Restaurant News: November 4, 2015

Interior of Stetson's Restaurant.
Courtesy of Stetson's
Interior of Stetson's Restaurant.

Tadich Grill Family Drama Comes to Light

The daughter of one of the owners of San Francisco’s famed Tadich Grill, as well as its newly opened D.C. location, opened up to Washington Post columnist Lonnae O’Neal about being disowned by her family when they found out she was dating a black man.

Terri Upshaw, née Buich, says she met Gene Upshaw, former Oakland Raiders guard and future Hall of Famer and executive director of the National Football League Players’ Association, in 1983 when she was 23. They dated for eight months before he asked her to move with him to Washington, D.C.

She says that when her father found out that she planned to marry Upshaw, “He told me that’s it — you’re out of the family. Change your last name, and don’t ever call us again.” Gene Upshaw died of pancreatic cancer in 2008, but she has not heard from her parents or siblings since 1983 and they have not met her children.

According to O’Neal: “Upshaw, who had never spoken publicly about the rift, says she is telling this story now, in response to a reporter’s query, because with the new restaurant, she is talking more to friends and ‘it sounds archaic,’ she says.”

Following the story, Tadich Grill’s D.C. location was hit with numerous negative reviews on Yelp, many of which have been removed by Yelp as “motivated more by the news coverage itself than by the reviewer’s own customer experience,” according to the site.

Penthouse Restaurant Proposed at 5th and I

Developers of the hotel/apartment hybrid project on the city-owned site at 901 5th St. NW have submitted revised plans. They now propose 175 hotel rooms and 48 apartments, instead of the original 153 rooms and 52 apartments. They are also proposing a bar, cocktail lounge or restaurant in the penthouse area, requiring an exception to the District’s new zoning regulations, which are intended to allow only residential uses in penthouses. The Board of Zoning Adjustment will look at the proposals on Nov. 10. The development group, led by the Peebles Corporation, includes the Walker Group, MacFarlane Partners and Standard Group, with designs by WDG Architecture.

IN: Tail Up Goat

Tail Up Goat, a new Mediterranean restaurant, will open early next year at 1827 Adams Mill Road NW. The venue is the product of Jon Sybert and Bill Jensen, Komi’s former sous chef and wine and beverage director, respectively; Jill Tyler, service director from Little Serow (and Sybert’s spouse); and investor Kevin Doyle. The menu is inspired by southern Italian- and Sicilian-style cooking without being bound to a particular region or tradition. The name of the restaurant comes from a phrase that Sybert and Tyler heard in the Virgin Islands, used to distinguish between herds of grazing animals: Tail up, goat; tail down, sheep.

IN: Korean Spot Coming to 9th Street

A new Korean restaurant is set to open on 9th Street NW. Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton and Toki Underground’s Erik Bruner-Yang are the owners.

OUT: DC Coast, Stetson’s — Both Gone After New Year’s

DC Coast Restaurant, a trailblazer in terms of the culinary arts as well as urban renewal, so to speak, will serve its last meal on New Year’s Eve. The restaurant at 1401 K St. NW opened in 1998 as Passion Food Hospitality’s top performer under co-owners Gus DiMillo, Jeff Tunks and David Wizenberg, who decided during lease talks with the building’s owner to shut the place and move on. At the same time, the group said that it plans to revive its Ten Penh Restaurant, which closed at 10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in 2011, at Tysons Corner in 2016.

Another trailblazing restaurant, Stetson’s at 1610 U St. NW, will close by the end of 2015, according to the Washington, D.C., Eater blog, which added: “The building and the liquor license for the U Street bar has been sold to Douglas Development. Stetson’s team did not have any information about what might replace it (Eater had reached out to Douglas Development when rumors of closing surfaced).” Stetson’s was opened in 1980 by a retired police officer. It was the first Tex-Mex saloon in the nation’s capital and is considered U Street’s oldest neighborhood bar and grill.

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