Grapevine: Stanton & Greene Coming to Capitol Hill

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Stanton Park, Northeast DC

A new cocktail bar and bistro, Stanton & Greene, will soon take over the space previously inhabited by Pour House.

The name gets its inspiration from Stanton Park (in the NE, blocks from my home) and the dichotomy between the name of the park (named after Edwin Stanton) and the statue in the middle that instead honors General Nathanael Greene.

Fritz Hahn (of Washington Post’s Going Out Guide) reports:

‘The owners of three different bars on Pennsylvania Avenue SE are harnessing their talents to create a new bistro, cocktail bar and event space at 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, the former home of the Pour House. Stanton & Greene, which could open by the end of the month, is a collaboration between Sonoma owners Eli Hengst and Jared Rager, and August Paro, one of three partners behind Beuchert’s Saloon.’

‘…the cocktail list, for which Stanton & Greene’s partners tapped Erik Holzherr, the owner of Wisdom, the gin-centric drinking den near the Potomac Avenue Metro, and H Street’s Church & State and Atlas Arcade.’

Music Park: Loud Boyz 7” Release Party @ Comet Ping Pong, 1/10/15

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The Loud Boyz (Photo courtesy of Cricket Cemetery)

The Loud Boyz, DC’s buzzy punk rock quintent, released a 7” record on Tuesday, and they are heading to Comet Ping Pong Saturday to play a vinyl release show.

The 7” disc includes two songs from Kenny, Mitchell, Devin, Rory and Alex: “Hard Feelings” and “4 The Ladies.” Catch the video of “4 The Ladies” below.

“Loud Boyz always bring the fight live, and aren’t afraid to crack a smile while doing it,” says their label Cricket Cemetery. You can order the vinyl, limited to 300 copies, from Cricket Cemetery or undoubtedly buy it at the show on Saturday (for $6).

The Loud Boyz debuted the “4 The Ladies” video on YouTube in December after filming it at the Gibson Guitar showroom in DC’s Chinatown. In the video, the band rocks out through a 2.5-minute jam for a room full of ladies. Listen to some of their songs on Soundcloud:

DC garage rockers Shark Week perform with the Loud Boyz Saturday. Tickets are available at the door.

Loud Boyz Release Party
w/ Shark Week
Comet Ping Pong
5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC
Saturday, Jan. 10
10pm
$12
All ages

Stars and Bars: Imbibe Names Derek Brown ‘Bartender of the Year’

DC cocktail mogul Derek Brown was named 2015 Bartender of the Year by Imbibe magazine Tuesday.

Derek currently is best known as the common partner in a string of bars by the Shaw metro station along 7th Street NW in Shaw: Mockingbird Hill (1843 7th St. NW, DC), Southern Efficiency (1841 7th St. NW, DC) and Eat the Rich (1839 7th St. NW, DC).

On New Year’s Day, Derek closed the Passenger and the Columbia Room (1021 7th St. NW, DC), previously located in Mount Vernon Square. Those low-key and high-end establishments respectively served to make him a household name in the DC bar scene over the past five years.

In a profile video posted by Imbibe (above), Derek says, “Cocktails are truly a conversation with the world. When I think about cocktails, I think about how they connect to nature; I think about how they connect to history; and I think about how they connect to the people who made them and the time they were living in.”

Imbibe, based in Portland, Ore., is a bimonthly magazine covering the gamut of the U.S. bar scene. “From wine, spirits and beer to coffee and tea, Imbibe celebrates the world in a glass. We feature the world’s top drink destinations, recipes and in-depth stories covering the people, places and flavors of liquid culture,” the magazine says on its Facebook.

Congratulations, Derek!

Grapevine: Chef Alex McCoy Departs @ Duke’s Grocery

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Chef Alex McCoy, one of Duke’s Grocery’s three founding partners

Alex McCoy, former chef and founding partner at Duke’s Grocery, left the Dupont Circle-area gastropub in December and plans to open a new restaurant focused on southeast Asian food, Tim Carman of The Washington Post reported Monday.

