And SoMo was its name-o

October 5, 2012

Behold a prime SoMo destination, Jack Rose Dining Saloon. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Take heed, for tomorrow a neighborhood shall be christened. They will call it “SoMo,” and it will be cheered. Or it will be ridiculed. Perhaps both.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray will join Adams Morgan leaders to celebrate the new branding for the southern part of the area. It’s not a whole neighborhood, really, just the commercial blocks south of Kalorama Road NW along 18th Street and Florida Avenue.

Lisa Duperier, president of Adams Morgan Main Street, a neighborhood group backing the rebranding, said the idea is to celebrate the rebirth of retail on the southern stretch.

Blocks that a decade ago were best known for funky stuff like hookah shops, Video Americain and the cavernous old Kilimanjaro nightclub have been fancied up a tad with joints like the Mint gym, Jack Rose Dining Saloon and the And Beige furniture boutique (“THE NEW NEUTRAL IN HOME FURNISHINGS”). Things have been helped along by the recent streetscape rebuild and the opening of Champlain Street NW in 2009.

“There’s a bunch of new businesses there, and there’s a lot of people who don’t realize those businesses are part of Adams Morgan,” she said. “This is the SoMo! The southern Adams Morgan!”

She added that there was no overt attempt to be all New Yorky with it. “We’re just looking for something catchy,” she said.

I’d say SoMo isn’t going to catch on. But, not so long ago, that’s what I was saying about NoMa.

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · October 5, 2012