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Still Without A Restaurant, MRP Brings In Pop-Up For 'Womyn' To Former Union Social Space In NoMa

The vacant restaurant space that Union Social occupied for less than a year

MRP Realty has struggled to find a permanent tenant to fill the former Union Social space in its Washington Gateway development in NoMa, so the developer is now turning to a short-term solution. 

Femme Fatale DC, a pop-up shop for "womyn"-owned businesses, will open its second location in the 100 Florida Ave. NE retail space from October through December. 

The feminist-focused pop-up describes itself as a "womyn-only collective of local womyn creatives & entrepreneurs." The group says it spells women with a 'y' to serve as a reminder "that every womyn is completely whole on their own." Femme Fatale launched its first pop-up location at 1371 H St. NE in May. 

The pop-up will feature more than 50 businesses including artists, fashion and jewelry designers, chefs and more. It will also feature a vegan café. The shop will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday, with special events on Sundays. NoMa BID is serving as the promotional sponsor for the pop-up, which will be open from Oct. 12 to Dec. 24. 

Union Social opened in the large, ground-floor space in October 2015, but closed less than a year later. As the neighborhood still searches for a full-service restaurant option, MRP has struggled to land another food and beverage user to open permanently in the space.

MRP principal Matt Robinson said the company still hopes to land a restaurant tenant but was happy to find a temporary user to fill the space. 

"We would love to be able to get someone in there on a permanent basis, but for the time being, it's a great way to activate the space while we're looking for that," Robinson said. 

Robinson said MRP has gotten interest from some users, but wants to make sure it signs someone with a good business plan that will stay open. He said restaurateurs recognize the major void the neighborhood has for full-service restaurants. 

"What is desperately needed in NoMa is a food and beverage option that's above the fast-casual but below the price point of eating at a high-end place like Masseria," Robinson said, referring to the popular Michelin-starred hot spot in nearby Union Market. "There is a lot of room there. It just has to be executed."