Italian Bar’s opening day is at hand: Friday the 13th might forever be Italian Bar’s lucky day. Its owners announced on Friday, May 13th that its sign had arrived, and was gracing the storefront at 5007 Connecticut Avenue.
But more importantly, so had the Roman-style coffee and gelato bar’s business and liquor licenses. The official opening day for this new business from the I’m Eddie Cano people was Wednesday, May 18th.
The hours of operation are not yet set in stone. Co-owner Carolyn Papetti tells us that Italian Bar will be open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Sunday, then Wednesday through Sunday the week of May 23rd. After that, it will be open seven days a week, and eventually, could stay open as late as 10 p.m.
A “Flavor Garden” is coming to Van Ness: Deirdre Holliday-Williams, the owner of the eatery opening at 4400 Connecticut, introduced herself and her business at the April ANC 3F meeting. There was another Flavor Garden, she said, a cafe in Laurel that closed right before Covid-19, and Holliday-Williams said she was “hoping and praying I would find another awesome space.” As luck would have it, she had worked with Days Inn general manager Jamie Howser in the past, and he approached her about taking over the former Tesoro Trattoria. She’s also quite familiar with the neighborhood, as a former Deal student and Wilson High graduate.
Flavor Garden will be family friendly, serving sandwiches, salads, and as the business ramps up, a different dinner entree every day. Holliday-Williams is also known for her funnel cakes, and those will be featured along with ice cream and for adults, boozy milkshakes at the restaurant bar.
The “happy-making” place up the street: Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema has made no secret of his love for Buck’s Fishing & Camping. But lately, he’s been venturing across the street (and next door to Italian Bar) for some of Rosemary Bistro Cafe’s French fare, and he’s a fan. The restaurant made Sietsema’s April 25th list of “7 favorite places to eat right now.” The food writer says Rosemary produces lots of “happy-making dishes” and recommends that diners pay close attention to anything “that reads like a deviation — say, Asian dumplings on a French menu.” That’s worth checking out, he says.
Social media training for local businesses: Van Ness Main Street was at Rosemary Bistro Cafe last Friday to provide food photography and social media training to the restaurant’s staff. And it’s offering to do the same for other businesses within its boundaries.
“Our training is specifically designed to help our businesses grow their audience and keep digital platforms fresh and engaging.”
Other ways the Main Streets help local businesses: The Tenleytown and Chevy Chase Main Streets have announced their spring 2022 Small Business Grants awardees. Le Chat Noir, Rome Pizza & Sub, Seber Method Academy and The UPS Store received the TMS grants. And in Chevy Chase, the four businesses are Circle Yoga, Park Story, Salon Familia and Quist MD. “Funds can be used for technical assistance, exterior and storefront improvements, interior renovations, security improvements, and/or equipment,” says CCMS.
— DC Outlook (@DCOutlook) May 11, 2022
Forest Hills Connection is a program of Van Ness Main Street.