It was and is a greasy spoon, - they call themselves that, and it's know for it's breakfast and half-smokes, and chili. And, you can choose either the cheese whiz or the shreded cheddar.
Vaudville is gone. What has come back to Lincoln Theatre is special events, including professional concerts, variety acts, comedy and for a short time, before they folded, the Washington Symphony was housed there. No, it's not Broadway, but the National Theatre is more serving that purpose. Still, the use of the space as a performing arts venue is alive.
The Howard Theatre is currently under renovation. It will eventually open. It's being run by a non-profit organization, so money is tight. but it is under renovation and was featured recently on television. The outside doesn't look like much, but the work on the inside is coming along.
And smaller jazz clubs were very much part of its history - and several are open. Not too mention that the area has been home to the 9:30 Club and several other music venues for years, so a diverse musical scene is nothing new to U St.
And, it did indeed become historically black in the 20th c., but during the Victoria age when those homes were built it was predominantly white and middle class. So, the idea that this racial diversity on U St is new, is dead wrong. At the turn of the century is was a mix, then changed to a predominantly black community as DC became segregated.
But, no, it won't be Black Broadway, but Broadway isn't Broadway anymore - but U St is becoming a hub of culture - which it was before - from music, to dining, to shopping and even fine arts - several notable DC artists (painters, sculpters, etc) live in Mid-City. Their art hangs in some of the local restaurants, filling their walls.
U St/ MidCity is becoming exactly what it should be - a place of residence for the citizens of DC and a cultural hub representing the city's inhabitants - with one foot in the past, but the body in the present while facing its future and the other foot stepping there.