Ruta del Vino is the new Latin American wine bar and restaurant coming to 800-802 Upshur Street NW in Petworth. The restaurant takes over the space previously occupied by the Riyad inconvenience store.
Justin Logan, one of the co-owners, met with 4C Commissioner John-Paul Hayworth and a few community members this week to talk through Ruta del Vino's settlement agreement. The agreement is needed for the restaurant to obtain a liquor license from ABRA, and helps establish a rapport and commitment with the community.
Justin said during the meeting that the building is still under construction, after having discovered a fair amount of water and termite damage that the landlords need to resolve. Everything has to be built or upgraded, from the floors on up. Interestingly, Justin said the electrical box in the basement, likely original to the building, is branded "Safeway." Commissioner Hayworth said he believes 800 Upshur Street used to be a Safeway grocery store 40+ years ago.
The restaurant plans to be a partner in the community and participate in neighborhood events. As he points out, all three owners live in Petworth, just six blocks from the restaurant. (According to Justin, Ruta del Vino is a majority minority-owned business, owned by himself, Jessica Logan, and Michelle Rodriguez.) Justin will act as the General Manager and run the business.
They plan on asking for an Entertainment Endorsement on their ABRA license in order to be able to have a guitarist or similarly small band if desired (no more than 4 musicians).
The agreement includes details like rat abatement, three-times weekly trash collection and other mundane but necessary details.
Below are the specifics of the agreement put together by Justin and Commissioner Hayworth. It will be voted on by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4C at January's meeting.
Design and Layout
- Ruta del Vino’s architect is also a Petworth resident.
- Square footage is approximately 2,200.
- Total seats inside will be no more than 76. We are applying for a Sidewalk Cafe along Upshur Street to seat 20. Total occupancy is 141.
- Yes, there will be changing tables in the bathroom and high chairs/boosters for kids.
Menu and Beverage Offerings
- We will feature roughly 20 wines by the glass, all from Latin America, as well as cocktails and beers, also exclusively from Latin America.
- We will feature cuisine from across Latin America, to include Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador. (Not small plates.)
- We will have a wood-fired parrilla-style grill for cooking meats and vegetables.
- Yes, we will have items appropriate for kids.
- We have applied for an Entertainment Endorsement from ABRA. We needed to do this
- even to have something as simple as one acoustic guitarist playing during dinner service. Our Settlement Agreement with the ANC clarifies that any Entertainment Endorsement would include the following restrictions:
- “At no time shall more than four (4) performers be permitted;
- “At no time shall an amplification be used other than that already existent in the establishment for recorded music;
- “At no time shall performances extend after 1:00 am;
- “At no time shall a cover charge be required for entrance to the establishment and,
- “At no time shall dancing be permitted in the establishment during regular operation.”
> Find Ruta del Vino on their Facebook Page.