya…Im concerned. (side note: jackasses who drive to meridian pint…at least have the decency to park like humans…I cant tell you the number of illegal spots, stuck out back ends, and other parking foibles I have observed!)

    I admit, I have not yet been to an ANC meeting to voice this concern. Nor have I emailed the owner of the would-be diner about his plans for parking (incidentally, I appreciate the way he engaged the community)…so I know I am not sticking up for myself in this regard other than to post comments on PoP…BUT…I think it is a legit concern.

  • Jamie

    Parking is a self solving problem. If it becomes bad enough, at the margin, some people will get rid of cars or pay for offstreet parking.

    We don’t really have a residential parking issue, even with this new development, in this part of the neighborhood. Spring Road, just two blocks away, is almost completely vacant on the north side every day. Not surprising, since there are no residences and the structures all have parking lots.

    Even in a worst case scenario, there’s plenty of parking within a few minute’s that could easily absorb this influx of new residents.

    I live one block away near 11th and Otis. I’m perfectly willing to accept that I may not get a spot in front of my house every day. It’s already getting marginally worse, probably due more to all the house flips/wealthier people moving in. I really don’t care. The benefits far outweigh the very modest inconvenience.

  • victoria

    The writer of this letter actually did sign his name on the hard-copy that was distributed, as well as on some online neighborhood lists. I’m guessing PoP had some good reasons for not printing it here.

    But I know the guy, and while I disagree with him on this issue (I eagerly support the new diner – and also live nearby) I can say that he isn’t a nut job, though the letter does have a silly alarmist tone.

    As for the very few people who might actually be unable to pay potentially higher property taxes, let the DC council set aside a portion of the quarter-million or so tax dollars the new restaurant will bring in every year in a fund to help them out.

  • caballero

    Jeez, let’s just settle the whole debate by plopping this new Tryst in that weird, semi-abandoned building at Upshur and Georgia Ave. Problem solved!

    • djdc

      NW, NE, or SE corner?

    • djdc

      Oops, I’m thinking technically of Georgia & 9th.

  • saf

    Who signed this letter?

    • billindc


  • billindc

    “Here is your metric. 11th street does not have North access past Monroe. Both 14th and Georgia have metro, four lane roads, parking, etc. Whoever made the Georgetown, etc comment above makes no sense. People should live comfortably. Georgetown condenses its commercial activity to the areas around M and Wisconsin. (14th and Georgia???)”

    That’s not a metric…that’s an inaccurate assertion of geography which doesn’t suggest what you think it does. It is a brake to congestion that 11th Street is isolated the way it is because is not a significant through route to anywhere else. In addition, we know for a fact that the neighborhood had a higher density both residential and commercial in the past (plus a tram line running up to Park!) and there is no evidence that the area was congested then.

    “The diner guy is exploiting the success of small neighborhood restaurants (Red Rocks/Meridian Pint) and has everyone excited that it is going to be a similarly nice place.”

    This is a deeply silly statement. By your analysis, any business that see’s an example to emulate is exploitive. Deeply silly.

    “It is not wrong to question the result of putting this diner on 11th when 14th or Georgia could accommodate it and are set up better for it. 11th street is only attractive now because of the residential feel. One more (larger) restaurant could turn this into an Adams Morgan. I do not want that.”

    It’s not wrong to question it per se…it is wrong to question it on highly dubious and anecdotal premises. It is simply defying reality to claim that we are on the doorstep of the Adamsmortification of 11th Street. It is simply your personal perception that 11th Street is only attractive because of it’s residential feel…I personally don’t like the rows of dead and empty store fronts. Finally, you claim that 14th or Georgia Avenue are ‘better set up’ for the Diner. I haven’t read one single compelling factual reason why on this entire thread.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you billindc.

      Mull you are presenting irrational (and totally self centered) arguments which only hurts your credibility. Adams Morgan?! You really think 11th st is going to become Adams Morgan because of a diner?

      I challenge anyone to sit outside of Open City (relevant for this argument) for a hour on Saturday night and then prove to me how a diner will turn 11th street into Adams Morgan!

      • I am not actually arguing against this Diner. I hate that empty building just like everyone else. I just do not agree that putting a larger establishment on 11th street is this unbelievably positive advancement for the neighborhood, DC and America in general.

        Open City sits on the corner of Connecticut ave. It is a great restaurant with lots of outdoor seating. It reminds me of the Heights. A nice outdoor restaurant on a major thoroughfare.

        I did not state 11th street would turn into Adams Morgan. I believe I wrote I do not want it to. If retail opened other than a security service on the block, I would be much happier.

