City Paper Widget

Friday, March 27, 2015

"Everybody That Goes to Popeye's Must Be Drunk"

When the Popeye's Fried Chicken on 14th Street NW between N Street and Rhode Island Avenue closed recently, some were sad. It was inexpensive, and also had a drive-up window on the neighboring alley.

The leaders of Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church (1306 Vermont Street) were not so
sad. For decades, the back wall of the church has been victimized by drivers in the alley. Many, the church management thinks, might have been customers of Popeye's with the late-night munchies.

How it was (Google Street View)
"We always said, 'Everybody that goes to Popeye's must be drunk'," a representative of Mt. Olivet's building committee told a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle on March 25.

Why were the church and the Community Development Committee (CDC) discussing the sobriety of the drivers emerging from a now-closed business? Because now Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church must spend $100,000 to repair and repoint the rear wall of the church.

It is using $50,000 of its own money on the job, and asking the DC Preservation League for a matching $50,000 grant. A representative of Mt. Olivet appeared before the CDC to request a letter of support.

The church yesterday
The church will be repointing and repairing the whole length of the wall, but it is not clear yet on how high the labor-intensive repairs can go -- assuming the church gets the $100,000 it wants.

"Mt. Olivet has always been a valued member of the community," said a CDC member.

The committee unanimously passed a motion to send a letter of "unqualified support of the matching grant" to the DC Preservation League. The matter will now move to the full ANC for approval, where it will probably meet with little opposition or discussion.

Once repaired, the wall may not be subject to the same level of wear-and-tear, as the proposed new mixed-use building for the location will fill in the alley, as wall as replace the two neighboring buildings. 

See the agenda of the next meeting of ANC2F here. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, at 7pm, at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle).

Popeye's will soon open a more upscale version of the franchise across 14th Street from its former location.

See a short video explaining repointing brick walls here.

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