The following link will send you to a story that my classmate, Kip Dooley, and I reported on. We spoke with various immigrant-owned restaurants about across Columbia Heights and U Street to see how they are making their mark in the District’s renowned food scene. Our story contains an audio and photo gallery to help illustrate the story of each owner and restaurant.
William Taylor Potter and Ethan Smith
WASHINGTON — The Ivy City neighborhood, once known for its abundant warehouses and crumbling streets, is now gaining a reputation for breweries, distilleries and other small businesses.
Over the last several years, Ivy City — a small neighborhood in Northeast D.C. — has seen several new businesses, from a motorcycle shop to a smokehouse, move into its vacant warehouses. With those new businesses, new people have also flooded the area.
“It used to be a segregated community,” said Detrick Ealy, 42. “White, black, hispanic…Now we all get along.”
Ealy, who said he has lived in Ivy City his entire life, said the influx of businesses have changed the neighborhood for the better. He said crime has dropped over the last few years thanks to the redevelopment of the area.
In one part of Ivy City, decrepit houses line broken and narrow streets. Buildings are covered with the ivy that give the neighborhood its name, and many houses of boarded windows. But tall apartment buildings have started to move in, standing high above the short houses.
Alisia Hewitt, 22, who has lived in the area for about three or four years, said many of the houses are starting to get facelifts as well.
“They making the houses and construction better. Like that house right there, they have solar panels on there,” Hewitt said, gesturing to a house across the street.
Blocks away from the residential area is a bustling and growing shopping center. The black brick building is home to a motorcycle shop, a diner, a Nike store and a T.J. Maxx. Across the street on one side is an organic grocery. On the other, one of the area’s many distilleries.
Many of the businesses are small and local, such as the Dunn Lewis motorcycle store and Republic Restoratives, a women-owned distillery. Towering over all of them is the Hecht Warehouse — an old warehouse converted into a high-end apartment building and shopping center. Immediately surrounding the apartment is a Planet Fitness gym and Sip and Dry, a hair salon and cocktail bar hybrid.
The food and drink scene has been Ivy City’s more recent claim to fame. It’s part of the reason why The Washington Post called it “the next cool D.C. neighborhood you have never heard of” in 2015.
In addition to Republic Restoratives, the neighborhood is home to several other breweries and distilleries, such as Atlas Brew Works, New Columbia Distillers and One Eight Distillery. Near the Hecht Warehouse stands two of the neighborhood’s more iconic venues, the City Winery and Ivy City Smokehouse.
Courtney Edwards, who works at the Ivy City Planet Fitness and is the co-founder of D.C. nonprofit Modish Moms, said the neighborhood has changed before her eyes. Her mom used to work at the Hecht Warehouse before it became an apartment complex.
In her capacity with Modish Moms, which provides resources and support for young mothers, Edwards said the Ivy City redevelopment has allowed her to hold more events in the area because of the many available locations.
“It’s everything you need,” Edwards said. “You have the gym, you have your eateries, you have venues.”
Washington, D.C. residents gathered in Adams Morgan on Sunday to celebrate the neighborhood’s diversity at the 40thannual Adams Morgan Day festival.
The yearly festival strives to showcase the local businesses, restaurants, artists, musicians and organizations that make up the neighborhood of Adams Morgan.
“I love Adams Morgan Day. I moved to D.C. nine years ago, and it was the first place that I really felt like I was home,” said A. Tianna Scozzaro, a volunteer who helped steer the festival’s coordination.
Scozzaro, a resident of Adams Morgan, has volunteered to put on the festival for the past four years. She is also a key member of the festival’s planning committee.
“We’re a volunteer crew. Residents, neighbors, some business owners that spend eight months out of the year meeting nearly every week, spending a lot of man hours to pull this together,” Scozzaro said when asked about what goes into planning the storied festival.
What makes the Adams Morgan Day festival special, according to Scozzaro, is that their yearly celebration is the only neighborhood festival in Washington, D.C. that is put together only by volunteers.
The primary goal for the volunteers that coordinate Adams Morgan Day is to bring the neighborhood’s proud, diverse, culture to life.
“I think this is a community. From the live music to the diversity, the festival embodies the community,” Scozzaro said. “It’s to showcase the neighborhood. To bring everyone out into the streets, and to get to know one another and to celebrate together.”
Even with rain and poor weather conditions, Scozzaro and her fellow volunteers were able to host 125 vendors on 18thSt. NW, as well as accompany local musicians with two separate stages for them to perform on.
The dedication to put on the Adams Morgan festival, from volunteers like Scozzaro, allowed vendors from the neighborhood to display their diverse backgrounds and interests.
Amongst the 125 vendors that appeared at the festival on Sunday were Lindsay Tufts and Zachary Sasim.
Sasim set up his vendor tent to display his wide variety of oil paintings.
Sasim moved to Washington, D.C. 14 years ago from Bulgaria, to pursue his passion of painting.
Sasim is proud of his new home in D.C.. This pride is why the majority of his work is centered on local landmarks, events and neighborhoods.
Tufts is a co-founder of a newly created, and local, apparel brand, In and Out apparel. Their brand has been in existence for less than sixth months now.
Found at In and Out’s vendor tent, one could fine a wide variety of shirts and jackets. Placed on all of their clothing were emblems of Africa and equal signs.
“Our goal is to push a message of tolerance, acceptance, self-acceptance and things of that nature,” Tufts said.
Tufts said that the word In, for In and Out, as well as their emblem of Africa, signifies their message to tie in the black community with that of Adams Morgan and Washington, D.C..
Tufts also said that the word Out portrays their message of including the LGBT community with that of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, “to include those that decide to come out of the closet.”