As in much of Washington, DC, widespread rioting after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. destroyed many Columbia Heights businesses and the neighborhood didn’t begin to revive until well after the millennium.
Nowadays, the area is often cited as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the District, with a large Hispanic presence and a vibrant African American student population from nearby Howard University. The area has also become an eclectic hipster haven of independently-owned shops and neighborhood bars mixed with an ongoing boom of yuppie-fresh condos and large retail complexes.
Corporate chains along 14th Street promise the most mainstream shopping options for the young professionals who continue to move here, while 11th Street – The New York Times’s 2011 choice for Washington’s “hippest new street” – features a relatively small but exceedingly popular collection of cozy wine bars, sustainable brew pubs, and gourmet pizza joints.
Best known for hole-in-the-wall dives with a tendency toward high-end brews – and requisite cans of blue-collar chic PBR – 11th Street’s venues are routinely packed on Friday and Saturday nights with an elbow-room-only crowd of Columbia Heights’s fresh trendsetting transplants and longtime residents alike.
Reviewed by Emery U.
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