Category Archives: DC Bar News

The Big Stick Reopens Today After More Than Seven Months of Closure. Why Are Many Not Happy?

The Big Stick (Oct 2017 photo)

[Author’s Note: One of the owners of The Big Stick reached out and we had a 15 minute conversation Wednesday addressing some factual issues in this article. I had drafted a summary of that conversation that I was going to add to the end and sent it to them to make sure it was accurate and didn’t reveal off-the-record info (the latter at their request). After review, they decided they no longer wanted to make a statement, though they once again indicated that this article contained false information re the bar. Since the first conversation was still on the record, I decided that, instead of adding the two paragraphs, to revise/edit throughout to incorporate information from the on-the record conversation. ] 

The Big Stick, the low(ish)-key Navy Yard neighborhood favorite since it opened in December 2014, reopens for business Tuesday, November 3rd. The spot has been closed for all service, even takeout, since March 15th, with near radio silence on social media since. However, instead of joy, the news has met with anger in my DMs and on social media from several staff members and regulars.

I tried to get some clarity about what is going on. This is based on discussions with some of of The Big Stick’s staff as well as statements made by The Big Stick (including an on-record conversation with one of the owners):

  • Few of the front of house staffers were rehired for reopening. There are only a handful of tables at the reopened Big Stick
  • There are approximately 7-8 staffers on the payroll now. There is a new GM, but many (the Big Stick says the “majority”) of the staff working now came from the pre-pandemic staff. Note this does not mean that a majority of the previous staff was re-hired.
  • All the staffers who weren’t hired for reopening learned of the reopening the same way the public did, from the social media post on Monday. One of the owners told me that they had been focusing on communicating with those they were able to bring back.
  • The staff were informed in early June that The Big Stick applied for and received a CARES Act Small Business Administration (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan and they would be reopening soon, but have not heard anything since. One of the owners said they are in compliance with the PPP requirements.
  • The impression the staffers had gotten when the announcement was made was that they all had been replaced by the new GM. One of the owners denies this was the case.
  • The Big Stick’s former bar manager was asked by The Big Stick  management/ownership to help prepare the bar for re-opening by helping purchase liquor and supplies. There is an allegation from at least one former staffer that essentially this was a bait and switch-that he was induced to leave one job to help them when they in fact did not hire him to be bar manager for reopening. From ownership’s perspective, they emphatically deny they “blindsinded” him into quitting his new job to come back. They understood that he already had another job and thought there were no hard feelings.

Here are some more details to flesh this out:

The Big Stick indeed, according to SBA data, received a PPP loan of somewhere between $150,000-$350,000. The loan was approved on May 12th, and according to SBA data (which has reportedly had some accuracy issues), the bar noted that it had 28 employees before the pandemic.

On June 5th, one of the owners sent an email to the “Big Stick Team” that read in part (bold is mine):

We wanted to provide a positive update that we have applied for and received a [SBA PPP loan] that will help us re-open.

The current plan is to re-open over the next month or so, with a special focus on outdoor sales …The initial operation will be smaller but we will hopefully expand operations to where they were before COVID-19 as soon as it is possible to so, both financially and according to the DC regulations.,,,

We will keep you all posted on a weekly or bi-weekly basis as we progress towards a re-opning, or sooner if there is major news. To ensure that we are all prepared, please reply to or directly call any of the ownership/management team if you have any questions or to indicate your availability to work as we re-open.

….

On Monday, following the announcement of reopening a staff member posted this on a neighborhood Facebook group

…I want you to all know that you won’t be seeing any of the faces behind the bar that you’re used to. The owners decided that bringing back the legacy bar staff wasn’t a good idea after hiring a new GM. Despite emailing the staff months ago telling us they were opening soon and leading us to believe we’d be working there again soon; and going so far as to have [the former bar manager] help set everything  … up for the current “Grand Re-Opening” they decided a new GM and a new staff was better for them.

Do with this inormation what you will, but know that many of us still don’t have jobs because we were waiting for our owners/management to bring us back with the PPP loan they received.

Soon after this was posted to Facebook, the bar finally sent an email to their staff:

As many of you have seen on social media, we are opening the big stick tomorrow with limited operations and staff. We sincerely apologize for not communicating to everyone earlier. We should have done a better job of keeping everyone informed. …

We will reach out to folks if the business can support more positions or please feel free to stop by when we are open to talk to us.

Alternatively, please keep in mind there is a real possibility that we are forced to close our doors again in a month or two (or less) depending on the ongoing public health situation. One thing we wanted to avoid was hiring and then having to cut a bunch of staff which would impact folks’ income / access to unemployment benefits.

Again, we regret not informing you all earlier. ….

Another staffer told me:

…Them posting on social media that they’re reopening is the only communication I have heard from them in months. This is apparently how I am finding out that I do not have a job anymore….

Tuesday morning, The BIg Stick posted this statement on social media channels:

We are excited to reopen The BIg Stick today. The last 7 months have been extremely challenging and we’ve been navigating the process as best as we can. We want to reopen to serve our neighborhood which we have loved being a part of for the last 5 years. While the majority of our team includes our former staff, we are unfortunatey unable to bring back our full team given capacity restrictions and slower consumer traffic in the neighborhood We hope to bring back more staff down the road and we understand some disappointment that we’re unable to do so at this time. With so many places closing their doors for good, it’s our goal to endure and get through this to serve our community welll into the future. For now, we’ve excited to open our doors and welcome our customers once again.

Here’s the upshot of everything from my perspective: The lack of communication with the staff, after giving them an impression in June that they could be rehired soon, was devastating to the staffers who saw that social media post yesterday, and their apology was certainly warranted. I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all for The Big Stick to only have a skeleton staff, particularly during the winter, but the fact that they took a PPP loan unfortunately gave the staff the impression that would help them get their jobs back. The allegation about the former bar manager being blindsided seems to be more murky and lack a lot of details.

It should be noted, PPP loans could be used for payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, utility, and some other interest payments. To obtain full loan foregiveness, the business must use at least 60% of it for payroll costs in either an 2 or 6 month period. Otherwise, the loan carries a 1% interest rate though payments are deferred for 10 months after the end of  the period. There’s no requirement to rehire the same workers. As noted, the owner I spoke to believes they are in full compliance with PPP requireemnts.

 

DC Restaurants and Bars That Will Be Closed Permanently or For the Winter or Longer

As predicted by many in the industry, the pandemic as well as the associated restrictions have led restaurants/bars to announce that they are closing permanently. In addition, many spots 1) reopened but since have announced winter/indefinite closures including takeout (Still hoping to come back, despite poor reading comprehension and/or less optimism than me by many) and 2) spots that have not reopened but haven’t announced permanent closures.  The ones in DC that serve alcohol are listed below.

Last Updated: January 11, 2021

Permanent Closures

(date of opening in parentheses)
* indicates that they didn’t close due to pandemic per their announcement

  1. Post Pub (1974/1976)
  2. The Meeting Place (1970s)
  3. Otello (1985)
  4. The Big Hunt (1992)
  5. The Oval Room (1994; new concept from same owners coming)
  6. Eighteenth Street Lounge (1995)
  7. Capitol Lounge (current owner says 1994, but I think it’s 1996)
  8. Fado (1998)*
  9. Twins Jazz (1987/last location 2000)
  10. Legal Sea Foods Chinatown (late 90s/early 00s?)
  11. Montmartre (2001)
  12. Lucky Strike (2005)
  13. Billy Goat Tavern (2005)
  14. The Source (2007)
  15. Cafe Soleil (2008)
  16. Wisdom (2008)
  17. The Gibson (2008)
  18. Seventh Hill Pizza (2009)
  19. Ziegfield’s/Secrets (1980; last location 2009)*
  20. Molly Malone’s/Finn McCool’s (2009)
  21. U Street Music Hall (2010)
  22. Acqua al 2 (2010)
  23. Kitty O’Shea’s (2011)
  24. El Centro D.F. 14th (2011)
  25. District Commons (2011)
  26. Burger Tap & Shake (2011)
  27. Codmother (2011)
  28. Harold Black (2012)
  29. Bistro Bohem (2012)
  30. Maddy’s Tap Room (2012)
  31. A&D Bar (2012)
  32. Matchbox 14th (2012)
  33. Cusbah (2012)
  34. Taqueria Nacional 14th/T (2012)
  35. Roses De Javu (2012) (to be replaced by spot called Vibes on H)
  36. Red Rocks H Street (2013)
  37. B Too (2013)
  38. Rebellion (2014)
  39. Coppi’s Organic (early 90s/last location 2014)
  40. Willie’s (2014; will be new concept from same owners)
  41. Oki Bowl M St (2014)
  42. Texas de Brazil (2015)
  43. Momofuku/Milk Bar (2015)
  44. Sotto (2015)
  45. Campono (2015)
  46. The Airedale (2015)
  47. DC Eagle (1971; last location 2015)*
  48. Big Chief (2016)
  49. Bareburger Dupont (2016)
  50. Nocturne (2017)
  51. Johnny’s Half Shell (1999; last location 2017)
  52. America Eats Tavern (2018)
  53. A Rake’s Progress (2018)
  54. Taco Bamba Chinatown (2018)
  55. Poca Madre (2018)
  56. Taqueria Local (2018)
  57. Po Boy Jim’s on 9th/Shaw (2018)
  58. High Street Cafe (2018)
  59. Olivia (2019)
  60. Phillips Seafood and Steak (2019)
  61. Pom Pom (2019)
  62. Emilie’s (2019-will now be Paraiso)
  63. Roy Boys Navy Yard (2019)

Other notable closures of non-booze spots include: Amsterdam Falafelshop 14th St, Sundevich Georgetown, several Beefsteak locations, Firehook Bakery (CP), Mason Dixie, Peregrine 14th, Pleasant Pops, Red Hook Lobster

Indefinite Closures

Dates in () were the last day they were open in 2020.  Many have closed for the foreseeable future, and have uncertain futures, but several have stated they will return. Spots that closed after the indoor dining “pause” was announced will be added if they don’t reopen after the pause is over.

