1626 North Capitol Street. Courtesy of Farragutful.
Right now, the section of North Capitol Street close to Bloomingdale, Truxton Circle and NoMa is not too inviting. For many, a drive-by shooting last spring at the corner of North Capitol and New York Avenue serves as the most vivid illustration of the atmosphere on the corridor.
But a few imminent openings have UrbanTurf wondering if North Capitol Street will soon have very different street activity. The stretch of North Capitol Street between R Street and P Street, including the intersection with Florida Avenue (map), has several intriguing items in the pipeline.
First, several restaurants may be opening up in the near future.
On Thursday, Prince of Petworth confirmed that restaurant and bar Pub and the People will be coming to North Capitol and R Streets NW. Pub and the People has working social media pages, and a peek in the windows reveals a renovation that is actively underway.
Around the corner, at 1626 North Capitol Street NW, the Washington Firehouse Restaurant has begun planning for their extensive, multi-story restaurant and bar. They recently applied for a liquor license for the establishment, which, according to current plans, will have a seating capacity of 347. A cigar bar, Washington Smokehouse, will be located at the rear of the 3rd floor, and a summer garden would have seating available for 85 patrons until midnight during the season.
The redevelopment of the Firehouse has been touch-and-go for the last few years, and some are skeptical that this plan will come to fruition. However, the Firehouse seems to be moving forward this time; their Facebook page is chock full of photos from the renovation, complete with firehouse-style detailing, and the owners appear to be waiting for the issuance of their liquor license and services from DC Water and Sewage Authority before announcing an opening date.
We also noticed the first luxury establishment to come to the strip: Fiddleheads, a hair salon with prices reaching $75 per cut, opened up a few months ago on the northwest corner of the intersection of Florida Avenue and North Capitol Street.
Additionally, a few chefs and bakers who were initially attracted to the low rents available on the stretch have or are considering opening up their storefronts. As we wrote about last summer, Uncle Chips has been serving up cookies and sandwiches for the past couple of years out of their space at 1514 North Capitol Street, which initially served as an affordable location from which to bake cookies to send all over the country. And Revive, currently a catering service working out of a space at 8 Florida Avenue NW, is rumored to be starting a take-out service soon.
As housing prices rise in Bloomingdale and Eckington, and residential buildings keep going up in NoMa, new and old residents are itching for new establishments to take root in the area. As the long wait at Red Hen and the elbow-to-elbow atmosphere at Big Bear and Boundary Stone indicate, the population to fill these restaurants exists.
Current rendering of 1600 North Capitol Street.
Besides the retail scene, the city is also paying targeted attention to the area through a Small Area Plan, which launched in April. The Office of Planning and the District Department of Transportation have been meeting with residents to figure out what’s going on in the neighborhoods surrounding North Capitol, and to come up with potential solutions to walkability and livability roadblocks. They will be making formal recommendations to the Council next year, and some residents are holding out hope for something as ambitious as decking over a section of North Capitol Street to add green space and to improve the connection between the east and west sides of the street.
Finally, a long-stalled residential project at the intersection of Florida Avenue NW, Q Street NW and North Capitol Street seems like it may be moving forward. As the Washington Business Journal reported last summer, developer Joe Mamo is seeking approvals for a 85- to 95-unit residential building at 1600 North Capitol Street, after a six year hiatus.
Readers, what do you think? Will residents be flocking to North Capitol Street in a year or two?
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_wave_of_new_activity_coming_to_long_neglected_north_capitol_street/7681.
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