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Second Annual Taste of Ward 7 Starts Friday

The second annual Taste of Ward 7 to be held as a two-day event from July 29 to July 30th.

The event will take place along Benning Road NE, between Minnesota Avenue NE and East Capitol Street NE and is hosted by the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MHCDO) in partnership with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Open Streets.

The corridor will be closed to cars but open to Ward 7 residents and visitors to walk, bike, roller skate, socialize and fully engage in the Taste of Ward 7 experience.

Taste of Ward 7 will feature live entertainment, a food truck crawl showcasing local businesses offering a variety of food choices, desserts and beverages.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry will also be able to take advantage of the free training session and panel discussion on Friday, July 29, with experts in the field. Interested business owners have the option to attend the session virtually or in-person at MHCDO (3939 Benning Rd. NE). The session will cover digital marketing and brand development.

As a scaled down version of Taste of DC, Taste of Ward 7 is an opportunity to highlight the need for additional food options across the ward. Pennsylvania Avenue East Main Street (PAEMS), the Ward 7 Business Partnership, and the Minnesota Avenue Main Street – the Main Streets of Ward 7 – have joined together to lead advocacy efforts and discussions on the continued need for investment into economic development opportunities that promote retail and commercial growth East of the River, particularly when it comes to vying for more sit-down and quick dining options.

In its debut last year, the Main Streets of Ward 7 set out to establish Taste of Ward 7 as the premier culinary experience East of the River. Although no formal count is available, there are fewer sit-down restaurants in Wards 7 and 8 than in other parts of the city. While the ward has seen gains as it welcomed its first Starbucks and other notable dining options including &Pizza and Roaming Rooster, and broke ground for a new Giant, Taste of DC will look to attract entrepreneurs and business leaders in a collective effort to advocate for economic expansion.

The ratio of full- service grocery stores to residents is 1 store per 52,600 residents. While 22 percent of the District’s population live in Wards 7 and 8, there are only 4% of full service grocery stores in each of these Wards.

“The recent projects and efforts at Skyland and Capitol Gateway are an exciting step towards demonstrating strategic investment in Ward 7, however, there is still a demand for multiple fresh grocery, retail and dining options,” said MHCDO Pennsylvania Avenue East Main Streets Director Latisha Atkins. “Through Taste of Ward 7, we have the tremendous opportunity to not only support businesses within our community, but to promote the viability of the ward as we continue to push for further economic growth that is beneficial and convenient to Ward 7 residents.”

For more information visit mhcdo.org.

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