Red plastic cup on the ground
Credit: "Doublin' Up On Two Red Solo Cups" by minnepixel is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Winter Restaurant Week returns Monday, January 25 at 200+ eateries in the region with options for you to dine out your way including RW-To-Go meals for delivery and pick up, heated patios, cozy igloos and safe spaces for you to #DineOut and #EatUp 3-course menus for lunch, dinner and brunch!

When Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a press release about a new bill that allows people “to walk around and consume alcohol” “within predefined boundaries” Tuesday night, residents went berserk. 

“So DC is going to become like the French Quarter?” tweeted one person. “Hello Bourbon Street DC” tweeted another. There were plenty of clap emojis.

When reporters like City Paper’s Laura Hayes got the text of the bill, it became clear that D.C. was not becoming an open container oasis if it ever becomes law. Instead, there will be “commercial lifestyle” centers. 

What even is that? According to the bill, it’s a commercial development that has a mix of retail, restaurant, and commercial buildings governed by an association. The “commercial lifestyle center license” will let restaurants, bars, and clubs sell alcohol in a designated space like walkways but not parking lots. There will be rules. Lots and lots of rules. 

“What this legislation really does is set guidelines for what we think the ‘new normal’ should be,” says Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “A lot of people think of the ‘new normal’ as something negative. When we talk about recovery, we want to make D.C. more dynamic than it was before the pandemic.”

The Wharf, the Georgetown waterfront, and CityCenterDC seem primed to become “commercial lifestyle” centers. Why not go full open container if licenses seem limited to wealthy, developer-driven spaces? It would seem that the “commercial lifestyle” centers take responsibility this way, namely for insurance and security. (Read Hayes’ full story on the 40-page monstrosity of a bill that touches on a lot more, like grocery stores and streateries.)   

Life after the public health emergency is celebratory for some, anxiety-inducing for others. The District has all kinds of ideas for the “new normal”—The Office of Planning is asking for public input on outdoor dining in the hopes of making some of restaurants’ ideas permanent, for example. The lifting of the emergency means the lifting of moratorium on evictions and utility shut offs. Creative solutions to the looming housing crisis are desperately needed as well.

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips?

Why Students Are Helping Seniors Sign Up for COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments

George Washington University student Sarah Boxer is one of the lucky Washingtonians who successfully booked […]

  • To see today’s coronavirus cases and more information, visit our coronavirus dashboard.
  • D.C. is halfway to meeting the mayor’s 2025 housing production goals. Rock Creek West is the only area that hasn’t produced affordable units in the last two years. [Urban Turf
  • Most nursing home workers don’t want to take the vaccine. A history of mistreatment may have something to do with it. [Post]

By Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips?

Bowser Administration Sought to Sidestep Judge’s Ruling on Lucrative Medicaid Contract

At the end of December, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Wayne Turnage came […]

  • D.C. Council bills will receive a racial equity analysis. [DCist]
  • Bowser will appoint Chris Geldart as deputy mayor for public safety. [Twitter, WCP]

By Mitch Ryals (tips?

  • Try these classic D.C. restaurants for Restaurant Week. [Washingtonian]
  • Astro Doughnuts and Saya Salteña join Shaw’s virtual food hall. [PoPville]
  • An app called Festi connects chefs with customers looking for takeout. [Arlington Mag]
  • We need to talk about Subway’s “tuna.” [Post]

By Laura Hayes (tips?

City Lights: I Hate It Here Is Timely and Relatable

I Hate It Here “I hate it here:” four simple words, the title of a […]

Bride of the Sea Follows a Family Across Borders and Decades

A young marriage disintegrates, even as a beloved daughter is born; then, a shocking betrayal […]

  • Folger Theatre’s leader Janet Griffin is retiring as the Folger Shakespeare Library remains closed for a two-year renovation. [Post]
  • You can still watch yesterday’s live baby panda stream from the National Zoo. [DCist]
  • Some of the 500 pairs of Black Cat-branded Vans are still available—and net proceeds go to the venue. [Twitter]

By Emma Sarappo (tips?

John Wall Gets Win Over His Faltering Former Team

After John Wall and the Houston Rockets beat the Washington Wizards, 107-88, Tuesday night, Wall, […]

  • After the Wizards lost to the New Orleans Pelicans, 124-106, to drop to 3-11 in the season, a reporter asked Bradley Beal toward the end of his media availability if he was frustrated by how things are going. Beal responded by stating the obvious: “Is the sky blue?” Viral images of Beal’s dejected body language during games have accurately captured the mood of Wizards fans this season. [NBC Sports Washington, Post]
  • The 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup will kick off on April 9, with teams playing in their home markets. [Black & Red United]
  • A promising season for the Howard men’s basketball team has turned into a nightmare. [Post]

By Kelyn Soong (tips?