A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Reader Photos of XII

We have here several photos of newly opened restaurant and lounge XII sent in by reader Fran Tyson

H Street 362
H Street 359[1]
The downstairs seating area

The downstairs bar

The upstairs bar and seating areas

The VIP sections

It's a bit hard to tell from the photos, but the upstairs is just one big space. The VIP sections are along the walls.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The artwork and the Ikea furnature looks really good!

Apr 14, 2008, 11:12:00 AM

Anonymous 8th and el said...

Can someone ask 2Pac if this is what Thug's Paradise looks like?

Looks good to me, now bring on the rage folks

Apr 14, 2008, 11:14:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is TuPac calling from the dead. "This looks exactly like Thugs Paradise"

I am going to order a Thugs Passion when I go over there with all the homies. 1 part Alaze and 2parts Crystal. "Thugs Passion BABYYYY!"

Apr 14, 2008, 11:41:00 AM

Anonymous JJ said...

I went to XII over the weekend. The place was very clean and the food decent.

However, if I could offer some constructive advice: the decor (or lack thereof) needs to be seriously worked on. The tables and chairs downstairs look like they're from a church picnic and are terribly small considering the size of the room. You feel like you're eating in a large hallway. Maybe booths would work better (or at least nicer tables with some curtains on the window so I don't feel like I'm eating in my high school cafeteria again). Upstairs is nicer, however both upstairs and downstairs have no artwork, curtains, or anything else to warm the room up. The place is way too stark and cold for my tastes. Sorry, but I can't recommend the place as yet.

Apr 14, 2008, 12:05:00 PM

Blogger Tom Aloisi said...

great pictures! Any idea why this place is called "12?" If they were going with the address these, it could be "H" or "1123," or "Between 11th and 12th" or even "Sorta Capitol Hill, Sorta Not."

Apr 14, 2008, 1:01:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree. I'll be supportive of this new venture, but I was left wanting more with the decor. The upstairs has so much potential to make it really swanky.(think Station 9). Right now it feels like a reception hall. Everytime I see the tables downstairs- I think they are playing cards.

Apr 14, 2008, 1:08:00 PM

Blogger nelsok said...

Tom- The name also makes me think of the X-2 bus.

Apr 14, 2008, 2:09:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to start a whole thing here, but given that there is at least some sensitivity around issues of gentrification in our neighborhood, don't you think XII could've come up with a slightly better tagline than "The face of H Street is about to change.."

Apr 14, 2008, 2:43:00 PM

Blogger Mike said...

Tom - The building is right on the southwest corner of 12th and H - it may not be on the 1200 block, but the name definitely makes sense in light of the location.

Apr 14, 2008, 3:09:00 PM

Anonymous Tony said...

What a wonderful place... I will go back and bring on the Alize and Orange Juice... That's a good drink. Inked I also think the negative comments like the Tupac ones should be deleted...

Apr 14, 2008, 3:39:00 PM

Anonymous Tony said...

I think a business should have what ever slogan they LIKE. At least look better then any of those other place on H Street that claiming to be the new H Street.

replying to "I don't want to start a whole thing here, but given that there is at least some sensitivity around issues of gentrification in our neighborhood, don't you think XII could've come up with a slightly better tagline than "The face of H Street is about to change.."

Apr 14, 2008, 3:42:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Inked deleted all the negative comments, she wouldn't have a blog. Besides what's negative to one might be humorous to someone else or visa versa. It's kind of like taste - what one person finds tasteful another finds tacky.

Apr 14, 2008, 3:46:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tony. You're just a couple dozen grammatical, structural, and logical errors shy of making a really good point.

Apr 14, 2008, 3:49:00 PM

Anonymous Hillman said...

That white couch looks like a big mistake in a bar.

But that curvy glass wall is pretty dang nice. Not sure I'd want to pay extra to get to sit behind it, though. I can feel elitist and self-important without paying someone else for the privilege.

I still miss Cluck U.

Apr 14, 2008, 4:18:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the comments and reactions of previous threads and these actual visuals, I think this establishment sends alot of mixed messages.

Apr 14, 2008, 4:51:00 PM

Anonymous 8th and el said...

Geez Tony,

I really thought I put in enough sarcasm in my post. Read my other posts about this place to grasp my humor. But, if you're interested, do an iTunes search for Thug's Paradise before taking the on ramp to the hate highway

Apr 14, 2008, 7:20:00 PM

Anonymous Joe on 3rd said...

