Real Estate Spotlight
Isabel Ernst: Developer
Nico Dodd • February 28, 2013
Helen Reddy, March 7 & 8?
Catie Curtis, March 28?
John Eaton, March 30?
A Prairie Home Companion, May 24, 25
Looking Towards Summer?
Bill Cosby, June 15?
The Temptations & The Four Tops, June 27
NSO @ Wolf Trap
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts?
Bobby McFerrin, May 13
S&R Foundation Overtures Concert Series: Ori Kam, viola,?Mar. 21
NSO Pops: Trey Anastasio / Steven Reineke, conductor?May 22
An Evening with Patti LaBelle, March 25
S&R Foundation at Evermay
Tamaki Kawakubo, Violin and Ori Kam, Viola, March 26
Yu Kosuge, Piano, April 1?
Soichi and Kaori Muraji, Guitar, May 24
Overtures Chamber Music Project: Tamaki Kawakubo and Friends, May 29
Leon Redbone, March 10
George Thorogood, March 12
The Hamilton Live
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, March 3
The Rebirth Brass Band, March 6
Allen Toussaint, March 15?
The Bad Plus, April 10?
Toots and The Maytals, May 22
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, March 20
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell and Richard Thompson Electric Trio, March 29
Diana Krall, April 10
Gladys Knight, April 25 & 26
Bela Fleck and The Marcus Roberts Trio, May 10
Also Coming Soon
Sweetlife Festival 2013, May 11
DC Jazz Fest, June 5-16
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G. Morris Steinbraker & Son: Three Generations in Georgetown
Nico Dodd • February 25, 2013
Tucked into Grace Street around the corner from Wisconsin Avenue at the C&O Canal sits an iconic Georgetown storefront: G. Morris Steinbraker & Son, experts in historic renovation and construction, soon to depart its old town. It is just past the clothing store Patagonia’s building, which was also built by business founder G. Morris Steinbraker.
Both David Steinbraker’s grandfather, G. Morris Steinbraker, and his father, the “Son,” were born at 3321 block of Q Street, NW. When he was in third grade at Holy Trinity School, David Steinbraker’s family moved to a new home, built by his father, in Kensington, Md. He began working for the family business during summers at St. John’s College High School in Chevy Chase, D.C., and began working fulltime after he returned to the United States from serving in the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War. He did not go to trade school. He got his skills “all from doing it,” he said. “Working for your father, you start from the bottom.”
Steinbraker credits a lot of his business style to his father and grandfather. “I learned a lot from my father’s father.” He also cites craftsmanship and customer relations as important things stressed by his grandfather. “My grandfather kept telling me the customer’s always right,” he said. “It’s an old statement, but we sort of live by it.”
Steinbraker & Son does a lot of restoration and renovation work. No surprise, being in Georgetown. “Since we’ve been in Georgetown for so long, a lot of our customers live in Georgetown,” said Steinbraker, whose projects have included jobs at Dumbarton Oaks, Blair House, the City Tavern Club and the home of the late Sen. Charles Percy, R-Ill.
“One of my best clients is Jay Rockefeller, the senator from West Virginia. I remodeled his house. I also designed three bridges on his property,” Steinbraker said. “We actually did some work at his West Virginia house, too.”
At the Percys’ home, Steinbraker had to use creativity to get a project past the Old Georgetown Board, which has the power to approve construction projects in the historic district. “Senator Percy lived up here on 34th Street,” he said. “As he was getting older, they wanted to put an elevator in, and it had to serve all these different floors. I knew how the board was. They were very particular. So, I designed an elevator shaft that looked like a chimney.”
With old-school manners, Steinbraker & Son has made a name for itself by its high-quality craftsmanship. customer service through word of mouth — and its reputation. The company does not advertise or have its own website. It can be found on sites like the Georgetown BID’s website or Yelp.com.
Although he mostly has done large projects, Steinbraker will do any small projects to meet the needs of clients. “I will also hang a picture for a customer or hang a screen door,” he said.
Sixty-nine years after his grandfather built the Grace Street structure in 1944, David Steinbraker is moving his business out of Georgetown. The original building is being offering for lease. “I’m going to scale down a little bit,” he said. “I’m not going to retire fully.”
Georgetown is filled with such stories and such small businesses. While decamping to Maryland, Steinbraker & Son remains a third-generation Georgetown business with deep roots: once a Georgetowner, always a Georgetowner.
Bayou Documentary Premieres at Georgetown’s AMC Loews
Nico Dodd • February 18, 2013
“The Bayou, D.C.’s Killer Joint” premiered Jan. 31 at the AMC Loews Georgetown, only yards from where the legendary music joint stood for decades.
