Shaw Clean and Safe Team Expands

Shaw Streets

The New Shaw 11th Street Clean and Safe Team with Career Path DC managers. Photo: Pleasant Mann

The Shaw Clean and Safe Team, which keeps the neighborhood’s commercial corridors tidy, has expanded. At the beginning of the new DC fiscal year, the team gained the responsibility of managing 11th Street NW, along with its previous territory along the Seventh and Ninth Street corridors.

Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto was able to identify funding in the FY2023 budget to bring these services to 11th Street, between Massachusetts Avenue and S Street NW. The Shaw Clean and Safe Team is managed by Shaw Main Streets, with a Commercial Clean Team grant from the Department of Small and Local Business Development.  Funds from developers’ Planned Unit Development amenities packages supplement the DSLBD grant. 

Each team sweeps curbs, collects trash, recyclables and leaves, maintains tree boxes, abates graffiti in public space and serves as public safety “eyes and ears” in their service areas. Contractor Career Path DC hires returning citizens and others in need to serve as team members. Crew members are provided with intensive life skills and job readiness training, focusing on obtaining and maintaining employment, acceptable workplace behaviors, overcoming barriers, tree care and other skills. Team members receive ongoing supportive services to assist them with achieving the ultimate goals of self-sufficiency and enhanced career opportunities.

The two new members of the Shaw Clean and Safe Team, Demetrius and Dajon, hope that their work on 11th Street will encourage residents and visitors to also help keep Shaw’s commercial corridors clean by properly disposing of trash.

Shaw Works to Protect Seaton Students

After a parent and student were recently hit by a car while walking to Seaton Elementary School, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Alex Lopez called together community stakeholders to help identify solutions to pedestrian safety challenges along a common walk-to-school route. A group of about 40 students and parents assembled at the intersection of Q and Sixth Streets on the morning of October 11, including Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto, Seaton Principal Veronica Torres, Seaton Parent/Teacher Organization President Adam Taylor, Shaw Main Streets Executive Director Alexander Padro and three team members from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), including its Ward 2 Coordinator.

Shaw stakeholders meet to improve safe travel to Seaton Elementary School. Photo: Alexander Padro

As the group moved down Q Street, they pointed out potential hazards for pedestrians and possible solutions. The speed of automobile traffic was a major concern. Commissioner Lopez suggested establishing a turn hardening crosswalk at the intersection of Q and Sixth. Making 10th Street on east-bound Rhode Island Avenue “No Turn on Red” was another proposal. There were also calls for building a raised crosswalk at Q and Rhode Island or even closing Q Street in front of Seaton Elementary. The DDOT representatives ended the walk by promising to review and respond to all the group’s observations and to come up with recommended solutions to the problems identified in the Seaton walkthrough.

Shaw Still Pretty Gay

While the Washington Blade newspaper no longer gives out awards for Best Gayborhood, the results of its most recent reader’s poll for the Best of LGBTQ DC Awards show that Shaw is still pretty Gay. In the all-important categories involving drinking, Shaw establishments ruled, with Uproar getting the award for Best Outdoor Drinking on its third-floor deck, Dacha Beer Garden declared best LGBTQ Friendly Bar, and Kiki winning the title of Best ABSOLUT Happy Hour in its first year of operation. Next door, the Dirty Goose won the Blade’s Editor’s Choice for Best Neighborhood Bar. The award for Best Pizza went to Andy’s Pizza, Compass Coffee won the reader’s poll for the fifth consecutive year for Best Coffee Shop and Shaw’s Tavern became an Editor’s Choice for Best Outdoor Dining. The nationally renowned 9:30 Club won the award for Best Live Music in DC, while the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC was declared the Best House of Worship in the poll.

New Shaw Businesses on the Way

Progress continues on the Shaw business development front. A new outpost of national chain Blank Street Coffee has already opened at 1847 Seventh Street NW. The small storefront’s selling point is offering craft coffee drinks at a lower price than competitors, along with faster service.

A much bigger deal is the opening of a Shaw branch of Ambar, the popular and well-regarded local restaurants offering Balkan cuisine. The new restaurant, at 1547 Seventh Street NW, will revitalize a long-suffering corner of the intersection. The Ambar in Shaw plans to open in early November, with seating on two floors, an area for prepared items like spreads, meats and baked goods, and even a window to handle takeout orders. Eventually, they will have an outdoor dining area. Ivan Iricanin, head of Ambar’s parent company Street Guys Hospitality, told the Washington Business Journal, “Shaw, I knew, was going to be a hot spot nine years ago, and I wanted to be the first one coming in. Now, I’m the last one, but I still believe in the area.” 

The Logan Circle Laundromat at 11th and Rhode Island closed at the end of October. Rumors are that the site may be developed as a new restaurant.

And the years-long question “Is the 7-Eleven going to reopen?” finally has an answer. The 7-Eleven Corporation has announced that they are reopening the store on the corner of Seventh Street and Rhode Island Avenue. Neighbors had wondered if the 7-Eleven, which had been closed following a fire, was ever coming back. 

President Biden spoke from the stage of Shaw’s historic Howard Theatre. Photo courtesy Democratic National Committee

Mr. Biden Goes to the Howard

On October 18th, President Joseph R. Biden came to Shaw to deliver an address on protecting reproductive freedom. From the stage of the Howard Theatre, surrounded by American flags and women holding red, white and blue “Defend Choice” and “Restore Roe” signs, the president exhorted the crowd to ”vote, vote, vote” so that an expanded Congressional majority could send legislation codifying the recently overturned Roe v. Wade decision to his desk for signature, restoring a right that Americans had enjoyed for half a century. Footage and photographs of POTUS and the cheering crowd appeared on network television for weeks afterward.