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A Boba Tea Pop-Up Finds a Permanent Home in NoMa

Plus, a new coalition for D.C. restaurant workers is in motion

Spot of Tea is coming to Northeast.
“Coming soon” signage is up for Spot of Tea.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

A new boba spot for Northeast

Streets Market in NoMa is about to flip its small interior cafe into the first storefront for homegrown boba brand Spot of Tea. The plan is to serve its colorful boba and milk teas with a short menu of smoothie bowls to start. “We’re hoping this opportunity will enable us to test out our ideas for larger setups down the line,” a representative tells Eater. The stall, expected to open in October, sits next to a self-serve mochi fridge inside the grocer (51 M Street NE). The 3-year-old brand, formerly called Cassava, currently pops up during the week in places like Foggy Bottom, Ballston, and Navy Yard’s Saturday Smorgasburg.

A new industry support group

D.C.’s hospitality industry just formed a new coalition called DC Bar and Restaurant Workers Alliance, with membership open to employees in the front and back of the house, managers, owner-operators, and allies. The alliance’s inaugural fundraising event at Tabard Inn on Sunday, September 15, commemorates last September’s marathon D.C. Council hearing that repealed Initiative 77 thanks to the pushback by local industry workers — a feat that sparked the idea to start the new support club. Each $65 ticket includes an open bar, heavy bites, and admission to a silent auction while automatically covering the first year’s dues. Founding members include Zac Hoffman (La Jambe), Ryan Aston (Chicken + Whiskey) and Dawn Williams (Daikaya).

Co-eating in Penn Quarter

International co-working company Convene will take the snacks it serves to members onto the streets next week. A branded food truck parked in Penn Quarter on Wednesday, September 18, will sling free bites all day (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Samples include salmon tartines topped with free-range eggs in the morning, followed by seared ahi tuna tataki and matcha noodle salad. Look for the one-day truck stop at the corner of G and 12th Streets NW, near Convene’s location at 575 Seventh Avenue NW.

Assorted offerings by Convene.
Egg and salmon tartines at Convene.
Convene/official photo

Ch-ch-changes at Centrolina

Centrolina, the essential Italian restaurant in CityCenter DC from James Beard Award finalist Amy Brandwein, has started renovations to expand its dining room and shrink its in-house market. The overhaul, expected to wrap up in November, will also include a larger private dining room (30-person capacity), complete with a demo kitchen. The restaurant will remain open during construction, but the market is currently dark. A new online ordering store enables regulars to keep shopping for fresh pastas, sauces, produce, and wine (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.). This summer, Brandwein expanded her Palmer Alley NW portfolio with the opening of all-day cafe Piccolina.

A rendering of the new Centrolina.
A look at the modern market joining a newly-expanded Centrolina.
Centrolina/rendering

Al fresco beer for tech bros?

Workers, visitors, and residents roaming around Amazon’s future home base in Pentagon City and Crystal City could get the right to roam with booze in tow. ArlNow flagged JBG Smith’s application for a “Commercial Lifestyle Center” license with the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority, capitalizing on the 2018 law that lets shoppers carry alcoholic beverages into retail stores or outdoor plazas, New Orleans style. [ArlNow]

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