2014 Santa

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Santa Arrives on 8th Street this Saturday, December 13 at 1:30 p.m. to the corner of 8th and G Streets, SE, in front of the Old City Bank. Rudolph has to get some practice in, so Santa will get a ride from our neighborhood fire department.

Don't miss it as Santa gets out of the firetruck and walks to his work shop. Kids and pets are invited to visit with Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas. There will be a photographer and parents can download shots for free.

Complimentary snacks will be served and children can enjoy the toy train set up. At the conclusion of Santa's visit he will hold a raffle for the train limited to boys and girls who visited at the event and entered their names.

'Tis the season!

Culinary Education Crawl 2014

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Culinary Education Crawl 2014 -

Buy Tickets here:


The 2014 Culinary Education Crawl is here with 25 cooking classes from some of your favorite Barracks Row Restaurants. Oyster Shucking at Senart's Oyster & Chop House; Becoming a Belgian Gourmand at Belga Café; enjoy Chef Christine's one-on-one coaching during The Art of Fine Pastry at District Doughnut; learn the secrets behind The Great American Steak Dinner at Medium Rare  and more! Don't wait - these classes sell out fast! Ticket sales are live now  https://culinaryeducationcrawlnovember2014.eventbrite.com

2014 Barracks Row Fall Festival Schedule and Performances

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The 2014 Barracks Row Fall Festival is around the corner! All of our booth spaces are sold out, and that means the street will be lined with great food, fun, and fare! Take a look at our tentative schedule for performances throughout the day, but be sure to check our Facebook and Twitter the day of the Festival for live updates.

  7:00 - Military Chef Cook Off Begins

  9:30 - Opening Band begins

10:35 - Demonstration from Capital Hill Aikikai

11:00 - The Accordion Queen begins strolling the midway

11:05 - Irish Dancers perform on the stage

11:30 - Beergarden opens! Located in the parking lot across from matchbox

11:35 - Marine Corps Brass Quintet

12:05 - Barracks Row Fall Festival Grand Opening!

12:10 - Lucky the Tap Dancing Horse

12:15 - Trapeze School of New York begins performing

12:15 - First tour of the Marine Barracks Washington at 8th & I.

12:40 - St. Marks Players takes the stage

 1:00 - Jazz Performance by Marshall Keys

 1:00 - Chesty the Marine Corps Mascot walks the midway

 1:15 - Second tour of the Marine Barracks Washington.

 1:30 - Our magician strolls the midway

 1:35 - Performance by Momentum Dance and Fitness

 1:55 - Skillz on Wheelz performs at 8th and G.

 2:10 - Batala: an all-women percussion group performs at 8th and G.

 2:15 - Third tour of Marine Barracks Washington

 3:00 - Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon at 8th and G.

 3:45 - The Georgetown Chimes

 3:45 - Final tour of Marine Barracks Washington

 5:00 - End of the 2014 Barracks Row Fall Festival!

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Barracks Row News

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Three new businesses open –more sidewalk cafes debut

DDOT overhauls ally in 500 block of 8th

A moonless night, a potholed alley, a low rustle in the air - since way before Dickens this classic brew has been a reliable set up for fictional plots. For Barracks Row Main Street some very real, after-dark action in one particular alley has held our recent attention.  Earlier this year a group of 7th Street neighbors and 8th Street restaurant owners met with us to discuss the rat population boom in the alley behind the 500 block of 8th Street.  Not the stuff of NCIS drama maybe but rat eradication is high on every city dweller’s wish list- a goal to unite us all.

Cava, 527 8th St SE; Matchbox, 521 8th St SE; Medium Rare, 515 8th St SE and Ted’s Bulletin, 505 8th St SE are four of eight Row eateries which back on to that alley. Stirred up by the ongoing construction at the Church of Latter Day Saints, 522 7th St SE, rats could be seen on the restaurants’ video surveillance cameras as they searched nightly for food and nesting places. The alley’s crumbling asphalt invited rodent homesteading because burrowing was super easy. Then, there was the convenient food supply provided by old style dumpsters.

 Technology verses rats

First, ANC6B, neighborhood residents, 500 block businesses and Barracks Row Main Street teamed up and went to work to convince the District Department of Transportation that rebuilding this alley was a top priority. Then, the restaurant group shared among themselves information about modern rat resistant dumpsters. Efforts are being made to bring every restaurant into voluntary compliance with the new technology. In response to neighborhood concerns BRMS and the community raised the issue of the need for a drain in the alley. At press time DDOT confirmed that they definitely will construct a drain as part of the project at the E Street entrance to the alley.

