Columbia Heights


IHOP: “We are here for this community.”

When our server walked up, she put this coaster down next to our coffee pot.

Yesterday, I visited the new IHOP in Columbia Heights. It was opening day and despite the oppressively gray sky and fat rain drops, the place was almost full. I reviewed the food and wrote about my first impressions, here.

At the end of my late lunch, Briana– the most pleasant server I have encountered this year– brought over her towering boss, Clarence Jackson. He was so tall that my neck cracked from looking up at him and I was relieved when he cordially asked if he could sit down. I immediately realized that this was the “cop” whom people had commented about online, who owned both this IHOP and the one in Southeast. Suddenly, I was much less worried about hordes of marauding teens Metro-ing up from Gallery Place to invade Columbia Heights. As Briana had merrily said earlier when I asked her about potential rowdiness, “See that 6’7″ man over there? He’s my boss. And he’s a police officer. We’re not worried.”

I asked Mr. Jackson how his newest endeavor’s first day was going.

“I am very pleased.”

He inquired about my meal (and was the sixth person to do so, at that point) and I told him the truth; that it was better than I had expected and that the service was wonderful, too.

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Suddenly, an IHOP.

On my way home from WAMU, I passed the new, soon-to-be-open IHOP in Columbia Heights. Much to my surprise, it was brightly lit, filled with tables and it looked as if they were training employees, inside. It was shocking to see new furniture and activity where there had previously just been dust, but then I remembered that they hope to start serving diners, this month. Finally, a late-night dining option in Columbia Heights. Some of my neighbors are vocal about their fears; they worry that IHOP will attract drunks, rowdy teenagers, gang members (?) and the like. I’ll wait until it’s actually functioning to worry about any of that. I’m a pragmatist (who loves pancakes).

All Quiet at Columbia Heights’ Precinct 36

Elizabeth Thomsen

Precinct 36: Latin American Youth Center, 1419 Columbia Road, NW

Just wandered down to my local polling place and heard that out of 5,333 registered voters, a total of 505 have participated in the democratic process.

There were no lines, and it was fairly quiet, which makes sense because it’s after lunch. This morning it was busy and they’re expecting traffic to pick up again at 4pm, when the apres-work crowd arrives.

If you don’t know where your polling place is, DC’s BOEE has a very useful site which asks for your address and then tells you where to go. You have until 8pm tonight, to vote.

Who are the people in your neighborhood?


Z Burger in Glover Park.

I live in Columbia Heights. I end up at DCUSA, or what I call the “vertical strip mall“, almost daily. I was overjoyed that the Target within it expanded their grocery section because I avoid the Giant supermarket near 14th and Park unless it’s an emergency; the last time I was there, it was during a blizzard and the infamously-long lines stretched to the back of the store– and then wrapped around it.

I’ve dined at almost every establishment within a block of the Metro except for the ones that weren’t vegetarian-friendly. I write all of this to say that I know the commercial, congested two-block strip of Columbia Heights between where I live and the historic, Tivoli Theatre, and I know it well. And that is why I am concomitantly happy and annoyed that Prince of Petworth announced the impending arrival of Z Burger, a local chain currently serving Tenleytown and Glover Park. Continue reading

Target’s New Produce Section


…in Columbia Heights. They had everything from individually-wrapped baking potatoes to Target-brand Naan-bread. I wasn’t sure what to expect (I shop at this Target weekly, if not more frequently) but I was surprised by the items they now carried. Other shoppers were discussing how the prices measured up to Giant and Trader Joe’s. I saw juices and two-bite brownies like the ones sold at Whole Foods. It feels like an ambitious effort.

IHOP Columbia Heights draws 300 job-seekers


Pancakes from IHOP

You may have heard that on November 16, an International House of Pancakes will be opening in our city’s favorite vertical strip mall, DCUSA. It will employ 100 people. Via TBD:

More than 300 have submitted applications so far for what will be an IHOP across from Columbia Heights Metro. It is owned by the same family who opened D.C.’s first IHOP in Southeast two years ago: the Jacksons. They say federal stimulus money’s made this new opening possible.

Clarence Jackson, co-owner of the franchise, is a D.C. cop.

They want to hire in the neighborhood; people who can walk to work. Some applicants have no job.

“I’m trying to get any job right now just to have some cash…” shared Godfrey Nnadim.

Another restaurant for 11th Street NW

I know, this is southwestern food, not regional Mexican. But it was delicious.

Columbia Heights is getting a new, and hopefully delicious neighbor: a Mexican restaurant. Via Tim Carman’s “Young and Hungry” column in the City Paper:

The tiny, 800-square-foot operation will be located at 3313 11th St., in a former liquor store, and will not only sell regional Mexican foods but also snacks inspired by the L.A. street food scene.

They’re going to be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and possibly late night. I hope they’re slightly more Vegetarian-friendly than Taqueria Distrito Federal. The proprietor, Jackie Greenbaum, had her reasons for picking the 11th Street location: Continue reading

Are you scared of Bed Bugs, too?


A pesticide-covered bed bug!

Bed Bugs are all over the news, and if you live in DC, chances are you’re snickering about how unlike New Yorkers, we can still go to the movies even as you nervously make a mental note to check your own mattress, later on. Just last week, WTOP reported that  we were the ninth-most-infested city in the nation.

I believe it. Two weeks ago, I saw a memorable message on Twitter retweeted a few times; it warned people near Columbia Heights to not be tempted by a nice mattress which had been left out on the curb. “It has BEDBUGS!”, the tweet blared.

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