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Street Smart: 1300 block of H Street NE

H Street NE’s recovery from the damage and destruction of the 1968 riots is entering a new phase, one marked as much by the any-time-now streetcars as it is by the arrival of the second generation of successful small businesses post-riot.


Owners of this live-music venue about 15 blocks from Union Station are counting H Street streetcars to soon deliver even more rock-loving patrons to their front door. (Photo by Amy Roger Nazarov)

Rock and Roll Hotel
1353 H St. NE

"When we first opened in August 2006, we and the Argonaut were the only thing here that was open after 5 p.m.," says Steve Lambert, one of five co-owners. Now, bands and patrons flock here - to the first floor, where both regional and national indie and alt-rock acts perform four or five nights a week; to the second floor, where DJs spin house and techno on weekends; and to the roof deck (where Belgian waffles are on offer during weekend brunch).


The studio plans to offer this year summer camps featuring dance and movement instruction tailored to children ages 4-12. (Photo by Amy Rogers Nazarov)

Integrity of Self MovementArts
1361 H St. NE

Dance has been June Idrissa's passion since, as a child growing up in Trinidad, she saw a contortionist perform. Now she helps children as young as 12 months up to adults who've long since retired tap into the rewards of movement set to music. Says Idrissa, "This is for anyone with a body."


The main surgery faces H street for optimal light, but co-owners Chris Miller, DVM (pictured) and Matthew Antkowiak, DVM frosted the window so as not to startle squeamish passers-by as they operate on animals. (Photo by Amy Rogers Nazarov)

Atlas Vet
1326 H St. NE

"We'd come home from work [at other veterinary practices] and complain about our jobs," says Chris Miller, referring to happy hourrants of years past with fellow vet Matthew Antkowiak. When the two joined forces in 2012 to open Atlas Vet, Miller read all he could about accounting, hiring and other entrepreneurial skills. One article said, "'Never go into business with your friend, but in hindsight, I would recommend the opposite." Today, Atlas Vet has five vets and "one bearded dragon who comes in to get his nails trimmed."


You can get your pizza here, sure, but you can also take in the view from the roof deck or dance to electronica spun by a live deejay some nights of the week. (Photo by Amy Rogers Nazarov)

RedRocks Neapolitan Bistro
1348 H St. NE

This outpost of the thin-crust-pizza powerhouse, which began in Columbia Heights in 2007, opened in September, and co-owner James O'Brien says the roomy restaurant (about 7,000 square feet) now offers delivery. "We hesitated on this, because Neapolitan pizza is best served right out of the oven," O'Brien says. But when test deliveries yielded satisfactory results (pizzas stayed warm in heated bags for 25 minutes), the RedRocks team forged ahead.


The furnishings and fixtures at this weeks-old taqueria were all imported from Mexico. (Photo by Amy Rogers Nazarov)

Impala Cantina y Taqueria
1358 H St. NE

Whether your tastes lean toward braised beef tongue, vegan seasoned tofu or slow-simmered pork carnitas, the taco-touting trio of George Grau, Troy Hickman and Ian Holt have a stuffed corn tortilla for you. Holt is unfazed that H Street is fairly littered with tacos from other nearby eateries. Impala's advantage? "We're using Troy's mother's recipe for chorizo," Holt says.


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