Bloomingdale Gets in Shape

The art at Sylvan Bakery and Cafe depicts the Sylvan Theatre of the mid-1900s. The owners plan to bring the iconic sign back to working order.

Health and Fitness
“We were looking for an opportunity to have a health focus in the neighborhood. There are some resources out there, but they’re not together in one place. This is a great opportunity for people with health-focused goals to come together.”

Bloomingdale Civic Association (BCA) President Teri Janine Quinn offered those words to a dozen locals who gathered at Bloomingdale’s Big Bear Cafe at the Feb. 13 inaugural meeting of the Bloomingdale Health and Fitness Committee.

Quinn and some others began fleshing out ideas for the committee as early as 2015, but it’s only now starting to take shape. The meeting was kicked off by committee chair Charlie Cummings, who was charged with building the group by Quinn and the BCA. “We have a lot of parks, a lot of energy, and a lot of people who like to cook healthy,” Cummings started. “Why isn’t there any central resource for recreation and fun stuff?”

Quinn and Cummings laid out the conceptual goals of the group’s work. According to Quinn, the BCA and residents want coordinated efforts for group exercise. St. George’s Episcopal Church, where the BCA holds its monthly community meetings, has offered space for free exercise classes if the committee can find instructors, she added. She also said the community is looking for group athletic competitions, such as 5K races, as well as guidelines for healthy eating at local restaurants and healthy recipes from the area’s chefs.

Cummings pointed out that the mark of a successful health and fitness organization will be the ability to provide resources and activities not just for young professionals, but for children, seniors, and everyone in between. Said Quinn, “We want to be a resource for any resident looking to get healthy.”

Many of the attendees came with ideas for events and outreach. Suggestions included a community running club, adult swimming classes, a website and newsletter, and a community health day/fair featuring events like tug of war and three-legged races. “We shouldn’t think so big that we run ourselves into the ground,” Quinn said, “but we are the standard,” noting that this is the first committee of its type among the nearby neighborhoods.

One suggestion featured an historical aspect. A resident noted that in the early 1900s Bloomingdale residents partook in “coasting,” the practice of roping off a street on an incline during a snowstorm for families to bring their kids to sled and play in the snow. “I love the historical aspect,” Cummings said. “Coasting is a term that’s 100 years old but still sounds like a lot of fun today.”

Many of the suggestions referred to incorporating existing classes and resources into the efforts of the committee. “A lot of this is already available,” Cummings said; “it’s just a matter of getting this information in one place and getting it out there.”

The committee is creating a master list of healthy living resources available in Bloomingdale and in DC. Anyone with ideas or healthy living expertise, or who just wants to join the committee, can email Charlie Cummings at

The Bloomingdale Health and Fitness Committee meets at the Big Bear Cafe, 1700 First St. NW.

Neighborhood Notes: Restaurant News
Sylvan Bakery and Cafe, occupying the former space of Grassroots Gourmet, opened in early February and has had tremendous success. The bakery offers cupcakes, cookies (including the incredibly popular peanut butter cookie), enormous croissants, and sandwiches – the most popular of which is the mozzarella and tomato. Sylvan offers Swing’s Coffee and Numi Organic Tea, both brewed and packaged. Sylvan is at 104 Rhode Island Ave. NW and

The Red Hen in Bloomingdale was featured in the 2017 DC Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list – high-quality restaurants where customers can get two courses and a drink or dessert for $40 or less. Find the Red Hen at 1822 First St. NW and

Rito Loco, at 606 Florida Ave. NW and, plans to open a roof deck, according to a placard in the window.

The former home to Rustik, 84 T St. NW, will reopen this spring as Tyber Creek Wine Bar & Kitchen, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, Owners Jordan and Jonathan Stahl announced in a posting: “Tyber Creek will be a comfortable neighborhood restaurant offering wood-fired seasonal food such as roasted meats & vegetables, flatbreads, fresh salads, house-baked bread, and cheese boards. Our beverage program will offer a curated and affordable wine list, specialty cocktails, and beer on tap.”

Neighborhood Notes: Construction
Miller Development has released new renderings of its ongoing project to build a 59-unit community called Beagle Square in the alley bordered by Adams Street, Flagler Place, W Street, and Second Street NW. The renderings can be viewed at The project will be completed in 2018.

Development is in full swing at the future site of The Truxton, a luxury apartment complex that will occupy the building formerly home to DCity Smokehouse and next door to Wicked Bloom (10 Florida Ave. NW). The building will have eight luxury apartments and ground-floor retail establishments and is being constructed by Brick Lane Development. Find out more about The Truxton at

Max Moline is a communications specialist living in DC. He frequents Nationals Park and enjoys writing about food as much as he does eating it. He’s always looking for new places to try. Rooftops and cigar lounges are a plus! Get in touch:; @MaxMoline425.