by Katherine Saltzman
Jake’s American Grille (5018 Connecticut) celebrated the opening of its new Tex-Mex concept, La Tacita (The Little Cup), in the lower level of its restaurant on May 5th.
In addition to dinner, La Tacita is serving up Wednesday trivia nights, Friday paint nights and Saturday game nights.
“If we can get a crowd together, we will start karaoke,” said Joey Allen, Jake’s general manager.
Gregorio Martinez, the restaurant’s new chef, helped create La Tacita’s menu and updated Jake’s brunch options.
Inspiration for La Tacita came from the neighborhood. The owner, Gaynor Jablonski, had heard residents say they wanted a good Tex-Mex place and wished there was one closer in the area, Allen said. When neighboring Terasol and Banana Leaf closed, the Jake’s management team sought to “re-energize” the lower level and entice more customers.
“When the other two businesses closed, we wanted to attract people’s attention and get them on this side of the street,” Allen said.
Allen hopes Jake’s will continue to be neighborhood spot for the community.
“We are trying to be more involved in the neighborhood and want to make sure neighbors know where we are here,” Allen said. “We want a place for Forest Hills.”
La Tacita’s hours: Wednesdays from 7 to 11:30 p.m. (trivia at 8:15 p.m.); Fridays 6 p.m. to midnight (paint night at 8 p.m.); Saturdays 5 p.m. to midnight (game night begins at 8 p.m.)
Little Red Fox
In March, Little Red Fox (5035 Connecticut) revealed it would be leasing a space nearby to expand its bakery and make and serve ice cream. Nearby means three doors down. Little Red Fox is gearing up for a summer renovation at 5027 Connecticut Avenue, formerly occupied by Kitchen Guild.
The new space, expected to open in September or October, will offer varieties of cake, custard and ice cream, Little Red Fox owner Matt Carr said.
In the limited kitchen space at Little Red Fox, bakers are often forced to work solo shifts. The new space will have a larger kitchen and updated equipment, and can accommodate multiple bakers, Carr said.
Tenleytown Main Street app
Late last month, Tenleytown Main Street launched a phone app featuring a directory of local businesses as well as events and deals in the area.
“Businesses can update and manage their profiles directly through the app, so customers have easy access to up-to-date information. They can also target specials to specific audiences in the community, or to pick up the pace on slow days or times,” said the press release. It’s available for iOS and Android devices.
Wawa announced it would open a new store in Tenleytown. The Philadelphia-based convenience store-deli will take over storefront at 4530 40th Street NW. Former occupants included Sears Home Appliance Showroom, a dental office and Hollywood Video.
Femme Fatale DC pop-up
Femme Fatale DC, a collective of local women artists, designers, and entrepreneurs will open a pop-up location in Tenleytown on Saturday, May 19th.
The pop-up will occupy 8,000 square feet of retail space at 4620 Wisconsin Avenue, the building developer UIP is converting from office space to housing.
The Tenleytown store will be open to the public Thursdays through Sundays during the summer, and it will be the third Femme Fatale DC pop-up experience. Previous collectives were held on H street and NoMA.
Adriana Mendoza, the COO of Femme Fatale DC, grew up in Tenleytown. She has been busy recruiting artists and designing layout and plans for the space. There will be more than 50 artists and vendors participating in the collective, according to Mendoza.
The pop-up space will have an art lounge open to visitors and shoppers, as well as classes on entrepreneurship for women creators.
Leigh Catherine Miles, executive director of Tenleytown Main Street, was instrumental in inviting the group to Tenleytown and working with UIP to ensure the space was available.
“We are really excited to have this makerspace coming to Tenleytown. I think it fits with artistic vibe, our support for local owned businesses and brings unique retail experience to Tenleytown,” Miles said.
There will be a women-only launch party on May 18th from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online for $10, and for $20 at the door.
Femme Fatale DC pop-up hours: Thursdays and Fridays from 12 to 8 p.m.; Saturdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bob Ward, chair of the Economic Committee of the Cleveland Park Business Association, recently started an independent side project focusing on Smart Growth policies and issues.
The group, composed of Cleveland Park residents interested in Smart Growth for the neighborhood, occasionally meet for happy hours in Cleveland Park bars or share ideas, insights and articles through their Facebook group. Ward is also planning to host discussions with experts on Smart Growth policy who can speak more to issues of zoning, housing, benefits and constraints of historic preservation and other urban policy issues.
“We are a group of people who think increased density around Metro stations can provide lots of good things, like vibrant retail environments and housing of all types,” Ward said. “Increased density near transit is also more environmentally sustainable.”
Ward stressed that the group is a space for people who share similar positions and interests on Smart Growth.