Local Staff Picks

February 14, 2021

Dear EDCJCC Community,

It’s February 14 and I want to encourage you to SHOW SOME LOCAL LOVE today… and every day!

We are so blessed to live in a city with incredible locally owned restaurants, bars, bookstores, and all sorts of amazing small businesses. They are so much of the fabric of this vibrant city of ours!

And they are seriously hurting right now. Without a really concerted effort by friends, fans, and neighbors to keep business flowing their way, many are struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.

So this is my invitation to order out and go shopping!

I imagine we all have a lengthy list of neighborhood favorites (and we’d love you to share some of your favorites with us here!). To kick off this Eat Local/Shop Local effort, our EDCJCC staff are sharing some of their favorites with you below.

Adam Immerwhar: Artistic Director, Theater J
Commissary: Adam describes Commissary as a favorite “super LGBT vegan-friendly casual eatery.” He makes a special pitch for their truffle popcorn (“a great happy hour snack”) and says their “nachos are dangerously good!”

Tenleytown Trash: A local trash/recycling company owned by longtime Theater J subscriber Barney Shapiro. “Big enough for any haul, but small enough to take your call!”

Sonya Weisburd: Director, Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility
HipCityVeg: Super delicious vegan food – try their sliders or sweet potato fries. Add a milkshake and rest assured that all of their packaging is compostable. Best part – you can have all the cheeseburgers you want and still keep it kosher!

Mahogany Books: A wonderful, independently-owned bookstore that lifts up Black authors and celebrates Black culture, art, and history. They also take a leadership role in the African American community by promoting reading, writing, and cultural awareness. Check out their line-up of events, join their book club, or visit their store!

Mahogany Books.png
Mahogany Books Owners/Founders (L-R: Ramunda Young, Mahogany Young, & Derrick Young). Photo: Kea Taylor, Imagine Photography.

Chris Brown, Director of Building Operations
Bukom Café: Excellent West African food and drinks in Adams Morgan.
Habana Village: Excellent Cuban food – also in Adams Morgan!

Emily Jillson, Director of Development and Marketing

Baked By Yael: Hands down the BEST challah in town! And you can even subscribe to have a fresh baked one ready and waiting for you each week (or sent to your home)! Does it get any better than that?

Pupatella: Emily suggests starting off with the brussels sprout appetizer and describes their Neapolitan pizza as “the best overall pizza in this neck of the woods.”

Ari Greegart, Preschool Music Specialist
Char Bar: A local kosher meat restaurant on L St. Ari says “delivery is quick, staff are kind, and the food is great quality!”

Jeff Rookes, Front Desk Receptionist
Java House: Right down the street from the EDCJCC on 17th & Q, Jeff says this spot is “always a great place to get a bite to eat… their coffee is terrific, too.” And they have outdoor seating! Bundle up and enjoy some fresh air and a hot chocolate in the neighborhood.

Miriam Szubin, Director of the Parenting Center
Cork Wine Bar: Owned by former EDCJCC Preschool parents Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts, this Logan Circle spot offers at least 50 wines by the glass and 250 bottles in their market from small producers around the world.

And, my picks are:
PlazaArts: This local shop has everything you need to stay – or get – creative while keeping safe at home from high-quality professional equipment to paints, markers, and colored pencils for your little ones!

Equinox: Chef Todd Gray and his wife Ellen Kassoff are proud to serve innovative, award-winning cuisine while maintaining their commitment to sustainability. Enjoy takeout or dine-in in their lush, socially distanced “city garden.”

Chef Todd Gray, and his wife and business partner, Ellen Kassoff.

Bonus points for this tip…
Here is an inspired way to support a handful of local restaurant AND help folks who are food insecure. Mark Bucher, owner of Medium Rare, set up eight Community Fridges that he stocks with healthy, restaurant-quality meals for anyone who needs one to take. Other restaurants participating are Cava and Duke’s Grocery, so you can show them some love as well!

Now that is a beautiful way to show some serious local love!

What are your picks?
Click here to share your DC area favorites with us and the others on our lists.

Together we can leverage the power of our pocketbooks to keep local businesses afloat by logging off national websites for a while and supporting local businesses as much as we possibly can.

Thanks for showing LOCAL LOVE,


Dava Schub
Chief Executive Officer
Edlavitch DCJCC