City Paper Widget

Friday, February 27, 2015

14th Street Sidewalk Cafe for Slipstream Coffee

A committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle unanimously endorsed a request for a sidewalk cafe for coffee shop/cocktail bar Slipstream (1333 14th Street NW) at a regular monthly meeting on February 25.

(Photo credit below)
A settlement agreement signed by the establishment and ANC2F in 2013 dictates that the sidewalk cafe cannot have more than 20 seats. The same agreement also says Slipstream can serve sidewalk patrons starting at 8 am seven days a week. They can continue until midnight Sunday to Wednesday, and 1 am Thursday to Sunday, plus the evening before federal holidays.

Ryan Fleming, co-proprietor (with wife Miranda) of Slipstream, told ANC2F's Community Development Committee (CDC) that DC public space regulations will also limit the number of tables to four.

In order to use public space like a sidewalk, it is necessary to get a public space permit from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). A letter of endorsement from the ANC makes the process go more smoothly.

The plan is to put tables outside during hours of operation and pull them in at closing -- no permanent fixtures. There will be no railing fences at the perimeter of the space. The committee recommended putting planters at the corners of the outside space.

There were comparisons to the outdoor space of their immediate neighbor, the restaurant Birch and Barley (1337 14th Street) when Fleming told the ANC that slipstream would have an awning.

"Will it be as imposing as Birch and Barley?" asked CDC member Jim Lamare (Commissioner for district 05).

"The awning is not similar to theirs," Fleming said. He further explained that the awning was already in place and, unlike Birch and Barley, was attached to the building.

In many cases, after getting a public space permit from DDOT, a liquor licensee has an additional step of going back to DC's liquor-licensing authorities for specific permission to sell alcohol outside. However, in this case, the proprietors had the foresight to have provisions about outdoor service written into its original settlement agreement (an 11-page .pdf viewable here), even though they did not immediately use it. At the meeting, Fleming said Slipstream did not start outdoor service directly upon opening because it did not have the money to buy extra tables, chairs, planters, etc.

This matter is on the agenda for the next meeting of the full ANC, scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, at 7pm, at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle). Matters passed unanimously by the CDC are routinely passed by the full ANC without further discussion, unless someone from the community shows up to object.

There is a September 20, 2013, SALM blog post about this establishment when it was still in its planning stages.

(Photo credit: Joe Flood/ - Creative Commons License 2.0)

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