We were dissapointed in the menu so we settled for a burger and chicken fingers and both were boring and average at best. The mac and cheese was good and the upstairs was nice. Probably won't go back except to use the rooftop deck once they build it.

Apr 14, 2008, 8:16:00 PM

Anonymous Capricious said...

I visited XII Friday evening. I had the chicken livers appetizer. I thoroghly enjoyed them. My husband had the hush puppies. I tasted one and tasted like they were freshly made. Some beer added to the batter would give more of a punch.

After talking to Bernard and reading the comments on this blog about whether XII would become a club that catered to the hip hop crowd, for like of a better description, one question occurred to me. If Bernard is a fairly decent business man, which he seemed to be, why would he take risk in catering to this type of clientel, in light of
the number of clubs having their liquer liscences revoked because of violent incedents in and around the clubs. If it hasn't happened already, the the insurance premiums for the owners of these types will start to rise.

Apr 14, 2008, 10:52:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom at 10th and K

Did this business owner hire a designer who was blind? This space looks like a kids classroom with plasmas and bad couches

Apr 15, 2008, 9:13:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. This place almost looks nice. It is just missing a sense of style. Please try harder. I suggest asking the guys from disident display to help you. They have a cool urban funky style. You have a square cafeteria clunky style.

Apr 15, 2008, 9:43:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like people on the blog really are living up to what they said they would do and going to check the place out before making a judgement - and its sounding like the majority are coming back unimpressed.

Apr 16, 2008, 10:14:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ate there this past weekend and the food was not worth paying for. Nothing to rave about and I will not recommend 12 to any of my friends. Our service was bad, the waitress was speaking in broken English and using words we had never heard of before (this is H Street not another country!). She took 15 minutes to get us water (which came in dirty glasses - both had old lipstick smears) then another 15 minutes to ask us for our order. After waiting 50 minutes for the food without once having her check up on us the food came out. My wife's pasta was cold and my steak was raw, not rare or medium rare but raw. Place needs lots of help. Also it isn't that enjoyable to be paying those prices to be eating in a place that looks like the entire build out came from Home Depot. That orange wall is so bright I think it burnt through my cornia!

Apr 16, 2008, 3:17:00 PM

Anonymous poo poo's tired of friggin tards on H said...

loser joint for losers.

the dude has no vision.

another loser with mortgage that shouldn't have been given.

i can't wait till he defaults, or gets kicked out for bad taste.


my apologies to the losers that frequent the joint. you can still get your GED....

Apr 16, 2008, 5:56:00 PM

Anonymous poo poo said...

hi, i graduated from CLUCK U.

this is my dream.

isn't it great?

me so proud!

Apr 16, 2008, 6:13:00 PM

Blogger inked said...

Poo Poo, have you been yet? I suspect not since you were out of town. I will say that I know a woman who has been involved with multiple fundraisers at Palace of Wonders and Rock and Roll Hotel, and she is hoping to host one at XII. So that should bring revenue, not only to them, but to the other bars/restaurants in the area. I'd say that is a good thing.

Apr 16, 2008, 6:27:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's back.....!!!

Apr 16, 2008, 7:14:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The African American male I went with to XII wondered how Bernard was able to get a loan for the Cluck U franchise only to close it after about a year then turn around and get another loan for clearly significantly more to open XII. So before anybody starts screaming "RACISM", this was a black male that also had his suspicions of this place. All seems a little shady to us.

Ebony & Ivory

Apr 16, 2008, 11:00:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 317
If you are not impressed with XII is your right not return and not recommend it to your friend. But out and out lie about the service is beyond conscience. Yes I said lie. Raw meat and a dirty glass with lipstick on it? If this was the case why didn't you report it to the health department instead of complaining on a blog?

Reading the three blog posts about XII, I have noticed that a number of posters have a big problem with XII and it's proprieter Bernard. You are free to like what you like. Diversity makes the world go round. But please be fair and responsible about it.


Apr 16, 2008, 11:03:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Gibson has filled a vacant space with a business other than barber shop, nail salon or liquor store. You did not like his Cluck U because it was a fast food place. He listened to the concerns of the community and turns it into a restaurant lounge. He removes the bright open sign after hearing your feedback. Would you prefer he puts a spot light outside like some other businesses? What more do you want? Do you want the ANC to approve furniture and wall color before a business opens? Let's get real people. Last I checked the decor at places like the Argonaunt and Granville Moore's are not exactly the magazine material. Napa, RnR, and Martini Lounge are the only places on H Street that have a decent interior. Would you prefer Mr. Gibson to close XII and move to another part of city? After that who is going to take the risk and fill the vacant space that he leaves?

