Washington, D.C. might be one of the fastest growing cities in America. It weathered the recession well, and business in this town is booming. And while new shops, restaurants and even buildings seem to pop up every day, from the currently under construction City Center downtown to the newly revamped Adams Morgan, one neighborhood is always at the vanguard of development.
H Street NE is perhaps the most popular and happening neighborhood in the entire D.C. Metro area. A new place to dine or spot to drink or store to shop opens almost every single day.
And with a large crop of new businesses, it would be impossible to check out all the area has to offer in a single visit. Unless, that is, every place leaves it’s storefront behind to set up shop in the streets, where you could easily browse wares and taste bites.
If that’s sounds appealing, then you are entirely in luck. This Saturday, all of H Street will be closed down, from 8th Street down to 14th Street, for the annual H Street Festival. Six blocks of almost everything you could want from the neighborhood, their biggest event of the year. The fair on Saturday runs from noon to 7:00 p.m. and you need to expect crowds. Last year’s event attracted over 45,000 people to the single-day celebration.
The lineup this year promises to bring crowds just as large, with as strong a showing as ever, almost every business along the corridor represented. That includes people who have just opened up shop, as well as some of the longest-serving businesses in the community.
If you prefer the familiar to the foreign, one of the oldest spots on H Street will have a huge presence. Taylor Gourmet, who’s popular Philadelphia style hoagies started driving droves to the neighborhood, will be serving sandwiches all day. Along with that they, they’ll host an eating competition, to see who can devour the most of their subs in a 15 minute span.
As for the newly opened restaurants, perhaps the most popular booth will be H&Pizza’s. They just hit the town last month and are already drawing rave reviews. They serve some of their most popular pies, as well as new ones cooked up for the day.
And because of the festival’s ability to draw crowds, some shops that haven’t even started yet will have booths. They yet to open Impala Cantina y Taqueria will set up outside it’s unfinished brick-and-mortar establishment, serving its menu for the very first time.
But food is just one of the many great elements of the H Street Festival. There’s also drinking. Biergarten Haus, which is known for its large steins of German brews and rowdy patio, will set up two miniature versions of their garden for people to imbibe. There almost isn’t an element of H Street culture that won’t be on display.
The Atlas Performing Arts Center will offer free dance demonstrations, while next to it, popular music venue Rock N Roll Hotel will host acts all day free of charge.
Even clothing gets a shake, with the artisanal clothing company Accoutre, whose owner Eliot Payne hand sews bow ties at his house off H Street, will host a booth, displaying his line of fashionable neckwear.
Which means this weekend, whether it’s food, drink, music or fashion that strikes your fancy, you can get it all at one of the largest area events, the 2012 H Street Festival.
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