Penn Quarter is a neighborhood in the East End of Downtown Washington, D.C. north of Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Penn Quarter is southeast of the Metro Center shopping district. Penn Quarter now boasts a variety of entertainment and commercial establishments including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and contemporary art galleries. The area is also home to a popular farmers market and several food, wine, art, and culture focused festivals.
Penn Quarter’s initial growth occurred under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation whose Pennsylvania Avenue Plan called for a mixed-use neighborhood. It was to include residences, offices, theaters and other cultural venues, retail, hotels, and restaurants in both new and renovated buildings framing new parks and plazas. On Thursday afternoons in spring, summer, and fall, the FRESHFARM Penn Quarter farmers market is open on 8th Street, just south of E Street. The Newseum is located at the intersection of 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The building also includes offices and television studio space, The Source restaurant by Wolfgang Puck, and the Newseum Residences, an apartment rental community.
Other neighborhood amenities include several coffee shops and a teahouse / restaurant on 8th Street; three salons with day spas; the nearby Landmark E Street Cinema, which screens independent films; Regal Theater; and shops selling clothing, jewelry, ice cream, and books, among other things. Over the past thirty years the neighborhood has transformed from a sleepy, nondescript part of downtown into a vibrant 24-hour residential and commercial community.