  1. Dio (6/14; plans to open again, perhaps at Phase 3)
  2. Magnolia (7/10; “closed for the foreseeable future”)
  3. Echo Park (closed in Julyish; closed for “the foreseeable future”)
  4. The Public Option (briefly opened for to-go sales in July, cancelled liquor license but will reopen post-vaccine)
  5. Northside Tavern  (sometime in July or August. “We hope to reopen again in the future.”)
  6. H Street Country Club (early August)
  7. District Chophouse (closed in Summer or fall; “We hope to be back open soon)
  8. Som Tam Union Market (9/13; “back at some point”)
  9. The Partisan/Red Apron Butcher PQ (9/28; “hope to reopen as soon as the time is right”)
  10. Muzette (10/11 closing til Phase 3)
  11. Carving Room Mt Vernon (10/25; closing “temporarily…We will continue to look for ways to re-open our doors and hope to see you all again”)
  12. Declaration Shaw (10/28ish. “temporarily pausing operations…fullest intention to re-open sometime in the near future”)
  13. American Ice Co. (10/31; closed for “the foreeseeable future” but currently available for private parties)
  14. The Brixton (10/31; closed for “the foreeseeable future”)
  15. Hazel (10/31. was only open 10/1-31; “shutter our doors for the foreeseable future…until we see you someday.”)
  16. Declaration Nats Park/Navy Yard (11/3; “”temporarily pausing operations…fullest intention to re-open sometime in the near future”)
  17. Smoke and Barrel (11/23 last day, announced 11/30. Hoping to “reopen early next year with lower rent and less space.”)
  18. Boundary Stone (11/25; closed “until further notice…we are hopeful that we will be welcoming you all again at some point.”)
  19. Last Call (11/29, was only open 9/5-11/29; closed “for the time being…our Last Hurrah until we see you again!”)
  20. Da Hong Pao (12/16, closed “until further notice”)
  21. Daily Grill (temporarily closed)
  22. Monocle (closed in Nov/Dec “temporarily closed due to further COVID restrictions”)
  23. Public Bar (1/10/20, “pausing operations…look forward to opening back up, sooner than later”)

Other notable indefinite closures of non-booze spots include Breadline

Winter Closures

These spots have indicated that they plan to return in March/spring. Dates in () were the last day they were open in 2020. Spots that closed after the indoor dining “pause” was announced will be added if seems they won’t reopen after the pause is over.

  1. Ristorante Tosca (10/10, will reopen in spring 2021)
  2. Coconut Club/Subbie’s (10/18; “Our plans are to close for fall and winter, with reopening plans for 2021”)
  3. Room 11 (10/31 but lunch to-go cafe still open; “We hope to return in April – perhaps with a new look or  anew name”))
  4. Free State (11/7; “look forward to seeing you safely in the spring”)
  5. Penn Social (11/21, was only open 9/13-11/21. “Closed for the winter”)
  6. Madhatter (11/22, was only open 9/20-11/22. “temporarily closing our doors for the holiday season.”)
  7. Boqueria Penn Quarter (early Dec. slated to reopen March 1, 2020)
  8. Pearl Street Warehouse (12/12; “our last weekend of 2020”; “winter intermission”)
  9. Tyber Creek (12/13, “winter hibernation”)
  10. Electric Cool-Aid (12/13, back in spring, likely would normally close winter anyways)
  11. Sandlot Southeast (12/13, back in spring, likely would normally close winter anyways)
  12. The Pig (12/13, close “for the winter, with the hope of reopening … in the spring”. Menu items at Commissary/Logan Tavern)
  13. Grillfish (12/13, close “for the winter, with the hope of reopening … in the spring”. Menu items at Commissary/Logan Tavern)
  14. DC9 (12/19, “last day until March” though could be earlier)
  15. La Jambe Shaw (12/20, “hibernating for a few months…we will be back”)
  16. Left Door (12/20, taking a “winter break”)
  17. Tune Inn (12/23, “closed until further notice” with occassional holiday to-go specials
  18. Solly’s (12/24, closed “until March”)
  19. Cordoroy/Baby Wale (“temporarily closed for winter hibernation” but soup available many nights)

Has Not Reopened Since March 16th Restaurant/Bar Shutdown (very incomplete)

  1. Velvet Lounge (reportedly for sale)
  2. Dodge City
  3. Quara (possibly permanently)
  4. Astro Beer Hall
  5. Marvin
  6. Player’s Club
  7. The Pug (Peregrine coffee during morning/early afternoon)
  8. China Chilcano
  9. Minibar
  10. Dan’s Cafe
  11. Bravo Bar
  12. Bier Baron (hosting streaming comedy shows)
  13. Bedrock Billairds
  14. 9:30 Club
  15. Black Cat
  16. Echostage
  17. Jackpot
  18. Rocket Bar
  19. Denson Liquor Bar (but may be reopening soon)
  20. The Boardwalk
  21. Bravo Bravo
  22. Living Room
  23. Opera Ultra Lounge
  24. L8
  25. Spin
  26. Heist
  27. St. Arnold’s on Jefferson
  28. Pure Lounge
  29. Tropicalia
  30. The Dabney Cellar
  31. Club Timehri
  32. The Tombs
  33. JImmy Valentine’s
  34. Madam’s Organ
  35. The Anthem
  36. Truth 78
  37. 12Twelve/KyssKyss
  38. Nomad (currently used by Queen Vic outdoor seating)
  39. Russia House
  40. Ozio (2.0)
  41. Edgar Bar & Kitchen
  42. Mari Vanna (may be reopening soon)
  43. Rosebar
  44. Saint Yves
  45. Hawthorne
  46. New Vegas Lounge
  47. Lost Society
  48. b burger bar
  49. Ultrabar
  50. Circa Chinatown
  51. Sichuan Pavillion (may be permanently closed)
  52. Union Trust
  53. Bar Deco
  54. Carmine’s
  55. Rosa Mexicana
  56. Junction Bakery
  57. Maialino Mare
  58. The Fireplace
  59. Sushi Para
  60. Plume
  61. Hank’s Capitol Hill

Incomplete List of Heated Restaurant / Bar Patios in DC

Garden District with heaters from 2014 (photo by Barred in DC)

Colder weather is on its way. In normal years, that means spending more indoors in bars, but obviously due to COVID-19, many people would rather stay home. Enter heaters on patios. I’ve gotten several queries about this so I will start an incomplete list until DC announces the 666ish awardees of $6,000 Streatery Winter Ready Grants. [11/5 UPDATE: Found here] You will need to check youserlf for details whether the spot is enclosed (seems potentially lelss desirable) or not as that will change throughout the winter. Eventually essentially any place that is open that has an open patio should be on this list but I will have stopped updating the list by then. I used personal observation, social media research, this Washingtonian article, and the PoPville comments on this post. If I know if a spot has covered (a single table umbrella doesn’t really count for cold purposes) seating, I’ve indicated that but most of these probably do.

Last Updated: Nov 1, 2020

  • H Street/NoMa
    • Little Stable (closes 11/7 wknd)
    • Pursuit (covered)
    • DC Harvest
    • Wunder Garten (firepits?)
    • Masseria
    • Red Bear Brewing
    • Cusbah (closes 11/15)
    • Oku
    • St Anselm’s
  • Columbia Heights/Park View/Petworth
    • Lou’s City Bar (Covered)
    • Homestead
    • REd Derby
    • The Midlands
    • Hook Hall (will be a Viking Village w/ fire pits and heated cabanas starting Thur 11/5)
  • 14th/Logan/U/Shaw/Bloomingdale
    • Cork
    • Lulu’s Winegarden
    • El Rey
    • Exiile’s
    • Barcelona
    • Commissary (covered)
    • Logan Tavern (covered)
    • Chi Cha Lounge (covered)
  • Shaw/Bloomingdale
    • La Jambe
    • Electric Cool-Aid (covered)
    • Dacha
    • El Techo (may be closed roof)
    • Espita
    • Calico
    • The Pub and the People (Fire pits)
    • Ivy and Coney (open roof)
  • Dupont/Adams Morgan
    • Iron Gate (fire pits)
    • Floriana
    • Annie’s
    • Heurich House garden Bar (Wed/Thurs evening) (fire pits and heaters)
  • Penn Quarter/Chinatown/Downtown
    • Cuba Libre
    • Taberna del Alabardero (covered)
  • Georgetown/Glover Park/Foggy Bottom/West End
    • Victura Park
    • Bourbon Steak
    • Circa
  • Cleveland Park/AU/Tenleytown/Woodley Park
    • Medium Rare
    • Chef Geoff’s
    • Trattoria Al Volo (covered)
    • Macintyre’s
  • Capitol Hill/Eastern Market/Barracks Row
    • Trusty’s
    • Barrel (covered)
    • Beuchert’s Saloon/Fight Club (covered)
    • Shelter/The Roost
    • Union Pub (covered)
    • The Brig (partially covered)
  • Navy Yard/The Wharf
    • Dacha Navy Yard (mostly covered)
    • Salt Line (covered)
    • H Bar
    • Kaliwa
    • Sandlot Southeast

DC’s Restaurant and Bar Groups

I am often amazed at which spots share ownership or are outright owned by the same group. Since I just got the second question of the last couple months asking for more details, here’s a list of spots that belong to named ownership groups as well as spots that at least share some ownership or partners but may not be a full-on restaurant group. I will 100% get an email or DM from a bar owner who will tell me this list is wrong so I will correct but I also want you to tell me what spots are missing. Including DC spots only, many of these places own other spots outside DC.

email barredindc@gmail.com or @barredindc on Twitter to complain or fix.