        I apologize if my comment offended Billindc but I wrote the wrong captcha code down and my original argument was washed away. What resulted was a (poorly written) recap.

        I still do not argee with the argument 11th street was historically a thriving avenue and therefore mustbe again. As someone pointed out above, it entails three blocks of commercial use. A lot has changed in DC over the past 60 years. There are a lot less people in DC now then there where back then. Why should we just build because people lived in a more dense city 60 years ago? (Admittedly, I have no idea what the Columbia Heights population was back then compared to today)

        My argument regarding 14th street/Georgia is pretty simple. Those areas, like it or not, are set up for large commercial and retail spaces. If this is going to be a large establishment, then it probably should be opened in those areas. I am not sure how that is self centered.

        • billindc


          Please don’t think I’m offended. I am not. I am bothered rather by the objections to this proposed establishment that are based on hunches, fear and erroneous information. It is most definitely fair object to what they are planning…it’s not fair to do so on premises that are simply wrong.

  • dp

    i support it. can’t wait till it opens. will eat there all the time so long as the food doesn’t blow.

  • kohn

    Great …another diner full of govt contractors looking at their shiny laptop screens. Gentrification Robots!

    • Anonymous

      or as decent folk say, fellow humans.

  • AET8

    The reaction is very interesting. The Hope 7 fell apart because the person in charge is a crook. He was charged with 52 counts of SEC violations for another similar project. He is in Jail The neighborhood did not stop this project. It is wonderful the building is getting developed we will not have to be vigilant about vagrants living there or other building issues. You look at it every now and again we have had to look at it daily.

    It is our right to protest. THe scope and size of the Resturant/Coffee Shop / Bar / Commisary for the owners other establishments is the point as well as the 24/7 nature of the business. No one can debate that there is No parking, and there are parking issues now, THere is a rat problem now, that there will be 28 new neighbors in the condos above , 6 new neighbors in the building next door, 10 new neighbors in the mostly vacant building to be developed into apartments, 3 Churchs in 3 blocks,a DPR park across the street which the city will be spending considerable of money to make more functional, 9 Resturants in 3 blocks all serving booze ( Two which are new and will be here soon) or that there will be noise created by the establishment and or its patrons in a quiet neighborhood late at night OUR oprotest centers mainly on the 24/7 nature of the business.

    FYI the city in the Comprehensive Plan for the area deemed 11th St from Monroe to Kenyon as Medium Density housing and LOW density commercial. The residents have fought long and hard to get our quiet enjoyment and only 10 years ago there was a package store on every block as well as crack dealers and prostitutes.
    Development is wonderful and seeing this strip develop into a vibrant combination of shops eating establishments and services is welcome. The opening of Mr Larry’s Pet shop across from the dog park is exciting. He has lived in the neighborhood for over 30 years. The fact that a one of the top ratted furniture resale shops decided to move further north and bragged that they were happy about not moving to 11th ST is sad. They would have done well here.

    • Anonymous

      I can’t wait for the diner to open!

  • Columbia Hizzle

    Please try to remember that this business is opening up in what was an abandoned building (which has done what for neighborhood safety & property values)? That said, the economics (& politics) of a 24-hr place will work itself out. I will go there when it opens, but will also still support CH Coffee across the street – best apple fritters in town!

  • Eli

    To be clear, this was a cut and paste job intended to give the impression that the Office of the Mayor was holding a Walk-through. The NIMBYs have taken things to a whole other level! Andrew Krieger (famous for the 1/4 of 1000 letter) contacted various agencies asking if they would participate in a “walk-through” of 11 St and Fransico Fimbres said he would send an invite out “to appropriate DC Gov Agencies”. What Mr. Fimbres did not know was that his email was then cut and pasted to an email sent out opposing the diner! Andrew Krieger added his name AFTER Mr. Fimbres name (in a different font & color – do it right next time) to give the impression that the Mayor’s Office was against the diner AND that it was the Mayor’s Office that was organizing this walk-through. Don’t believe me – ask Mr. Fimbres yourself!

    I’m a resident who was approached to sign this so call petition of 200 and was first told it was going to be a 24-hour club. When I corrected them, they changed their tune and said this was a petition only intended to start a dialog. A neighbor of mine asked where the ANC stood and was told by the petition guy “they protested the license”. He didn’t sign and was surprised that they were only given half the story – the ANC protested pending a VA which they signed and the protest was dropped!

    The same way they got Mr. Fimbres to appear to to endorse their position is the same way they got many to sign – basically lie and forge!


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