Dupont Circle

Co-working in DC: How Cove is Changing the Game

Cove in Dupont

The second floor suite at the northern edge of the Dupont Circle neighborhood is compact, but cozy. There are several work tables and chairs setup in the center, and a glass partition blocks off a small six seat conference room at the rear, and an open and bright space at the front of the suite with a bar like you might find at a coffeeshop. There are a few people buzzing around, but it’s just 8am.  The track lighting is elegant without being jarring, and the space looks cozy. This is Cove, and they’re about to upset the city’s co-working apple cart.

If you’ve looked at co-working in the District, places like U Street’s Affinity Lab or Anacostia’s The DC Hive come to mind. They are full-service operations for teams and solo practitioners who need offices, and unfortunately their full-service nature comes with a hefty price tag. DC Hive starts at $100/mo, with private offices at $1200/mo, while Affinity Lab’s base offering is $325/mo.  While both are fine spaces to work, with quality staff and amenities, when it came time for me to consider an office that wasn’t a coffeeshop, the cost of these spaces pushed me back.

When I first read about Cove’s model, I thought it might be too good to be true. A part-time space at a common work environment (thought to be co-working’s strong social benefit) starts at $24 per month? For serious? Is it a condemned building? With no WiFi? And coffee that was last roast during the first Marion Barry Administration?

Not hardly. Cove’s Adam Segal is quick to greet you as your arrive at the space, help you to sign into their clever office management system (every user gets a QR code that’s unique to them. Pull it up on your phone, scan it at their door tablet, then claim your space!), point you toward their coffee bar and refrigerator for soda and water, and help you get a good spot to work. Their WiFi is backed up against Comcast’s business network downtown, and they’ve got a backup DSL in case of emergency, and the conference room is well appointed with a large flat-screen for presentations.

Cove’s plan is based around the folks who don’t need a full-time office, but do need a good space to work with solid connectivity and easy access. Plans start at 8 hours per month for the occasional user ($24/mo, with some rollover of hours), and go up to 50 hours per month for the dedicated user, topping out at $124/mo. Additional hours are available to those who go over at the rate associated with your plan, which would put “full-time” residency at or near Affinity’s lowest plan rates.

In addition to their Dupont location, the group is rolling out a new location in Logan Circle at 1624 14th St NW starting the middle of this month, and from conversations with Cove staffers, they have grander plans to spread out throughout the rest of the city. Look for an interview with co-founder Adam Segal in our next podcast episode, due around the time they open their second location.

Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

FREE FOOD ALERT: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Photo courtesy of afagen
Coffee: It’s why you got out of bed today
courtesy of afagen

Cupid wake you up on the wrong side of the bed today? Ease into the day with a free cup of Joe or tea and some breakfast treats at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s grand opening in the Dupont Circle Hilton.

Plus if you take a picture on your phone with the “Cupid” they have on site (please tweet those my way because I’d love to see you striking a pose with a goofy cupid for a little chuckle), you’ll get half off all drinks for the rest of February when you show the photo to the barista. Or you might be one of the lucky 12 to win a month of free drinks.

The open house goes from 7 AM until 10 AM today. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is located at 1919 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20009.

Happy Valentine’s day!

Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Casa Nonna’s Tavola 12

Photo courtesy of
‘Chef Amy Brandwein of Casa Nonna’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

If you told me that there was a restaurant in town where I could get a delicious, savory 12-course meal for $55, I’d at least raise an eyebrow at you. But Casa Nonna in Dupont Circle is offering just that at their new in-house concept, Tavola 12.

The 12-seat tasting bar is available on Fridays and Saturdays and showcases executive chef Amy Brandwein’s culinary talent. You can leisurely sit at the bar while chatting with Amy, watching each course be prepared by the chef and listening to the chef explain each course. You can add wine pairings to the dinner for an extra $30 per person.

While the menu changes based on what the chef wants to prepare for the night, you’ll find a quick recap of some of the highlights I tasted at Tavola 12 after the jump.
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Dupont Circle, Real World DC, The Features, Tourism

Laogai Museum – A Dupont Detour

Photo courtesy of
‘Laogai Museum 4′
courtesy of ‘jcm_DC’

The Laogai Museum may be small, but it packs a punch. Tucked away in the old Real World DC house off Dupont Circle, its one-floor exhibit explores the dark underbelly of Chinese labor camps and human rights policies.

“Laogai” means “reform through labor” and refers to oppressive tactics the museum claims China has used to punish political prisoners since 1949. Harry Wu, a survivor of the Laogai camps, founded the museum in 2008 as part of the larger Laogai Research Foundation. The museum moved into its current location last April, where they now offer free admission and guided tours.

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Dupont Circle, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Capital City Ball

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘theqspeaks’

Since moving to DC, I’ve been wanting to play a socialite a la Real Housewives, but every time the opportunity arises my limo’s in the shop and my bank account is empty. Sigh.

