On R Street between 16th and 17th sits the Ice Blocks, the enchanting development—created by Michael Heller of Heller Pacific—where the Crystal ice plant and warehouse once operated. In the heart of midtown, it is filled with promising retail, residential and office spaces, and has finally come to fruition after the project was delayed by devastating fire in November 2015. Each block contains its own style: The Ice Sheds where Beast and Bounty and Philz Coffee are located share the last remnants of brick wall from the old Orchard Supply Co., while the other two blocks are completely new. With spacious sidewalks and plenty of parking, the Ice Blocks holds 50,000 square feet of retail and 100,000 square feet of office space. The Ice Blocks is only growing, with Curry Up Now opening this summer and Shake Shack opening in the near future. Let’s take a tour.
Button Up: 1710 R St., #100, buttonupboutique.net
With contemporary apparel for women, this locally owned retailer carries modern designer wear from denim to formal to special occasion.
Pure Barre: 1710 R St., #120, purebarre.com
A fitness studio with 45–50 minute total-body workouts using a ballet barre and other equipment for a low-impact, high-intensity workout.
Bonobos: 1710 R St., #140, bonobos.com
This online men’s clothing retailer created a brick-and-mortar store for customers to try on suits, shirts and pants to find the perfect fit and have them sent to their doors.
Warby Parker: 1710 R St., warbyparker.com
It’s a designer eyewear brand created with affordability and style in mind. Customers can come in to try on numerous styles and then have their glasses delivered to their homes.
Pressed Juicery: 1710 R St., #170, pressedjuicery.com
Discover a variety of fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, vegan soft serve and nutrient shots.
Mendocino Farms: 1610 R St., #125, mendocinofarms.com
A sandwich market with locations across California, it offers artisanal foods from the popular pork belly banh mi to a vegan smokehouse tempeh sandwich.
West Elm: 1610 R St., #160, westelm.com
A furniture store focused on modern design, affordability and community, West Elm produces 90 percent of its products in-house, creating sustainable yet stylish décor.
Philz Coffee: 1725 R St., philzcoffee.com
This full-service coffee bar grinds fresh beans and brews coffee one cup at a time. Philz has custom blends from all around the world and knowledgeable baristas to create a customized cup of coffee.
Beast and Bounty: 1701 R St., eatbeastandbounty.com
Beast and Bounty offers an aesthetically beautiful place where both meat eaters and vegans can rejoice.
All Good: 1715 R St., #150, allgxxd.com
An outdoor lifestyle brand with products designed in California, All Good has apparel for every kind of adventurer. We love the All Good Never Better basic t-shirt.
Bishops: 1715 R St., #140, bishops.co
Cuts, color, hair care and more are available at this barbershop salon. Bishops is open to all ages and genders with a knowledgeable staff and affordable prices, such as $10 for a shampoo and $7 for a neck trim.
Jeune: 1715 R St., #130, jeunewine.com
Jeune, which made its debut in June, is a pop-up wine bar and shop devoted to natural wines. (That means nothing is removed, nothing added in the wine-making process.) Jeune hosts pouring events with local winemakers and will remain in the Ice Blocks through summer.
Healthy Hounds Kitchen: 1715 R St., #110, healthyhounds.com
Cooking up fresh dog food and treats, Healthy Hounds Kitchen uses only USDA certified meats and produce to create wholesome food for furry companions.
Milk Money: 1715 R St., #100, milkmoneymidtown.com
This specialty doughnut and ice cream shop serves up three varying, one-of-a-kind doughnut options daily. (Examples: lime and blackberry, vanilla brioche with pink glaze and Circus Animal cookie crumbles, or something with Fruity Pebbles on top.) Check out beignet Wednesdays, and keep in mind there’s ice cream in seasonal flavors, too.