Anacostia has struggled to maintain many sit-down restaurants over the years. Now another blow to dining in Ward 8: Nurish Food + Drink, a French-inspired cafe and incubator, closed over the weekend.
Domku owner Kera Carpenter opened Nurish inside the Anacostia Arts Center, in February 2014. The cafe served as a training ground for her nonprofit, NURISH: The Center for a Creative Culinary Economy, which prepares young adults for culinary careers. Only last month, Nurish had debuted a new roof deck.
Carpenter posted the following farewell on Facebook, in which she says she’s still optimistic about the future of Anacostia:
Dear friends, loyal customers, and wonderful southeast community:
It is with mixed emotions that I write this post. After nearly 2 years, I have decided to close NURISH Food + Drink. Our last day of business will be tomorrow, Saturday, November 14. Many of you know of the struggle it has been. It has been a very tough couple of years (Yes! It has been nearly 2 years!), but I am very proud of the business that was built here, ever grateful for the numerous friends I’ve made during this time, and remain optimistic about the future of Anacostia and the greater southeast area of this city.
If you can, please drop by tomorrow to say hello and goodbye. We’ll serve our final brunch and have free drinks after 7:00pm so please come celebrate all that we have accomplished with your help and support. We’ve got a lot of beer and wine to get rid of, folks, might as well share it!
You will never know how much I have appreciated your patronage and friendship and staunch belief that good things can happen—and will happen—east of the river.
Kera & team
Carpenter didn’t immediately respond to a call for additional comment.
There are some positive recent developments for eating out east of the Anacostia River. Sala Thai recently became the third sit-down restaurant in Ward 7. Meanwhile, an ice cream shop called Capital City Creamery recently opened in Congress Heights. And of course, Busboys and Poets is coming to Anacostia.
UPDATE: A new cafe called Art-drenaline will replace Nurish in the Anacostia Arts Center. Read more about it here.
Photo by Sarah Anne Hughes