If you face the same problem, why not check out the Capital City Ball this Saturday night? For $150 you get an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a dance floor for the evening at The Washington Club. Not a bad deal.

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Alexandria, Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed, We Love Food

Pizzeria Paradiso Celebrates 20 Years

Photo courtesy of
‘Pizzeria Paradiso’
courtesy of ‘afagen’

There’s an old friend in town who’s turning 20 next week: Pizzeria Paradiso.

Back in November 1991, the pizzeria opened its first location in Dupont Circle and over its history has not only revamped the original spot, but expanded to Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. Not too shabby of an accomplishment for a local small business, right?

“When Pizzeria Paradiso was created, the things motivating it were community, laughter and tasty food,” said chef and owner Ruth Gresser in a news release. “We were all so excited when our first customers entered the restaurant a few minutes after we unlocked the front door. And now, we’re so happy to reach our ’20 Something’ anniversary so we can celebrate by eating and laughing with our family of customers and staff.”

In honor of its 20th birthday, the restaurant is hosting a week of events as part of their “20 Something” Celebration:

  • Monday, November 7th – Get one large and one small pizza for $20 on take-out orders only.
  • Tuesday, November 8th – Receive a 20th anniversary beer glass when you purchase a beer with your meal. The 8th is the restaurant’s official birthday.
  • Wednesday, November 9th – Pay $20 for all you can eat pizza and beer (note: you can eat all the pizza you want, but there’s 2 beer maximum).
  • Thursday, November 10th – Pay $20 for a small special pizza and an anniversary beer.
  • Friday, November 11th – Your first beer is just 20 cents.
  • Saturday, November 12th – Dine in at a location and pay just 20 cents for toppings (note: 3 toppings maximum)
  • Sunday, November 13th – Round out the week with “20 Free Pizzas” Family/Kids Day from 1-4 PM. Kids can be part of a make your own pizza demonstration with owner/chef Ruth Gresser and the first 20 kid’s pizzas are free (note: Old Town location only).

Plus, Pizzeria Paradiso will be hosting a trivia contest on their Facebook pages (GeorgetownOld TownDupont) with $20 gift certificate prizes twice per day. And their lucky 2,000th Twitter follower will receive three $20 gift certificates, one for each location.

Congratulations and happy birthday to Pizzeria Paradiso for serving up tasty slices to DC for 20 years!

Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle Expands

Photo courtesy of
‘A Summer Night Delight’
courtesy of ‘LaTur’

Hank’s Oyster Bar just got a whole lot bigger and better. The restaurant in Dupont Circle recently renovated and doubled its capacity to 68 seats inside, 40 seats on the outdoor patio and a private dining room upstairs. Plus, the new lounge space next door is offering longer late night service until 2 AM on Sundays through Thursdays and until 3 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you go to check out the new space, I recommend trying some of the new bar snacks such as their seafood ceviche and the housemade pretzels with beer cheese sauce. Since oysters are the name of the game, try Hank’s own variety, the Hayden’s Reef Oyster, named after the son of chef/owner, Jamie Leeds. The meaty oysters were developed with the help of Bruce Wood of Dragon Creek in Montross, Virginia and have a good, slightly sweet flavor. And before the restaurant’s menu changes with the new season approaching, try their getaway cocktail with a homemade cinnamon clove syrup. Park yourself on the patio or the bar for a few hours and take in the beautiful new space.

Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Hank’s Oyster Bar

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘sygyzy’
Hank’s Oyster Bar has all the makings of being my go-to secret neighborhood joint — that perfectly undiscovered gem, with amazing food and an owner who remembers me so I never have to wait for a table. In a perfect world, yes, this would be the case. But this is not a perfect world and the rest of Washington has discovered Hank’s. There’s usually a wait, and to make matters worse, it’s not even in my neighborhood. But it almost was my neighborhood. I looked at an apartment in the Cairo building, and while I was thrilled with the opportunity to live in a haunted former brothel, I was even more excited about the possibility of living within viewing distance of the line at Hank’s.

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Dupont Circle, Entertainment, Food and Drink, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Liquid Lessons: Hotel Cocktails

Photo courtesy of
‘Glasses Half Full’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

There’s something about the combination of historic grand hotels and cocktail culture that absolutely enchants me. Judging from the crowd waiting to get into the seminar on great hotel cocktails last night at Tabard Inn, I’m not alone. Hosted by Philip Greene of the Museum of the American Cocktail, Better Drinking‘s Derek Brown, and Tabard’s own Chantal Tseng, it was a fascinating evening both informative and funny on the phenomenon of the American hotel cocktail.