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2020

H2 Collective (Hilton Brothers)

American Ice Co
The Brixton
Echo Park
El Rey
Marvin
The Gibson
Players Club
The Brighton
Chez Billy Sud
Victura Park (operate)
Crimson Whiskey (operate)

Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Birch & Barley
Churchkey
Red Apron
The Partisan
Iron Gate
Bluejacket
Hazel
The Roost
The Sovereign

Knightsbridge Restaurant Group

Olivia
Modena
Bombay Club
Bindaas
Oval Room
Rasika / Rasika West End
Sababa
Annabelle

The DC Restaurant Gruop

The Bottom Line
Shaw’s Tavern
Prost
Madhatter
801
Cedar
Northside Tavern

Hill Restaurant Group

Hawk n Dove
Lola’s
Ophelia’s
Tortuga
Willie’s

Clyde’s Restaurant Group

Clyde’s Gallery Place / Georgetown
The Hamilton
Old Ebbitt Grill
The Tombs
1789

Georgetown Events Group

Jettie’s
Surfside
The Bullpen
Due South
Millie’s
Due South Dockside

Tin Shop

Tallboy
Church Hall
Penn Social
Franklin Hall

Lahlou Restaurant Group

Lupo Verde (14th and Palisades)
Lupo Marino
Station 4
Tunnicliff’s Tavern

Mission Group

Mission Dupont/ Navy Yard
Hawthorne
The Admiral

KNEAD Hospitality & Design

Mi Vida
The Grill
Mah-ze-dahr
Succotash
The Gatsby (coming)

Rose’s Restaurant Group

Rose’s Luxury
Little Pearl
Pineapple and Pearl’s

Blagden Hositality Group

Tiger Fork
Calico
Fainting Goat

Better Hospitality Group

Takoda
Cortez
The Boardwalk

Versus

Heist
Casta’s Rum Bar
Morris

RW Restaurant Group

Marcel’s
Brasserie Beck

Starr Restaurant Group

St. Anselm
Le Diplomate

 

Shared Ownership (no company name), Not always the same team at each place. But Commonalities


Daikaya
Bantam King
Haikan
Hatoba
Tonari

Truxton Inn
Union Pub
Barrel
The Eastern
McClellan’s Retreat
(one of the owners of a couple of the spots also owns Trustys)

Red Hen and Boundary Stone are  owned separately but they together own:
All Purpose

Pub and the People
Walter’s
Present Company

The Pug and Solly’s are owned separately but they together own:
Brookland’s Finest
Union Trust

Timber Pizza
Call Your Mother
Mercy Me

Last Call
Suburbia
Buffalo & Bergen

Free State
Lost and Found

Royal
Lulu’s Wine Garden
(which partnered with Blagden Hospitality to operate Hi-Lawn on Union Market)

JImmy Valentine’s
Little Miss Whiskey’s

Copycat
Astoria

The Blaguard
Homestead

Lyman’s Tavern
Raven Grill

Brookland Pint
Smoke & Barrel

Jack Rose
The Imperial

Dew Drop Inn
The Wonderland
Looking Glass

The Queen Vic
Granville Moore’s
Chupacabra

Dodge City
Velvet Lounge

Showtime Lounge
Neptune Lounge

 

Nick’s Riverside Grill
Tony and Joe’s
Ivy City Smokehouse

Abigail
Kitsuen
Saint Yves

Duke’s Grocery Dupont/Foggy Bottom
Duke’s Counter
Gogi Yogi

Russia House
Biergarten Haus
Brine

Where to Get Best Thai Food in DC

Most mentions – Baan Siam – Credit-their IG https://www.instagram.com/p/CALxEMDh7TK/

Next in the series of Barred in DC food guides is where to find the best Thai food  in DC. Like almost all of these guides, this is generated from an open Twitter thread. They are based on what my Twitter followers believe is the best Thai food in the District of Columbia proper rather than my personal experience, as I’ve not had all them. [Update: I switched up the ordering  a bit

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2020

Mentioned Most

  • Baan Siam (Mt Vernon Square)
    • Order online/Toast or call.
    • In-House Delivery
    • Indoor/Outdoor dining (reserve via Tock)
    • Closed Monday’s
  • Beau Thai (2 Locations: Shaw, Mt. Pleasant)
    • Order via Caviar or call
    •  in-house delivery (possibly Shaw only) for dinner hours.
    • Caviar for pickup/delivery for wider area
    • Indoor/outdoor dining

Mentioned Multiple Times – Worth a Trip

  • Little Serow (Dupont)
    • Order online
    • Currently Carry Out only
    • Classic dinner for 2: $110 (7 dishes, plus dessert). Beef ribs for 2: $100. A la carte options are  around $19-20 mostly
    • Dinner only. Closed Sun-Mon
    • from Komi owners)
  • BKK Cookshop (Shaw)
    • Caviar (pickup/online)
    • From Beau Thai people (“noodle bowls, rice dishes, street food & cocktails”)
    • Outdoor dining
  • Thai X-ing (Shaw)
    • Order online for pickup/delivery via DC To-GoGo
    • Also via Grubhub and Caviar
    • Dine-in available?
    • Takeout/delivery a la carte
    • Normally 5-7 course prix fixe. $40/pp F-Sat. $30/pp (Sun-vegetarian; Tue-Vegetarian/Pescetarian). $10 surcharge pp for groups of 5 or more

Others Mentioned Multiple Times – Neighborhood Favorites

  • Regent Thai (Dupont/Adams Morgan border)
    • Call to order (possibly online)
    • Grubhub, UberEats
    • In-House delivery appears available for dinner (min order of $18 or $20). 
    • no lunch Sunday
  • Thai Orchid’s Kitchen (EOTR-Fairlawn)
    • Order online/BeyondMenu
    • In-House delivery ($20 min)
    • Also Grubhub
    • Dine-in?
    • Dinner only. Closed Mon
  • Talay Thai (Capitol Hill)
    • Order Grubhub or Call for pickup
    • In-house Delivery dinner
    • No lunch on Sunday
  • Sanphan Thai (Capitol Hill/Eastern Market)
    • Order online
    • In-house delivery ($25 min)
    • UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhub also 
    • Dine-in available?
  • Siam House (Cleveland Park)
    • Order online/Chownow 
    • In-House delivery during dinner ($18 min w/in 2 miles)
    • Outdoor dining

Others Mentioned

Kruba, Aroi Thai, Bua Thai, Pantry, Teak Wood, Sabydee, Sala Thai Minneosta Ave, Imm on H

Where to Get Thanksgiving Takeout in DC in 2020

NOTE: Most if not all of the spots listed below are sold out, for the last minute planners, and people who want to get out of the house afterwards check out this list Where to Get a Last Minute Thanksgiving Meal in DC and What Is Open Later in the Day

 

Given that many more people will be sticking around town for Thanksgiving (a recent Twitter poll shows that only roughly half of people who usually leave town for Thankgiving (November 26th) will do so, and one in 7 still haven’t decided), there will certainly be more spots offering Thanksgiving dinners, both to go and dine in, than previous years. Here’s a running of list of to-go only, which is simply a shameless grab for hits until Eater DC and Washingtonian put up their superior lists at which point I will link to them.

Updated:November 5th (LAST UPDATE only to add new links to other stories)

Read These for new spots

 

I haved added restaurants noted in the link, but will likely not update going forward.

From least expensive to most (roughly, per person)

