The ceremonies will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at People’s Book, and at 4:15 p.m. at Motorkat, respectively. Takoma Park Mayor Talisha Searcy will be joined by City Council members to lead the ribbon cuttings.
Restaurateur Chris Brown of Zinnia, Soko Butcher & Takoma Bev. Co. and executive chef Danny Wells teamed up to open Motorkat in May in the former home of Republic at 6939 Laurel Ave. A seafood raw bar and wood-fired dishes are featured at the Takoma Park eatery, which also commemorates the city’s history in a variety of ways, including reviving the building that once housed Republic and honoring one of its most bizarre stories.
According to DCist, Motorkat’s lore begins with a cat: Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Motor Cat and her co-pilot J. Catman became famous for riding along on Catman’s Suzuki 500 motorcycle. He sat behind the wheel, while Motor Cat sat on his shoulder or on the gas tank, ears tucked inside a custom-made helmet.
The spirit of Motorkat is meant to honor her “old school Takoma Park” spunk while refreshing Republic’s former space and menu after she passed away in 2002 at age 17. J. Catman has since moved out of the area.
“The Motorkat concept is inspired by Takoma Park’s activist roots and the menu will revolve around a high-quality sourced raw bar and a seasonally-led wood-fired culinary experience,” Laura Barclay of Main Street Takoma said in March. “Its bar program will feature extraordinarily balanced cocktails with irreverent names and a unique local rotating draft beer program.”
Motorkat was featured by InsideHook earlier this month in its roundup of new D.C.-area restaurants.
Independent bookstore People’s Book opened in June at 7014-A Westmoreland Ave. Over 12,000 books are available in the store, with a special focus on children’s literature, local interests, new releases, and independent magazines. A variety of book-themed gifts, locally roasted drip coffee, kombucha, and other treats are also available.
There are multiple book clubs and several author readings scheduled for this summer at People’s Book. The Green Way Reading Series, curated by Elizabeth Bryant and Takoma Park’s Poet Laureate Taylor Johnson, was held on July 2 at the store’s first event.
“We’re so excited to provide readers of all ages opportunities to explore, learn, and connect with their neighbors,” People’s Book owner Megan Bormet said in June. “Helping kids and adults find books they love is what I like to do best, and I’m thrilled that we can do this at People’s Book.”
Readers who are interested in the Republic of Readers program, which provides discounts and perks based on membership level, are encouraged to join.
Motorkat is open from 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday. People’s Book is open Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Graphics courtesy of Main Street Takoma