Bastille Day Celebrates 225th Anniversary of the French Revolution

July 14, 2014

Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution, which began in 1789 when citizens stormed a Parisian prison holding political prisoners. By seizing the prison, the people declared that they would no longer tolerate living under monarchist rule.

This year celebrates the 225th anniversary of the storming of Bastille. Washingtonians are invited to attend a variety of celebratory events and activities throughout the weekend to enjoy La Fête Nationale in traditional Parisian style.

In addition to recognizing Bastille Day this weekend, the Embassy of France is hosting an evening celebrating Liberty Day in Normandy on Friday, June 11, complete with live jazz and swing music, dancing, cocktails, gourmet dishes from more than 20 local restaurants and a raffle to win a luxury trip to Paris. 4101 Reservoir Rd., NW. For details, click here.

On Saturday, July 12, join Hillwood Estate and Alliance Française de Washington at their annual French Festival for a full day of 18th-century art, live dance and musical performances by New York Baroque Dance Company, comedy shows, games and lessons. 4155 Linnean Ave., NW.

Party like it’s 1789 at L’Enfant Cafe Bar in Adams Morgan for its 10th Annual Bastille Day block party from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 12. There, guests can enjoy a beer garden, music, can-can dancers, food truck pavilion, masquerade street ball and the annual French maid race, with a chance to win a trip for two to France. 2000 18th St., NW.

For a more sophisticated soiree, visit the garden of the Georgetown Ritz-Carlton Sunday for complimentary champagne tasting by Moët Ice Impérial, live music, dancing and delicious cake served by a Marie Antoinette lookalike. 3100 South St., NW. For details, click here.

To celebrate France’s national holiday, Paul Bakery is holding its fourth annual Bastille Day baguette relay race on Monday, July 14, continuing a French tradition at its store at 801 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Relay teams will race around the Navy Memorial and pass on a fresh-baked baguette, in lieu of a baton, to a teammate. At 11 a.m., a kid’s race will begin, followed by an adult race at 11:30 a.m. Paul is a French, family-owned bakery, with seven bakeries set around the Washington metropolitan area. For details on the baguette relay race, click here.

M Street’s Rhino Bar Forced to Close For 5 Days

July 10, 2014

Rhino Bar and Pumphouse, Georgetown’s unofficial college football bar, will shut down this week after having its liquor license suspended for selling beer to an underage student in February 2013.

The acclaimed Philadelphia Eagles and Boston Red Sox bar, located at 3295 M St., NW, will be closed Tuesday, July 8, through Saturday, July 12, as mandated by D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

According to the ABC Board, an officer from the Metropolitan Police Department was stationed at the bar’s entrance to assist in identifying fake IDs on the night of the incident in February 2013. Two women walked past the line of patrons waiting to enter the establishment and went straight to the bouncer. After speaking with him, the two women hurried down M Street and were followed by the same police officer who was stationed at the entrance. They then admitted to the police officer that the bouncer alerted them of the cop’s presence and warned them not to enter, despite the fact that Rhino Bar had let them, and many other underage individuals, inside the establishment on previous occasions.

Upon returning to the bar, the officer approached two other women drinking inside. One of them was a 19-year-old Georgetown lacrosse player holding a Bud Light. Rhino Bar owner Charles Britton Swann, of the recently closed M Street hamburger and ice cream shop, Serendipity 3, claimed that the establishment was not serving Bud Light at the time and that the lacrosse player must have entered through the back door and brought her own alcohol with her.

Rhino Bar argued that there was insufficient evidence to prove that it served the underage lacrosse player because they did not serve that brand of beer on the night of the incident. The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board stated that the lacrosse player had no other source of alcohol other than the bar since Rhino Bar does not allow customers to enter with their own containers of alcohol.

Since this was the second incidence of underage alcohol consumption at Rhino Bar within two years, the Board suspended its liquor license for five days and fined the business $3,000.

