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EDITORIAL: Uniontown 2.0

7/31/2013, 3 p.m.
Gabriel Tripodo (left) and Melake Gebre recently assumed ownership of Uniontown Bar & Grill in Historic Anacostia. Both owners have big plans for the restaurant and bar in Southeast. In the near future, they plan to have live music which will include jazz, rhythm and blues along with comedy on the second floor of the popular venue which opened on July 17. Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

Local businessman Gabriel Tripodo has brought a sense of excitement and expectation to residents in Historic Anacostia and surrounding neighborhoods. Tripodo is the new proprietor of Uniontown Bar & Grill and once more, those seeking to enjoy a traditional sit-down restaurant can do so.

Anacostia, Congress Heights and communities east of the Anacostia River have hungered for many of the services, amenities and conveniences residents in the rest of the city enjoy. Uniontown represents just one piece of a larger tapestry of businesses and related concerns that we on this side of the river must attract and develop if we’re to grow and thrive.

Anacostia residents like Charles Wilson, Nikki Peele and those determined to improve on the prospects of the community are the vanguard of change in a community that has seen more than its share of challenges.

Uniontown, past and present, is to Anacostia what the fictional Cheers bar was to Boston, Mass. It is a place where residents can meet, socialize and enjoy good company, conversation, food and libation without having to travel far afield. It is an anchor, an essential building block as revitalization in Anacostia takes hold.

Patrons talk about how much they enjoy having a place to call their own, where they can come, sit, chat and forget about the cares of the day. Wilson, co-founder of the Historic Anacostia Block Association, said he never doubted that a new owner would take over Uniontown or that the neighborhood would again have a traditional sit-down restaurant.

And like Watson, we believe that it’s only a matter of time before Historic Anacostia and its environs will be dotted with more traditional sit-downs, grocery stores that offer good food, fresh fruits and vegetables and a vibrant array of other businesses.