The staycation you’ve been dying to take has arrived.
The Line DC, housed inside a 110-year-old former neoclassical church, with its urban decor and posh amenities, will both take you away and make you feel right at home. Since opening last month in Adams Morgan, the hotel has quickly attracted some of DC’s most influential power players, including, most recently, Michelle Obama.
A Hotel Lobby that Speaks Volumes
The hotel lobby’s lavish decor includes vaulted ceilings, brass detailing, and copper entry doors, which have all been preserved from the former cathedral. As a tribute to the building’s former purpose, developers transformed the prior cathedral’s organ into a contemporary chandelier, adding a whimsical touch to the hotel’s entrance. Such details make for the opulent lobby’s modern, yet classic aesthetic, complementary to the hotel’s young and professional clientele.
Eat and Drink Your Heart Out
With three upscale restaurants, two bars, and a high-end coffee shop, the Line DC will have even the most developed palettes satisfied. Dining options include Brothers and Sisters restaurant and bar by Washington chef Erik Bruner-Yang; A Rake’s Bar and A Rake’s Progress restaurant upstairs, by Baltimore chef Spike Gjerde, who also runs Cup We All Race 4, a coffee and pastry nook, both exclusively serving locally sourced produce; and Spoken English, a Tachinomiya-styled restaurant (a standing-only speakeasy), serving exclusive sake selections alongside classic and street style dishes from Japan.
For those who order to indulge from the comfort of their rooms, the Line also offers 24-hour room service from the menu at Brothers and Sisters. Room service amenities also include an option for in-room cocktail service from either of the hotel’s bars.
The Line Hotel D.C.
No details were spared when it came to rooms’ decor, which all boast with love for the District. Each room contains original artwork and photography from local, female artists, curated micro libraries from local used bookstores, and replicated furniture from a DC townhouse.
The long awaited, trendy Line Hotel D.C. of Adams Morgan opened its doors at the start of 2018. Since then, D.C. royalty have been spotted frequenting the du jour hotel— including Michelle Obama.
A group made up of Sydell Group, Friedman Capital, and Foxhall Partners — say they attempted to target a local crowd with two upscale restaurants, a community radio station, a coffee shop, and 4,000 square foot community center located in the hotel’s basement. Hotel management boast that the hotel’s artwork has been purchased by local D.C. artists and that both of its restaurants, run by high-profile chefs, exclusively serve locally grown produce.
“We like to go into neighborhoods and become the neighborhood hotel,” says managing director Crawford Sherman, speaking on behalf of Sydell Group, a hotel developing company based in New York.
“This is a hotel that is built to reflect and look after the neighborhood,” he continues.
But before you book your reservation to Adams Morgan’s first hotel, you may want to know a bit more about who’ll be housing you.
In short, the hotel may have violated tax laws, potentially screwing over local contractors and the D.C. community at large.
The Controversy Explained
Hotel developers are fighting off accusations of false promises made to the community. As an incentive to serve the District, an agreement made with the city’s tax office in 2010 required that developers would hire more than 50 percent of its construction workers from Washington in return for a $46 million tax break during its first 20 years in service.
However, paperwork by the city’s Department of Employment Services revealed developers violated this agreement– hiring only 25 percent of D.C. residents for their construction workforce, as reported by The Washington Post.
The Hotel’s Response
When asked whether or not the hotel’s developers obliged to the rules of its tax abatement, Sherman answered in the hotel’s favor.
“The hotel itself is abiding by the agreement. I’m not sure where that misinformation is coming from,” says Sherman.
“But we actually haven’t gone in for our audit yet. We’re still under construction. You can’t make a judgment until you actually sit down and apply for the abatement,” he continues.
Should you care? If Michelle doesn’t…
As Sherman prompted, the fate of the hotel’s tax abatement will be settled within the first half of 2018. Regardless, Sherman believes the public allegations haven’t yet deterred local customers. In addition, Sherman argued that The Line, which is currently the only operating hotel within the Adams Morgan community, is drawing in a lot of outsiders into the neighborhood. He expects the hotel to generate more business throughout the community — a community largely embedded with local, family businesses.
Sherman declined to comment on the hotel’s projected annual revenue but claims that the hotel has already been exceeding its earnings projections within its first three months of fruition.
Photography by Gary Williams