For details on the court’s ruling, [click here](

Rammys: the Best in Local Culinary Achievement

July 7, 2014

Twenty-one local restaurants were honored at the 2014 Rammy Awards, June 22. The 32nd annual gala, held at Walter E. Washington Convention Center, highlighted the best restaurants in the area in categories, ranging from “formal fine dining” to “new restaurant of the year.” This year, several new categories were introduced to recognize the finest cocktail and beer programs, as well as some favorite fast bites and regional food and beverage producers.

Only members of Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington were eligible for nomination. Of more than 100 nominees, only 21 were selected to represent the local culinary industry, four of which were selected by public vote.

And the winners are…

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: Fiola

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Ripple

Everyday Casual Restaurant of the Year: Toki Underground

New Restaurant of the Year: The Red Hen

Chef of the Year: Haidar Karoum, Doi Moi, Estadio, Proof

Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Michael Friedman, The Red Hen

Pastry Chef of the Year: Caitlin Dysart, 2941 Restaurant

Wine Program of the Year: Ripple

Cocktail Program of the Year: Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Beer Program of the Year: Birch and Barley/ChurchKey

Service Program of the Year: Blue Duck Tavern

Restaurateur of the Year: Michael Babin, Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: Red Apron Butcher

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Hank’s Oyster Bar – Dupont Circle

Upscale Casual Brunch: Mintwood Place

Everyday Casual Brunch: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

Favorite Fast Bites: Amsterdam Falafelshop

Allied Member of the Year: ProFish Ltd.

Employee of the Year: Stelios Alexandris, 1789 Restaurant

Manager of the Year: Boo Young Kim, District Commons

Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award: Lynne Breaux
[gallery ids="101785,140996,140974,140983,140986,140992,140998" nav="thumbs"]

Fourth of July Travel Advisory

Due to an increase of crowds anticipated for upcoming Independence Day events, the District Department of Transportation is advising residents and visitors to travel with extreme caution and encourage the use of public transportation.

Metrorail will operate its Saturday schedule until 2 p.m. on Friday, with increased service just before and after the fireworks display on the National Mall. Metrobus will also operate its Saturday schedule, but some routes will be detoured around the National Mall due to lane closures and increased traffic. The DC Circulator will operate its regular weekday schedule on Friday, July 4.

For those traveling around the city in a car, DDOT plans to manage the flow of traffic leaving the city after the fireworks display by extending particular green lights, beginning a half hour after the fireworks conclude for a total of one hour. DDOT will open the temporarily-closed travel lanes from noon Thursday, July 3, to Saturday, July 5. Public parking near the National Mall will be extremely limited during the fireworks display and throughout the day on Friday, July 4.

Please use extreme caution when walking or driving near the National Mall during the Independence Day festivities. DDOT will have Traffic Control Officers stationed in the area to assist with traffic and ensure the safety of pedestrians at busy intersections.

For more information on getting around Washington, D.C., this weekend, visit

Pretty Chic Boutique Opens in Georgetown

July 3, 2014

Calling all frugal fashionistas. A new boutique just opened on Wisconsin Avenue, aiming to provide the women of Georgetown affordable clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry. The store offers gently used consignment, vintage and new items available for customers to purchase.

Pretty Chic hosted its garden party grand opening June 28. Guests were invited to enjoy authentic Turkish food and wine to celebrate the grand opening of Georgetown’s newest boutique, all while shopping the store’s large selection of blouses, skirts, dresses, shoes, purses and jewelry.

On Tuesday, July 1, the store will have a celebratory summer sale of 20 percent off all summer tops.

The store, located at 1671 Wisconsin Ave., NW, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

China and Kenya Are the Stars at This Year’s Folklife Festival

June 30, 2014

In the spirit of summer, Washington, D.C., celebrates the 48th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall. Thousands of visitors attend the festival each year to explore diverse cultural traditions from around the world. The festival is open to the public June 25 to June 29 and July 2 to July 6.

This year, the festival will feature two programs: “China: Tradition and the Art of Living” and “Kenya: Mambo Poa.” Visitors are invited to enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities — from traditional dance shows and musical performance to food demonstrations and art displays.

