Grants Available for Northern Shaw Businesses
A new development grant opportunity for small businesses in northern Shaw has been announced. The 965 Florida Avenue NW Local Retailers Assistance Program will provide financial support to businesses in proximity to The Wren, a mixed-use development being built at 965 Florida Ave. NW. Applicants must be retail businesses incorporated in the District of Columbia and located within the geographic boundaries of the program. Businesses within the boundaries of S Street, Seventh Street/Georgia Avenue, Harvard Street and 12th Street NW are eligible for grants.
Successful applications must demonstrate the potential for increased sales and a positive impact on the commercial business corridor through capital improvements and/or marketing investments.
Shaw Main Streets Inc., which has been designated the administrator of the program, will award grants to businesses that meet the eligibility requirements. Projects eligible for funding include storefront and interior improvements, acquisition of permanent equipment and marketing services.
Shaw Main Streets Inc. intends to award a total of $100,000 in grant funding, using funds provided by MRP Realty as part of the planned unit development for The Wren, as approved by the DC Zoning Commission. The average expected grant amount will be $5,000, up to a maximum of $10,000, based on the funds available and the potential impact of the project as rated by a neighborhood advisory committee.
Applications for these grants are due by 11:59 p.m. on April 2, 2018. Applicants will be notified of their award status by May 2, 2018. More information on the program is available at www.shawmainstreets.org.
Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Coming Back to Shaw
The Drink Company has announced their next boozy pop-up, a spring return to the cherry blossom theme. The Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar (PUB), stretching over all three Drink Company bars on the 1800 block of Seventh Street NW, opened on March 1, celebrating cherry blossom season in DC as well as in Japan, the source of the cherry trees in our Tidal Basin.
This year’s Cherry Blossom PUB will feature five times the blossoms of last year’s pop-up, plus a garden room of one thousand paper monarch butterflies. There will also be a recreation of Tokyo’s Memory Lane, a famous alley known for dozens of bars, late night eating and colorful lanterns. Japanese culture is also celebrated in this year’s pop-up with a 10-foot Godzilla facing his arch-nemesis Mothra, in a room with a mural commemorating his stomp through the islands. The sound of an air raid siren causes this animatronic Godzilla to move and emit a blast of atomic breath.
The drink menu for the pop-up continues the monster theme with the cocktails There Goes Tokyo, Love Crazed Monster Crushes World and A God, an Alpha Predator, Godzilla. More sedate concoctions emphasize sake, Japanese whiskey, sochu and other flavors of the East. There are even two cherry blossom beers on the menu, as well as Japanese sodas.
This year, for the first time, the Drink Company will partner with the National Cherry Blossom Festival for its celebration. March 20 will be designated a special Festival Night at Cherry Blossom PUB, where 100 percent of ticket sales will go to the festival’s nonprofit organization. The bar will also join with the Washington City Paper Peep Diorama Contest to display the top 10 peep dioramas in the popular spring art competition, from March 22 to April 2. The Cherry Blossom PUB will be open through April 28.
Shaw Main Streets Holds Annual Meeting
Shaw Main Streets will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, March 20, at 7 p.m., at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC Hotel, 901 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Admission is free and no tickets or reservations are required.
This annual event features an overview of the organization’s work the previous year to promote businesses along Shaw’s Seventh Street and Ninth Street commercial corridors. There will also be remarks from city officials, a release of the organization’s 2017 annual report and election of Shaw Main Streets board members. Finally, the formal part of the meeting will close with the announcement of the winners of the awards for Best New Shaw Business of 2017, as voted by the public. (See Shaw Main Streets ad in this issue for details on voting for your choice among the 34 new businesses that opened last year.) A closing reception with free food and beverages concludes the event, sponsored by the Marriott Marquis Washington DC Hotel and Shaw Main Streets.