Shaw Streets

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Eat.Drink.Shaw returns to the Howard Theater. Photo: Pleasant Mann.

Eat.Drink.Shaw. Returns to the Howard Theater

Eat.Drink.Shaw., Shaw Main Streets’ celebration of the neighborhood’s wide spectrum of eating and drinking establishments, returned to the Howard Theater on the evening of June 14. This was the first time that Shaw Main Streets was able to put on this event since 2019.

Eat.Drink.Shaw. featured the work of recently opened restaurants in Shaw, including the French fare of Petite Cerise, Vietnamese from Pho House, and the Balkan cuisine of Ambar Shaw. Other newcomers to the event since its last iteration included Nina May, Pearl’s Bagels, Stop Smack’n, FishScale, Motown Square Pizza, Ghostburger and Qui Qui. Michelin Guide Washington listed participants included Chaplin’s, Chercher, Tiger Fork and Unconventional Diner. Neighborhood standards included Dacha Beer Garden, 801, Shaw’s Tavern, Right Proper Brewing Company, Seylou Bakery, Dolci Gelati and Zeppelin.

The spread of Ethiopian dishes presented by Michelin Guide restaurant Chercher at Eat.Drink.Shaw. Photo: Pleasant Mann.

The floor of the Howard was crowded with people sampling the wares of the celebrated Shaw establishments. Attendees included Councilmembers Brooke Pinto, Brianne Nadeau and DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson. At the end of the night, Shaw Main Streets Executive Director Alexander Padro noted that the event marked the organization’s 20th anniversary and that Shaw Main Streets held the national records for funds raised at a Main Street event. Principal sponsors of this year’s event included Roadside Development, Beyond Collective, Amazon, Pepco, Events DC, Mid City Development, U Street Parking, Capital Community News, Blue Sky Development, Bond Bread Partnership (Edens, FiveSquares & Menkiti Group), DC Water, Douglas Development, Dumas Collective, Cheryl Lofton & Associates, Lee’s Flower & Card Shop and Miller Copying Service.

Oyster Oyster Chef Rob Rubba Wins James Beard Award

Rob Rubba, chef of the celebrated plant-based restaurant Oyster Oyster in Shaw, has received the James Beard Award as Outstanding Chef in the nation for 2023. The prestigious James Beard Award for culinary excellence is one of the few contests where just being nominated is an honor, with Rubba besting 20 semifinalists and five finalists to win the national award this year.

Oyster Oyster was nominated for a Beard award last year for Best New Restaurant but did not win. The small Michelin-starred establishment has also become notable as a champion of sustainability, going to great lengths to limit food and energy waste. The restaurant also has an adjacent oyster garage/wine bar next door, a six-seat party room set up for relaxed dining, meaning oyster-laden pizzas.

Wanda Henderson (center) receives award from the Greater Washington DC Black Chamber of Commerce.
Photo: Alexander Padro, Courtesy of Shaw Main Streets.

Shaw Bars are the Tops

When Fritz Hahn, the Washington Post’s bar critic, developed his list of the 10 best rooftop bars in town, based on their views and reasonable prices, four of them were located in Shaw. 801, at Eighth and Florida, is the spot for cheap cocktails and snacks until 8:00 p.m. At DC9, Hahn notes that “the cozy music venue is also home to one of the best low-key rooftops around.” He suggests that people “arrive early to the claim room to spread out” at LGBT favorite The Dirty Goose on U Street. Finally, there is the recently reopened Whitlow’s on the corner of Ninth and U Streets. The rooftop includes a wheel of fortune, where drinkers can win prizes, such as a bucket of beer.

Shaw Businesswoman Wanda Henderson Honored

Wanda Henderson, proprietor of Shaw’s Wanda’s on 7th salon, was honored by the Greater Washington DC Black Chamber of Commerce at their 2023 Juneteenth Art of Black Business Soiree on June 13 at the Hamilton Hotel. The event honored the resilience of local Black businesses and highlighted the renaissance and growth of the local Black business community. Henderson, a longtime Shaw businesswoman, received the organization’s Business Resilience and Cultural Preservation Award.

Japer Bowles, Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGTBQ Affairs, receives a hand-painted Pride helmet
for Mayor Bowser from Kimberley Bush, Executive Director of the DC Center for the LGBT Community.
Photo: Alexander Padro, Courtesy of Shaw Main Streets.

LGBTQ+ Center Breaks Ground in Shaw

The DC Center for the LGBT Community and Capital Pride Alliance held a ceremonial groundbreaking at its new location at 1827 Wiltberger Street NW in Shaw, Wednesday afternoon, June 28. The new center will be larger than their former space, allowing an expansion of services at the new center. The architectural plans for the new center included dedicated therapy rooms, a larger food pantry, wellness spaces, an expanded state-of-the-art cyber lounge and a larger Community Closet for underhoused/displaced community members. A pledge from Wegmans to support the food pantry was announced at the groundbreaking. The new center was facilitated by a $1 million grant from the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The new DC Center for the LGBT Community and Capital Pride Alliance will open later this year.