  • Moreland’s Tavern
    • $80 (for 4) The Works
    • 12-14 pound turkey, Moreland’s brining mix, stuffing for 4, mashed potatoes for 4, roasted brussels sprouts for 4, gravy for 4, 8 Lyon bakery dinner rolls.
    • Ham, chicken and sides (including pecan pie) available
    • Pickup Wed 4-8p
    • Order by 11/1 (extended now longer)
  • Unconventional Diner
    • $60 (for 2), $110 (for 4), $160 (for 6)
    • Chestnut Velouté; Roasted Turkey w/ garlic, orange, & rosemary; Gravy; Cranberry Relish; Cornbread Muffins
      Mushroom-Sage Stuffing; Cast Iron Brussels Sprouts;
      Red Skin Mashed Potatoes; Pumpkin Pie & Whipped Mascarpone
    • Pickup all day Thanksgiving
  • Eatwell Restaurant Group (Commissary/Logan Tavern/Grillfish/The Pig) for pickup at Commissary)
    • $60 (for 2), $120 (for 4), $189 (6-8)
    • Pickup Wed 4-7p. Thanksgiving 9a-11a
  • Pop’s Sea Bar
    • $32/person
    • 1.25 lb lobster, ear of corn, German potato salad, drawn butter.
    • Preorder by 11/23.  Call 202-534-3933. Pickup Thanksgiving Noon-2p
  • Old Ebbitt Grill / Clyde’s GP / Clyde’s Georgetown
    • $33 (turkey dinner) or $25 (ham dinner) for one
    • Larger portion Serves 6-8: $240 (turkey), $180 (ham)
    • Turkey: Sliced White and Dark Meat, Sausage-Sage Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Turkey Gravy and Cranberry Sauce. Choice of whole Apple Pie, Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie; Ham: Glazed Spiral ham with Potato Gratin, Green Beans and a Brown Sugar-Rum Raisin Glaze. Choice of whole Apple Pie, Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie
    • Pickup 8a-1p Thanksgiving
  • Federalist Pig
    • $225 (10-12 people), $140 (4-6 people)
  • Farmers & Distillers / Farmers Fishers Bakers
    • Complete Dinner for 4: $150-turkey or ham, $175-cedar plank salmon $210 – herb-crusted prime rib
    • a la carte available
    • A complete dinner with your choice of entree, bread, (skillet cornbread or brioche rolls), starters (salad or soup), included sides (green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing, rosted autumn veggies, cranberry relish, and dessert (apple/pumpkin/pecan pie or pumpkin cheesecake).
    • Pickup Wed
  • Teddy & Bully Bar
    • $75 (for 2), $150 (for 4), $210 (for 6)…
  • Et Voila
    • $300 (for 8) or $145 (for 4)
    • Pick up Thanksgiving
  • Tabard Inn
    • $110 for 2 , $190 for 4, $535 for 12
    • Pick Up Wednesday
  • Hank’s Oyster Bar Dupont
    • $120 (2-3); $240 (for 6)
    • Smoky Citrus and Herb Brined Turkey; Peppercorn Gravy; Cranberry Sauce; Soft Dinner Rolls Plus 4 of following: Chesapeake Oyster Stuffing;
      Sage Cornbread Stuffing
      Mac and cheesy
      Vegan Collard Greens with balsamic reduction
      Pecorino Parmesan Potato Gratin
      Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Virginia peanuts
      Caramelized Sweet Potato Casserole
      Pumpkin Streusel Pie
    • Pickup 4-7p Wednesday
  • RPM Italian
    • $185 (for 4)
    • – Fall Harvest Salad, Honeycrisp Apple, Lolla Rossa, Gorgonzola Dolce
      – Aged Parmesan Risotto, Acquerello Rice
      – Slagel Family Farms Turkey, Roasted Breast, Fried Thigh, Garlic-Sage Gravy
      – Garlic Whipped Potatoes, Delicata Squash, Dried Fruit Stuffing
      – Pumpkin Cheesecake
    • Pickup Wed or Thurs noon-6p
  • Jackie – American Bistro
    • $285 for 6-8
    • Joyce Farms Brined Turkey, sage butter
      Brandied Giblet Gravy
      Cranberry Compote, fennel seed
      Mushroom Stuffing, herbs
      Braised Green Beans, crispy shallots
      Roast Cauliflower, salsa verde
      Anasazi Beans Ragu, duck confit, butternut squash
      Delicata Squash Salad, figs, sherry vinaigrette
      Blue Corn Bread, jalapeño honey butter
      Sweet Potato Pie, vanilla whip
    • Pickup Wed 1-4p
  • Neighborhood Provisions
    •  $95-$100 for 2
    • Delivery available Mon-Wed
  • Roses’s Luxury  / Little Pearl
    • Feast: $240 (2-4 ppl; 1/2 turkey), $480 (4-8 ppl; whole turkey)
    • All Natural Lemon-Pepper Brined & Roasted Turkey & Gravy
      Charred Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad
      Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
      Mushroom Stuffing
      Roasted Fall Veggies with Sherry Vinaigrette & Pomegranate
      Classic Can of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce
      Kings Hawaiian Rolls
      & a donation to the DC Food Project!
    • A La Carte (everything except turkey): $96 sides package for 2 (all the sides). Other items
    • Pickup for later reheat 5:30p-7p Tue/Wed 11/24-25
  • Bakers Daughter/Gravitas
    • Classic: $204 (4-6); Baller: $375 (4-10)
    • Classic:
      •  Choose 2 of either Salad or Soup (Fall Apple & Goat Cheese Salad; Roasted Beet & Blue Cheese Salad; Mixed Green Salad; Butternut Squash Soup; Italian Ribolitta Soup; Chicken Noodle Soup); Whole Roasted Turkey; 2 Sides (Pommes Puree; Creamed Spinach with Crispy Shallots; Roasted Baby Carrots; Herb Roasted Root Vegetables; Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic & Onions; Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Glazed Pecans; Creamy Mac & Cheese with Toasted Panko; Savory Brioche Bread Pudding (stuffing)); Sauce ( Red Wine Sauce; Classic Gravy; Cranberry Sauce); 1 Bread (Corn Bread; Foccacia; Parkerhouse Rolls)
    • Baller
      • Choose 3 of either Salad or Soup (Fall Apple & Goat Cheese Salad; Roasted Beet & Blue Cheese Salad; Mixed Green Salad; Butternut Squash Soup; Italian Ribolitta Soup; Chicken Noodle Soup); 2 entrees (Whole Roasted Turkey, Glazed Ham, Braised Beef Short Ribs); 4 sides (Pommes Puree; Creamed Spinach with Crispy Shallots; Roasted Baby Carrots; Herb Roasted Root Vegetables; Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic & Onions; Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Glazed Pecans; Creamy Mac & Cheese with Toasted Panko; Savory Brioche Bread Pudding (stuffing)); 2 Sauce ( Red Wine Sauce; Classic Gravy; Cranberry Sauce);  2 Bread  (Corn Bread; Foccacia; Parkerhouse Rolls)
  • Xiquet by Danny Lledó
    • $220 (for 4), $440 (for 8). Roast amish chicken meal available. Also spit roasted sucking pig.
    • $440 deal: Whole Heritage Turkey (12-14 lbs)
      – Turkey jus gravy
      – Corn bread & herbs stuffing
      – Sweet potato casserole, burnt meringue
      – Cranberry & ginger compote
      – Buttermilk saffron biscuits w/ honey butter
      – Runner & lima beans
      – Apple streusel pie
      – Pumpkin & xocolate pie
    • $220 deal: 1/2 heritage turkeu (6-7 lbs)
      – Turkey jus gravy
      – Corn bread & herbs stuffing
      – Sweet potato casserole, burnt meringue
      – Cranberry & ginger compote
      – Buttermilk saffron biscuits w/ honey butter
      – Runner & lima beans
      – Apple streusel pie or Pumpkin & Xocolate pie
  • Bresca
    • $225 (for 4)
    • – Heritage Turkey – turkey jus – gravy – maple & fine herbs
      – Brioche Stuffing – sage – carrot – allium – celery
      – Winter Greens – candied walnuts – blow horn cheese – beets – brown butter
      – Sweet Potato Casserole – black garlic marshmallow – brown sugar
      – Cranberry Jam – port wine – orange
      – Milk Bread Loaves – whipped honey butter
      – Green Bean Casserole – crispy shallots – shiitake mushrooms
      Apple Galette – cinnamon – double cream
    • Pickup Wed or Thurs
  • Convivial
    • $58/person
    • Choice of 1st course (caesar salad, onion soup grantinee, roasted cauliflower, leeks dijonnaise, terrine de campagne, smoke pumpkin Soup),
      entree (turkey or ham dinner: yam gratin, roasted brussel sprouts, mashed potato, chestnut & mushroom stuffing, classic gravy, cranberry sauce; fall vegetable & quinoa porridge: scrambled egg white, butternut squash mousseline, hen of the woods mushrooms, brussel sprouts sunflower seeds, aged apple cider vinegar; bistro salmon: French lentils, dijon mustard)

      dessert apple/pecan/key lime pie, or pumpkin/white chocolate cheesecake
    • Pickup all day Thanskgiving
  • The Smith (both locations)
    • $120 (for 2), $240 (for 4), $480 (for 8)
    • Pickup Wed or Thanksgiving
  • Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, & Stone Crab
    • $250 for 4
    • +Greens Salad with creamy vinaigrette
      +Roasted Turkey Breast with Leg and Thigh Confit served with pan gravy
      +Jennie’s Mashed Potatoes
      +Baked Butternut Squash
      +Classic Stuffing with Sausage
      +Martha’s Cranberry Relish
      +Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
    • Pickup Wed
  • Masseria
    • $130 (for 2)
    • 4 course meal
    • Pickup and Delivery on Thanksgiving early/mid afternoon
  • Equinox
    • $75 for one
    • 3 course meal
    • Available pickup Thanksgiving
  • 1789
    • $75 for one
    • $300 for 4
    • turkey chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, haricots verts, roasted baby carrots, glazed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy. Choice of baby kale salad or roasted honeynut squash soup. Choice of dessert: Apple Pie, Miniature Chocolate-Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake

    • Pickup 8a-1p Thanksgiving

  • Blue Duck Tavern
    • $445 (for 6-8)
    • one 12-14 lb Turkey, two freshly baked breads, four sides; Green Bean-Mushroom Casserole, Butter-Whipped Potatoes, Candied Yams with walnut crumble, Cornbread-Sausage Stuffing, condiments; Cranberry-Fig Relish and Turkey Gravy. For dessert two pies, Apple & Pumpkin.
    • Pickup 11a-3 Wed/Thanksgiving
  • Seven Reasons
    • $480 (for 6)
    • + Choice of Roasted Turkey, Roasted Prime Rib or Stuffed & Roast Calabaza
      + Truffle Mashed Potatoes
      + Artichokes and Green Bean Salad
      + Mango-Cranberry Sauce
      + Mac n’ Cheese and Pastrami
      + Tonka Bean Pumpkin Pie
      + Vanilla Apple Pie
    • Pickup 2-4p Thanksgiving
  • Sfoglina Van Ness
    • $180 (for 2)
    • Arugula & Bibb Salad, Honeycrisp Apples, Yogurt
      Roman Stracciatella Egg Drop Soup
      Einkorn Pappardelle, Bolognese Ragu, Roasted Tomatoes
      Roasted Beaver Creek Farm Heritage Turkey (light & dark meat), Bread Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato Puree, Cranberry Relish, Gravy
      Tuscan Rolls
      ½ gallon of Earth N Eats Farm Honeycrisp Apple Cider
    • Pickup Wednesday
  • Del Mar
    • $650 (for 6-8)
    • ½ gallon cold pressed honey crisp apple cider
      APPETIZERS
      Premium Cheeses & Artisan Cured Meats
      Signature Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
      Honey Nut Squash Soup
      Autumn Salad, Pears, Toasted Walnuts & Sherry Vinaigrette
      ENTRÉE & SIDES
      Whole 16 lb. Apple Cider Brined and Herb-Butter Roasted Turkey ( premium heritage bird from Virginia’s Beaver Creek Farms)
      Rosemary Gravy
      Chestnut & Turkey Sausage Stuffing
      Cranberry-Orange Compote
      Whipped Mashed Potatoes
      Herb Roasted Sweet Potato Gratin
      Charred Green Beans, Mushrooms & Caramelized Onion Cream
      DESSERT
      Pumpkin & Pecan Pie
      Chocolate Chunk & Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
    • Pickup Tues-Wed Noon-7p
  • Fiola
    • $240 (for 2)
    • pickup Wed 2-7p

All A LA Carte

No  Turkey

  • Breadfurst
    • $145 (for 4-6 people), doesn’t include turkey but does include other ingredients to prepare the bird
    • Dinner rolls (6), mushroom-barley soup, mixed fall salad, cranberry sauce, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts & Fingerling potatoes, green bean casserole. Comes with traditional Mirepoix, Turkey stock & herbed butter. Pie (apple/pumpkin/bourbon pecan)
    • Pickup Thanksgiving morning

 

A Running List of Restaurants and Bars Have Been Shut Down (Temporarily or Not) By DC Authorities During Phase 2

Image by Mr.TinDC licensed under Creative Commons.

