Food isn’t the only thing the U Street Corridor is known for – it also offers several historical points of interest that can make for a great family-friendly trip to the epicenter of some of D.C.’s most important history. Here are four stops to make along the way as you tour the strip:
The Lincoln Theatre – Built in 1922, this was once the center of the cultural renaissance for D.C.’s African-American community. It’s hosted Washington D.C. natives Pearl Bailey and Duke Ellington, as well as Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong, just to name a few. Definitely worth a trip, if only to admire the ornate and beautifully preserved architecture! Coming up in April 2010 is “Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies”, and you can check their schedule for other upcoming performances. 1215 U Street, NW
Ben’s Next Door For a pre or post-theater meal, the sister restaurant to Ben’s Chili Bowl is (literally) right next door. It offers a more upscale dining experience than Chili Bowl, however, with entrees such as Surf and Turf, Crab Cakes, and Shrimp and Grits. If you are there for the daily happy hour, Ben’s famous half smokes are available between 4 p.m and 7 p.m. 1211 U Street, NW
The African-American Civil War Museum – This is a wonderful place to take children to learn about an important slice of our country’s history. Currently located at 1200 U Street, NW, the museum is scheduled to relocate this year to the historic Grimke Building, adjacent to the African-American Civil War Memorial at 10th and U Streets, NW. If you are taking Metrorail, exit the U Street/Cardozo/African-American Civil War Memorial station at 10th Street.
Oohh’s & Aahh’s – Directly across the street from the memorial is this small hole in the wall restaurant that serves up delicious soul food for a quick bite. Although it does mainly take-out, there is limited counter seating available on the first floor and a small dining area located on the second. Try as many items as you can, but newcomers should definitely order the Macaroni and Cheese. Tip: if you go on a nice day, get your food to go and sit in the outside seating area next to the African-American Civil War Memorial. 1005 U Street, NW
- Susan Holmes