Neighborhood Eats: Tune Inn Burns, Acre 121, Codmother Opening

by Rebecca Cooper

The week brought heartbreaking news for hard drinkers on Capitol Hill, as well as restaurant buzz in Columbia Heights, Chevy Chase, and the U Street Corridor.


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The Tune Inn

Closed: A fire ravaged the Tune Inn at 331 ½ Pennsylvania Ave. SE early Wednesday, causing $75,000 worth of damage and pretty much gutting the kitchen. Support and well wishes poured out on Twitter for the 50-plus-year-old dive bar, and the ownership has vowed to reopen as soon as possible. In the meantime, Hill staffers and neighborhood residents will have to seek out other sources for PBR and deep fried buffalo chicken balls.

Opened: In happier dive bar news, The Codmother had its soft opening on Monday at 1334 U St. NW. The owners (who also own Tabaq Bistro) have said they wanted to create a basement dive they could see themselves hanging out at; hence the medieval weaponry décor, Sid Vicious paintings, and punk soundtrack. The menu is short and typical of a dive bar, although the restaurant has a commitment to try to use all female cod in their fish and chips.

Opening: Acre 121, the replacement for Columbia Heights’ gastro pub CommonWealth, is set to open June 29 at 1400 Irving St. NW with a slightly altered interior and a whole new menu. CommonWealth closed in February after chef Jamie Leeds sold the business to focus on her other venture, Hank’s Oyster Bar. The new menu from chef Michael Sopor is southern and pub fare-inspired, featuring pulled pork sliders with blue cheese cole slaw, a po’ boy with sliced steak and fried oysters, and a grilled shrimp BLT with a fried green tomato, glazed pork belly and blue cheese slaw.

Opening…eventually: Popular tea shop and Asian fare purveyor Teaism has finally signed a lease for the retail space at the Moderno just south of 12th and U St. NW, making it the restaurant’s fourth location. The lease has been rumored since May.

Top Chef alum Bryan Voltaggio of Volt in Frederick, Md. appears to be inching (operative word) his way toward downtown DC. Reports are that Voltaggio is looking to open a 220-seat steak house-esque bistro at the Chevy Chase Pavilion. Best guess for an opening date right now is Spring 2012.

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Last year’s BBQ Battle. Photo by Jeff Kubina.

Opening…maybe: LA hotspot Koi is reportedly looking for space downtown. Nothing is official yet, but DC retail real estate guru Tom Papadopoulos is reportedly working on a deal with the Pan-Asian restaurant. While waiting for the DC outpost to open, sushi lovers can check out the City Paper’s hilarious video compilation of celebrities making dramatic exits from the LA location.

Proving that truly good ideas never die, Dr. Dremo’s owner Andrew Stewart is once again making a play to reopen his grungy, iconic bar in Clarendon. He emailed supporters last week announcing that he was eyeing a 6,000 square foot location in Clarendon. He wouldn’t be more specific on the location, saying only that it was between Jay’s Saloon and Galaxy Hut.

Events: The high-roller event of the weekend has got to be The RAMMYs, the annual restaurant awards hosted by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, which are all set for Sunday night. The $300 ticket for non-RAMW members gets you access to the cocktail reception, awards ceremony, and a reception of dinner and dancing.

If double-digit entry fees are more your speed (we’re talking low double digits), check out the annual Safeway BBQ Battle this Saturday and Sunday. For $10 in advance or $12 at the gate, you can sample fare from some of the country’s best pit masters as they duke it out for $40,000 in prizes. Get there by 3 p.m. either day to see Washington Wizard John Wall or hang around for the awards ceremony at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Rebecca Cooper is a freelance journalist and avid eater that has contributed to TBD, DCist, and Washingtonian. If you have any tips about restaurant or bars openings or closings, email Rebecca at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/neighborhood_eats_tune_inn_burns_acre_121_codmother_opening/3708

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