Thursday, August 23, 2007

What Ever Happened to Drake's?

Proposed location, photo by DG-rad

Last October the news was in blogs and local papers: a sit-down restaurant was coming to historic Anacostia. This was news because there wasn't a restaurant of that quality in the neighborhood, despite many residents' eagerness to spend their money within walking distance. And this is still the case.

Most notably, there was a feature article in the Washington Business Journal proclaiming the arrival of Drake's Restaurant & Lounge at the corner of MLK and Good Hope, a new American-style sit-down restaurant and sports bar where, among other conveniences, people could come for Sunday brunch.

promo handouts, photo by DG-rad

But that was last October, and the article noted that the establishment, created by Anacostia resident Drake Wilson, should be opened by the end of 2006.
"It's a neighborhood where carryout restaurants dominate the sidewalks and the hype that builds up for coming retail attractions often is followed by letdowns." -WBJ
Should we be expecting another letdown? Is Drake just waiting for this area to see some more revival before he invests more? Or is this site part of the larger Anacostia Square project, as it appears to be in early renderings?

interior, notice the old "Anacostia" scripted sign, photo by DG-rad

I wrote an email asking about the progress to the address listed on the still-active Drake's website, but as of a couple weeks, no response. I'll continue to dig, but if anyone has information about Drake's, please comment away!


Anonymous said...


I am also interested in a thriving Anacostia and look forward to moving back.

I, too, am curious about the restaurant sign that was posted.
I typed in "Drake Wilson and d.c. and here's what came up: The Trust Corporation's Youth Summer Programs, PCS Center for Student Support Services, Academic, Recreation, Arts & Crafts Maridian Summer Camp 1328 Florida Avenue, NW 1 Drake Wilson (202) 628-8848

Be bold. Give him a call and post the results.

Anonymous said...

I was interested in renting that location but the building has serious water, mold and structural problems. When I saw the property last year, large puddles were on the first floor, standing water was in the basement, leaking skylights, windows and walls were on the second floor. Black mold was everywhere. A large part of the problem is the leaking roof of the building next door on MLK. The owner has several dilapidated commercial properties in Anacostia that she's been sitting on for decades. She won't sale because she's waiting for the boom and she won't make them habitable to get the boom going. It's a no win situation.

David Garber said...

hey Anon,

I tried calling but he doesn't work there anymore. I'll do some further digging. Thanks for the tip.

Investigative reporting at its best!