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And another one’s gone. Hempburger Cafe & Juice Bar closed over the weekend after providing healthy options on H Street NE corridor, reports City Paper’s Laura Hayes. It’s just the latest example of a small business struggling to survive and thrive in this expensive city.

Owner Khepra Anu’s troubles started over the summer when his building owner John C. Formantsought to evict his raw food and juice business from 408 H St. NE over three months of missed rent. Anu had been selling affordable juices on H street since 2011, just operating out of another business. When he decided to expand, Anu had difficulty getting grants and loans. 

Anu and Formant eventually worked it out, reaching a court settlement through meditation. All seemed well for awhile. His business showed promise, with H Street NE being a dining destination for vegan cuisine. It’d be the perfect home to Anu’s dishes like coconut “crabcakes” and avocado quinoa chili. 

But that didn’t last long. Formant died in October, and Anu says his family members stepped in to discontinue the Hempburger Cafe & Juice Bar lease.     

“You hate to see an iconic business like Khepra’s leave the corridor, but it was somewhat predictable given that Whole Foods came in and opened a juice bar less than a block away,” says Elizabeth Glover, the founder of Hot Yoga Capitol Hill and neighbor to Hempburger Cafe & Juice Bar. 

Hear from Anu, who manages to remain optimistic. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • What we can learn from the death of Alice Carter, one of 117 District residents experiencing homelessness who died in 2019. Carter’s death was preventable—she sought help but the city’s safety net failed her. [Post]  

  • Federal government still owes D.C. $80K for trash pickup during last year’s government shutdown. [DCist]

  • “After all the damage, now they want to sell?:” SE charter school is leaving before it opens. [WUSA9]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Mayor Muriel Bowserhas a short message for the White House. [Twitter]

  • The D.C. metro area needs stronger ethics reform, writes Post analyst Robert McCartney. [Post]

  • Journalists seeking press credentials in Richmond are asked to identify their race. [WAMU]

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YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Dig into a creative Caribbean brunch this weekend from Chef Natasha Allicock. [WCP]

  • A craft brewery is bound for Brookland. [WBJ]

  • A blogger and a brewpub are teaming up on a crowd-sourced brew. [Barred in DC]

  • The new lemon Girl Scout cookie lacks flavor. [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Just Mercyis a worthy portrait of a true-life fight for freedom. [WCP]

  • A proposed law in Virginia would limit the censorship of public school student journalists. [Post]

  • D.C.-base dance company Step Afrika! celebrates 25 years of rhythm. [WAMU]

  • Charlene V. Smith chats about her history-making eight play cycle staging of Shakespeare. [DC Theatre Scene]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Wizards have converted Anžejs Pasečņiks’ two-way contract into a standard NBA deal. The 7-1 center from Latvia has exceeded all expectations—even his own—while splitting his time with the Capital City Go-Go and Wizards this season. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • While Isaiah Thomas has shown flashes of his old self, his recent production on the court raises questions on how he fits into the Wizards’ plans. [WCP]

  • Caps goalie Braden Holtby struggled in the team’s 5-1 loss to the Devils on Saturday and has gone 3-7 in his last 10 starts. Rookie Ilya Samsonov will be in goal tonight against the Hurricanes. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

  • Gerardo Parra is a man of his words. The former Nats player, and originator of the “Baby Shark” phenomenon at Nats Park, followed through on his promise to get a World Series tattoo on his arm, complete with an image of a baby shark wearing colorful sunglasses. [WJLA7]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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