The three witty hosts mixed up drinks and dispensed history, from the Prohibition days of revolving bars and secret staircases, to the fabled round table of the Algonquin, to Hawaii’s pink palaces on the sea. We even got to shake up our own Ramos Gin Fizzes (the two minutes of vigorous shaking resulting in the beautiful meringue top of this delicate drink? well worth the effort) while hearing about shady Huey Long bringing that glorious New Orleans cocktail to New York City as a PR stunt. It worked. Continue reading

Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Zorba’s Cafe

Photo courtesy of
‘Zorba’s Cafe’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

So now that it is sort of starting to get warmer (right? RIGHT?) all I can think about is eating and drinking outside. As a native Washingtonian, I know that the window of outdoor eating opportunity here in our nation’s capital is small, and I like to take advantage of it when I can. Since we’ve been friends for a while, Internet readers, I feel like it’s high time I let you in on my absolute favorite outdoor dining spot — Zorba’s. If you’ve never been here before, you have without a doubt walked by it a thousand times and never looked twice. Right by the Q St. exit of the Dupont Circle Metro stop, it doesn’t exactly scream “fancy dining experience.” And to be honest, you’re right. It may not be fancy, but they’ve got lots of patio seating, pitchers of beer and food that reminds me of sunny days nursing a hangover on the beaches of Greece. Or at least, that’s what I think they’d be like.

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Dupont Circle, The Daily Feed, WTF?!

DC Lady Warning: Dupont Circle is a hazard zone this weekend

Photo courtesy of
‘Thomas Jefferson, Pimp Daddy’
courtesy of ‘tbridge’

Heads up ladies and gentlemen, there’s a shark hazard going out this weekend.  According to the City Paper, there’s a pickup artist (nay, the world’s finest pickup artist) on the loose this weekend, and he’ll be giving lessons to schmucks desperate enough to pay $1,300 to get a bit of game.

They’ll be working out of a Dupont Circle hotel, with “field trips” to area bars and coffeeshops, so if this is your normal bailiwick, consider yourself warned. Though, as WCP points out, the gents desperate enough to pay $1,300 to a scam artist are probably pretty loaded catches, so gold diggers, this is your definition of a “target rich environment”.

Or, if you like, you could have a blast just fucking with these guys.  That’s personally what I’d do.  But I’m not a lady.

Dupont Circle, Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Return to Haifa

Raida Adon and Rozina Kambos in The Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv's "Return to Haifa" at Theater J. Photo credit: Stan Barouh.

Two women are arguing about their son. One gave birth to him, the other raised him. The adoptive mother makes a cutting comment about the son being more likely to listen to her than his birth mother. Many in the audience laugh. It’s a grim laugh, low and knowing.

A women next to me says out loud in frustration and disbelief, “Why is that funny?”

It was a strange preview night at Theater J, watching the production of Return to Haifa performed by the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv in Hebrew and Arabic. Uncomfortable for some, painful for others, odd for me in my role as critic – as the talkback session afterwards becomes a bit of theater unto itself, worth investigating just as much as reviewing the play. I didn’t know what to make of the whole thing when I left. I still don’t.

Two mothers. One Jewish, one Muslim. One Israeli, one Palestinian. And their son, all of the above, or none of any of it. Questions arose at the talkback with Anton Goodman, Jewish Agency Shaliach, and Ari Roth, artistic director of Theater J, that still whirl in my head: Is it a play appropriating a beloved piece of Palestinian literature, as one member of the talkback accused? Is it a play attempting to own a dual narrative, to both celebrate and mourn at the same time, as Goodman believed? A play that makes soldiers unable to be strong for their country, as a mother in the audience feared?

What I can tell you about Return to Haifa… is that you will leave with many questions. Continue reading

Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Tabard Warms You Up

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’

There are warm winter drinks, and then there are hot drinks. As in flaming hot! Next Tuesday’s tasting at Tabard Inn will feature one I recently tried in New Orleans, Cafe Brulot, a combination of coffee, brandy and spices. Chantal Tseng will demonstrate how to prepare it in the classic style, as the brandy is set on fire while cascading down a long spiraling orange peel (“Wish me luck!” she says). Though the pyrotechnics are a lot of fun, they aren’t just for show – the flaming preparation gives the drink a spicy hot citrus taste. There’s a distinct thick richness that comes from the alchemy as the flaming liquid is poured down the orange peel repeatedly. I loved it in New Orleans and can’t wait to warm up with it again.

There’s lots more to the evening, with Adam Bernbach of Proof and Estadio joining Chantal to focus on other hot drinks branching out from the classics. Talented Tabard chef Paul Pelt will provide pairings for the winter warmers with three tasting-size courses, ending with dessert by Huw Griffiths. All for $50 inclusive, from 7pm-9pm on January 25. To RSVP, email

Dupont Circle, The District, The Features

Phillips Collection celebrates 90th Birthday this weekend

Photo courtesy of
‘Phillips Collection Music Room’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle, when it opened in 1921, became the country’s first museum to focus on modern art, beating New York’s MOMA by 8 years.  Founded by the scion of steel baron Duncan Clinch Philips, the museum has been a central hub of the modern art world for 90 years now.  This weekend, the museum is hosting a Free Weekend for all to enjoy as part of a kickoff celebration of their ninetieth year.

