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11th and Park then:

11th and Park now:

3400 11th Street–no longer home to the dumpy old Bi-Rite building

This piece is a compilation of information from a series of blog posts I wrote earlier this week—-It will appear in this week’s newspaper.* 

Since “Tivoli North” is being considered as a new name for Columbia Heights, why not “DC USA Hill”? The mall that holds Target, Best Buy, Marshalls, Staples, and Bed Bath & Beyond is the area’s defining feature.

But 11th Street NW, while still home to at least one vacant storefront with some old doors, toilets, and an abandoned stove, is making inroads as a distinct neighborhood spot.

There are some small restaurants, a performance space, a clothing store, and Wonderland Ballroom, where customers and their dogs turn 11th and Kenyon into a petting zoo on summer evenings.

Now several new developments are in the works.

In early June, wine bar Room 11 is scheduled to open at the corner of Lamont Street. Besides bottles “from all over, especially from less traditional wine-making areas: South America, South Africa, and Australia,” the establishment will also serve cheese, charcuterie, sandwiches, small plates, and desserts, says Paul Ruppert, one of the business’ partners.

And by next fall, when Room 11’s outdoor patio closes, another new establishment should be nearing completion. One block up, construction crews are erecting a two-story building, which will house Meridian Pint, a 6,000-square-foot restaurant and lounge, says owner John Andrade. The top floor could become a yoga/martial arts studio if two business owners can reach an agreement, says property owner John Goldman.

If the plan works out, Meridian Pint will be serving draft beers at the “tail end of this year, beginning of next year,” says Andrade—though after suffering previous delays, he joked that the opening was coming “any fall now.”

*For more on Room 11, click here; For more on Meridian Pint, click here; For more on the yoga/martial arts studio possibly coming to 11th Street, click here.

Image by Intangible Arts, Flickr Creative Commons