Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

“On a scrubby block in a working-class neighborhood east of Rock Creek Park, plopped down among cheap hair salons, a dry cleaner and a sad-looking liquor store…” Thus began a very promising-sounding fairy tale in the New York Times in October. The damsel in distress is the D.C. dining scene, and Upshur Street NW in Petworth is among the handsome princes dashing to the rescue. Never mind that this scrubby block has hosted Zagat-rated Domku since 2005, because what do details about our city matter to the Gray Lady? Still, they did definitely get one thing right: 2014 was a big year for Upshur Street. Restaurateur Paul Ruppert opened Japanese-French fusion restaurant Crane & Turtle in June and store Upshur Street Books in November, after launching wannabe watering-hole Petworth Citizen and Reading Room in 2013, all on the same block. (A diner he’ll own is coming soon, too.) After undergoing renovations this summer, Willow Fashion, a clothing and accessories boutique, re-opened with an expanded selection that now includes duds for men. That means the street now has three places to get fancy drinks before perusing a selection of mason jars painted with the D.C. flag. And they all lived happily ever after.