Famous Brunch at Tel’veh

Our local wine bar Tel’veh at 401 Mass has a new website ( and a new serious brunch deal. All you can eat and drink from the brunch menu items for $29.99 between 11am and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. This pre-fixe brunch is only an option when ordered by all guests at the table/bar.

Anyone try it out yet?

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Tel’veh Signage

Tel’veh Wine Bar & Cafe at 401 Mass has had some visibility challenges since opening in May. The retail space is set back from the corner behind landscaping and architecturally the design of the facade seemingly tries to conceal rather than showcase the retail. Ownership has taken various measures such as window decals, sidewalk chalkboards, and flimsy signage planted into the landscaping to state their presence.

Tel'veh signage on July 29

When the licensing/permitting for the patio space goes through that should make a dramatic difference in visibility for Tel’veh as tables, chairs, and colorful umbrellas should make it more obvious to passersby that a restaurant/bar resides there. I think a colorful awning above the front entrance might make more of an impact that the tiny brown sign they recently installed.

Washingtonpost food critic Tom Sietsema was harsh on Tel’veh but otherwise reception has been positive on Yelp and the blogosphere. I myself have been four times and have enjoyed the atmosphere and service. Hopefully the lack of street level visibility can be overcome. The landlord should realize it is in their best interest for the retail space to be as prominent as possible and should support Tel’veh in this effort.

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More details on TEL’VEH

I attended Tuesday night’s ANC 6C ABL meeting to hear more about the TEL’VEH wine bar coming to 401 Mass. As we mentioned yesterday, the proposed business is affiliated with the ownership of Agora on 17th Street NW in Dupont Circle.

  • Concept is upscale wine bar with by the glass prices of $9 and up
  • Wine list will be similar in quality to Agora wine list but more expansive and strategically selected to pair with menu items.
  • Will have a full bar and an international beer selection. Will host wine and beer tastings.
  • Agora Executive Chef Ghasan Jarrouj will design the menu
  • Tel’veh will focus on sandwiches, salads, cheese and charcuterie as the retail space does not have appropriate level of venting for the grilled meats you’ll find at Agora
  • Tel’veh will be open for breakfast offering items such as muffins, scones, and Simits (turkish bagels)
  • Decor will aim for cozy european feel. Will offer a variety of seating including bar, sofas and tables
  • Tel’veh is not seeking an entertainment endorsement.
  • The lease Tel’veh signed with 401 Mass mandates that the outdoor patio seating close at 11pm. So the 2AM/3AM patio hours on the liquor license application should not be a concern.
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TEL’VEH is from owner of Agora

A reader named Matt L pointed out that the liquor license application for TEL’VEH references to Latif Guler – the owner of Agora in Dupont Circle (1527 17th Street NW). Agoura is a turkish small plates eatery that has several favorable reviews from the Washingtonpost food critics.

Agora patio, image from restuarant review on blog Two DC

Reviews on Yelp seem overwhelming positive. Have any readers been to Agora? What were your impressions?

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Wine Bar coming to 4th & Mass

The Prince of Petworth notoriously watches liquor licenses apps like a hawk and caught one for a new wine bar at 401 Mass from right under our noses.

A new European cafe and wine bar called TEL’VEH will occupy the nearly 2000 SF retail space has the following description on their ABC license app:

New Tavern. European Café with wine bar. Breakfast and lunch with bakery. Small plates during dinner and wine bar, no dancing. Seating capacity is 75. Summer Garden capacity is 40. Total Occupancy Load is 115.

Hat Tip: Jay

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401 Mass to begin leasing this weekend

This weekend, as reported by Urbanturf, Equity Residential (EQR) will begin leasing apartments at 401 Mass. The adjoining 425 Mass apartments began leasing 6 months ago and have moved at a brisk pace allowing this second tower to be opened faster than anticipated.

Neighborhood residents are also anxiously anticipating a cafe or other interesting retailer to occupy the 2,000 SF ground floor retail space at 401 Mass.

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401 Mass Retail Platmap

UPDATE (9/22/10 4PM) - since we wrote this post Rapport updated the marketing brochure to revise the interior space figure down to 1952 sqft and removed the specific space estimate for the patio.

The Rappaport Company has posted a marketing brochure for the retail space at 401 Mass to their corporate website.

I’m surprised by the square footages listed in the specs. That patio space does not seem bigger than my condo. Nor does the interior, which I snapped pictures of in 2009 before they papered the windows, seem twice as big as Taylor Gourmet Deli. But that’s neither here nor there. I think we’re all just anxious to see a tenant for the space. I haven’t heard any rumors from sources in the know about negotiations but I’ve heard wishlist-type suggestions from area residents including Buzz Bakery and Caribou Coffee. What would you like to see in this corner space?

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