Delve in to African-American history and a cool shopping and food scene in one of DC’s oldest neighborhoods. The site of businesses, theaters and rowhouses since the 19th-century, the Shaw neighborhood is situated east of the U Street corridor, famously known as “Black Broadway” thanks to still-in-business spots like the Lincoln Theatre and the Howard Theatre. It was there, in the early 20th-century, where acts like Cab Calloway and Pearl Bailey once played.
Today, both theaters still host a range of musical artists; a statue of native son and bandleader Duke Ellington playing the piano sits in from of the Howard. Nearby, the legendary 9:30 Club hosts rock and alternative acts in a two-level, warehouse-like space.
Shaw is now one city’s hippest up-and-coming neighborhoods, with attractions like the shops and eateries at The Shay and the Atlantic Plumbing complexes and bustling cafes like Compass Coffee and La Colombe.
Shopping also booms here, primarily in indie and chain stores near U Street, where choices include DC’s only Steven Alan outpost, for his-or-hers edgy fashion. The southern end of Shaw gives way to high-end shopping mecca CityCenterDC and the retail-filled Penn Quarter & Chinatown neighborhood.