On his Facebook page Monday, McCoy said, “Friends, after a year and a half of working with my awesome partners over at Duke’s Grocery, I am excited to announce that I will be leaving to work on a new project in the DC area. You guys and gals have been legends and I appreciate all of the amazing support you have given myself and the Duke’s family. The team is still working hard in the Duke’s kitchen and the burgers are still flippin’! 2015 is going to be a very tasty year!”

Carman delivered the scoop on McCoy’s new project: “a restaurant that will focus on Southeast Asian cooking, continuing the District’s trend of opening eateries that channel the authentic flavors of Thailand, Laos and other countries.”

McCoy vowed to travel throughout southeast Asia over the next few months to refine his menu, which comes as no surprise to me, as the chef is very fond of traveling to a dish’s country of origin before he perfects it, as he told me a few months ago.

Daniel Kramer, another co-founder at Duke’s, announced Rick Koplau, who has been overseeing the late night food program at Duke’s Grocery, will become head chef. Koplau previously worked at Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Lake Tahoe and Sarasota, along with stints in England, Germany and Poland.

Music Park: U.S. Royalty Release “More to This” Video

DC indie rock stalwarts U.S. Royalty debuted a new video today for their song “More to This.” The video follows the band as they drive languidly along California highways, exploring Malibu, Venice and Mulholland Drive.

The song “More to This” takes the quartet down for a turn into hazy psychedelic rock, and the result is definitely quite easy on the ears. The song is about wanting out of a relationship where nothing more apparently is going to happen.

Vocalist John Thornley, guitarist Paul Thornley, bassist Jacob Michael and drummer Luke Adams report they have been writing new material. They have a few dates planning, including a stop at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, Jan. 22 with Dr. Dog, and another show in New York City’s Webster hall on Friday, Jan. 23.

Meanwhile, the band is planning to release a limited edition vinyl version of its first album, Mirrors, which is nearly four years old now. (Hard to believe!). Preorders of the vinyl include a digital download of the album and previously unreleased bonus tracks.

I last saw U.S. Royalty perform a little under a year ago after the release of their second album, Blue Sunshine. They were in good form then, and it will be interesting to see where a third self-released album and lingering major label ambitions take them this year.

Stars and Bars: Opening Celebration @ One Eight Distilling, 1/8/15

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One Eight Distilling, DC’s second distillery (after New Columbia Distillers LLC, makers of Green Hat Gin), will official open its doors on Saturday, Jan. 10.

But before then, One Eight will host preview night on Thursday, Jan. 8. So you can visit One Eight on 1/8…

From 7-10pm, the distillery will host a celebration for its grand opening, featuring “after-hours tours, food from Dirty South Deli and a cash bar featuring District Made Vodka and Rock Creek White Whiskey cocktails–produced in partnership with Union Kitchen,” according to One Eight.

The distillery invites us to its facilities at 1135 Okie St. NE, DC, for drinking, mingling and shopping. Guests will be able to purchase bottles from the first batches of the distillery’s vodka and whiskey. The celebration is 21 and over only and does not involve any tickets. Simply show up!

Starting Saturday, Jan. 10, One Eight will open with free tours each week from 1-4pm. For more information, visit http://www.oneeightdistilling.com.

Around Town: Free Yoga Series “Yoga with Nya” @ Union Market, 1/4/15

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This Sunday, Jan. 4, Union Market, the vibrant district in Northeast DC, will welcome back its free Yoga series titled, “Yoga With Nya.” Classes will take place every Sunday at noon at Dock 5.

The sessions, suitable for all levels of practitioner, will feature Vinyasa yoga, in addition to specialty workshops and guest teachers. True yoga enthusiasts may recognize the series’ instructor Nya Alemayhu from Buddha B Yoga, Georgetown Yoga or The Studio DC, where she typically teaches.

Nya is excited become a permanent member of the Union Market community. “Yoga has the potential to create community and bringing the practice to Union Market is the best way to achieve this kind of work,” says Nya. “I’m excited to connect with people and connect people to one another through the practice.” With community in mind, Nya looks forward to continuing to share her holistic approach to yoga with both seasoned practitioners and Vinyasa first-timers.

