Plus, EatWell DC is opening a restaurant in La Plata
Music and arts festival OPUS Merriweather is bringing in some heavy-hitters to help feed 15,000 art lovers. Rose’s Luxury will serve its beloved lychee salad while Colada Shop dishes out empanadas at the festival’s culinary village. It’s all going down on Saturday, October 13 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The festival draws 25 groundbreaking artists and musicians from across the world. Update: OPUS is now free, thanks to a sponsor.
Here’s the full slated lineup of the restaurants and businesss that will make up the culinary village:
Rose’s Luxury - Lychee Salad
Fluffness - Organic Cotton Candy
Colada Shop - Cuban empanadas
Cured - Philly cheesesteak
B. Doughnut - Doughnuts
Big Cheese Truck - Grilled cheese
NeatMeat - Variety of Sloppy Joes
Peruvian Brothers - Peruvian chicken
La Cuchara - Chapas roasted veggies and salsa
Blendabowl - Acaí and pitaya bowls and smoothies
Alma Cocina - Arepas
Dolci Gelati - Italian gelato and sorbetto
Farm to Charm - Burgers, sandwiches, fries, salad
Metzger Bar and Butchery - Sausage sandwiches, kraut slaw, beer mustard; fried oyster mushrooms, rye aioli
Rice Paper - Taste of Vietnam, Bún Chả Hà Nội
Mirai - Poke and snacks
Chef and Fiola owner Fabio Trabocchi put out a statement yesterday responding to the Ted Cruz heckling incident, saying that the restaurant has implemented additional safety and measures going forward at all his restaurants. “We did our best Monday night to show D.C. what it means to live, love, and work in a city where all voices are welcome — and quite necessary — to make a republic work,” he writes.
EatWell DC restaurant group, known for restaurants like The Bird, The Pig, Grillfish, Commissary, and Logan Tavern, is opening up a new venture in downtown La Plata. The Charles is opening March 1 at 417 Charles Street, La Plata, Md. This neighborhood restaurant will serve a “greatest hits” collection from the EatWell’s other restaurants, like duck meatballs from The Bird and pork buns from The Pig. The Charles will be done up like a modern farmhouse, with room for 300 diners.
In other Maryland news, Silver Diner is opening a location in Elkridge, Md. on October 1. The 5800-square-foot restaurant will have 238 seats including a full bar, serving up cocktails, spiked shakes, and local wine and beers. The retro-inspired spot serves classic diner fare and vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu items too.
Charlie’s On The Avenue is expanding into the lot next door
A new outdoor hangout is headed to a former garden store space in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood. Patch reports that the newly-reopened Charlie’s On The Avenue will expand into the lot next to the restaurant, which was previously home to garden supply store Greenstreet Garden space at 1503-1505 Mount Vernon Avenue. The Alexandria City Council approved the move for the restaurant, which is now owned by the team behind nearby Live Oak. Charlie’s On The Avenue’s menu is a crowd-pleaser, with entrees like Cuban paninis, pork barbecue sliders, fish and chips, and chicken tenders.
A rep from Charlie’s On The Avenue told Eater: “While I do not have an exact timetable for its opening, we hope to have it open very soon,” adding: “We will be dog friendly and we plan on serving can beers, draft cocktails, and wine. The games section will include corn hole, Jenga, Connect Four, and others.”
The neighborhood will soon have beer gardens anchoring either side of Mount Vernon: a beer garden called Hops ’n’ Shine is coming to the former Peruvian chicken restaurant at the north end of Del Ray’s Mount Vernon Avenue by the end of this year.
Oktoberfest is essentially a perfect concept: a festival all about drinking beer and eating glutinous snacks? Yes please. Happily, the price of admission to the celebration does not include a plane ticket to Germany. Lots (and lots) of D.C. bars and restaurants are getting in on the fun. Here, a list of all the best bets for celebrating Oktoberfest in style.
Did we miss any? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
City Tap House
901 9th St. NW; 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW
Saturday, September 22 to Sunday, October 7
Both locations of this beer-centric spot are celebrating Oktoberfest, with cheap, themed beers ($7 - $10) and food specials (like massive pretzels.) The Penn Quarter location is also transforming its patio into a biergarten for the weekend.
