Scottish Rite Apartments in May, Steam Cafe Closes, Astoria Opening Soon, and More…


A lot of neighborhood news below, but first, a scheduling change on meetings involving the Scottish Rite Apartments.

There has been an application submitted for the area behind the Masonic Temple to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. While the content and timing of the application raises questions, it will be reviewed fairly and similarly to other applications. The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) has decided to review both the concept application for the proposed development as well as this new application in May, and the ANC 2B accordingly moved discussion on the matters to the same month. If you have any questions or thoughts about this project, please email or call me.

  • April 3, ANC 2B Zoning, Preservation, and Development (ZPD) Committee (no 2B04 topics on agenda)
  • April 10, ANC 2B Regular Meeting
  • April 17, ANC 2B Transportation and Public Infrastructure (TPI) Committee
  • May 1: ANC 2B Zoning, Preservation, and Development (ZPD) Committee (Scottish Rite Apartments on agenda)
  • May 8: ANC 2B Regular Meeting
  • May 15: ANC 2B Transportation and Public Infrastructure (TPI) Committee
  • May 16: ANC 2B Special Meeting on the Scottish Rite Apartments

All meetings are at 7:00 p.m. and locations and agendas will be noticed in advance. Sign up for those here.

Reconstruction of the interior of 1639-1641 R St NW, which formerly housed Cobalt, has begun. I have met with the owner of the building and the future plan will be multi-family residential with the lower floor kept as commercial space. The new owner is very attuned to the building’s history in the neighborhood, and is working with the Historic Preservation Office and others to make sure the building is restored properly with respect to its past uses. More details will be coming before the ANC 2B later this year.

Steam Cafe’s last day was Sunday, March 31. I spoke with the owner and he plans on opening in Fairfax, closer to where he lives. I have heard an Indian kabob establishment may be taking over the space, but do not have confirmation or any details yet.

Annie’s Paramount Steak House is partnering again with Dining Out for Life on Thursday, April 4, donating 100% of their sales to support Food & Friends, supporting those facing HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses. I am planning on dining there Thursday.

Church of the Holy City on 16th Street at Corcoran is renovating and improving some of their interior space, expanding upon their spiritual entrepreneurship program, and recently applied for a grant with the D.C. Preservation League to help support preservation of their church tower. I wrote a letter to the D.C. Preservation League in March with strong support for this historic preservation grant, joining the Dupont Circle Conservancy, the Ward 2 D.C. Council office, and others.

Astoria, in the space between Agora and JR’s, is aiming to open later in April. Their architect has a snapshot of the interior. Some hints eluding to the inspiration of their menu is on their Instagram.

Hank’s Oyster Bar’s new outdoor summer garden, located on the second level through the rear of the restaurant, is aiming to open very soon this month. Above is a sneak peak at the uncompleted space.

On the 20th/21st/22nd Protected Bike Lanes Project, DDOT’s recommended alternative “will be primarily on 20th Street NW, with an east-west connection to 21st Street NW using F and G Streets NW.” They are working with the Dupont Circle Farmers Market, and others, to make sure the project is successful. More information, as well as details of the upcoming April 13 meeting can be found at

Humane Rescue Alliance’s Cat Neighborhood Partnership Program (CatNiPP) works with neighborhood outdoor cats that coexist in our neighborhoods to make sure they are vaccinated and neutered. Part of the CatNiPP program are Blue Collar Cats, where cats that are more fit to be outdoor are placed to help mitigate rodents. Dupont Circle has some successful experience with this program, and there’s at least one business on 17th Street who has recently inquired about participating. I have met with Humane Rescue Alliance on this and there are a lot of factors involved to determine if new outdoor cats in the neighborhood are a proper fit or not. Please email or call me if you have any questions or interest in this program.

As always, keep in touch!

Aaron Landry
Secretary, ANC 2B
Commissioner, SMD 2B04

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