Just opened Au Bon Pain has added a much needed ammenity to the neighborhood–more outdoor seating. In addition, the restaurant will have fairly generous weekend hours: 7am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday.
There are currently 12 small square tables and 3 large shade umbrellas, primarily in the space between the hotel and the Metro Station. This has the potential for a relatively vibrant scene–the most visibile interaction of people in NoMa to-date. The spiral stairwell (along with an elevator) that leads to the Metropolitan Branch Trail will lead pedestrians using the Trail to reach the Metro Station directly through this courtyard.
Hotel guests, ATF employees, Eckingtonians, Galludet students, and other NoMa employees–all interacting. The less homogeneous the crowd, the better for a growing area.