Updated January 11th, 2020

Bars and restaurants in DC must comply with a host of rules issued by Mayor Bowser and her administration in normal pre-pandemic times and now must follow even more in order to stay open during Phase 2. Those enforced by ABRA relatively more harshly (per policy) include: 1) being open past midnight (10p drinks), 2) selling alcohol without offering food or requiring food purchase per table 3) having entertainment including live bands and DJs, 4) mandatory staff masking, and 5) patrons seated at the bar or ordering at the bar where a bartender is working (I explain the rationale here).  In other words, ABRA’s main enforcement function is to make sure bars are operating more like restaurants rather than bars, DC Health has enforced some of these prohibitions sporadically, including the prohibition against hookah/cigar bars can (note that most hookah smoking indoors in DC bars is generally illegal pre-pandemic but DC Health has never enforced).

The alcohol investigators in ABRA have made tons of visits, either routine inspections or in response to complaints, to most open establishments since beginning of Phase 2 in mid June, formally dinging nearly 115 spots (as of 12/12; roughly 10% of DC’s bars and restaurants with liquor licenses) with verbal or written warnings, $1000 or $2000 fines, and referrals to the ABC Board or the DC Office of Attorney General for action. A little over 30 of these spots (as of 10/5) have received a fine or worse so far, including some that have been shut down. Generally, the ABC’s current resolution of punishment is to allow all those suspended to get their license back after serving a 15 day suspension (10 days held in abeyance for another year triggered if more violations) and explicitly agreeing to all of the Phase 2 restrictions (see example here). The list below includes those shut down at least temporarily.

Note: It must be noted that (as of 10/5) out of the ~30 spots that have been fined, suspended, or potentially face stricter punishment from ABRA, roughly at least 75% serve a mostly Black or Latino clientele, and many are also owned/operated by people of color.  Many have argued these statistics clearly show racially biased enforcement by ABRA, given that DC’s population is less than 40% non-Hispanic white. In an enforcement system driven a great deal by complaints (not all, I know the investigators / inspectors make the rounds regularly in nightlife areas and do proactive monitoring where they can), this is unfortunately not an unexpected outcome. People who live in neighborhoods where bars are, now often majority white, may think twice about complaining about an establishment they frequent (or will reach out to management to give them a heads up to note their complaints). But if the bar’s clientele or management comes mostly from outside the immediate neighborhood, neighbors lack affinity to the bar (or worse, are openly hostile already due to racism, subconscious or not) and, thus won’t try to resolve these informally. In addition, the types of rules that ABRA emphasized enforcement on, though I don’t want to generalize too much here, may also disproportionately end up affecting spots that generally cater to people of color. Beer gardens (frequented disproportionately by white people), though many have drawn long lines and big crowds, are often not as focused on standing at bars and DJs, and are geared to daytime drinking; since violations like the 6 feet rule are not punished as harshly, spots like these don’t get dinged badly. Finally, due to structural racism, in general (although most bars/restaurants don’t have much of a financial cushion), there may be less capital, financial support, and connection to networks that make people either take risks or not be aware of the rules.  That all being said, almost all spots being fined are either being warned before or are committing exceptionally egregious violations of the more important Phase 2 restrictions to help keep the community safe. Most of these spots are operating like a full-on bar/lounge/club with DJs and drinking at the bar- things that the bar have full control of and have been hammered home since late June that are not allowed because of their documented harm in other parts of U.S. which have liberalized bar rules. I think you should take all of this into context as you take a look at this list.

Shut Down (Temporarily unless otherwise noted; still can be open but cannot serve alcohol);

  • Charcoal Town Hookah (Georgetown)
    • Closed by DC Health for hookah smoking & not enforcing patron mask rule June 30-July 2
    • Closed by DC Health for hookah smoking September 17-September 18
  • District Soul Food (Barracks Row)
    • Closed by DC Health for unspecified Mayor’s Order public health emergency violation (possibly hookah smoking) July 16-17
    • ABC Board issued summary indefinite suspension Oct 8th, effective on Oct 10th
    • Violations (6 times early July to late Sept): employees not wearing masks, patrons not wearing masks, open after midnight,  music not at conversational level, patrons not socially distant, interference with investigation, allowed DJ
    • Reinstated after serving 30 day liquor license suspension Oct 10-Nov 8, with additional 30 days in abeyance for a year
  • Cafe 8 (Barracks Row)
    • Closed by DC Health for hookah smoking July 21-22
  • SIP Lounge (Woodridge)
    • Closed by DC Health for hookah smoking July 24-31
  • Lyve at U (U Street)
    • Suspended by ABC Board on August 5th effective August 7th
    • Violations (once on 7/31): patrons not socially distant, patrons not seated, DJ
    • Appears to be still suspended.
  • Elevate Lounge (NoMa)
    • Suspended by ABC Board on August 12th effective August 14th
    • Violations (3 before settlement, 1 after): music not at a conversation level, employees not wearing masks, patrons not seated, DJ, patrons not social distant
    • Reinstated after agreeing in legal settlement agreement to adhere to Phase 2 restrictions in exchange for a14 day suspension (Aug 14-Aug 27) and $1000 fine. Another $2000 fine incurred a month after reinstatement
  • Empire Lounge (Shaw)
    • Suspended by ABC Board effective September 4th AND again on September 30th
    • Violations (5 before settlement, 1 after): music not at a conversational level, patrons not seated, afterhours service, no prepared food sold with alcohol, employees not waring masks, patrons not socially distant, DJ
    • Reinstated for first time after agreeing in legal settlement agreement to adhere to Phase 2 restrictions in exchange for a 15 day suspension (Sept 4-Sept 17) and $1000 fine. $2000 fine incurred a month after reinstatement
    • Appears to be still suspended.
  • MK Lounge (Shaw)
    • Suspended by ABC Board on September 16th effective September 18th
    • Violations (4): patrons not socially distant, music not at a conversational level, patrons standing at staffed bar, patrons not seated, indoor occupancy over 50%, after hours service
    • Reinstated after agreeing in legal settlement agreement to adhere to Phase 2 restrictions in exchange for 15 day suspension starting (September 18th-October 4th). Additional 10 suspension days held in abeyance for another year.
  • Booeymonger Restaurant (Georgetown) –
    • Suspended by ABC Board on September 23th effective September 25th
    • Violations (2): patrons not seated, patrons not socially distant, music not at a conversational level, patrons not wearing masks, no prepared food with alcohol, table spacing insufficient, no reservation system
    • Appears to be still  suspended.
  • Felicity Lounge (H Street)
    • Suspended by ABC Board on September 30th effective October 2nd
    • Violations (4): Music not at a conversational level, patrons not seated, DJ, patrons standing at a staffed bar, no reservation system, patrons not social distant, patrons not wearing masks, indoor occupancy more than 50%,
    • Reinstated after agreeing in legal settlement agreement to adhere to Phase 2 restrictions in exchange for a 15 day suspension (Oct 2nd-October 17th). Additional 10 suspension days held in abeyance for another year.
  • Assets (Dupont Circle)
    • Suspended by ABC Board on December 2nd effective December 9th
    • Violations (3): Employees not wearing masks, Afterhours service,  Patrons not seated, Patrons not social distant, Allowed entertainment (Female Performers)
    • Still suspended
  • Barcode (Downtown)
    • Suspended by ABC Board on December 9th effective December 11th
    • Violations (4):  Patrons not social distant, Music not at a conversational level, Table spacing insufficient, Patrons not seated, Patrons not wearing masks, indoor occupancy more than 50%, afterhours service, Afterhours Service
    • Reinstated after agreeing in legal settlement agreement to adhere to Phase 2 restrictions in exchange for a 30 day suspension (Dec 11th-Jan 10th).
  • Right Spot (Shaw)
    • Suspended by ABC Board on December 10th effective December 17th
    • Violations (4): Employees not wearing masks, Patrons not social distant, Music not at a conversational level, Allowed entertainment (DJ), Patrons not wearing masks, Patrons not seated, Patrons standing at a staffed bar
    • Reinstated after agreeing in legal settlement agreement to adhere to Phase 2 restrictions in exchange for a 15 day suspension (Dec 17th-Jan 1st). Additional 15 suspension days held in abeyance for another year.
  • 1812 Lounge/Sip Lounge (Brookland/Woodridge)
    • Suspended by ABC Board on December 9th effective December 15th
    • Violations (3): Patrons not social distant, Music not at a conversational level, Allowed entertainment (DJ), Patrons not wearing masks, Patrons not seated, Patrons standing at a staffed bar, More than six individuals seated at a table
    • Reinstated after agreeing in legal settlement agreement to adhere to Phase 2 restrictions in exchange for a 15 day suspension (Dec 15th-Dec 29th). Additional 15 suspension days held in abeyance for another year.

Spots that have been dinged 3+ times but haven’t been suspended:

  • 1942 DC (4)
  • Bin 1301 (3)
  • Brooklyn (3)
  • Costellow Restaurant & Lounge (3)
  • Grand Central (3)
  • Harry’s (5)
  • Heaven and Hell (3)
  • On the Rocks (3)
  • Retrobottega (3)

Barred in DC – At-Large Councilmember 2020 General Election Guide

Image by Mr.TinDC licensed under Creative Commons.

