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Eye Street Cellars Tastings and BBQ

Eye Street Cellars opened at 425 Eye Street NW back in late April. This weekend they are kicking it up a notch with their Grand Opening & Father’s Day Extravaganza.

Eye Street Cellars at 425 Eye Street NW is now Open

Eye Street Cellars at 425 Eye Street NW is now Open

Friday, June 13th, from 5-8pm: Macallan 10, 12 & 15 year along with other whiskey, liqueur and beer tastings!!

Saturday, June 14th, from 3-8pm: BBQ Cookout along with an endless amount of tastings, which includes Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Oban, Bowmore, Lagavulin, Talisker and MUCH MORE!!

Eye Street Cellars will be offering 10% off on ALL wines, 6-pk beers & 750ml spirits ALL DAY on June 14th only.

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Eye Street Cellars Now Open

Eye Street Cellars is now open at 425 Eye Street NW. The store is large and spacious. It is possible all 3 of Tunnel Liquors, Capital City Wine & Spirits and Schneiders might be able to fit inside this store.  Eye Street Cellars is still under soft open and while the selection is presently ample it will fill out with more options soon.

Eye Street Cellars at 425 Eye Street NW is now Open

Eye Street Cellars at 425 Eye Street NW is now Open

I spoke briefly with wine director Michel Dumas. Wines will be sorted on the shelves by varietal and secondarily by price rather than by country. I learned from Michel of their facebook page and their planned upcoming free wine tastings. The first event takes place Wednesday April 30th from 5pm to 7:30pm 5:30-7:00PM as guest Donald Moffat will offer tastings of Italian wines from Vinifera Imports.

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Alba Osteria: A Neighborhood Gem in the Making

Tucked away in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood, Alba Osteria (website | facebook | twitter) can be found on the corner of 4th and Eye St. NW. They open December 30th, and have a New Year’s Eve promotion planned (flyer below), but we benefited from a sneak preview during the recent soft opening.

The entryway is enclosed in glass, keeping diners away from cold drafts and street noise. The dining room and bar are sectioned into different areas giving it a cozy feel, when in fact there is room for 226 people. The restaurant is decorated using reclaimed glass from a crayon factory, bright orange accents with an industrial feel. A wood burning pizza oven sits in the corner with dazzling orange and red tile surrounded by artfully stacked fire wood.

We were seated at a table for two along the banquet seating that separated our section of the restaurant from the bar and were quickly asked if we would like sparkling or tap water. Next came the bread basket with three types of bread; a traditional bread stick, crispy rosemary and sea salt flat bread and a more traditional wheat as well as olive oil for dipping.

Our server was absolutely delightful and knowledgeable which made the whole experience enjoyable.

The wine we ordered wasn’t in stock, so the general manager suggested a 2011 Giorgio Cichero Dolcetto di Ovada, which was a versatile wine that worked well with everything we tasted.

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Eye Street Cellars

A liquor license application has been posted in at the west edge of the 425 Eye Street building. The trade name is Eye Street Cellars and the nature of operation states “New Liquor Store with Tasting Permit.”

Closeup of Eye Street Cellar's Liquor License application placard

This is the second retail tenant in the building. The upcoming Alba Osteria, which is from the ownership group of Al Dente, is taking 5,500 SF on the corner of 4th and I Streets.

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Italian restaurant at 425 Eye to be called Alba Osteria

A few readers have recently forwarded me links to articles surrounding the upcoming Alba Osteria at 425 I Street NW. As we reported last September, an Italian restaurant concept from the owners of Al Dente signed a lease for the space. While the recent buzz on the blogosphere is ablaze the it’s light on new details. Primarily we now know that chef Roberto Donna has chosen Alba Osteria as the name.

Bar at Al Dente; courtesy their facebook page

The windows of the space had been papered up for months. Just in the last few weeks does it seem the interior buildout has really gotten underway.

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Italian Restaurant signs on at 425 Eye

According to news items today from the Washington Business Journal and Eater DC we can anticipate a new Italian restaurant concept arriving at 425 Eye with an ETA September 2013. The team behind Al Dente near American University has signed a lease for 5500 square feet on the ground floor of the recently renovated office building.

The Eater article includes the following:

“This is going to be an as-yet-unnamed Italian restaurant that is more or less the younger, hotter version of Al Dente.For starters, everything at this downtown restaurant will be bigger and designed with its younger neighborhood in mind. There will be about 200 seats inside and perhaps another 100 outside, a bigger bar with 23 craft beers and a longer wine list, and a private party room. The salumi that Al Dente offers? Well, that will be broken off into its own section at the new restaurant, with salumi, cheese and olives available to go as well.”

Pictures from the Al Dente facebook page give a glimpse as to the type of decor we might expect:

Bar at Al Dente; courtesy their facebook page

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Interior Buildout of 425 Eye Completed

According to CityBiz, the interior buildout of the 425 Eye Office building is now completed. Sigal Construction performed the initial renovation for Paramount Development and was kept on to do the interior buildout by Veteran Affairs which signed a lease last year to be the new tenant.


Excerpt:

Unique attributes of the project include a central high-density filing room which required slab reinforcement with steel beams and additional concrete. VA also specified a glass wall partition system provided and installed by DIRTT Systems with one floor receiving more than one mile of linear feet of its product.

A total of 45 high-tech conference rooms with audio visual capabilities were built throughout VA’s space. Additional systems and security upgrades were installed throughout the building, including a retrofit of the recently renovated building lobby to accommodate x-ray screenings and outside visitors for in-person and video conference hearings.

Still no word on retailers for the ground floor. Although it is widely said the landlord desires a restaurant for the 4th and Eye corner space. Transwestern Retail is the retail leasing agent.

I created the above image in 2009. DCMetrocentric is running the same one today but I believe they just found it via internet search

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Interior buildout at 425 Eye for Veterans Affairs humming along

Two years ago The Paramount Group initiated renovations to upgrade the former Chester A. Arthur Building at 425 I Street NW from Class B to Class A office space. The overhaul included a complete gut and re-skin of the building. Paramount reconfigured the ground floor from entirely office to include 28,000 SF of retail space. The changes weren’t limited to the structural – the property was also rebranded as simply 425 Eye.

Last May we learned that Veterans Affairs had signed a 10 year lease with intent to use 425 Eye as “swing space” while their current home near McPherson Square is renovated. The details accompanying that announcement suggested that Veterans Affairs would begin to occupy 425 Eye by June 2011. Progress on the interior buildout had appeared negligible until the last few months. In the last week interior walls have been sheetrocked and cubicles erected on several upper floors. Therefore it would seem the move is very likely to be on track for a June date.

Perhaps most interesting to residents of the neighborhood is the potential retail. Extra daytime office workers in the area should help raise the foot traffic on 4th and Eye Streets. The commercial broker for the retail space is Transwestern Retail which has been involved with brokering several nearby retail placements including Buddha Bar, Subway Cafe and the future Corner Bakery Cafe at 6th & H.

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