- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Perhaps it has something to do with the owners’ previous lives, but we’ve heard that the wine-and-dessert bar Room 11 is quite popular among the city’s musician set. Since it opened in August, Thievery Corporation’s Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, the ApesAmanda Kleinman and Erick Jackson, and Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye have all stopped in for a bite.

Owners Nick Pimentel and Ben Gilligan are no strangers to the local music scene. Mr. Pimentel has been in several bands and co-founded the District’s own Gypsy Eyes Records, while Mr. Gilligan played guitar for the D.C. group French Toast and performs with Small Doses.

We were curious about the establishment’s name. Might it have anything to do with, say, “This Is Spinal Tap”? (There’s a classic scene in the rock mockumentary in which Nigel Tufnel, played by Christopher Guest, shows Rob Reiner, who plays the director of the film within the film, his guitar amplifier. Nigel points to the knobs and says, “These go to 11.”)

“No,” Mr. Pimentel clarified, the restaurant is “a small room on 11th Street, and [the number] was also [that of] Ben’s detention room during his school days.” Mr. Gilligan spent much time in detention dreaming of desserts, wine, and rock and roll.

White House bound

Several of Hollywood’s heavy hitters who supported President Obama’s campaign were invited to tonight’s White House state dinner to honor Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Entertainment-industry titans (and former DreamWorks partners) David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg will be attending, according to Nikki Finke’s entertainment Web site Deadline.com. Talent agent Ari Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s brother and the inspiration for the Ari Gold character in the HBO series “Entourage,” also will be at the event. We hope he behaves himself.

Zimmerman honored

Good news arrived from New York today for Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Ronnie Lott, NFL Hall of Famer and founder of All Stars Helping Kids, announced that Mr. Zimmerman is one of 10 professional athletes honored for giving back to their communities by the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, according to a release from the group.

“These champions represent a wide swath of success both on and off the playing field, and we are very excited to be able to honor this group,” Mr. Lott said. “The real winners in this process are the millions of people that all these athletes have assisted in community service. It is an honor for us to recognize this group and assist all of them in their very noble endeavors.”

Others voted onto the Dream Team for Public Service include Detroit Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson, tennis player Venus Williams and NFL player Justin Tuck.

Mr. Zimmerman was selected from a pool of 53 nominees by the organization’s board and by fans who voted for the athlete with the greatest passion for public service. The Nats’ budding superstar will be honored at the third annual Sports Business and Philanthropy Luncheon on Dec. 8 in New York City.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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