Thirteen people sit on the Council of the District of Columbia (don’t call it the “City Council,” please), including five at-large members who represent all of DC rather than one of the eight wards specifically. Two at-large seats are up for grabs in the 2020 General Election. Twenty-three (!) (plus 1 person who’s dropped out) are vying for these seats: 1 Democrat (incumbent), 1 Republican, 1 Statehood Green party member, 1 Libertarian party member, and 19 Independents (reportedly majority of these 19 were previously registered Democrat at some point).

To help make your choice (you can vote for ZERO, ONE, or TWO of the candidates), I sent a questionnaire out at 8am on Thursday, Oct 1st with a pretty unreasonable 84 hour turnaround time of 8pm Sunday, October 4th, so I wouldn’t hold it too against those whose answers are not listed below. But given that the mail ballot drop boxes begin accepting ballots on Monday, October 5th, I felt it was imperative to get this information out there. I’ve also asked my Twitter followers to send me why they are supporting certain candidates. Donation information comes from DC Geekery and it appears to reflect donations in reports submitted by October 1st). Fair Elections participants can accept only $100 max contributions outside their family from individuals only (no corporations or PACs) but can get a solid amount of public money.

Not necessarily a recommendation, but personally I will be voting for Chander Jayaraman and Christina Henderson (see this Twitter thread for rationale).

But first, here a few helpful links (thanks to followers and Google who connected me to these; send any more to barredindc@gmail.com or @barredindc on Twitter):

Obligatory:

Other Great Guides:

At-Large Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Listed in Order of Submission

Chander Jayaraman (I) – Fair Elections, 502 donors (412 DC), Ward 6 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • Was against Initiative 77 and did not have a problem with the repeal (multiple choice)
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • No
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • We need to look to the fees that businesses pay to the Business Improvement Districts, which are spending less on certain programs now due to the pandemic. Let’s pool a portion of those taxes citywide and use them to make additional grants and/or low-interest loans to restaurants, bars, and other small businesses, which in turn benefits workers who can then be rehired.
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • 7
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • Follow the metrics
  • Q: In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • I am a small biz owner & ANC commissioner with a track record of helping restaurants & bars in ANC6B succeed. I am a True Independent who has a pragmatic approach to legislation, & I’m committed to making it easier for small businesses to succeed in DC.
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • Rose’s Luxury
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • The Pug
  • Quote from Barred in DC reader/follower
    • “I’m voting for him because as a Hill resident I’ve seen him successfully bridge the divide between businesses and residents in a respectful manner that satisfy most”

Marya Pickering (R) – 80 donors (64 DC), Ward 3 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • Good idea; as a former waitress, I always made more than the minimum wage in tips.  Initiative 77 — like many liberal ideas — is well-intentioned but will hurt small restaurants and their staff in the long run. [entered own info]
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • No
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • (1) Follow lead of neighboring jurisdictions to re-open as quickly as possible; (2) insurance relief from COVID-19 related liabilities; (3) increased payouts from business interruption insurance; (4) rent moratorium/tax abatement/delay in sales tax payments; (5) new long-term recovery loans
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • 3
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • Follow lead of neighboring jurisdictions
  • Q: In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • No more business as usual.” Let’s bring true diversity of ideas and prudent management to the DC Council. As a former small business owner, contract management professional with an MBA degree, and government employee, I am the best qualified candidate to effect positive change
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • DeCarlo’s and the cafe at the Museum of the American Indian
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • Hawk & Dove

Monica Palacio (I) – Fair Elections, 504 donors (419 DC), Ward 4 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • Was for I 77 and thought that was wrong (multiple choice)
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • No
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • I propose providing long-term assistance to the restaurant and bar industry through grants and loans so that businesses survive extended closures and adapt and reinvent services. I will ensure funds are timely and accessible to businesses and delivery safety net services that will help all workers in the industry have a place to live, keep food on the table and pay their bills.
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • 8
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • Follow the metrics
  • In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • I am a Civil Rights lawyer, community organizer, advocate and mom who has dedicated 30 years to public service in DC. A vote for me is a vote to help save lives and protect families, and to elect the first Latina to the DC Council. Together, we can build stronger communities all over the District.
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • Mezcalero
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • DC Reynolds, I was sad to hear of their closure, so Jojo R&B is 2nd
  • Quote from Barred in DC reader/follower
    • I support Mónica Palacio because I have seen how much she has worked for the rights of some of the most vulnerable communities in DC, like the LGBTQ and immigrant communities. We need a leader like her in Council.

Marcus Goodwin (I) – 1,527 Donors (1,011 DC), Ward 4 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • Was against Initiative 77 and did not have a problem with the repeal (multiple choice)
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • No
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • A rent and lease District-backed bond assistance program. One part to help with business operators who are struggling to make rent payments. And one for service workers displaced by the pandemic. Both aspects to be repaid at a graduated rate over time with low interest rates.
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • 8
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • Follow the metrics
  • In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • I will fight to increase home ownership opportunities for historically disenfranchised residents, expand vocational training to create more good-paying jobs, support our local businesses, and create universal after school programs for DC students.
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • HalfSmoke
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • Marvin
  • Quote from Barred in DC reader/follower
    • In a time when DC’s small businesses are in danger of being forced to close and may never return, strong business leadership is needed in the Council to help our beloved local economy. The success of the District’s social community is built on small businesses. Marcus Goodwin is best suited to save them.”

Ed Lazere (I) – Fair Elections, 2,077 Donors (1,700 DC), Ward 5 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • Was for Initiative 77 and thought the repeal was wrong (multiple choice)
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • Yes
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • I’m eager to keep restaurants and other small businesses that serve our neighborhoods and communities. When I talk with small business owners the largest issue I hear about is paying rent. Some landlords are negotiating and some are not. I would permanently prohibit landlords from evicting small business tenants if they lost income in the pandemic. That would force all commercial landlords to negotiate reduced rents with their tenants. I would back that up with a landlord relief fund to support any small landlord who can show they are suffering extreme hardship as a result.
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • 4
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • Follow the metrics
  • In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • I spent 20 yrs at @dcfpi digging into DC’s budget & building coalitions across DC to fight for big wins, like more $ for high-poverty schools & paid sick time for all workers in DC. I’ve been endorsed by AGKarl Racine, 3 councilmembers & 30 progressive orgs. See dcvoterguide.com
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • Masala Story – Great Indian food in Brookland
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • Brookland Pint
  • Quotes from Barred in DC readers/followers
    • he’s doing the work to get the grassroots support behind and modeling a different type of male leadership: humble, thoughtful, and gentle strength. He fights for the will of the people and including working folks in the political conversation. He believes that no one is free until everyone is free, and he puts money where his mouth is.
    • As the Director of DC’s top progressive think tank, he helped lead and win fights for a $15 minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, investments in affordable housing, expanded access to health care, ethics reforms, and more.
    • I am supporting Ed Lazere because he’s running a campaign dedicated to improving the lives of everyday DC residents — not wealthy real estate developers and special interests. His policies would make it easier for us to succeed and thrive. He’s the true pro-worker candidate.

Christina Henderson (I), Fair Elections, 1,043 Donors (748 DC), Ward 4 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • Was for Initiative 77 and thought the repeal was wrong (multiple choice)
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • Yes
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • I’d like to see DC create a local version of the Paycheck Protection Program until we’re able to get to Phase 4 in the reopening plan. Under the program, loans are forgiven if employee retention criteria are met by the business. We know that many businesses in the District, especially minority-owned businesses were unable to benefit from the federal PPP program. By creating a local version, we can be targeted and intentional in providing support to our businesses.
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • 5
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • Follow the metrics
  • In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • I have a commonsense approach to policymaking, embrace collaboration, & posses a tireless commitment to equity. If you’re looking for an innovative voice with experience getting things done — I’m your candidate.
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • Marvin
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • Satellite Room [ed. note, closed before the pandemic]
  • Quotes from Barred in DC readers/followers
    • I support Christina Henderson, who has the long and varied experience in governing that a good candidate needs, thoughtful positions that she develops based on discussions and data, and a good heart. She will get things done and look out for the whole city, not just those with means.

Jeanné Lewis (I) – Fair Elections, 502 donors (332 DC), Ward 7 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • Was for Initiative 77 and thought the repeal was wrong (multiple choice)
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • Yes
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • We can the economy going but we must implement a stronger and more consistent contact tracing infrastructure. Every eatery is not collecting information or being strict about masks. Increasing the number of volunteer testing sites and participation will also be important to ensure asymptomatic people are aware they have the virus and remain vigilant.
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • 6
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • Follow the metrics
  • In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • I want to center the experiences of people, not numbers on the spreadsheet, and offer creative solutions that hold to our vision for a DC that works for everyone. It’s time we make decisions that make a difference. That’s why I’m asking for your vote on Nov 3rd.
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • Masala Art
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • JoJo’s

Alexander M. Padro (I)  – 104 donors (84 DC), Ward 6 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • Was against Initiative 77 and did not have a problem with the repeal (multiple choice)
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • No
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • I am proposing reducing the collectible amount of commercial property taxes for all retail spaces that have capacity limitations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Ward 2 ANC Commissioner, I was an early advocate for the residential property tax cap, which initially only applied to Ward 2, but subsequently was expanded citywide. I believe that trying to collect 100% of commercial property taxes from triple net tenants is totally irresponsible and will result in a significant number of business closures. Reducing the collectible portion of commercial property taxes to the same percentage as the square footage that is allowed to be occupied during the pandemic health emergency would reduce short term property tax collections for the city, but would provide a lifeline to struggling tenants, especially retailers and restaurants. It is better to collect a lower percentage of these taxes now than to have to have no tenants to pay any taxes later, forcing property owners to shoulder the burden of paying these taxes without revenue.Without significant action on the part of the District and federal governments, I anticipate that 50% or more of current retail tenants in DC will no longer be in operation a year from now. As a Main Street district executive director, I am in daily contact with the small, independent retailers and restaurateurs that represent the vast majority of our city’s retail tenants. I see daily the challenges these entrepreneurs, even well capitalized operators, are facing as they struggle to try to keep their doors open long enough to “get to the other side” of the pandemic. I also speak to commercial property owners struggling to strike a balance between supporting tenants they have carefully curated and paying their mortgages. As a result, I would make one of my three top priorities as an At-Large Councilmember providing relief and support to our city’s retailers and commercial property owners to ensure that post-COVID-19, DC remains a viable, sustainable and attractive place for local customers, visitors, entrepreneurs and property owners alike. The alternative, a city of neighborhoods devoid of the types of unique, independent businesses that give DC the character that attracts residents and visitors would be lost, along with the substantial commensurate tax revenue that allows the District to thrive and support its citizens
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • 6
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • Follow the metrics
  • In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • During 20 years as an ANC and 16 years leading Shaw Main Streets, I have been an agent of change. My campaign’s slogan is Dreams Come True, because I want to help make every DC neighborhood’s dreams come true. I want to focus on affordable housing, equitable development, and helping our small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
       
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • Recenty, I have most often taken out from Unconventional Diner. But other favorites include The Dabney, Convivial. Espita, Tiger Fork, and Kinship.
       