The DC Yogi is also known for her private instruction, including individual and group lessons, as well as workplace sessions held at nonprofits, hospitals, law firms, think tanks, universities and other businesses in the DC area.

Students should arrive 15 minutes prior to class at Dock 5 and are advised to bring their own mats and blocks. While the class is free and open to all, a $5 donation is encouraged. Preferred entrance to Dock 5 is through the stairway on the far right side of the market.

ABOUT THE MARKET AT UNION MARKET: Union Market, located a short walk from the NoMa/Gallaudet metro, is a 45-acre district that is planned for over 7 million square feet. EDENS has a clear vision to create of DC’s most vibrant, interesting, and thriving neighborhoods. Since opening in September 2012, The Market at Union Market, with over 40 local artisan food and beverage vendors, now averages 10,000–15,000 visitors per weekend and has held over 100 events. Over the last several months, the Union Market district has also become a unique and alternative destination. For more information about Union Market, please visit http://www.unionmarketdc.com. 1309 5th St. NE, Washington, DC 20002.

ABOUT NYA ALEMAYHU: Nya began practicing yoga while living in Boston in 2004. Under the instruction of Ryan Arnoldy and Katja Brandis, she completed her 200-hour, five month-long teacher training program and received her certification from Yoga Alliance. Nya has studied with Master Practitioners Tiffany Cruikshank, Donna Farhi, Sara Ivanhoe, Chris Tompkins and Mark Whitwell. At Union Market, she plans to teach Vinyasa yoga to challenge, energize and safely lead students to their edge. Learn more at http://www.yogawithnya.com.

Don’t Miss: Bliss w/ The Juan MacLean @ U Street Music Hall, 12/27/14

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Nancy Whang and Juan MacLean of The Juan MacLean (Photo by Tonje Thilesen)

Of course, you probably already know that DJ Will Eastman hosts his personal dance party Bliss on the last Saturday of every month at U Street Music Hall, which he co-owns and manages.

And of course, U Street Music Hall has become the place to experience exciting new house music.

But I would say they’ve really taken it up a notch with the Christmas edition of Bliss on Saturday, Dec. 27, by hosting DJ sets from The Juan MacLean, the duo of Juan MacLean and Nancy Whang (she formerly of LCD Soundsystem).

This means an unparalleled amount of DFA Records-inspired goodness will drop on DC this weekend. The production-savvy MacLean and Whang know how to make the most of sounds great and small, transcending subgenres from electroclash to deep house.

Of the two as a band, DFA Records says, “Throughout, Nancy is the triumphant leader–front and center; Juan works his magic with the arrangements and production, quoting freely from house, techno, and disco, yet surpassing genres all together. Together, Juan and Nancy play with the lyrics and melodies, as well as the arrangements, creating an interplay remindful of classic disco records. The sounds you’re just not supposed to reach for, the Juan always reaches for.”

If that wasn’t enough, the lineup for Saturday night also features Ben Browning, bassist for Australian new wave/house band Cut Copy. Browning has formed a special relationship with DC, spending some time here in general and spinning specifically at U Street Music Hall.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Bliss
w/ Juan MacLean, Nancy Whang and Ben Browning
U Street Music Hall
Saturday, Dec. 27
Doors @10pm
$10 (Free for 21+ before midnight)
18+ (Advance tickets required for 18-20)

Music Park: Nicole Atkins @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 12/19/14

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As a half-full room at the Rock and Roll Hotel looked to the stage, the performer they came to see walked in through the doors behind them.

With her guitar hung around her shoulders, Nicole Atkins, a tiny chanteuse with a big voice, strode into the middle of the room and opened her set from the floor with her anthem “Neptune City,” the folky Americana ode to her hometown in New Jersey.

The audience reconfigured itself in a crowded circle around her and sang along Friday night, giving one of the warmest welcomes to a performer in my concert-going experience.

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