East Side News

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Old House, New Tenants
The District’s oldest fire house has a new tenant. The team behind Pub and the People, a destination bar on North Capitol Street in Eckington, has taken over the beautiful and storied Sixth Engine Fire House, breathing new life, and new food, into the old walls.

Fresh look at the new Present Company Public House. Photo: Under a Bushel Photography

Opened in early August, the new venture is called Present Company Public House. The fire house may date back to 1855, but the interior has a new life and new modern feel. The walls are still exposed brick with the same markings that denote the fire house’s history, but the new bar is sleek wood with shelves behind it that stretch all the way to the ceiling filled with bottles, mixers and some neighborhood treasures.

“We wanted to bring the neighborhood pub to another neighborhood,” explains co-owner Nick Bernel.  “It’s clear that more and more people are moving to DC to make it their home, rather than just for a career springboard. We want to make Present Company a place for them to gather and meet each other.”

Nick and his Pub and the People co-owners Matt Murphy and Brittany Ryan met while working together in Georgetown and created the Pub and the People concept and opened in their northeast location in 2015. They hope their new venture brings together the neighborhood in the way that Pub and the People helped define the often-under-utilized section of North Capitol Street.

“We are excited about meeting an entirely different neighborhood and evolving with them,” said Bernel. You can often find him behind the bar, practicing what he preaches.

Present Company Public House is open for lunch (!) and dinner, closing after the late night crowd has a last drink around 2 a.m. Happy hour runs from 4-7 p.m. and includes $2 Off Draft Beers, $4 Rail Drinks, $6 House Red, White and Rose, $6 Pitter-Patter Combo, $10 Draft Combo and happy hour food specials.

“ONE,” a new artwork by Hiroshi Jacobs in Mount Vernon Triangle Photo: Ryan Maxwell Photography

New Perspective in MVT
Mount Vernon Triangle is giving people a new perspective on art. The new artwork installation that sits on busy K Street NW between 3rd and 4th streets is designed to stimulate the eyes and create conversation.

MVT has commissioedn the artwork from artist Hiroshi Jacobs. “One,” as the piece is called, is designed to “be interactive, encourage conversation, build connections and deepen understanding on important topics that reflect current events with broad social impact. It is both an artwork and a gathering space for conversations based around the idea of Perspectives, the objective of which is to facilitate hyper-local, community-based dialogues that educate, empower and engage neighbors to work for the better while considering alternative point(s) of view.”

In early October, the Mount Vernon Triangle CID held a dedication for the work that included a lighting ceremony, live music from Benjamin Gates on cello, and an introduction to the piece from the artist. “One is about building connections between people,” explained Jacobs. “There are two pods that are similar, and yet different. One is tall and dark while the other is shorter and bright, but they are both round and filled with color. Together the two pieces are called One because while each pod is meant to be a very personal experience for one person, it is shared with another person who is having a similar experience in the other pod. The two come together and become one. My hope is that this shared spatial experience can create a platform for discussion about our shared human experience and in that way help to build an empathetic community.”

MVT CID President Kenyattah Robinson explained why this piece is so important to the neighborhood. ““The inspiration behind One was for it to be more than a piece of art, which itself is an amazing stand-alone contribution, but also the embodiment of an idea that directly relates to Mount Vernon Triangle’s status as a ‘nexus community’ that is accepting of and welcoming to a diversity of perspectives,” said Robinson. “Art adds texture to our communities and is critical to helping people and places achieve their full potential.”

“One” is scheduled to remain in MVT for two years.dining

Taylor Barden Golden is a real estate agent with The Stokes Group at McEnearney Associates, Inc. A former Hill staffer, Taylor lives in Brentwood with her husband, two dogs, and a cat. She’s always on the lookout for new places to explore and ways to spend time outside. Get in touch: taylor@midcitydcnews.com; @rtaylorb.