The Latest Dish on Dining in the District
Balducci’s former location on New Mexico Avenue, NW, was not completely taken over by La Forchetta. The remaining space (4,000 sq ft) that was Balducci’s will become a new Wagshal’s, which is well known in Spring Valley. Wagshal’s Family of Fine Foods owner Bill Fuchs says in addition to the butcher shop and prepared foods and sandwiches, it will offer fresh seafood, a hot food bar and chopped salad station. The new space will have a Barcelona design look.
Alan Popovsky of Hudson and Lincoln plans to open Teddy & The Bully Bar, named after President Teddy Roosevelt. It will open on 19th Street in downtown DC where Sam & Harry’s used to be. The food program includes small plates with lots of wild game, as Teddy was an avid hunter. Alan seems to have a thing for presidentially themed restaurants, as his new company is called Presidential Restaurant Group.
Passion Fin is in expansion mode. Not only does the Japanese restaurant plan to open in the new Goose Creek Village in Ashburn, VA by the end of the year, they also plan to open at The Shops at Sumner Place in Bethesda, just off Sangamore Road in this quarter. Joining them on the restaurant and QSR front will be Starbucks, Bethesda Market and Praline Bakery & Restaurant. Passion Fin owner/operators Jeffrey Fox and Jin Lin also own Sake Steakhouse in Laurel, MD and Fuji Sushi in Bel Air, MD.
The Sweetgreen owners signed a lease for its 13th location on the East Coast at CityVista at 5th and K Streets, NW, where Michael Landrum had planned to open a coffee house restaurant. That may be lucky 13 for Sweetgreen. An early fall opening is planned.
Ch-ch-changes: Jacques Haeringer just added a bar to Jacques’ Brasserie, the more casual restaurant he opened last year on the lower level of the iconic L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, VA. The bar was a natural addition to the neighborhood spot, as it complements the neighborhood feel to the Brasserie. Jacques also quadrupled the size of his on-premises garden, growing herbs, squash, tomatoes and peppers for his restaurant.
Chef Update: Matt Baker has been named Chef de Cuisine at the Occidental Grill, working under Executive Chef Rodney Scruggs. Previously he served as executive sous chef at Brasserie Beck in D.C. and as sommelier for Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak in Miami... Salvatore Ferro was named Executive Chef of The Hamilton, part of Clyde’s Restaurant Group ... Eddie Moran is now cheffing at Station 4, a Mediterranean-American restaurant in southwest D.C., not far from his last gig as chef de cuisine at Sou’Wester at the Mandarin Hotel. He will work under Executive Chef Orlando Amaro ... Rebecca Albright, the new Pastry Chef for Ted’s Bulletin previously worked as Assistant Pastry Chef at 1789 and at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel where she oversaw and produced pastries for their high tea service. Should we anticipate a new kind of pop tart? Tony and Joe’s and Nick’s Riverside Grill are also pleased to announce their newest team member, Chef David Stein. David hails from St. Michaels where, for the past 16 years, he owned and operated his own Bistro St. Michaels, MD .... Chris Ferrier has been named Executive Chef for 2100 Prime at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, a Starwood Luxury Collection hotel. Previously he worked Hyatt Regency Hotels in the D.C. market.
Jose Andres will find a home for Minibar at the Zola Kitchen & Wine Bar in Penn Quarter while America Eats Tavern, formerly Café Atlantico undergoes another change. There is no concept yet, but he hopes to have something in place so that the new space opens by October. The new location for Minibar will offer 12 to 18 seats, as opposed to the six seats they have now — with an astounding wait list.
Although Thompson Hospitality has pulled Austin Grill Express and their burger concept, brb, from the Boilermaker Shops project at Capitol Riverfront/Ballpark District, Huey’s Diner, Buzz Bakery, Willie’s Brew and Que Sports Bar and Bluejacket Brewery still have banners up (thank you Prince of Petworth) so are still planning to open there. Bluejacket plans to open in the first quarter of 2013.
Sebastian Zutant, Mike O’Malley and Mike Friedman plan to open Red Hen, an Italian-influenced American restaurant in the Bloomingdale section of D.C. at 1st Street and Seaton Place, NW. Zutant and Friedman are veterans of Proof. O’Malley has 9Group in Las Vegas. They are targeting a first quarter 2013 opening.
Brookland will get a neighborhood bar and grill (fingers crossed) that will be run by three U Street operators in the industry. John Solomon from Solly’s, Frank Hankins from Sova and Tony T from The Pug are planning to take over the Library space at 3514 12th Street, NE. They have still to hire a chef and decide on a name. They hope to open this fall.
Quick Hits: Carolina Kitchen Bar & Grill expects to open their third operation on Rhode Island Row in Northeast D.C. this fall. Their other operations are at The Blvd at Cap Cen in Largo, MD and in University Town Center in Hyattsville, MD. Luke’s Lobster in Penn Quarter, D.C. opened a second location in Bethesda on Bethesda Lane. Brothers Mustafa and Omar Popal, popular owner/operators of Café Bonaparte and Napoleon Bistro, plan to open a third Georgetown restaurant on Water Street this fall. ★
Linda Roth Conte is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc (LRA) specializing in making creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events for the hospitality industry. Contact Linda at 703-417-2700 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her web site at www.lindarothpr.com