Sweet Mango is Dead, Long Live 3701 Jerk Station Officially Opening Tuesday, For Now…Development Slated to Come

by Prince Of Petworth August 3, 2015 at 10:15 am 32 Comments

3701 New Hampshire Ave, NW

Back in March we were saddened to learn that Sweet Mango Cafe had closed “until further notice” across from the Petworth Metro. Now they’re back – sorta – 3701 Jerk Station had a soft opening yesterday. I stopped in yesterday and the owner was so happy – he was giving away jerk chicken for free to celebrate. He told me the official opening is Tuesday and they hope to lease space here when the new development comes. On that front UrbanTurf reports a 21 unit building is coming:

“The 65-foot, five-story residential development will have one and two-bedroom residential units on floors two through five and there will be retail on the ground floor.”

The owner of 3701 Jerk Station (who wishes he named it DC Jerk Station but oh well) says he hopes to lease the retail space in the new development too. Stay tuned all around and in the meantime – enjoy some jerk chicken!

sweet mango

And here’s a bit of awesomeness courtesy of Sweet Mango – here’s what the corner looked like in 1927:


  • White Castle?

    Is that a knock off White Castle in the 1927 shot?

    • monkeyrotica

      Little Taverns used to be all over the area.


    • Little Tavern

      DEFINITELY a little tavern. They used to be all over DC and Baltimore. You can still see the distinct old frame houses everywhere. Some I know off the top of my head are the Subway in Trinidad, a Chinese carryout in Bethesda, and some place called I think Paolo’s in Georgetown.

  • JTM

    As long as it doesn’t catch on fire before the tear the place down.

  • guest1

    what a terrible pop-up.

  • shmoo

    Im hoping they find some way to keep the chuck brown mural up there. Its one of my favorites and is a great way to celebrate a uniquely DC art form and personality.

    • petworther

      The mural is fine but it’s 2 years old and in no way historic. It would be cool to get the developer to do a new mural of some sort, but all the haranguing for the developer to “save” the mural (which will never happen) makes the neighbors look like idiots.

      • shmoo

        Its just a nice mural and chuck brown is uniquely DC. Just sayin it would be nice to keep it up. Dont really think I was haranguing.

        • shmoo

          plus, it was put up a week after he died as a memorial so it makes sense that it isnt an old mural. btw, it is 3 years old, not two.

  • Nick

    George’s comeback finally works.


  • kd21

    The jerk station called, they’re out of you!

  • DrP

    my memories of sweet mango: them heating up my jerk chicken in the microwave in a styrofoam container, and walking by their dumpster on rock creek church every day.

  • Teddy

    Another developer putting up an ugly building on a small plot of land that probably will just cater to upper those that can afford a high price tag. Is anyone else concerned about the fact that this is another building looking for a PARKING SPOT VARIANCE? The development project going up at the former Latney Funeral home already received a variance to avoid putting in 10 required parking spots. Now this place wants to avoid 13 spots. We have these parking-spot laws for a reason. I know the proximity to the metro/bikeshare/zipcar makes owning a car less relevant, but some of these residents will want and get cars. If you can afford the $500-800K that these apartments will probably go for, you might also be able to afford a car. So instead of having onsite parking, these cars are going to clog the streets, mostly idle and make parking more difficult for everyone. Where do the variances stop? Each building may be able to make a case for exceptions, but there is no sign of a slow-down in development. How long until we reach a critical mass and make the neighborhood unlivable. Talk to anyone who has owned a car in Adams Morgan without a spot. They can tell you how fun it is to spend 30 minutes looking for a spot every afternoon.

    • Anonymus

      “Is anyone else concerned about the fact that this is another building looking for a PARKING SPOT VARIANCE?”

      Nope, not concerned. In fact I’m upset that a building across the street from the metro even has to go through the variance process for parking. Next question?

    • petworther

      Don’t be so damn whiney. This building is literally on top of the metro station. There’s already a surplus of parking in the neighborhood. Opposition to this variance is idiotic. You live in a city. There’s plenty of room in Loudon county if you’re worried about parking.

    • Edain

      Not even slightly concerned, no. The neighborhood doesn’t become unlivable from a shortage of parking spaces, uh, unless you’re a car or something. Hopefully we can see some of the parking lanes get converted to protected bike lanes or separated bus lanes, too. Having better transportation options helps everyone in the neighborhood.

    • Anonymus

      There are so many problems with parking in the city that minimum parking requirements try to fix. If RPP went from $35/year to $35/month and parking zones shrank to a reasonable size (say by an order of magnitude from 8 to 80 zones), those two things would solve a whole host of street parking problems.

    • rockcreekrunner

      there aren’t very many people who live in adams morgan who drive every day. i lived there for a year or so doing street parking, and it’s normally only a huge problem on friday or saturday nights. and petworth has a long, long way to go before it’s in the same ballpark as adams morgan.