The new documentary chronicles the story of the Bayou, the jazz venue turned rock-and-roll bar on K Street near Wisconsin Avenue. A labor of love, the project is produced by Metro Teleproductions and Dave Lilling, Bill Scanlan, Vinnie Perrone and Dave Nuttycombe.
To celebrate the film’s completion, a reception was held before the Jan. 31 premiere at Georgetown’s AMC Loews, the complex which covers the Bayou location. The event was catered by Wingo’s and Potomac Wine & Liquor.
The venue’s intimate atmosphere and big name acts were a big draw for concertgoers. The Bayou’s legal capacity was 500 persons. In comparison, 9:30 Club’s capacity is 1,200 persons.
“When they were getting ready to get on stage, you were breathing down their necks,” said Charlie Clark, who grew up in Arlington with the Tramonte brothers, whose family owned the Bayou from 1953 to 1980.
The Bayou is famous for hosting some of the biggest acts in rock-and-roll from the 1960s until it closed New Year’s Eve 1998 (Jan. 1, 1999). Foreigner’s club debut was there, as well as U2’s second concert in America. U2 was the opening act for D.C.-based punk group, the Slickee Boys. Mark Noone, lead singer of the Slickee Boys, was at the reception. “They were nice Irish guys,” Noone said. “I had trouble understanding them.”
The documentary took 14 years to finish. According to producer Vinny Perrone, it was “in many respects, a tortured undertaking. It almost didn’t make it,” he said.
Initially, the filmmakers filmed approximately 100 interviews. They did not want to release the film until they got interviews with famous musicians who performed there like Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and U2. Those interviews were able to be secured, but other interviews with former owners, managers and other performers create an in-depth portrait of the place.
The film will be showing on Maryland Public Television Monday, Feb. 25, at 9 p.m.
Although the film has been finished, the filmmakers are still about $30,000 in debt from making the film, a non-profit project. On Feb. 17, the Hamilton is hosting The Bayou Presents “Last Call” a benefit concert featuring a long list of musicians who played there.
Visit the film’s website for more information.
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Greenbrier Hosts Cocktails with Carleton
Nico Dodd • February 7, 2013
Last Thursday, Jan. 24, the Greenbrier’s Upper Lobby hosted Cocktails with Carleton, a private cocktail reception at the Greenbrier’s D.C. concierge at 1427 H St., NW. At the event were hotel curator Carleton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper & Co., Greenbrier president Jeff Kmiec and the staff of the Upper Lobby. The Upper Lobby, which opened in November 2012, is a new concept by the hotel designed to attract travelers to the Greenbrier resort. The staff of the Upper Lobby can work with guests to book Greenbrier vacations, rounds of golf and other attractions. Guests of the Greenbrier can even book door-to-door transportation from the Upper Lobby to the Greenbrier Resort. The hotel is looking into opening offices like this one in New York, Chicago and Atlanta.
The Upper Lobby is decorated in the Greenbrier’s signature style in vibrant colors and bold contrasts. On the walls are photos of many of the resort’s distinguished guests over the years.
Hotel owner Jim Justice could not be at the event because was he was coaching high school basketball. Justice coaches both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Greenbrier East High School.
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California State Society Inaugural Luncheon & Fashion
Nico Dodd • February 1, 2013
On Saturday, Jan. 19, Members of Congress, Californians and fashionistas gathered at the Ritz Carlton on 22nd Street for the California State Society’s Inaugural Luncheon and Fashion Show, presented by the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. After a reception, attendees ate lunch and heard speeches from people such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the Very Rev. Gary Hall, of the Washington National Cathedral. A fashion show featuring the work of FIDM students dazzled attendees. [gallery ids="101141,140681,140675,140668,140694,140662,140699,140703,140654,140709,140688" nav="thumbs"]
Saks Pop-Up Shop at Downtown Ritz-Carlton
Nico Dodd • January 22, 2013
As part of the Ritz-Carlton’s Inaugural festivities, guests staying at the hotel will be able to shop at a Saks 5th Avenue pop-up shop in the hotel’s lobby. The shop will be offering complimentary appointments with makeup artists from Dior and Chanel. The Saks pop-up will be open 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. today through Tuesday.
A stream of fashion-concious people should be expected to flow through the lobby, as the Ritz is hosting the California State Society’s Inaugural Luncheon and Fashion Show tomorrow at 11 a.m.