Michael Atwood Mason, director of Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Culture Heritage, welcomed visitors and performers to the festival at the opening ceremony June 25. After opening remarks, the Dimen Dong Folk Chorus performed a traditional Chinese song and introduced Thomas Wesonga and his Kenyan program singers to the stage for a Kenyan song and dance routine.

Activities offered in the China section of the festival include martial arts and dance performances, pottery and textile art displays, calligraphy, a teahouse and cooking demonstrations of traditional Chinese cuisine. Here, you can taste the flavors of China by sampling lo mein or pork dumpling dishes at the Chi Fan Le tent.

If you’re craving traditional Kenyan food, Spice Routes Café offers chicken curry, goat stew, samosas and mahamri, a sweet donut-like pastry. While you’re eating, enjoy the vibrant sounds of Kenyan music, such as benga, taarab, ohangla and chakacha, which combine traditional instruments with contemporary rhythms and styles.

The festival is open for ten days on the National Mall, rain or shine, and will feature a variety of activities and performances that change daily for guests of all ages. Admission is free. For more information, visit
[gallery ids="116361,116333,116340,116349,116355,116366" nav="thumbs"]

Film on D.C.’s Fashion World Takes City Beyond Politics

June 27, 2014

The film, “The Politics of Fashion: DC Unboxed,” premiered June 3. Touted as Washington’s first-ever fashion documentary, it showcases the hidden fashion industry of D.C. that is often overshadowed by politics. The event, hosted by Svelte, LLC, began with a red carpet, followed by a screening of the film and an after party, sponsored by Mazza Gallerie.

The goal of “DC Unboxed” is to show Washingtonians that there is more to the city than just politics, as told by those who know it best. Elaine Mensah, founder of Svelte, LLC, and writer, director and producer of the documentary, sought to use this film as a medium to share D.C.’s evolution in fashion and retail, as well as to address the future of the fashion industry in the nation’s capital and discredit misperceptions about Washington consumer interest.

The cast includes Pulitzer-Prize winning fashion critic Robin Givhan, founder of T.H.E. Artist Agency Lynda Erkiletian, Karen Sommer Shalett, former editor-in-chief of D.C. Modern Luxury Magazine, Kate Glassman Bennett, editor-in-chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and many others.

After releasing her documentary, Mensah said she hoped it would bring together the D.C. fashion community and generate interest in investing in the variety of creative opportunities in the Washington area.

“DC Unboxed” will have a second screening Tuesday, June 17, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St., NW. For details, visit [](https:/
[gallery ids="116395,116389,116379,116384" nav="thumbs"]

We’re Not Kidding Around: Soupergirl Is Now on M Street

Soupergirl, a small, eco-friendly restaurant featuring homemade vegan and kosher soups and salads, has opened a new takeout store at 1829 M St., NW, in the former Yo-Cake location.

Known for its various gazpachos in watermelon, beet, peach and tomato, the shop offers five soups, warm or chilled, that change daily on a rotating schedule. All of the soups – starting at $6 — are plant-based, made up of fresh vegetables, beans, grains, herbs and spices, and have interesting names, which originate from the owner’s previous career as a stand-up comedian in New York City. In addition to soups, the menu includes green salads, grain salads, sides of bread and hummus, and desserts. It also features delivery and catering services.

The 750-square-foot site in the heart of the downtown business district is the second Soupergirl to hit Washington, D.C. The first, located on Carroll Street, NW, near the Takoma Metro Station, opened its doors in 2011, and is where all the food sold at both locations is prepared. Because of its smaller size, the new shop does not have the space for seating, but it features a counter window for customers to enjoy a quick lunch. However, the new takeout location offers a wider variety of soups each day than the Takoma store does.

