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D.C. HOSPITALITY REIMAGINED. There’s no question our food scene continues to grow by leaps and bounds, with more and more award-winning spots receiving the national recognition they deserve and local chefs and restaurateurs becoming industry leaders. For this year’s Dining Issue, we decided to shed light on the locals who are making change either by creating safe spaces or supporting communities beyond D.C. — or both. Marcelle Afram, the talented mind behind Shababi Diner, is advocating for the Middle Eastern trans community while Rach Pike and Jo McDaniel are promoting inclusivity for the entire LGBTQ+ community at new bar and café As You Are DC. Erik Bruner-Yang recently volunteered with World Central Kitchen, serving food to Ukrainian refugees, and Christian Irabién is helping immigrant restaurant workers advance their careers through his initiative Hospitality Humans. We gathered this group on the porch of photographer Jennifer Chase’s stunning home in Northwest D.C. for a shoot one morning in early May, and it felt like being with family — cracking jokes, complimenting one another’s efforts and treating each other with the utmost respect for what everyone is doing to support our city. Our writers shared each of their stories, picking their brains about what makes them changemakers and what impact they are striving to make within the District. 

Nevin Martell gave us a list of mouthwatering dishes worth venturing to the burbs for and explored the world of foraging, and Priya Konings wrote about a plethora of veggie-forward options. We are also very excited to celebrate Pride in our June issue. We interviewed 20+ locals in the LGBTQ+ community about what Pride means to them, their identity-affirming songs and how allies can support year-round. We also rounded up 22 LGBTQ+ bars around the city, and 30 Pride events to celebrate this month. I interviewed Ezra Furman about her upcoming album, trans activism and motherhood; Jake Wesley Rogers about being the next big queer rock ‘n’ roller; and Melanie Moore about playing Scout in the national tour of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Our assistant editor Nicole Schaller interviewed rapper and actress Jade Jones and our managing editor Brandon Wetherbee spent an afternoon with Estadio’s GM Jennifer Lucy shopping for rosé. We also interviewed the cofounders of An Indivisible Art Collective, caught a glimpse of a day in the life with Bidwell bar manager Cassie Womack, delved into the LGBTQ+ wrestling community, wrote a manifesto on why batting cages should exist in every ward, gave tips for shopping local for Father’s Day, and highlighted June programming at Arena Stage and Wolf Trap. Please pick up a copy at one of 22 local Whole Foods or at one of our new retail partner locations, including Steadfast Supply, Byrdland Records, PLNTR and Groom Guy inside Yours Truly Hotel. Thank you for supporting local journalism! 

Monica Alford