This Saks store is one of a number of pop-up shops that are in D.C. this weekend. The Georgetown Ritz-Carlton will have a Bloomingdale’s pop-up. Neiman Marcus and Mont-Blanc will both have pop-ups at the St. Regis Hotel.
Appointments can be made by calling 202- 974- 4978.
Local Legend Randy Lokke Dies at 62
Nico Dodd • January 15, 2013
Randolph J. Lokke of Arlington, Va., died at the age of 62 Dec. 25, 2012. A funeral mass was offered Jan. 7 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, Va. He was buried at National Memorial Park in Falls Church, Va.
Lokke, known simply as “Randy” to most people who knew him, was a local legend. He was a quiet neighborhood curiosity who seemed always to be around. According to Zeff Yousef, athletic director at Georgetown Visitation, Randy was “part of the furniture of Georgetown.” His ubiquity at high school sporting events spawned multiple Facebook groups and curiosity of whereabouts, including “Is Randy Random?” Randy was known for riding his bicycle everywhere he went and often had plastic bags on the handlebars. In Georgetown, Randy was often seen at Saxby’s coffee, where he would get tea. Randy was a fixture at sports games at Gonzaga College High School, Georgetown Visitation Prep and high schools around Washington, D.C.
Approximately 100 people attended the funeral at St. Thomas More’s, where Randy was a parishioner since his family moved to the area. There was no eulogy at the service. A reception at the church followed the burial. One of Randy’s brothers, Ken Lokke, says that Randy was present at many different Catholic Youth Organization activities.
According to Ken Lokke, he and Randy were two of eight children, and their family moved to Arlington in 1958. Their mother insisted that Randy attend regular school despite being mentally challenged. In a tribute, one of Randy’s sisters, Michele Quintana, wrote that Randy would likely be diagnosed with autism today. Randy Lokke graduated from Wakefield High School and worked at Washington Hospital Center sterilizing surgical tools for operating rooms. One person attending the funeral said that Lokke logged approximately 1,500 volunteer hours per year at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center for the past 13 years. According to Ken Lokke, Randy’s volunteer job at the VA Medical Center was as a transporter helping people in wheelchairs.
Randy was “very independent,” said his brother Ken, who added that Randy lived in a basement apartment by himself in Arlington. Ken Lokke said that Randy was never married and never had any children. He believes Randy died of a heart attack. Randy was hospitalized for the second time for congestive heart failure over this past Thanksgiving.
Mac Kimmitt, who worked at the Italian Store in Arlington on Lee Highway from 2005 to 2010, said that Randy would often come into the store and ask for three or four slices of cheddar cheese. Kimmitt also said Randy would spend time at the nearby Starbucks.
Lokke often watched sports games at Georgetown Visitation. Yousef said that when he started at Visitation in 2000, “Randy was already sort of a legend.” He would often watch Visitation soccer games from the fence along 35th Street. “Everyone knew who he was,” said Yousef. “Over the last six or seven years, you wouldn’t see him as much.”
Steve Turner, head basketball coach at Gonzaga, said that he first remembers seeing Lokke around 1995. “He was a fixture at big WCAC games,” he said. “It was amazing how he got to all those games on his bike.”
Molly Quigley of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group said that when she worked at the Tombs as a student, Lokke would often be in the restaurant listening to conversations, and he could recall everything later. “One time, he asked me how I did on a paper I had been talking about with my friends,” Quigley said. [gallery ids="101118,139530" nav="thumbs"]
Cajun, Jazz, and DJs. Concert Calendar, Jan. 3 – 19
Nico Dodd • January 10, 2013
There is lots going on during the few weeks before the Presidential Inauguration. Check out these concerts, featuring local artists and music industry veterans.
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet at the Barns at Wolf Trap
Thurs. 1/10 @ 8 p.m., Tickets: $27
See cajun music legends BeauSoleil at the Barns. Since 1975, BeauSoleil have been bringing traditional cajun music to the masses. They were also the first Cajun band to win a Grammy Award, BeauSoleil first won Best Traditional Folk Album in 1997 for L’amour Ou La Folie and a second Grammy for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album in 2008 for Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Since the Barns are such an intimate venue, this promises to be a party.
Gerald Albright at Blues Alley
Thurs. 1/10-13 @ 8 & 10 p.m., Tickets: $43
Saxophonist Gerald Albright is bringing his smooth jazz skills to Georgetown’s own Blues Alley next Thursday. The Grammy-nominated artist has performed for U.S. presidents and has sold more than a million albums. He has even played with Phil Collins.