Sara Polon, also known as “Soupergirl,” is the founder and owner of both locations. She decided to get involved in the local food movement after reading Michael Pollan’s book, “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and was inspired to create a restaurant that offers healthy dining options made from only the freshest seasonal ingredients, many of which are organic and grown on local farms. Her business began in 2008 as an online ordering system and has since developed into a popular lunch spot for Washingtonians on the go.

“This store is more of a ‘Soupergirl Express,’ ” Polon said. The takeout option is ideal for businesspersons who only have time to pick something up before eating lunch at their desk, she said, adding, “I am on a mission to provide good, healthy food to as many people in the area as possible.”

Polon’s success can partially be attributed to her mother, Marilyn, or “Soupermom.” She is responsible for crafting each recipe down to the final spice as well as cooking the soup from scratch each day.

The food at Soupergirl is kosher-certified by Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom — The National Synagogue. The food is also certified by the Washington, D.C., chapters of Slow Food and REAL (Responsible, Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership) — organizations that promote restaurants that support local, seasonal and sustainable food sources in their kitchens.

“You’re going to feel clean when you eat this food,” Polon said. “You will recognize every item on the ingredient list.”

Soupergirl’s signature soups and salads are available in Whole Foods Market, eight Sweetgreen locations in the D.C. area and Glen’s Garden Market in Dupont Circle. The M Street shop is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, Friday. It is closed weekends and on Jewish holidays.

[gallery ids="116374,116372" nav="thumbs"]

Washington Redskins Trademark Canceled

The U.S. Patent and Trade Office canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration Wednesday after a 2-1 ruling, declaring its name offensive to Native Americans.

This is not the first time the team has had its trademark withdrawn. In 1992, a group of Native Americans that have long debated the nature of the nickname of the team brought the case to court and attempted to get the football team’s name changed. The ruling was overturned and the team regained its trademark.

Owned by Dan Snyder, the Redskins will not be forced to change its name. However, the ruling now limits the ability to enforce trademark infringements against individuals who attempt to manufacture and sell Redskins apparel, hats and other gear.

Although no official plans have been made, the Washington Redskins one step closer to a legal name change. The result of a new team name for the Redskins would hit pocketbooks especially hard, costing the team several million dollars to make the transition present on all Redskins merchandise, signage, facilities and stadium, according to the Washington Post.

Nails Chic: Personalized Care from Hand to Toe

June 20, 2014

Hidden above a Wisconsin Avenue yoga studio, unbeknownst to many, is another oasis of relaxation.

Since November 2012, Nails Chic has offered nail care and waxing services – from the classic manicure and pedicure to a paraffin foot treatment – to Georgetown residents, business people and students. Though the name says nails, the salon offers 16 types of waxing services for both men and women. Prices start at $8 and go up to $60.

The quaint salon features exposed brick and an excellent view of one of Georgetown’s main avenues. Lining the far wall is a row of plush massage chairs to further pamper customers getting a pedicure.

Owner Linh Nguyen is an expert in the art of nail care. Born in rural southern Vietnam, she immigrated to the United States at 17 and immediately began her career in the nail industry in Texas. Two years later, she moved to northern Virginia with her husband. With over 13 years of experience under her belt, Nguyen was encouraged by her business partner to open her own salon in Georgetown in 2012, just a year after her daughter was born.

“I love D.C. The people are so nice here,” said Nguyen.

Nine months after the salon opened, her business partner pulled out, leaving Nguyen to manage things on her own. Instead of closing her doors, she chose to continue to provide a variety of nail services to the Georgetown community.

Customers can choose from Nails Chic’s large selection of OPI, Essie and China Glaze nail polish. The salon’s most popular service, a gel manicure priced at $35, lasts at least two weeks and is resistant to chipping and fading.

“The gel is good for busy people because it lasts long and the customer doesn’t have to get their nails redone as often,” Nguyen said.

Just a short walk from Georgetown University, Nails Chic offers a student discount, and many students frequent the salon, according to Nguyen. To give the business people of Georgetown an opportunity to relax after a long workday, she keeps her store open until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday (when it opens at 10 a.m.). It is also open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.