Update: On July 13th, Ibhana’s owner announced plans to stay in Van Ness. The days and hours are yet to be determined, but for now the pop-up will continue operating Fridays and Saturdays at 4340 Connecticut from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Gold’s Gym building is for sale. 4310 is the only Connecticut Avenue property owned by Savills Studley, Inc.
The company will work with prospective buyers “through the end of July, at which time will reevaluate where we are and go from there,” said Richard Siegel, Savills Studley’s corporate managing director.
Gold’s Gym’s lease is up in April 2019, and Savills Studley is pitching the property as a possible redevelopment site or for continued retail use “within the under-served and affluent Van Ness-UDC/Forest Hills market.”
In 2012, Roadside Development purchased 4310’s next-door neighbor. 4300-4304 Connecticut is currently home to Potbelly and Wells Fargo. And Roadside is currently redeveloping the Fannie Mae site on Wisconsin Avenue.
The women’s clothing boutique Ibhana Creations has temporarily set up shop at 4340 Connecticut Avenue.
“It’s been phenomenal, we have had great turnout,” Meena Tharmaratnam told Forest Hills Connection. “We have had two really good weekends in Van Ness. We hope the momentum continues.”
Ibhana Creations carries casual and formal apparel as well jewelry and accessories. Though designers are predominantly from the United States and Canada, there is a wide variety from prominent international designers. The pop-up is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through September 1st.
Tharmaratnam has had other pop-up stores along Connecticut Avenue, most recently in 2017 for nine months in Cleveland Park. The pop-up location in Van Ness, she says, helps her assess potential long-term business opportunities in the area.
“We are using the opportunity to get to know Van Ness and the neighborhood, get to know clients there, test the market and consumers,” Tharmaratnam said. “We will see after that whether other opportunities arise.”
The 2018 Van Ness farmers market, a joint effort by UDC College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), Van Ness Main Street and the National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, is off to a strong, fruitful start.
The market opened on May 5th and will run every Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., through the end of November. The market features vendors from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and DC and special events such as musical performances and cooking demonstrations.
“The market is really about community and being part of the neighborhood,” said Jennifer Krasilovsky, the market manager and a student at UDC CAUSES. “All of the vendors are so great to work with… it helps build the neighborhood feel of the market.”
At the Van Ness farmers market, be on the lookout for:
- Vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers: There are six produce vendors selling an extensive selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables. The market highlights a special vegetable every week as “kind of an homage to under-loved produce,” Krasilovsky said. Kohlrabi, member of the brassica family, was featured last week. Some of the produce vendors sell these underused vegetables and the market provides recipe ideas for cooking with them.
- Eggs, chickens and pies: Many of vendors have gained popularity in the neighborhood and the market is thrilled to have them back, Krasilovsky said. Clekner Farms from Maryland provides eggs for market and sells duck and chicken. “She makes pies which have a hard core following,” Krasilovsky said.
- Tamales and tacos: When many neighbors asked about Dona Rosa, a vendor who made tamales at last year’s market, Krasilovsky made sure she returned to the market this year.
- Fresh fish: Ivy City SmokeHouse has returned to the Van Ness market after a two-year hiatus. Ivy City SmokeHouse is at the market every other weekend starting June 30th. In addition to a variety of smoked fish products, they also bring fresh fish, clams and crabs.
- Cheese, preserves and honey: From Ben King, an Amish farmer who has sold at the Van Ness market for a number of years.
- Natural beauty: AromabyAnette offers homemade, natural body products including body lotions, lip balms, bath fizzies, bar soaps and facial and foot body scrubs.
- Compost drop-off: Compost Cab runs a compost station each Saturday. Recently we’ve brought them so much they’ve had to close early. But they have increased their storage capacity to keep up with the volume.
Wake Up Little Suzie closed its doors on June 2nd after the owner announced she would retire.
STREETS Market opened Sunday, June 10th in the space formerly occupied by Brookville Market.
The brand-new Cleveland Park Library reopened Saturday, June 16th with a ribbon cutting and events for families and neighbors.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) June 16, 2018
Tenleytown Main Street says Olive Bistro Café, a Mediterranean-style restaurant, will open in the site formerly occupied by Bread and Salt. According to the press release the menu will have a “strong emphasis on Turkish cuisine.”
Burger Tap and Shake (BTS) closed its Tenleytown location on June 3rd.
BTS opened in Tenleytown in 2015. Kathryn Arvis, marketing director of BTS owner Passion Food Hospitality, said the community and campus seemed like a winning combination.
“We loved the Tenleytown area and thought the combination of a true classic neighborhood and the addition of American University would make for a robust business environment,” Arvis wrote in an email to the Forest Hills Connection.
Too many others had the same thought. Within a year of BTS’s opening, however, there was a surge in fast-casual dining options in the Tenley neighborhood, and price competition made operations difficult to maintain.
“Ebb and flow of business was large,” Arvis said. “Our production costs for food was a bit higher than most in this segment of industry is difficult with inconsistent sales volume.”
Operations will continue at BTS’s original location in Foggy Bottom.
“We are a small company and evaluate things one step at a time. We would love the opportunity to reopen in DC, but will examine that when the situation presents itself,” Arvis wrote.