Honor by August at Howard Theatre
Sat. 1/12 @ 8 p.m. Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 day of show
Homegrown talent Honor By August formed while students at Georgetown University. Honor By August is a modern rock band with a big focus on songwriting. Their sound has been compared to Switchfoot—a band HBA has opened for—and Kings of Leon. The band is celebrating being signed with Rock Ridge Music, a record label and management company that serves artists such as Reel Big Fish and Tony Lucca of NBC’s The Voice. Honor By August’s upcoming album, Monuments to Progress, is coming soon.
Thievery Corporation at 9:30 Club
Fri. 1/17,18 & 19, Tickets: $45
The DC-based DJ duo is bringing its diverse sounds back to 9:30 Club for three nights. DJs Rob Garza and Eric Hilton started performing as Thievery Corporation back in 1995, and have been moving audiences around the world ever since. Groove is the operative word. Thievery shows are always memorable and sell out quickly, so get your tickets now!
A Tribute to Robert Egger at the Hamilton Live
Mon. 1/7 @ 6 p.m., Tickets: $100
This special event is honoring Robert Egger, founder of D.C. Central Kitchen, as he leaves the nation’s capital to start L.A. Kitchen. The folks at the Hamilton are putting together a band that will feature members of the Cramps, Fugazi, Thievery Corporation and the Razz. This event promises to be a great sendoff for someone who has made a positive impact on our community. All funds raised will benefit Egger’s organizations. Cocktails and food will be served, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; the tribute will take place, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Music and fun after that until 10 p.m.
Anna Banana Brings Fine Art to Children
Nico Dodd • January 3, 2013
This winter, a new arts center will be opening in Georgetown, Anna Banana Arts and Crafts, founded by arts teacher Anne Freeman, who has taught art privately for three years.
Freeman brings 20 years of experience in the field as an educator and art dealer. She has also taught at the Art Resource Program at Chevy Chase Bethesda Community Children’s Center and at the Art Resource Unit at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church Nursery School.
In those courses, students will learn about artists like Matisse, Picasso, Calder and Koons as well as how to work with different techniques and materials, such as pastels, paints, watercolors and paper pulp.
The one-room studio is filled with natural light. Courses are offered for children ages 2 to 8-years-old. The studio’s first winter session begins on Jan. 7 and will meet weekly for ten weeks.
Anna Banana Arts and Crafts is located at 3270 S St., NW. For more information and rates, visit www.annabananaartsandcrafts.com.
Wanda Jackson at the Hamilton
Nico Dodd • December 20, 2012
When I told my co-workers I was going to see Wanda Jackson at the Hamilton this Tuesday night, none of them could put a finger on who the singer was. Even those with a professed love of classic rock couldn’t remember what she was known for. The truth is that Jackson is a real genuine article of rock and roll, a living legend among the likes of Chuck Berry, who’s played with greats from Elvis Presley to modern stalwarts like Jack White. A brush up on her hits include “Let’s Have A Party,” “Fujiyama Mama” and “Stupid Cupid”.
At 75-years-old, Jackson is charming and unassuming. Country group Jonny Fritz and the In-Laws, who opened the show, sat in as Jackson’s band. Jackson doted on them like they were her own grandchildren. The Oklahoma native even sang a few lines of “Boomer Sooner,” OU’s fight song and demonstrated her prowess as an air guitarist.
The night was like a music history lecture or, in her words, a “musical journey.” Jackson’s entrée into rock and roll was largely due to her relationship with Elvis Presley, whom she dated and toured with. “I never saw a man with yellow before,” Jackson said, before performing the Elvis classic “Heartbreak Hotel.” After all her years of performing, her pipes are, for the most part, intact. Her gutty, playful squeal is one-of-a-kind, and she can still yodel with the best of them on her country songs like “Betcha My Heart I Love You.”
In 2011, Jackson’s career had resurgence with her album The Party Ain’t Over, on which she collaborated with Jack White, who has a penchant for working with classic female vocalists. In 2004, he also breathed new energy into Loretta Lynn’s career with their album Van Lear Rose. Jackson recounted her work with him. “I would liken him to a velvet-covered brick.” She blazed through two of the songs she recorded with him, “Shakin All Over” and her cover of Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.”
After decades of performing, it was interesting to see that such an experienced performer could still have green moments. During some songs, Jackson might take a break, or forget a few of her lyrics. Despite these small road bumps, she could shrug it off with aplomb. “I’ll have to work that out in rehearsal,” she told the In-Laws. Much like a grandmother cooking without a recipe, Jackson served up a great performance even with the road bumps. Her fans ate it up. She brought the room to their feet with her final two songs, “Let’s Have A Party” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On.”