The music blares from the local bars, people line the sidewalks for late-night chili and cheese fries at the famous Ben's Chili Bowl or hang out at some of the trendiest restaurants in the city - welcome to a typical weekend night in the U Street neighborhood.
Yet, for all its fun and excitement, that’s only half the story of this DC neighborhood sandwiched between Logan Circle and Columbia Heights, and home to the infamous DC riots in the 1960's.
For the first half of the 20th century, the U Street neighborhood was predominantly a thriving African-American community. This was the period that saw the rise of the neighborhood’s vibrant music and theater scene, earning it the name “Black Broadway”.
During the second half of the 20th century, after the 1968 riots and the subsequent migration of people and businesses to other parts of the city, the neighborhood took a steep decline. However, in the late 1990s and early 2000s the neighborhood saw a major turnaround, as more people and businesses, inspired by the revitalization of nearby Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, and Adams Morgan, returned to resurrect what had been considered lost. The music, the food, the culture – it's all back and then some!
Today, those looking for fun and adventure can settle into nearby condominiums starting in the $300's or purchase million dollar, gorgeous town-homes that continue to appreciate in value.