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Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Yola: Yogurt Parfait Bar Opens

Photo courtesy of
‘Chalkboard detail, Yola’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

We all know about the proliferation of frozen yogurt spots in DC over the past few years, and frankly I’ve gotten bored with them – especially now in the winter when my chattering teeth can’t take it. So I was intrigued when invited to a media preview of a new yogurt place that serves up it fresh instead.

Yola is a “fresh yogurt parfait bar” in Dupont Circle started up by Laura Smith, Owner and Food Director, and her father David Smith, as a way of highlighting the fresh yogurt and smoothie bars Laura had enjoyed in Europe. Though at first glance it looks like any frozen yogurt bar, with the usual bins of fresh fruit and crunchy toppings, the yogurt selections are all made fresh by two local family farms – Blue Ridge Dairy in Leesburg, VA and Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA. Blue Ridge supplies Yola with both thick Greek-style yogurt and regular low-fat yogurts like honey and vanilla, while Trickling Springs goes for flavors such as maple or the old-reliable chocolate.

I felt instantly Yola was going to become a favorite breakfast haunt of mine. It just has a cute, friendly vibe.

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Dupont Circle, Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, The Features

Pounding the Pavement in the Name of Chocolate

Courtesy of D.C. Metro Chocolate Tours

There are days when all you want to do is eat lots and lots of chocolate. You don’t care who sees you, and it’s not completely outside the realm of possibilities that you will visit not one, not two, but multiple stores in search of something to quench you thirst for something sweet. As a girl who has been down that road a time or two, it can be a bit embarrassing to run out of the house in your sweats and unwashed hair to blindly search for chocolate. But what if there was a way to justify this lapse in presentability by doing it in the name of learning? If you can make peace with that jacked up reasoning, then D.C. Metro Chocolate Tours is for you.

The tour is in its infancy here, but began in Boston over twenty years ago when a man who loved chocolate figured that lots of other people did too. Not until his daughter moved down here to attend George Washington University did he set his sights on our nation’s capital. They’ve only been operational for about six weeks, but judging from the tour I went on, already has quite a following.

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Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Agora

Photo Credit: Kim Maxwell Vu

A very good friend (and frequent dinner date) lived on 17th St. and P St. for a long time before moving to New York earlier this year. At least once a month we would meet at her house with no real dinner plan, walk out the front door and…stand. There were plenty of restaurants on 17th St., but none of them ever really struck us as compelling. It was all very poetic – restaurants, restaurants everywhere but not a bite to eat. There was Komi (too expensive), Sushi Taro (too long of a wait), and the slew of restaurant slash bar establishments that I could never really tell apart. Enter Agora to solve all my problems.

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Dupont Circle, News, The Daily Feed

Dupont Underground Update

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘MikaAltskan’

The Dupont Underground, a 100,000 square foot trolley station beneath the eponymous circle, is undergoing development again. The first meeting of one group vying for the space is scheduled for next Wednesday night at 7:00 in the Dupont Hotel may shed some light on what their initial plans would look like. Mark your calendar, we’ll see you there.

Business and Money, Dupont Circle, Entertainment, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, News, People, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The District

Proper Topper Sale: Consolidating Shops

Photo courtesy of
‘PEYTON- Infinity Cowl Olive Green Brass Buttons’
courtesy of ‘smittenkittenorig’

After close to a decade of business on P Street, the Proper Topper’s Georgetown shop will be closing its doors on October 31st. Fear not, the billowy blouses, floral dresses and chic hats will still be available at Proper’s Dupont shop. To lighten their consolidating shop load, the store is hosting a “Wrap-It-Up” sale starting this Saturday with discounts going up as the closing time approaches. Additionally, this Sunday the shop will host the (rescheduled) Proper Swapper, where attendees can swap clothes, eat treats and help raise funds for Martha’s Table.

Adams Morgan, Arlington, Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, Penn Quarter

Hibernation Schedule for D.C. Area Farmers Markets

Photo courtesy of
‘Late Season Harvest.’
courtesy of ‘leedav’

Now is that time of year when you wake up a little late Saturday morning and have that mental debate with yourself over whether to get up or roll over and sleep until it’s sunny again. Last year around this time I was having that very same fight, when I bribed myself to get out of bed by heading to the local farmers market…just to find out it had closed the weekend before. It’s tough to keep all the closing dates straight, so read on and find your local market and its closing date, or check out the ones that stay open even when it’s frigid outside. Everyone loves shivering in front of their veggie purveyor.

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