    • Guillermo Brown

      If you live within spitting distance of the metro, you should expect that dense development is going to occur near you. That’s the smart way to build that cities all over the world strive for. It encourages people to move to the city, provides more housing, increases the city’s tax base so it can provide better services for all those in need, promotes walkability, etc…

      If these parking exceptions were happening in the middle of R-4 or otherwise residential areas, I’d have some sympathy. But this is Georgia and New Hampshire, for god’s sake! It’s on top of a metro! The parking requirements would make it IMPOSSIBLE to build this site or Latney’s. We’d be stuck in a 5 year red tape back and forth with the city, the lots would remain vacant, and all the lovely things that come with vacant lots would remain. I support the variance 1,000%.

  • Anonymous

    I hope the jerk station is owned and managed by someone other than the owners of Sweet Mango. There were NOT good neighbors. Food was decent, but jerk chicken isn’t necessarily at the top of my wish list for the neighborhood considering there is another one here already (Pink Snapper).
    I also think this building looks really cool! It’ll be a HUGE improvement on that corner. Half the building are run down or blighted. Plus it’ll get those huge, hulking trash dumpsters off the street. I hope this development goes a long way to cleaning up that block and helps to fill the vacant store fronts with QUALITY retail in Park Place.
    And enough with the parking. They ar going to have like 13 spots and it’s literally ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE METRO. If you want to crack down on parking, have parking enforcement actually enforce parking. It’s mostly Maryland drivers commuting in to DC and parking near the metro to take it downtown.
    I like the Chuck Brown mural, but it’s hardly historic or anything to get upset about. I’d much rather have our “community request” of the developer to be some streetscaping and beautification on Georgia Ave than to keep some mural.

    • textdoc

      I too was wondering whether this was the same ownership/management as Sweet Mango, or whether it’s completely different ownership/management and just happens to be offering the same kind of food.

    • Anonymus

      To be pedantic, this is a variance case so there are no legal requirements for a community benefits (As there are in planned unit developments). Of course, as neighbors/residents there is plenty of scope to request things from the developer.

      I can almost guarantee there will be TDM measures for this building and the BZA will agree to the parking variance if the new residents are prevented from getting RPPs, as they’ve done for basically all cases like this in the past couple of years. They keep doing this despite the fact that the DMV has no way of enforcing this in cases where the building is on an RPP-eligible block (like the 3700 block of New Hampshire)

      • textdoc

        I was under the impression that when a developer is asking for a variance, the project becomes a PUD. No?
        Or maybe it becomes a quasi-PUD? I know that in a case where a building being planned near me was asking for a variance on the parking requirement, my neighborhood group discussed 1) whether we would tell the BZA that we supported or objected to the variance, and 2) the issue of whether the building could provide some sort of benefit to the community (as with a PUD) to offset the increased stress it would be placing on the parking supply.

        • Anonymus

          Variance cases don’t require community benefits, PUDs do.
          In a variance or special exception case, you can of course oppose it and work with the developer/community group/BZA to mitigate any negative effects of granting the variance. Parking is the easiest/most straigthforward thing the BZA deals with and they give great deference to neighborhood complaints. The result is usually a combination of RPP restrictions and bike/car share memberships.

          • textdoc

            Thanks; this is a helpful answer.

        • JS

          No, that’s not the case at all. Development in this city would be even more of a nightmare if asking for a zoning variance required a PUD.

  • New build

    What is the timeline for the new building? It seems like it can’t be too soon, if it’s worth opening up a restaurant in the current space?

    • Anony

      That’s my thought, another project off in the distance to get people excited and may never happen.

    • Keefer

      Agreed, moving a new restaurant in, even in a building that is already set up as one is not a cheap proposition, the cost would make me think they are going to be a while before they get started with construction. Even with asking for a variance and granting the train wreck that is getting a permit through DCRA right now it shouldn’t take them more than a year to get full building permits, could have the raise permit much sooner, so why put the store it. Zuckerman Partner’s is doing something similar in the 3200 block of Georgia, but they are a PUD which is a longer process and they are slow walking everything thing they own right now. I think they should create some sort of priority permitting process for Georgia Ave. The blight in this area is crazy, there should be some incentivized structure that would get developers and DCRA working to get project underway in parts of the city that are truly blighted

      • Anony

        The difference with the Zuckerman Partner’s properties just south on GA (particularly the 3200 you mention) is that they have not proposed anything, only for a 2 year extension which was incidentally approved. They from all accounts seem content on “land banking” the empty properties for the foreseeable future. It is a shame as no businesses can move in and everything is just stalled and sits dormant. I wonder if anything can be done or is the neighborhood at the mercy of the big developer?

      • textdoc

        “I think they should create some sort of priority permitting process for Georgia Ave.” Technically, this building is not on Georgia Avenue — the street address is on New Hampshire Avenue, and although this triangular area is bounded by where New Hampshire, Georgia, and Rock Creek Church Road, I _think_ the part adjacent to Georgia Avenue is actually public space, not part of the 3701 New Hampshire parcel.

        • JS

          While not on GA Ave, these lots are within the GA Ave Overlay District. So if DC created an expedited development process for the GA Overlay, this development would be eligible for it.


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