Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekly wrap-up: Lost Society opens, Shariah law comes to CityCenter, shooting in Pleasant Plains

Scouring the web so you don't have are a few things in and around the neighborhood that Caught our attention.

Lost Society opens: This blog's eponymous intersection is getting a new "boutique steakhouse" with a rooftop deck. Begining July 1, Lost Society, from the Local 16 team, will commence operations in the building located at 14th and U. The menu is designed by former Smith & Wollensky chef Joseph Evans. Eater DC has all of the details, including pictures of the interior and the rooftop--which will undoubtedly be full come next Friday evening.

No bars in CityCenter?: Hot on the heels of a glowing piece from the New York Times regarding downtown DC's massive CityCenter project, the City Paper's Lydia DePillis examines an interesting yet seemingly glossed-over point regarding it. Seems that a huge chunk of the financing of the $700 million project is comign from a team of Qatari investors. And while it's true that their money is quite good here, it does come with some strings attached: most notably, the project must follow Shariah law. This means no banks, and no businesses that sell alcohol as their primary business. Avoiding banks isn't that big of a deal--after all, developers Archstone and Hines have been quite vocal about not wanting banks to consume commercial space in the projcect, aiming instead for more dynamic retail. But what of the ban on primarily alcohol-selling establishments? Does this mean no liquor stores, bars, clubs or wine shops? It would seem so. Also, what of a restaurant that derives more than 50% of its sales from alcohol--would they be included?

Considering that the project sits on multiple acres of city-owned land, the fact that religious tenets might impact the type of retailers that can be recruited into spaces in the project might not sit well with some. For their part, the project's developers are downplaying any potential negative consequences of the Shariah law requirements, and are insisting that their plans for the project's retail space--of which nearly 300k square feet will be available upon the project's completion--will not be impacted by the religious requirements.

Four shot--one fatally--near Howard University: Just after yesterday's Caribbean Day parade, four individuals were shot, one fatally, in the 700 block of Gresham Place, just off of Georgia Avenue. MPD have indicated that they believe the shooting related to a neighborhood dispute and was not related to the parade or the day's festivities.

Business Journal interviews Jeff Black: DC restauranteur Jeff Black will soon be bringing two new enterprises to the space at 1612 14th Street: the Pearl Dive Oyster Bar, and the BlackJack Lounge on the second floor. DC UrbanTurf has renderings of the two spaces (including, apparently, a BlackJack bartender who is preparing to fire a weapon). Meanwhile, Missy Frederick at the Business Journal has an interview with Black, where he discusses the 12+ years it has taken him to open in Logan, and his plans for both establishments. (Note: the WBJ website is subscription-only.)

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