Shaw Business Saturday/Holiday Tree Lighting

The Holiday Train at the City Market at O Holiday Celebration. Photo: Alexander Padro, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets.

Roadside Development started off the holiday season this year by closing down Jeff Coudriet Way on the afternoon of Saturday, November 26 to make City Market at O the center of the neighborhood’s celebration. A miniature holiday train moved around the complex, while a funk band played. A Rockland’s Barbeque truck provided food, a stand from Dolce Gelati gave out free frozen treats and the plant-based Oyster Oyster restaurant showcased unusual wine varieties. Shaw Main Streets offered hot apple cider and holiday sweets and Bozzuto Management introduced people to the apartment units opening up at the Intersect at O building across the street by setting up a do-it-yourself smores table.

November 26 also marked Shaw Business Saturday, the neighborhood’s version of the national Small Business Saturday push to give prominence to local small businesses during the shopping season. This year, Shaw Main Streets offered $5,000 worth of their ever-popular Shawbucks, five dollar-denominated coupons that could be used at 23 neighborhood businesses on that day. The Shawbucks seemed to do the trick to inspire purchases right after Thanksgiving, with businesses reporting sales to hundreds of Shawbuck-bearing customers.

At sundown, City Market developer Richard Lake led the countdown for the lighting of the City Market at O Holiday Tree.

TD Bank celebrates opening its Shaw branch. Photo: Alexander Padro, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets.

New Businesses in Shaw

Shaw saw a number of new businesses open over the past month. The Shaw outpost (1547 Seventh Street NW) of the well-regarded Ambar group of Balkan restaurants will offer both fine dining as well as prepared food and bakery items. Anna’s Market (1314 Ninth Street NW) is providing fruit and vegetable smoothies that provide medicinal value. And the 1819 Seventh Street virtual food hall saw the opening of Doro Soul Food from Melange restaurant’s chef/owner Elias Taddesse, who will meld the flavors of Ethiopia to traditional American Soul Food. There are also two new bank branches, Chase Bank (850 O Street NW) and TD Bank. The opening of TD Bank (1924 Eight Street NW) on the afternoon of November 17 was a big event with food, music, games and a photo booth for attendees. The event was marked by a presentation of a $20,000 check from TD Bank to the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University as part of its effort to support the creative work of communities of color. The school’s dean, actress Phylicia Rashad, was on hand to accept the check.

Shaw Businesses Get Attention

Forbes Magazine interviewed Siddarth Dilawri, owner of Shaw’s Modern Liquors and the founder of Filibuster Distillery. The legendary business magazine interviewed Dilawri to discover how he got into the whiskey distilling business and became one of the new leaders that are “challenging stubborn norms of what a whiskey maker ought to look like or where they ought to come from.”

The Eighteenth Street Lounge, which is now at 1230 Ninth Street, won the award for Bar of the Year from the online magazine Eater DC. The multilevel establishment with live acts on each floor hopes to maintain its reputation as a creative hangout, credited as the wellspring of the internationally-known act Thievery Corporation.

The annual reader’s poll by the Washington City Paper, now online, gave plaudits to a number of Shaw businesses. Reformation Fitness won for Best Pilates Studio, while nearby District Pilates was runner up in the category. The Best Tailor in the poll was Cheryl A. Lofton & Associates, with next door neighbor A Divine Shine coming in as runner up for Best Shoe Repair. Andy’s Pizza won the prizes for Best Pizza and Best Pizza Slice. The 9:30 Club won for Best Music Venue and Best Event Venue. Oohhs and Aahhs was voted DC’s Best Soul Food Restaurant, El Rinconcito Café was the Best Salvadorian Restaurant and Chercher Ethiopian Restaurant got Best Ethiopian Restaurant in the poll. Right Proper Brewing Company won the poll for Best Brew Pub and El Techo came out on top for Best Rooftop Bar. Finally, Cracked Eggery got the most votes for Best Hangover Breakfast.

Revelers pick up Shawbucks to spend on Small Business Saturday.
Photo: Alexander Padro, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets.

U.S.-Africa Summit at the Washington Convention Center

President Biden will host leaders from across the African continent at the Washington Convention Center on December 13-15, 2022, for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The Summit, which will bring delegations from 45 countries, will demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa, and will underscore the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities.

The need for security at the summit will impose some restrictions on movement in Shaw. Mount Vernon Place, Seventh and Ninth Streets surrounding the Convention Center will be totally closed to traffic, as well as some of the side streets around the center. There will be fencing to limit movement, but pedestrians will be able to use the sidewalks. The Mount Vernon Square Metro Station will also be shut down to passengers during the summit. WMATA buses will go down alternative routes. Signs marking no-parking zones will go up as soon as December 1 but will not take effect until December 8. Initiatives to shut down traffic will start on December 12.