 A feasibility study is underway to build a state-of-the-art compacting dumpster which all 500 block restaurants on the west side could share.  As we go to press the 8th Street alley has been rebuilt by DDOT with rebar reinforced concrete to withstand the weight of daily deliveries and trash trucks. The next phase of the plan - to replace dumpsters with modern models - will happen this fall; a central compacting dumpster may follow soon after.

Growing on the Row

We count over 155 businesses on Barracks Row and many, like Capital Teas, opening soon at 731 8th St SE, have big plans for growth. New Capital Teas locations are also under construction in Charlottesville and Philadelphia.  But, some owners including Winnette Ambrose and Meeka Mathews love the Row so much they are expanding right here.  In late summer Ambrose is opening Souk, 705 8th St SE, a destination for spices and other ingredients as well as retail items plus intriguing dishes from Souk’s menu. Souk’s older sibling is Sweet Lobby at 404 8th St SE.  There, business boomed and never abated when Ambrose won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.

Matthews is moving her business, Skin Beauty Lounge, from the second floor above Sweet Lobby to larger quarters at 749 8th St SE, 2nd Floor above District Doughnut. Matthews plans to expand services to include massage, facials, waxing and beauty consultations.

 Meanwhile, on the first floor, the month of August will be the soft opening for District Doughnut – the owners have never before had a bricks and mortar business but have won devoted fans with their food truck and catering.  Open for breakfast and for dessert, especially after parades, the District Doughnut crew wants to greet you coming and going with smiles, scrumptious retro doughnuts and coffee just the way you like it.

Lower 700 block takes off

Capitol Hill Village will be relocating soon to the Row at 725 8th St SE, 2nd Floor, with parking convenient for its many volunteers at the lot under the freeway. Also, in the 700 block three new sidewalk cafés will be open soon: by mid month District Doughnut will install small tables and chairs out front; next door, Café Kimchi, 751 8th St SE will add sidewalk seating and at Capital Teas, a sidewalk café will be available for seating in addition to the courtyard and dining room.

These same eateries will also soon be sporting new signage and awnings paid for through a Barracks Row Main Street – DC Department of Small and Local Business Development signage grant, bringing the number of Barracks Row businesses to receive these improvements to a total of fifteen over the last three years. New sidewalk cafes blossoming in the formerly dormant lower 700 block, replete with handsome signs and awnings will give patrons attending Restaurant Week a fresh impression of the Row. Zest, 735 8th St SE (plus sibling, Agua 301 at the Lumber Shed); Lavagna, 539 8th St SE; Belga, 514 8th St SE (plus brand extension, B Too, in Logan); and Ambar, 523 8th St SE will all be participating in Restaurant Week, August 11-17. 

 High heels and software

There are further developments on the 500 block. After a long wait for DC permits Szechuan House, 515 8th St SE, 2nd Floor (above Medium Rare), will be open by July 28 with a menu of classic Asian take-out. The historic townhouse at 530 8th St SE, owned for many years by Thomas Queen, Esq. has been sold to Taoti Creative, an eighteen year old software design firm originally located near Dupont Circle, founded by Brent Lightner.

 With the river nearby, our corridor suits Lightner’s important week–end ritual: after Friday staff meetings, the Skipper takes web designers for an inspirational spin on his boat.  For more information: 202-546-8946 -www.taoticreative.com.  But the Taoti team may not be so apt to head for the water when they discover Momentum Dance and Fitness Studio, 534 8th St SE, just 2 doors away. Classes include Bollywood and High Heel dance as well as Director Roberta Rothstein's special version of Barre Fitness… all guaranteed to foster out-of-the-box insights- momentumdanceandfitness.com.

DDOT, give us a date!

Business owners shop the Row year-round for space and our Barracks Row Main Street office is asked regularly for guidelines on opening a business here. We’ve been privileged this summer to have Robert Hanifin, an intern from Cornell University’s Master of City Planning program, working at our office.  He has been compiling information on zoning and permitting how-to’s and best practices that we’ll release as a guide later this fall.

After winning a grant from DDOT earlier this year (funded by performance parking money) Barracks Row is waiting for an installation date from DDOT for tree box surrounds. A historic component of 8th Street before it was improved by DDOT in 2003, the original surrounds were removed during streetscape reconstruction and never replaced.  On all five blocks of Barracks Row tree box surrounds (similar to those at Eastern Market) will add refinement and help us maintain flowers and plantings to be installed seasonally by Capitol Hill Business Improvement District and BRMS.

DDOT Street Enhancements in 2003

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District of Columbia Main Streets DC Department of Small and Local Business Development

Barracks Row Main Street is a designated DC Main Streets commercial district.  Barracks Row Main Street is funded in part by the Department of Small and Local Business Development.