Business Ins & Outs April 4, 2018

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By Robert Devaney and Stephanie Green

In: Church Hall, ‘Georgetown’s Cozy Hangout’

Calling itself “Georgetown’s Cozy Hangout,” Church Hall opened — during Holy Week no less — at 1070 Wisconsin Ave. NW in what’s left of the Georgetown Park complex.

The beer hall — another neighborhood spot from Peter Bayne and Geoffrey Dawson of Tin Shop restaurant partnership, creators of Big Chief, Franklin Hall and Penn Social — is down the parking-garage stairs of the retail complex on the canal level. The 7,000-square-foot space is actually under the parking-garage ramp, hence the angle of its ceiling — cathedral-like, with space for a mezzanine.

There are lots of special beers and drafts at the three bars. The “Frito Pie” chili and the sweet potato tots get our votes for post-Lent edible debauchery. With chef Justin Clements at the helm, Church Hall opens at 4 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends, with closing hours of 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, respectively.

In the Works: Reren Lamen & Bar

Meanwhile, across the avenue in a former sushi restaurant, plans are afoot for Reren Lamen & Bar. It’s “Chinese-style ramen made with fresh noodles, plus dumplings & Asian entrees,” they say. There’s where the lamen comes in; they are not ramen noodles.

In: Now It’s Scooters

But wait, there’s more. Another transportation choice, enabled by mobile apps, made the urban scene last week. Lime-S scooters are popping up around town like those dockless bicycles for rent first seen in September. Run by the company that gave us Lime Bikes, the motorized scooters are a dollar to start and slightly more for mileage thereafter. The District Department of Transportation has authorized each company to supply 400 scooters to litter — we mean, to be left on — sidewalks and other public spaces across D.C.

In: Black Coffee

Black Coffee of Black Restaurant is open — granted, it’s a soft opening with limited hours (closed Mondays) until all the kinks are worked out. Located in the former Ann Hand boutique at 4885 MacArthur Boulevard, the eatery will eventually offer breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual environment.

Soon to Brew: Bluestone Lane Coffee

Right next door to Church Hall — at 1066 Wisconsin Ave. NW — will be Bluestone Lane coffee, the fancy Aussie-style coffee shop that serves coffee and “wellness drinks” along with juices and teas. The fab food, all very Instagramable, includes avocado toast. (There’s a large Bluestone Lane in the newly opened West End Library.)

Out: Mad Fox Taproom

Mad Fox Taproom at 2218 Wisconsin Ave. NW shut its D.C. doors last week, but the Max Fox Brewing Company, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, continues with its original location on West Broad Street. There is a Mad Fox beer made exclusively for the Washington Nationals at the stadium, available along with others at area pubs. The Glover Park restaurant opened in 2015 with a big party attended by Mad Fox founder Bill Madden and family — and a bunch of new neighbors.

For Sale Again: Washington Harbour

One of Georgetown’s defining contemporary landmarks is up for sale again. Dockside on the Potomac River, Washington Harbour is an office, retail and condo complex with two buildings and a central plaza, with a fountain that transforms into an ice skating rink in the winter months.

The 562,105-square-foot property is owned by South Korean investors, who retained Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P., to arrange the sale. HFF said of the property: “Ninety-eight-percent-leased to 31 tenants with seven years of weighted average remaining lease term (WALT), Washington Harbour offers durable cash flow from entrenched credit tenants with long occupancy histories at the property.” Located at 3000 and 3050 K St. NW, the complex is managed by MRP Realty, which sold it in 2013 for $370 million.

Opened in 1986 and designed by prominent architect Arthur Cotton Moore, the gathering spot includes Tony and Joe’s Seafood PlaceNick’s Riverside Grill, Farmers Fishers Bakers, Fiola Mare, Sequoia and the soon-to-open Guapo’s Mexican restaurant. An asking price was not disclosed.

Happy Anniversary, Down Dog!

Down Dog Yoga at 15 — That’s 105 in Dog Years

One of Georgetown’s woman-owned businesses is turning 15.Down Dog Yoga at 1229 34th St. NW is celebrating its anniversary with special classes and treats on April 22.

Founder Patty Ivey tells me she didn’t take up yoga until she was 49, but after meeting guru Baron Baptiste in 2002, her life changed.Since then, she’s struck the right balance between inspired yogi, smart entrepreneur and community leader. She opened her first studio near her home on Dent Place in 2003 — “so I could walk to work.”

Today, she runs four locations in the Washington area catering to hundreds of students.The Down Dog mainstay is a hot yoga class, incorporating the Bikram-style and vinyasa poses.In recent years, the studios have expanded their offerings to meditation classes, classes with music (rare in most yoga practices) and classes that focus on core strengthening.

Ivey says she’s most proud to have remained in Georgetown and become a “landmark” to residents.As a way of giving back, she offers a five-dollar “community” class every Friday at 4:30 p.m., much appreciated among college students.

 

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