Washington, D.C. is the city that inspired this documentary series, exploring the role of restaurants in revitalizing neighborhoods. There’s so much good food, and such a premium on real estate in the city, that new restaurants are opening up in neighborhoods on the far corners of the District. Off the beaten path, those neighborhoods are often home to the city’s minority residents, and when new restaurants and businesses start to change the face of a neighborhood, those residents risk getting pushed out as developers buy up properties to build high rises targeted at a wealthier, whiter demographic.
One such neighborhood in the middle of change is Petworth. The Petworth area is a historically black neighborhood, but that’s clearly changing. I met with Jeremy Gifford of DC Reynolds and Paul Ruppert of the Petworth Citizen and Reading Room to talk about what they can do to help bring the community together as economic forces work to drive it apart. The secret might be in a neighborhood bar where everybody knows your name.