2446 18th St. NW
Saturday, September 22 to Sunday, October 7
Adams Morgan bar Roofers Union will offer a rotating cast of Oktoberfest themed beers for the festival — both domestic brews like Port City’s Oktoberfest and suds straight from Germany’s Weihenstephaner brewery — for $7 - $10. Food options include pierogis with sauerkraut, bacon and caraway and a pork schnitzel dish with spaetzle.
1101 1st St. NE
Friday, September 28 to Sunday, September 30
German beer garden Wunder Garten is giving tribute to its name and putting on its fourth annual Oktoberfest event this last weekend of September. The official tapping of the keg — Spaten Oktoberfest — starts at 4pm on Friday. Festivities continue into midnight on Friday, starting back up again at noon on Saturday, with a performance of traditional Oktoberfest tunes. Sunday has “Dogtoberfest,” where dressed-up pets are put on parade and donations of new toys/blankets/dog food are encouraged to support shelter pups.
1400 Irving St. NW
Through October 7
Bar Roubaix has been celebrating Oktoberfest since the middle of September. The bar’s specials are all about the beer. There’s a rotating tap of local and imported Oktoberfest beers; all draft beers are just $4 on the enclosed patio biergarten.
300 Tingey St. SE
Saturday, September 21
From noon to 5p.m., Bluejacket is hosting its Oktoberfest celebration, complete with four Franconian gravity kegs of the brewery’s own beer. Half- and full-liter pours are available, as are commemorative brewery logo mugs and shirts.
Sauf Haus DC
1216 18th St. NW
Saturday, September 22 to Tuesday, October 30
The biergarten is kicking off its Oktoberfest event this Saturday, September 22 and celebrating clear through the month of October. The fest’s first night sees live music and stein hoisting competitions; a brunch series stars September 29, and “Sautfoberfest” begins October 3. Finally, a costume contest with prizes is going on Saturday, October 6.
In absolutely shocking sub shop news, Washingtonianreports that Taylor Gourmet, beloved local sandwich chain with over a dozen locations in D.C., is closing every store in its portfolio. The last day for all D.C.-area Taylor Gourmet shops is Sunday, September 23 — two days from today.
There have been rumblings about trouble with Taylor, but no expectations of a closing of this magnitude. Earlier this month Eater D.C. reported that Taylor was considering scaling back a bit, possibly closing three of their stores. Now, all their D.C. stores — plus two in Chicago — will all be closed by weekend’s end. Taylor is also very likely about to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, says Washingtonian.
There are not yet official details on the reason for the mass shutter, though Taylor is officially blaming too-fast expansion. Washingtonian says, however, that a handful of folks close to the business blame a meeting between Taylor owner Casey Patten and President Trump for a huge amount of the trouble. Taylor faced higher than expected backlash after Owner Casey Patten met with President Trump at a business roundtable; an anonymous source told the website that the company’s sales dropped a dramatic 40% the day after the meeting and haven’t improved much since. A spokesperson for the company denied that as a reason for the mass shutter, however.
Updated: A spokesperson confirmed the news to Eater but had no new information to share at this time.
Eater has learned another homegrown brand is lending a helping hand to newly jobless Taylor Gourmet employees. Fast-growing Mediterranean chain Cava is holding a job fair on Tuesday, September 25 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Cava’s Chinatown and Mosaic District locations. “They will be open interviews where any Taylor team member can walk-in and meet with a Cava manager,” spokesperson Ben Famous tells Eater.
Interested employees are encouraged to apply in advance for various Cava positions across the tri-state area.
Whether it’s for a day or a month, NoVA will be hosting some of the best Oktoberfest celebrations this side of Munich.