If you live in this neighborhood, the last thing you want to is a business fail. Success follow success and failure will only cause investors to look elsewhere. Everyone has a preference but no one here that lives in the neighborhood should want XII or any of the recent additions to fail. If you do not want to go to an establishment, that is your business. Feedback is alway fine as long as it is fair and balanced.

I know what it is. People are jealous that XII is one of biggest attractions on H. Street.

Stop HATING on Mr. Gibson and XII!

Apr 17, 2008, 8:48:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:48...I think you are missing the point. These people are giving feedback...people write in independently and no one lines up pros and cons. There is no control over that. If the execution of a business concept is done right, there would probably be no discussion. It is not up to the ANC to approve furniture or the like as you suggest, but up to the business owner to make the choices(food, decor, atmosphere, etc) to succintly communicate his vision. I would suggest that there is alot of confusion about what exactly that is.

I think that everyone wishes any new business well on H Street. But IMHO no business deserves anyone's patronage just because.

Apr 17, 2008, 9:57:00 AM

Blogger inked said...

Anon 957,
I can't think of a single restaurant/bar/lounge that has ever been mentioned on Frozen Tropics that has not generated lots of discussion. So I think it is a mistake to read discussion as a bad sign. It's simply a sign of interest. Nor do I think XII is creating mixed messages. I think there have been a lot of rumors circulating and that's what's going on. Think back a few years and you will recall that similar rumors circulated about some of Joe Englert's bars. My personal favorite was a young couple telling me, completely straight faced, that Palace of Wonders was going to be a gay fetish bar that was relocating because of the baseball stadium.

Apr 17, 2008, 10:08:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


A liar huh? Actually I eat out alot and am not a fan of many places. Bad food and service are no reason to go screaming to the Health Department! Usually a simple conversation/complaint with the staff/mamagment will take care of the situation.

I have NO problem with Bernard or 12 but after the horrible experiance I had I will not be going back and wasting money...

Apr 17, 2008, 10:18:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you complain to management? If so, what was their response? Maybe calling you a liar was a strong response, but the restaurant I attended and the one attended by you are two different places as far as service and food is concerned. Bernard and his wife are always around making sure that things run smoothly. And his wife surely has an eye for detail.


Apr 17, 2008, 1:10:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I complained about my drink and Bernard had the bartender fix me another one and made sure it was to my liking before tending to other matters.

What happened after you complained about your meat being raw? BTW, I find it hard to believe that it would take 15 minutes for water in a restaurant that is empty.

Apr 17, 2008, 2:40:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't like it, don't go! All too simple instead of getting on this blog and constantly complaining about nothing. Next it will be something stupid and as minor as the toilet paper used in the bathroom is cheap. Some of you are just ridiculous really and it's sad. Funny thing is, XII will flourish without your business. IMHO you really have nothing to do but drag this blog out and fill it with complaints in hopes it will deter people from going...it's simply not happening. I don't see you posting 100 blogs about some of the other IMHO piss poor establishments on H Street. Give it a rest already!

Apr 17, 2008, 6:22:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Apr 21, 2008, 11:49:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fairly Understanding!!

I have read through all of the blog posts and completely understand that everyone will not like everything but I must say that i have been a d.c resident my whole life and H st has been one of the worse streets to look for some kind of diversity or entertainment. I for one commend Bernard for taking the shot at Cluck U and then again pouring all he has into something more then decent for people to go and visit, dance,drink and then catch a god damn cab home. I am quite sure none of you people own a god damn thing or have ever owned a business. What yo must know is that you must take chances and try new things,you have to fall befor you rise....correct?? no one just jumps out there into anything and it takes off and stays afloat!! The thing i dont get or should i say the question i have is if this was a white male opening a business would you all bash him this way or would you all be in there donating, and fundraising shit to make it better instead of jumping on a god damn blog and actually calling stuff out??hmmmm. I also cant understand for the life of me why you all would throw insults at the owner personally i mean damn!! I can totally understand about the food comment but the decorations and the lighting and so forth, is complete and utter bullshit!! excuse my language....If you dont like his "decor" take your ass in there and support him with your money and not with your thoughts so he can be able to purchase better things!! but all in all everyone is entitled to their own opinion but trust me he has alot of supporters so this is just a mild bump in the road but i for one will be there getting my drink on!! hope to see some of you haters there!!MUAHHH

Apr 22, 2008, 12:37:00 AM


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