Tuesday, December 14, 2010

January Opening for 14th and U Restaurant; American Ice Co. Opens Thursday

It's been about a year since we wrote about the new restaurant and club that was coming to the vacant space at the corner of 14th and U streets. When we last spoke with them, Local 16's Ayman Ayoubi, along with Policy's Omar Miskinyar, had grand plans to open a steakhouse along with a "music and arts space" at the highly visible corner. At the time, Local 16's Salvatore Rosa indicated that they hoped for a July 2010 opening.

Well, clearly *that* didn't work out as planned, as the space continues to sit vacant, awaiting for some kind of activity. However, that could be changing.

According to both The Feast and U Street Girl, Ayoubi has confirmed that the restaurant, which is still unnamed (it's unlikely that the name that was being tossed about last year--Cafe Society--will stick), will open in late January on the second and third floors of the building. That opening will be followed in March by the opening of a club "very similar to Eighteenth Street Lounge" on the basement level. A rooftop patio is likely to open in the late spring/early summer. (Look for a bank or some other high rent-paying entity to take over the ground floor between the two spaces.)

In her post, U Street Girl expresses skepticism that Ayoubi and his team will be able to meet this timeline; I must confess that I join her in doubt. Perhaps interior work continues on the space, but I haven't witnessed a great deal of activity there in recent months. We will see what materializes there, however. As this space materializes, and with the recent opening of Patty Boom Boom and forthcoming opening of the Hilton Bros.' Blackbyrd Warehouse, the intersection of 14th and U is shaping up to become the epicenter of mid-city DC nightlife. Whoo boy.

* * * * * *

Speaking of the Hiltons, I've had Eric's band Thievery Corporation's song "Warning Shots" playing on my iPod a lot recently. Which...doesn't really tie-in at all with the other piece of Hilton-related news, which is that their latest venture, the American Ice Co., will be throwing open their doors for the first time this Thursday.

The Ice Co., located at 917 V Street NW, will serve barbecue, cans of PBR, and will be a laid-back kind of joint, according to manager Joe Reza. The will-they-or-won't-they questions regarding the Ice Co.'s opening appear to have finally been put to rest...for now. Prince of Petworth has a nice (ridiculously awesome?) set of photos of the interior, if you're interested.


Anonymous said...

Restaurant owners in DC need to invest in someone who can actually give these places decent names. Cafe Society? ugh...horrid. Insipid. Makes me want to run 5 miles in the other direction, which will be hard to do since I live about 1,000 feet away.

Anonymous said...

I'll go to the place no matter what they name it, but "Cafe Society" gives me the douche chills.

I cannot wait for American Ice Company. This is far more exciting news for me. Looks like the type of place I would like to hang out in on a regular basis. I feel like there are far too few of these in the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Mr. 14th and You,

While not entirely relevant here, do you know what is happening with the plans for the "Italian Shirt Laundry" restaurant at 14th and Q?
They started the demolition in late summer but nothing futher has happened since about early October. It now stands dormant and a planned spring opening seems doubtful. I hope they didn't run into financing or other problems.
Any update on this project would be appreciated.

Mr. 14th & You said...

I know that they had to conduct some asbestos removal--that was taking place in October. In addition, as the former longtime home of a dry cleaning business, there were likely some not-insignificant environmental remediation issues that are being addressed. I haven't heard anything about the plans going south or other problems, so I would guess the site clean-up is simply taking longer than expected.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Italian Shhirt Laundry, I heard over the weekend that Abdo has now backed out of the project because of the site being too difficult to clean up. I sure hope not as I live in the neighborhood and would love to see a reasonably priced (non-small plate) restuarant. Perhaps Mr. 14th and You can confirm whether that is true?