Sweetwater Octoberfest Centreville: Sept. 22, 1-5 p.m.; Sterling: Sept. 29, 2-6 p.m.; Merrifield: Oct. 6, 2-6 p.m. Cost: $25 for adults, $10 for kids under 12 Types of Beer: Wit’s End, Octoberfest, Ghost Town Pumpkin Ale Entertainment: Barbecue-style event with food that includes smoked brisket, slow roasted local pig and traditional bratwurst; live music
Tysons Biergarten Oktoberfest Sept. 22-Oct. 20, times vary Cost: Free; food and drink for purchase Types of Beer: Weihenstephaner ceremonial keg, Scaldis Peach, Weihenstephaner Vitus, Dinkelacker Oktoberfest, Erdiner Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest Entertainment: Monthlong events will include kickoff event; OktoberBreast fundraiser; chili cook-off; wine, beer and cider festival; moon bounce; food trucks; live music; contests
Fort Belvoir Oktoberfest Sept. 27-30, times vary Cost: Free; food and drink for purchase Types of Beer: Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen, Paulaner Hefe Weizewn, Paulaner Wiesn Entertainment: Carnival rides; live music; 5K/10K Volksmarch; Oktoberfest store
Lovettsville Oktoberfest Sept. 28, 5-11 p.m., and Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Cost: Free; food and drink for purchase Types of Beer: German and local beer, wine and gluten-free beer Entertainment: Opening ceremony; wiener dog race; live music; carnival games; pony rides; Toddler Play Zone; stein-hauling/hoisting competitions; Bavarian dancers and music
2 Silos Brewing Co. Oktoberfest Sept. 28, 4:30-10:30 p.m., and Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Cost: $20 Types of Beer: Festival Ale, Pumpkin Ale, Flying Dutchman, 2 Silos’ flagships Entertainment: Authentic German food, music and outfits worn by staff
Crystal City Oktoberfest Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Cost: $30 Types of Beer: Local and German beers, cider and wine Entertainment: Food trucks; live music from local bands; German Oompah Band
Capital Ale House Downtown Fredericksburg Oktoberfest Sept. 29, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Cost: $3 for entry; food and drink for purchase Types of Beer: Local craft beer and imported German beers Entertainment: Live polka music; Kinderplatz area; German cuisine; tables available for reservation
Piketoberfest! Sept. 29 at noon to Sept. 30 at 2 a.m. Cost: Free; food and drink specials Types of Beer: Brickhaus drink menu Entertainment: Beer, brats and pretzels
Port City Outdoor Oktoberfest Party Sept. 29, noon-10 p.m. Cost: Free; food and drink purchases Types of Beer: Port City Oktoberfest; Franconian Kellerbier; German pilsner Entertainment: Live music; food trucks; stein race; stein hoisting competition; costume contest
Arlington ValleyFest ’18 Sept. 30, noon-5 p.m. Cost: $20 Types of Beer: New District Brewery flagships Entertainment: Live music; dance performance by Jane Franklin Dance; Kid’s Zone; art and community vendors
Vienna Oktoberfest Oct. 6, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Cost: Free; food and drink purchases Types of Beer: Caboose Brewing beer/wine garden; Mill Street beer and wine Entertainment: German food; hand-crafter’s market; classic and new German auto show; kids’ games; live music and DJ; dances
Flavors of Fall Oct. 6, noon-11 p.m. Cost: Free; food and drink tickets ($1 per ticket) Types of Beer: TBA Entertainment: Live music and DJ; Reston Pumpkin 5K; Cornhole tournament; Kid’s Alley
Shucktoberfest Oct. 20, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: $26.50 Types of Beer: 30 Virginia craft breweries Entertainment: Food and oyster tents; local vendors; family-friendly activities
Over the past year, five dockless bikeshare companies have launched in DC. Four of them are either gone or are pivoting to scooters. But while they were here, how did their operations impact and compare with Capital Bikeshare's? I led a team at Georgetown University that investigated this question.
CaBi provides public data for the approximately 20 million trips taken to date, which served as the foundation of our analysis. For the dockless pilot trips, we collaborated with DDOT to obtain each dockless operator’s trip data from September 2017 through April 2018. The dockless trip data allowed us to see if our CaBi demand model was accurate and to answer some interesting questions DDOT posed about the pilot.
Here are the top five things we learned from our capstone project.
1 - Warmer temperature and US holidays have greatest impact on CaBi trips
The chart above shows the most important features from our model and whether each feature has a positive or negative impact on daily CaBi demand. For example, DC’s population, which has grown significantly over the eight years that CaBi has been in service, has a strong positive impact on CaBi demand. Conversely, people ride CaBi less if it rains hard.
