Grapevine: Sam Fitz Leaving Pizzeria Paradiso

Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown

The Young & Hungry columnin the Washington City Paper (which abhors the name Washington but uses it anyway) revealed today that Sam Fitz, beverage director at Pizzeria Paradiso, will soon depart after only a few months on the job.

Jessica Sidman reported: “Beer aficionado Sam Fitz is leaving his position as bar manager of Pizzeria Paradiso over the next month to open his own place with his sister Rachel Fitz. He’s not revealing a lot of the details at this time, but the business will be in D.C. and take inspiration from a cider-focused trip he took to the French and Spanish Basque country last February. He’s registered an LLC for Basque Bar.”

In a statement to the City Paper, Pizzeria Paradiso owner Ruth Gresser said, “Sam’s tenure at Pizzeria Paradiso was always seen as a transitional one, both for him and for Pizzeria Paradiso.”

Longtime Paradiso manager Josh Fernands is slated to take over the beer program after Fitz’s departure sometime in the next month.

Music Park: Le Butcherettes @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/5/14

Teri Gender Bender, lead singer of glam-punk trio Le Butcherettes, has put less shock and more seduction into her act these days.

Before I ever saw them, sources like Allmusic.com say the band burst into Los Angeles with shock tactics and depictions of women as slaves. But today, Ms. Gender Bender is all about putting herself into her music, as she demonstrated in a recent show at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

At various times, she might purr or hiss, sway or strut, whisper or howl, depending on the song. The audience, a very nearly sold-out crowd on Nov. 5, was enraptured.

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Around Town: George Takei @ FedTalks 2014, 11/6/14

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Actor George Takei addresses FedTalks 2014.

To many of us, he’s a virtual presence known for his social media following.

But George Takei visited DC in person last week to serve as the keynote speaker at FedTalks 2014, held by media and conference company FedScoop at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium.

In his remarks, the Star Trek actor discussed his experiences in a Japanese-American internment camp as a young boy during World War II. He rolled the discussion of being inspired by his heroes in the Japanese-American 442nd Infantry Regiment and his parents.

His memories and research into that time led to him starring in a musical, Allegiance, which will head to Broadway in 2015. Takei credited his social medial clout with bolstering awareness of the play and its related issues.

“By trial and error, I built my small base of sci-fi geeks and nerds into a bigger one,” Takei told the audience, saying he started the conversation with his Twitter followers and others through humor, and later addressed social justice issues.

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Food Park: Soft Opening @ El Camino, 11/5/14

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Bloomingdale residents have long been anticipating a splash of new restaurants opening in their rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, and El Camino (108 Rhode Island Ave., NW, DC) became the latest to welcome them last night.

The section of Rhode Island Ave. NW in Bloomingdale, labeled by at least one observer as “Hipsters Row,” is cultivately what I consider to be a wonderfully cozy selection of bars and restaurants, and in this aspect El Camino doesn’t disappoint. You walk into the restaurant/bar under a sign that still advertises the space as a uniforms outlet, but once inside, you are greeted with warm browns, reds and blacks adorning a comfortable dining space.

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Don’t Miss: Le Butcherettes @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 11/5/14

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Le Butcherettes (Photo courtesy Speakeasy PR)

Drop into the Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St. NE, DC) tonight to see Le Butcherettes, opening for Antemasque.

Le Butcherettes are a female punk rock duo, formed by frontwoman Teri Gender Bender (born Teresa Suárez). Hailing from Guadalajara, Mexico, Ms. Gender Bender found a home for her band in Los Angeles–and it’s little wonder once you hear them.

Earlier this year, the band released a new album, Cry Is for the Flies, where Gender Bender sings, sneers and struts in the tradition of some of the glammier punk bands. She plays guitar and synths in addition to singing while bandmate drummer Lia Braswell fills out the sound on drums.

Check out the video for their single, Demon Stuck in Your Eye.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, formerly of The Mars Volta and now of Antemasque, produced both of the full-length albums from Le Butcherettes to date, and he plays bass for the band as well.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Le Butcherettes
Antemasque
Rock and Roll Hotell
Wednesday, Nov. 5
Doors @7pm; Show @8pm
$20
All ages

Stars and Bars: Last Call @ Duffy’s Irish Pub — 11/4/14

Bushmills and the fallen

The first clue that something was going to happen at Duffy’s Irish Pub (2106 Vermont Ave. NW), for me, came yesterday when the Satellite Room (2047 9th St. NW), the diner located behind the 9:30 Club, announced it would start giving a free shot of Jameson to anyone who produced a 9:30 Club ticket stub after seeing a show when they bought a beer.

Hey, I said, they stole that idea from Duffy’s.

Except PoPville already reported rumors that Duffy’s was set to close at midnight last night, and other sources indicated that owner Andy Duffy couldn’t afford to keep the place afloat any longer. Duffy would offer $5 beer and free wings, long rated the best in the city by the Washington CityPaper’s Best of DC readers poll, as long as they lasted.

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Music Park: Smallpools @ 9:30 Club — 10/31/14

11035-SMALLPOOLSSmallpools (Photo by Dan Monick)

Smallpools would have you know that their name has nothing to do with killer whales.

Soon after their founding, the indie pop quartet uncovered protests from Internet activists who disapproved of the treatment of killer whales in captivity, decrying their hold in small pools as described in the documentary Blackfish.

In tribute to the concept, they named a new song “Killer Whales,” released in July, eluding to miscommunication with a love, who apparently was out saving killer whales.

The song gave the band a setting through which to demonstrate their high-energy performance at the 9:30 Club on Friday, Oct. 31, particularly as they tossed several prop “killer whales” into the audience — one of which had a saddle intended to carry a passenger through crowdsurfing waves.

Smallpools aren’t afraid to have a little fun with a concept.

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