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Indie Restaurant Owners Pen an Open Letter to Landlords to Help Save D.C.’s Food Scene

Plus, Colony Club gets a name change

From left, Thamee owners Simone Jacobson, Jocelyn Law-Yone, and Eric Wang.
From left, Thamee owners Simone Jacobson, Jocelyn Law-Yone, and Eric Wang.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

D.C. restaurateurs ask landlords for help in Washington Post op-ed

Thamee co-owner Simone Jacobson and Columbia Room’s Derek Brown penned a Washington Post op-ed signed by independent restaurant owners across D.C., asking landlords to work with businesses to provide rent relief in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. “If hospitality was hard before, it’s nearly impossible now,” the open letter to landlords reads. The situation is dire, the owners state:

If we do not receive some rent relief soon, landlords’ alternatives won’t be other tenants paying boom-time rents: It may well be no restaurant and bar tenants at all. Nobody wins if D.C. storefronts are left empty and our once passionate and thrilling bar and restaurant scene is no more.

We need commercial tenants and landlords to act like the partners we signed on to be for each other.

Suggestions include eliminating “kick-out clauses” and creating a “shared rent program” for indie restaurant and bar owners calculating rent as a percentage of total operating costs. The signees of the Post open letter to landlords include owners of some of D.C.’s most beloved spots, from Daikaya to Ben’s Chili Bowl to ThinkFoodGroup.

Park View’s Colony Club is jettisoning its name

Max Zuckerman named his Georgia Avenue coffee shop and bar after Colony Flowers, a flower shop his grandparents owned on the same street. But going forward, Colony Club will soon have a new name, DCist explains. “Over the years we’ve been asked about the Colony Club name and what it means,” Tuckerman wrote on Instagram. “Several customers expressed concern about using the word ‘colony,’ pointing to its very negative associations with colonialism, and further connecting that definition with the in-progress gentrification of the neighborhood.”

Keep track of where to dine indoors in NoVa

Northern Virginia magazine compiled a list of restaurants in the area that are now open at 50% capacity indoors, from sushi to chili to tacos.

Southwest Soda Pop Shop draws lines

The Washingtonian reports that after black female-owned ice cream shop Southwest Soda Pop Shop at The Wharf sent a tweet reading “please help us save our business,” customers lined up for soft-serve — and the business raised over $25,000 on GoFundMe.

Filipino fried chicken incoming in Maryland

Cult-favorite Filipino chain Jollibee is still slated to debut at Wheaton Mall. The MoCo Show reports that the global chain known for Yumburgers, fried chicken, and “jolly spaghetti” has Wheaton Mall in its sights as its first Maryland location — but due to the pandemic, the opening date is up in the air.

Pike & Rose will add a shipping container bar

In Maryland, Robert Dyer reports that a pop-up bar made out of shipping containers is in the works at North Bethesda Development Pike & Rose.