Forest Hills/Van Ness
Little Red Fox
We’ll say yes to ice cream any day of the week, so Little Red Fox’s March 13th newsletter held tantalizing news indeed. Its sister store in Brookland, Fox Loves Taco, is now serving ice cream from from Trickling Springs Creamery. And that’s not all. LRF will be whipping up its own ice cream in a few months, courtesy of its master baker Lauren Parlato.
Little Red Fox (5035 Connecticut) already does a lot with a tiny kitchen, and its owners are not trying to squeeze ice cream into this mix. Instead, they tell Washington City Paper they’ve signed a lease on a nearby (unnamed) space, where they’ll produce and serve the new frozen treats and expand the bakery operation.
Politics and Prose
More space, more books, more registers. P&P’s new section opened in time for the bookstore’s March 2-4 spring members-only sale.
New registers in P&P's expansion calls for a celebration, and Jonathan is happy to oblige. pic.twitter.com/IxgOOICHRf
— Politics and Prose (@PoliticsProse) March 2, 2018
Van Ness Main Street reports Laliguras (4221 Connecticut) has launched an all-you-can-eat weekend brunch with bottomless mimosas for $25. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Coming in May: Indian cooking classes with Chef Dawa in May and by popular demand, a new menu item: craft beer.
Van Ness Main Street
The results of the Van Ness retail study are in, and in case you missed our reporting on the findings: Yes, Van Ness can support more retail, and yes, quite successfully so.
Wake Up Little Suzie
Susan Lihn, owner of Wake up Little Suzie and and co-chair of the Cleveland Park Business Association, announced she would be retiring and closing the store in May.
“Never in my whole life will I be able to thank the community for their support,” she told Forest Hills Connection.
Following news of Lihn’s retirement, Mayor Bowser presented Lihn with a ceremonial resolution praising her for contributions and leadership in the DC business community. “You have served your community well as a cherished business owner and as respected community leader,” the resolution said. “Our small, community-focused businesses, and owners like you who run them so well, are the true heartbeat of neighborhoods in all 8 wards of our great city.”
The store will close in May 2018. “We have stuff to sell!” Lihn said.
They might not seem like sister restaurants any more, but they’re still related. A couple of years ago, the Bardeo half of Ardeo & Bardeo became Bindaas, serving Indian street food. And now, Ardeo is Sababa. Sababa opened on March 15 and serves Israeli-inspired cuisine. Ashok Bajaj, the award-winning restaurateur of Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, is behind both transformations. And both Bindaas and Sababa mean “cool” in their respective languages.
Parcel Plus in Sam’s Park & Shop closed on Friday, March 9. The owner, Celeste Elnaggar, told Forest Hills Connection she’s sad about losing the store and leaving the Cleveland Park community.
Elnaggar noticed a decline in business starting in January 2017. Though foot traffic seemed consistent, more customers, she said, were only dropping off free returns from Amazon or Zappos.
“The actual number of shipments we packaged and shipped ourselves went way down,” Elnaggar said. She continued operating despite some personal hardships and looming financial insecurities, including falling behind on payments. Then UPS – the store’s primary source of income – suspended her account in mid-February for late payment.
Elnaggar said she had sold jewelry and sacrificed life savings to cover debts. Following suspension of the UPS account, Elnaggar could not maintain the store and was forced to close.
“The hardest part,” Elnaggar said, was leaving the neighborhood and Cleveland Park community.
“I hope this is not a trend for [local businesses] in the area, that would be pretty sad,” she said. “I like the uniqueness of this neighborhood. While the big national chains are convenient for everybody, small mom-and-pop stores like me add uniqueness to the community and make it more of the community. I hope they don’t lose that.”
Brookville Market is said to be closing in early April for a two-month renovation. And when it returns, it will be under a new name and new management. Popville reports Streets Market has two other DC locations.
In late February, Tim Walsh, a partner at popular venues Sixth Engine and Town Hall, opened a new bar/restaurant in Chevy Chase called The Avenue. Walsh, a DC native and current Chevy Chase resident, looks to “enliven” the Connecticut Avenue strip. He bought nearby Arugula last year, And “…he’s no stranger to taking a chance on a neighborhood that some restaurateurs would run from,” wrote Tierney Plumb for DC Eater.
Chevy Chase Citizens Association and Little Beast
Chevy Chase businesses are draws for nearby neighbors in DC and across the border in Maryland, and the local citizens association and ANC 3/4G are planning ways to make the business district an even more popular shopping, dining and recreational destination.
“We are advocating strongly for the rehabilitation, renewal and upgrading of Chevy Chase Community Center along with the ANC,” said Robert Gordon, a long-time resident and active leader in the Chevy Chase Citizens Association. “We think reviving community center will bring greater interest in the neighborhood, and more business for the businesses that are here.”
In an interview with Forest Hills Connection, Gordon praised the strong relationship between businesses in the area and the neighborhood. “The vendors have a sense of community. These [businesses] are not chains, mostly family-run, family-owned and one-of-a-kind.”
Gordon himself plans to open an “all-day cafe and restaurant” with his son, also his business partner. Gordon expects the cafe, called Little Beast, to open at 5600 Connecticut in June.
ANC 3C commissioners (Cathedral Heights, Cleveland Park, Massachusetts Heights, McLean Gardens, Woodland-Normanstone and Woodley Park) are having ongoing discussions and planning meetings regarding the major redevelopment at 3900 Wisconsin Avenue.
Most recent concerns about the redevelopment projects pertain to traffic and congestion during rush hours and weekends. The Wegmans supermarket is expected to be a major source of congestion, according Nancy MacWood, the chair of ANC 3C.
In addition to the Wegmans, the redevelopment project is expected to include three restaurants, a coffee shop, a movie theater and a sports club. The developer also plans to add 700 apartment units. There are also plans for an additional residential project at 4000 Wisconsin Avenue, and Sidwell Friends is taking on its own expansion project at 3939 Wisconsin Avenue and parts of former Washington Home campus.
The developers released a traffic study which included data from all three projects along Wisconsin Avenue, said ANC 3C commissioner Angela Bradbery.
The results? Potentially less traffic during the weekday morning and afternoon rush hours, given that thousands of Fannie Mae employees have been commuting to and from 3900 Wisconsin for years. However, the study says, “more trips will be generated primarily due to the presence of retail, during Saturday peak hour[s].”