The features that affect ridership most of all are weather-related. In particular, people ride much more often when it's warm but not humid. Interestingly, ridership declines most when there is a strong threat of rain, but actual rain is not as important.
We found that 80% of CaBi trips are taken by members as part of a daily commute. As a result, US holidays cause CaBi ridership to decrease significantly.
2 - Most dockless bicycles were replaced at an alarming rate
On average, dockless operators are replacing entire fleets more than three times in an eight-month span. The average bike lasted on the street for less than two months. I cannot say for certain why the lifespan of a dockless bike is so short without more operational data from the dockless operators.
In order to calculate the replacement rate, we simply counted all the bikes associated with a dockless operator’s trips in the data they provided. To illustrate this calculation, let’s say an operator placed 400 bikes on the street on average throughout the pilot period. If this operator used 2,600 total bikes during the pilot period, they would have replaced their entire fleet 6.5 times (2600/400 = 6.5).
Capital Bikeshare, on the other had, has only replaced 10% of its bike fleet over an eight-year period, and its bikes last close to 4.5 years on average. CaBi seems to have set the gold standard for bike maintenance for a bikeshare system.
3 - One-off ridership dominated the dockless pilot
A large part of our Capstone project was trying to understand dockless user behavior compared to the two CaBi user groups — members and casual users. It’s important to remember that each dockless operator is capped at 400 bikes during the pilot, while CaBi has more than 4,500 bikes.
Remembering the high dockless bicycle replacement rate, it comes at no surprise that the overwhelming majority of dockless users took five trips or fewer over the dockless pilot period. This statistic tells me that most people are not using dockless bikes for commuting purposes
Digging below the surface of this statistic offers a little more color. These results are a bit deceptive, since there was no way for us to determine how many total dockless trips a user took for all operators combined, only total per operator. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that users tried out several dockless operators, myself included, which would not be captured here.
We saw two surges of new user activity. The first surge was in late October/early November when all five operators had largely put their full fleets on the streets for the first time. The second surge was in mid-March/early April when Lime introduced scooters. Lime did not differentiate between bikes and scooters, so we had to include scooter data in our analysis.
Given how new the concept of dockless bikes and scooters are to the US market, it’s not surprising that users just wanted to try out the service a few times out of curiosity.
4 - Our model expected more CaBi trips during the dockless pilot period
Prior to the start of the dockless pilot, we were able to accurately predict CaBi ridership on a given day based on other data like weather, number of CaBi stations, and whether or not there was a Nationals game. During the pilot period, our model was less predictive — namely, the model expected more CaBi trips than actually occurred.
It’s possible that factors excluded from our model, like dockless trips, could be causing CaBi ridership to be lower than expected. This is what we were trying to prove with this analysis.
On average, the difference between expected and actual CaBi trips is approximately equal to 50% of the dockless trips taken on a given day, so it seems plausible that some of these dockless riders might have otherwise used CaBi. I believe it's likely that dockless bikes did indeed reduce CaBi's ridership somewhat during the dockless pilot period.
5 - 90% of dockless trips overlap with CaBi service area
Another way we analyze dockless behavior was geographically. The maps above show the percent of dockless trips over the pilot period by Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) district. The map on the left shows that 90% of dockless trips ended within a quarter mile of a CaBi station.
These trips center on ANC 2A, which encompasses Foggy Bottom and the western part of the National Mall — a further sign of casual dockless usage. A similar CaBi trip map (not shown here) centers on ANC 2C in the heart of downtown DC.
The map on the right shows that the remaining 10% of dockless trips ended further away from a CaBi station. The service area dramatically shifts to Wards 3, 4 and 5, but still has a large concentration in ANC 6D, which is home of attractions like the Tidal Basin and Nationals Park.
Noticeably absent from both maps are trips ending in Wards 7 or 8.
Lessons from our analysis
Based on this analysis, we learned that despite their obvious similarities, DoBi and CaBi are different services with different strengths and weaknesses. Dockless bikeshare may have eaten away a little at CaBi ridership, but not very much if any. That trade-off was some people using bikeshare in areas far from CaBi stations, though most dockless trips overlapped with CaBi service area. Also, DoBi's bicycle replacement rates were genuinely tremendous.