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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/20/2006

P Party

By Erin

The Dupont Circle-area stretch of P between 21st and 22nd streets has transformed in the past year. From the opening of Hotel Palomar to the sugary addition of the Fractured Prune, constant changes are afoot.

The newest addition to the stretch could open as soon as tomorrow. Marrakesh Palace, in the former Mr. P's location, is gearing up to serve traditional Moroccan fare, including couscous, brochettes, tagines of lamb, chicken, fish and veal and plenty of mezze-style appetizers.

There will also be two prix-fixe menus priced at $25.95 and $29.95. The new space bares little resemblance to its predecessor. With sand-colored walls, rich fabrics on the banquettes and shiny, engraved wall sconces, the space looks like it could rapidly become a date destination. No hole-in-the-wall, the restaurant will have a capacity of approximately 200 people. The spacious and luminous back room will hold the majority of patrons. The neighborhood has a moratorium on liquor licenses, but because Marrakesh Palace retained the license from Mr. P's, it will open with a full bar.

Up the street, Pizzeria Paradiso is not having as much luck working around the liquor moratorium. Owner Ruth Gresser is in talks to expand into the space beneath the restaurant, formerly occupied by a natural foods store. According to Gresser, "We were hoping to put in a bar and waiting area and more tables in the style of Georgetown with the Birreria."

The expansion would double the capacity of the current location, but it is unlikely to continue without the backing of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC). With the support of many neighborhood residents, Gresser is optimistic that the ABC and Advisory Neighborhood Commission will work to change the moratorium. Gresser has been working on logistics for the expansion since February, but the amendment would not happen until at least next summer, meaning a fall opening at the earliest.

By Erin  | December 20, 2006; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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it'd be silly not to give Paradiso a pass on that place. Their Gtown location is so good with the beer selection they have downstairs. Plus the P street location has nowhere to wait, and you always wait.

Posted by: mc | December 20, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

It is outrageous how the local ANCs hold hostage new restaurants trying to open in DC. The members of these groups are nothing but meddling busy-bodies with nothing else to do but interfere with other people's business. If they want quiet, and the boredom that accompanies it, then they should move to some little podunk town outside DC and leave the city to those of us who deliberately moved here for the noise, vibrancy, restaurants, bars, clubs and the people.

Posted by: Devlin | December 20, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

agree with the above poster. funny how those same board members are enjoying the massive increase in property value that a "hot" area provides. trust me, nobody moves to an area for the desperate housewives or lame soccer moms.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 21, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

a Pajama Brunch!

Monday January 1st
12pm - 5pm

Receive a complimentary Bloody Mary with the following clue:
When your server asks for your number, add 1 to the servers clue number.
(So if the server says 6
your answer should be 7!)
One per customer.

Come as you are in your PJ's
(or the clothes you wore
the night before!)

For more details call 202.387.4005

Hope to see you there!

Posted by: tony | December 22, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

On the topic of P Street, Cafe Luna (1633) has redone the beer and liquor list - drink specials and delicious food are available daily. Check out dollar beers tonight - Beck's Dark and Woodchuck Dark & Dry until we run out, then PBR bottles for the thirsty.

Posted by: Peter | December 22, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I happen to live directly across the street from the new Marakesh Palace on P Street and I would like to let everyone know that this new addition to my neighborhood is also the LOUDEST. On Saturday evening January 15th - their monotonous dico music was easy to hear inside my apartment on the 8th floor of the West Park Apartments - with my windows closed! This relentless pounding went on and on until well after 3am Sunday morning - while nearly 50 drunk patrons flooded out onto the sidewalk screaming obscenities and generally making a nuisance of themselves for hours until police finally came to ask them to go home.
I thought disturbing the peace was against the law.

Thanks to the management of Marakesh Palace I got very little sleep.

Posted by: dupont resident | January 15, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

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