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • Columbia Room and Service Bar are two of my favorites.
  • Quote from Barred in DC reader/follower
    • “I think you’ll find that Alex Padro has a proven, effective track record on all these issues, over his many years of leadership in the community… I’ve seen him do that over & over again; he’s been a tireless advocate for small businesses throughout Shaw— but also, as our ANC Commish, for housing, seniors, arts, culture, and our library and parks. He seems to know DC govt inside and out, and *actually makes things happen*”
    • “110%. Nobody knows this space like Alex Padro. We need someone with experience bridging the gap between government and the realities people are facing to help navigate these crazy times.”

Joe Bishop-Henchman (L) – Ward 5 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • Supported because the ballot description misleadingly said it was a minimum wage increase for everyone
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • No
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • The temporary alcohol-to-go and sidewalk dining rules should be made permanent, and the permitting process should be greatly eased.
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • 6
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • Follow the metrics
  • In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • If elected DC Council At-Large, I promise to hold WMATA accountable for their mistakes, be a watchdog on our $16 billion dollar budget, and clear obstacles out of the way of job creation and new housing. Vote Joe Bishop-Henchman for an independent voice on the Council.
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • Farmers & Distillers
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • Nellie’s

Will Merrifield (I) – Fair Elections, 623 donors (495 DC), Ward 7 Resident

  • Q: What did you think of the Council repealing the results of Initiative 77?
    • I do not agree with the Council overturning the will of the people. We voted, the initiative passed, and the votes should have stood as the last word on the issue.
  • Q: If you were a councilmember in July 2020, would you have voted for the proposed tax increase on DC incomes above $250,000? ($250-350K 8.5 to 8.75%, $350k-$1 million 8.75 to 8.95%, over $1 million 8.95% to 9%)
    • Yes.
      • He further added “I am a firm believer in making sure every DC resident can participate in our local economy, not just certain people. That means ensuring every person in the District can access safe, affordable housing; quality, neighborhood education; free, local preventative and emergency healthcare; and stable, living-wage jobs. That means we must raise taxes on those who can afford it in order to take care of all residents.”
  • Q: What is your top proposal that DC government can enact to help prevent more DC bars/restaurants from permanently closing, resulting in the loss of jobs in DC’s hospitality industry?
    • DC should provide direct capital injections for small businesses and fund a job program post pandemic. The capital injections would help stabilize small businesses and a jobs program would employ people who have lost work during the the pandemic, stabilize them and put money in their pockets that they would then spend in the local economy to jumpstart things post-pandemic.
  • Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being worst, 10 being great) how do your rate Mayor Bowser’s overall job performance this year?
    • I rate her performance as a 3.
      • He further added ” Each year the Mayor and Council give away hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to private  developers to build luxury apartments that are
        displacing working class DC residents, driving up rents for small businesses and making DC too expensive to live in generally. This policy of trickle down economics has led to vast inequality in our local schools and segregated the DC. If elected, I will focus on building non-means test truly affordable housing through a social housing model, invest in strong neighborhood schools, and focus implementing a jobs program post pandemic.”
  • Q: The surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland have reopened restaurants/bars to a greater extent than DC. Should DC follow suit now or should they follow the announced metrics relating to cases/spread/contact tracing?
    • I believe DC should focus on itself instead of worrying about what surrounding states have done in response to the Coronavirus. Both Virginia and Maryland have very rural areas within their states, and have to consider different factors when making their decisions to reopen businesses. I agree with the announced metrics, and am personally very cautious when it comes to protecting the health and well-being of Washingtonians.
  • In 280 characters or less, why should DC voters choose you as an At-Large Councilman? I will publish this with first 280 characters only (fit in one tweet)
    • I have been a frontline fighter with people facing displacement my entire career. I have fought, and will continue to fight, with you to make sure EVERYONE has a human right to stable and safe housing, world-class local education, and accessible local healthcare. willfordc.com
  • Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
    • Meze
  • Q: What is your favorite bar in DC?
    • Solly’s
  • Quotes from Barred in DC readers/followers
    • “Merrifield’s social housing plan is transformational – it challenges segregation of DC’s neighborhoods and schools in a truly novel way. White’s winning. He doesn’t need your vote. So vote for Lazere, but help demonstrate an appetite for profound change by also voting for Will.”

Robert White (D) – 1,069 donors (766 DC), Ward 4 Resident

Voting for DC’s ANC Candidates

Image by Mr.TinDC licensed under Creative Commons.

DC has nearly unpaid 300 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner positions, making up 40 separate ANCs comprising all of DC. ANCs have been in place since 1976; their role is mostly legally advisory, but in many cases, both in practice or actuality, they can serve as an effective veto or sign-off on development and bars/restaurants. It can be hard to follow ANC work as a resident but they can have a significant impact on your lives.

To that end, if you have no idea to vote for in the 2020 election which has started, I’ve asked people to reach out to me if they support nightlife as well as making it easier for bikers and pedestrians to live in DC. A number did,  who are listed below with verbatim quotes (excerpts if lengthy). I also reached out to people on my own to get their pulse on who would be probably candidates that they know of. Check out Open ANC  for more information and figure out your ANC. If you’re running for ANC in a competitive race and your SMD is not listed (or if you are a strong support of a candidate in a competitive race), email barredindc@gmail.com or Twitter DM @barredindc with a short statement.

Greater Greater Washington did a Herculean job soliciting statements and endorsing candidates. You should read here for more info but also for competitive races not listed below.

Those bolded mean that candidate or a voter proactively reached out. I did not do a full background check or study all their issues, so I’m sure there’s someone I regret here, this shouldn’t be considered an “endorsement.”

* means that GGWash also endorsed candidate
+ means GGWash endorsed another candidate in race

Competitive Races (more than 1 candidate) (NOTE – there are way more competitive races than these; these are just the ones I received feedback on)

