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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Whole Foods Open 3/15, DPR Spring Programs, & a Book Reading at Ben's Upstairs

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The cat's out of the bag, the new Whole Foods coming to 600 H St. will open its doors Wednesday, March 15.

Among the 40,000-square-foot store's highlights:
  • An expanded version of Paper Horse from Chef Erik Bruner-Yang, introducing a larger Chinese diner-style menu, featuring Asian comfort foods
  • Collaborations with Atlas Brew Works, including a first-to-market “Home Rule” brew and baked-from-scratch breads made from recycled brewer’s grain
  • Exclusive local products, including sauces and spice blends from Maketto, Cava restaurant sauces and D.C.-based Snacklins’ vegan “pork rinds”
  • Extensive hot and cold prepared foods bars, using local, natural and organic ingredients and offering seasonal dishes, ethnic cuisine and comfort food
  • A mezzanine pub with 16 local beers on tap, wine by the glass and a gourmet hot dog cart
  • An outdoor patio

The community is invited to join store and company leaders for a traditional bread-breaking ceremony at 8:45 a.m. the morning of the opening (March 15). Opening day shoppers will find door-buster deals, as well as product demonstrations and samples.

You can register for Spring Department of Parks and Recreation programs starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 21. The full list of programs is online. They've got gardening classes, sports, and a variety of chances to pick up a new hobby or hone your skills.

Ben's Upstairs (2nd floor of 1001 H St.) is kicking off a new book club with a reading by local author Karen Branan. The veteran journalist and Capitol Hill resident will read from her book, "The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth." A writer for the Washington Post described it as a tale of a "family secret that leads to revelations of racial brutality."

Here's a bit about Branan's book in her own words: "I'm a southern white. I found I had a biracial heritage drenched in blood, shame and guilt. My painful journey became a source of strength and courage. I asked myself the toughest and most gut-wrenching questions to desegregate my history and my life. There are many out there like me, unaware of their biracial ancestry. I'm sharing my story as a bridge from past to present across generations and races. I hope it inspires white people to confront their biases and overcome the self-defeating fear and denial that weakens America's social progress." 

Head up to the rooftop this Saturday for the 4 p.m. reading. Drinks will be available for purchase at the second floor bar during the reading, and feel free to stick around for happy hour drinks and food from the rooftop bar after the reading. Ben's Upstairs' new book club will meet March 4 and 18 to discuss this book.

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