  • 1C03: Peter Wood*
  • 1C04: Meghan Faulkner*
  • 1C08: FIona Clem*
  • 2A03: Trupti “Trip” J. Patel*
  • 2B01: Matthew H Sampson*
    • “I supported Anju, Pupatella, and Assets through their opening in my district. There was lots of blowback but I’m proud to have supported a diverse amount of restaurants and nightlife in my district. I’ve also voted in support of 20th and 17th protected bike lanes, and I recently got pedestrian safety infrastructure installed at 19th and S, 20th and S, and 19th and T intersections.”
  • 2B03: Robin Nunn*
    • “Having grown up in the DMV area, and living in Dupont Circle on 17th Street and R Street NW for many years, I’m devoted to ensuring that our community improves upon what came before, and that collectively we thrive.  My life’s work has been dedicated to this task and, as an ANC, I promise to help the Dupont Circle commission create change we all deserve for a neighborhood we can proudly call home.  This means addressing the bigger issues – like encouraging the District to enact transit-oriented development to increase the number of people who can shop in our businesses without driving to them– but it also requires addressing the day-to-day matters that affect us all here: transportation, rats!, liquor licenses.  As a representative to local government, I’ll encourage the DC Government to invest in start-ups and credits for small businesses and support nightlife.”
  • 2B04: Mo Pasternak*
  • 2B06: Mike Silverstein*
  • 2B09: Kyle Mulhall*
  • 2D01: Ashley Warren*
  • 2E02: Christopher “Topher” Mathews*
    • Fellow blogger, runs The Georgetown Metropolitan
  • 2F05: Sherene Joseph*
  • 2507: Rehenna Mohammed*
  • 3C05: Sauleh Siddiqui*
  • 3D08: Ben Bergmann*
  • 4A02: Stacey Lincoln
    • From frequent Twitter interactor: “Had one license matter with him and found him to be smart, committed and fair. Shepherd Park is always a challenge for ABC licensees, but he was great to deal with.”
  • 4C02: Maria Berry*
  • 4C07: Jacob Mason*
    • ” I’m a strong supporter of walking, cycling, and public transportation, both professionally and as an advocate. I live with my wife and 4-year-old without a car and travel mostly by bike and bus. I contributed to the Vision Zero Omnibus bill that recently passed the council. Upshur Street is in my single member district, and I strongly support the businesses there, and want to make my area a model of how businesses can succeed alongside residences. ANC 4C has already done a lot of proactive work to set clear guidelines for businesses, in terms of expectations, but to also protect those businesses operating within those guidelines from frivolous complaints, so they can focus on operating. In these challenging times for businesses, I want to push for more creative outdoor solutions to enable safe dining, as has been done successfully in other parts of DC.”
  • 4C08: Clara Haskell Bolstein+
    • “1) I’m definitely in favor of pedestrian and bike-friendly policies. As someone who doesn’t have a car or a license, I’m personally invested in this issue and in supporting public transit more generally. 🙂 .. 2) We don’t have a ton of nightlife in our SMD, but I definitely want to help local businesses, several of which are restaurants and bars, during this difficult time. The ANC has limited power, but can advocate for city resources and promote businesses through events and campaigns.”
  • 4D04: Zachary Israel*
  • 5A08: Gordon-Andrew Fletcher*
  • 5C01: Michael Triebwasser*
  • 5D03: Sean Barry*
    • From frequent Twitter interactor/voter: “I like his community engagement, The fact he has healthcare work on his resume (especially during a pandemic) and his focus on helping our with neighborhood trash cleanup and traffic issues.”
  • 5D05: Sydelle Moore*
  • 5D06: Zachary Hoffman+
    • DC bartender who’s been a longtime follower and has always been very transparent about the personal and business side. Working with an org called THIRSTExecutive VP of DC Bar and Restaurant Workers Alliance
    • Note that another voter recommended Marina Budimir* as she is sustainable planner for DC.
  • 6A01: Keya Chatterjee*
    • Followed me for awhile. Robb Dooling submitted statement for both of them
    • “2) Keya and I are champions of car-free living. We have a track record of getting DDOT projects done, especially in our successful campaigns for #GreenKSt (that brought bike lanes to K St NE and Florida Ave NE) – and #DCStreets4People, the precursor to DDOT’s current Slow Streets pilot. Neither of these are perfect yet but we’re eager to continue advocating at the ANC level. We also passed Greater Greater Washington’s “bus priority” resolution through ANC 6C to our west. 3) Keya and I absolutely support vibrant nightlife on H St NE. We’re currently pushing for more outdoor space for H Street’s small businesses and in touch with our districts’ business owners to advocate for them as well as we can. We particularly want to support rent relief and similar assistance for these small businesses if we become commissioners.”
  • 6A04: Amber Gove*
  • 6A05: Laura Gentile*
  • 6A06: Robb Dooling*
    • Followed me for awhile. I’m voting for him.
    • “2) Keya and I are champions of car-free living. We have a track record of getting DDOT projects done, especially in our successful campaigns for #GreenKSt (that brought bike lanes to K St NE and Florida Ave NE) – and #DCStreets4People, the precursor to DDOT’s current Slow Streets pilot. Neither of these are perfect yet but we’re eager to continue advocating at the ANC level. We also passed Greater Greater Washington’s “bus priority” resolution through ANC 6C to our west. 3) Keya and I absolutely support vibrant nightlife on H St NE. We’re currently pushing for more outdoor space for H Street’s small businesses and in touch with our districts’ business owners to advocate for them as well as we can. We particularly want to support rent relief and similar assistance for these small businesses if we become commissioners.”
  • 6A07: Dan Lee*
  • 6B03: Brian Ready+
    • Worked with him on ANC Alcohol committee. Seemed like an effective advocate for Barracks Row with good liaison
  • 6B07: Edward Ryder (write-in)
  • 6B08: Peter Wright*
  • 6B09: Alison Horn*
    • ” I hear a lot from my neighbors about the need to make our district more bike and pedestrian-friendly and I would hope to keep up the good work of my predecessor and residents of my SMD who have been pushing the 6B transpiration committee to improve bike safety with protected bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave SE, 17th Street, and adding more bike path connections to the Anacostia Riverfront Trail. Neighbors also want traffic calming measures on Potomac Ave between 17th and 19th and I would advocate for that as well. 3) currently, nightlife in my SMD is non-existent, unless you count movie nights and activities in congressional cemetery. I’d like to see more nightlife within walking distance of my district, which is entirely residential. In neighboring SMDs, there are some old staples like Trusty’s, and some new arrivals like the bars/restaurants in the Roost, and I would be excited to see more of that in areas walkable from my SMD, as well as in Reservation 13, which is in Ward 7, but borders my SMD.”
  • 6C04: Mark Eckenweiler*
    • Entertaining/informative Twitter account though we don’t follow each other
  • 6D07: Edward Daniels
    • Excerpt of long statement “…I have remained honest, transparent, and have worked tirelessly to hold myself, my colleagues, and others in positions of power as accountable as possible for both their actions and their inaction in regards to making our community one of the most amazing places to live. …The fight for my second term and my goals remain rather simple. Life is short, efficiency is key, and accountability is a must.  The past two years have revealed so many flaws in the system of politics and the people who continue to break and slow down that system. The death of George Floyd and subsequent protests really sparked my thoughts and frustrations with failed systems and has really informed my mode of operation as I enter this second term.”
  • 6E02: Alex Lopez*
    • Frequent Twitter interactor: “basically forced the ANC to start a transportation committee as a resident and has pushed some pretty great projects (K street NW notably) and has made it his #1 issue to get 9th street lanes built.
  • 6E04: Rachelle Nigro*
    • Longtime follower, seems like doing solid work
  • 8A07: Steven Tiller
    • Frequent Twitter interactor/Voter: “In our area of ward 8 (Hillsdale) we’re experiencing a changing of the guards if you will between the elders and the younger people. Steven is equipped to bridge the gap between the young and old. He’s also someone who supports growth and development but not at the risk of our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Only One Candidate, But Person Reached Out Anyways

  • 2F01: Brian Romanowski
    • “2. Yes, I support actions that make it easier for people to walk, bike, and take public transportation. I am a member of the Washington Area Bicyclist Assocation and their Ward 1 & 2 Safe Streets Advocacy Committee. I represent Ward 2 on the Mayor’s Recreational Trails Advisory Committee. I do not have and do not plan to get a car while I live in the District. I bike, walk, run, scooter, bus, Metro, or Uber/Lyft anywhere that I go, primarily walking and biking.”
  • 5D07: Stephen Cobb
    • Long-time follower, met him once at Last Call. Had a long thoughtful comment so will just post part.
    • “I am strongly in support of actions that make it easier for people to exclusively travel via bike or walking. Biking is my main mode of transportation throughout the District, especially now in the era of social distancing. We have several street redesigns coming to my ANC, and I am very excited about them. … I support a vibrant nightlife scene in my ANC. While it sometimes feels like H Street is the primary nightlife area near 5D, my ANC has great potential for its own vibrant nightlife scene in two types of areas: (1) the mixed-use areas of Union Market and Ivy City; and (2) the commercial corridors of Bladensburg and Benning Roads….”

DC to Award $6,000 Grants to DC Restaurants/Bars to Winterize Outdoor Spaces – Application Open September 21st

Today, at the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) awards (the RAMMY’s), Shawn Townsend, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife & Culture (DCMONC) along with Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio, announced the “Streatery Winter Ready Grant Program.”

Under the $4 million program, DCMONC will issue $6,000 grants to “help businesses defray outdoor dining winterization costs.” These one-time grants will be provided to establishments that are offering outdoor dining in the District for future costs only for outdoor dining winterization purposes and to maintain outdoor dining operations to include tents, heaters, propane, lighting, furniture, advertising/marketing of business, and outdoor dining operational costs. The FAQ provides helpful information.

Only independent and locally-owned businesses can apply. “Non-local franchises” are ineligible (such as IHOP, Denny’s, or McDonald’s). There are also requirements for EITHER 1) 50% ownership by DC residents 2) 50% gross receipts originated in DC OR 3) 50% employees are DC residents, but prong #2 should mean 99.9% of restaurants can qualify. I can only speculate about why non-local spots (who admittedly contribute some tax revenue and employee DC residents) were not included but here are some ideas 1) limited amount of funds and want to focus on businesses who don’t potentially have a parent company who could provide support and 2) the whole point for supporting local businesses is so DC isn’t exclusively chain restaurants or out-of-town owners in a few years. Townsend supported this explanation saying, “Although we appreciate the non-locals, the focus of this grant-with the limited resources we have, was to support the locally-owned estabs.”

Before applying, the establishment will need to either make sure it has an active patio (summer garden or sidewalk cafe permit/endorsement) or approved streatery application. If the business is operating via a BID/Main Street parklet/application, then it will need to get a copy of the temporary permit from the BID/Main Street and submit with applicaiton.

The application goes live, tomorrow, Monday, September 21st. Significantly, businesses who seek the funds have to provide a budget how the funds will be utilized, if awarded, and will be required to show the funds are spent no later than November 30th, including receipts and paid invoices (quotes are not enough).

Funds disbursement will begin on October 1st on a rolling basis. If all awardees receive $6,000, there will be 666/667 awards made.

Note, as of May there were approximately 800 open establishments that serve alcohol permitted to serve booze outdoors in DC (plus other non-alcohol serving spots like a Cava). Out of the roughly 600 approved “streateries,” only about 1/3 (around 200) don’t already have approved outdoor space. I don’t expect that many non-alcohol serving spots (most of which already just cater to takeout) to apply, so let’s say there are potentially 900 spots who are eligible to apply. I would be surprised if there isn’t enough money for all applicants

My reaction is that this more than I expected. I had argued last week that DC needs to do something, and I was hoping just for bulk purchase pricing on heaters and reduced fire permit fees. The grant program doesn’t include reduced or waived fees, but I’ve been told that news of that should be coming soon. Although for many (most?) spots, this won’t pay for full winterization (heaters that restaurants use can cost $1500/each, portable heaters you may use for your own patio are a few hundred), $6000 is meaningful and will allow spots to get some revenue this winter for on-premises dining/drinking and may cause some spots to decide not to close for the winter (or permanently).

But still, every single restaurant owner would tell you: just like if their spot has filled their outdoor/streatery tables doesn’t mean they are not losing a ton of $$, same goes if they receive this grant from DC. For most indoor revenue >>>>>outdoor revenue (not to mention loss of holiday party revenue, which is massive in many neighborhoods in DC) and even a heated outdoor space isn’t going to replace that money. So keep hoping Federal government/Congress will provide financial support (there’s only limited, targeted funds from DC like this otherwise), and keep supporting the spots you want to make it to the other side.

Also, if your favorite restaurant isn’t on social media and/or has language barriers or other issues, try to alert them to existence of this program.