by Sean Meehan — September 1, 2015 at 12:00 pm 184 0

Duffy's Wings, photo courtesy of Duffy's

The famous wings at Duffy’s Irish Pub have an official comeback date.

For $15, customers can eat as many wings as they can stomach at a pre-opening wing feast on Sunday, Sept. 13 from 1-4 p.m.

The wing feast will double as a Nationals viewing party, and patrons will be able to watch the Nationals take play the Miami Marlins on the pub’s newly installed televisions.

“This is kind of an initial welcome back between us and the neighborhood,” said former Duffy’s owner and current general manager Andy Duffy. “It’s a fun event to get the neighborhood back involved and re-meet our neighbors.”

But it won’t be just like old times. The pub will not serve alcohol at the wing feast due to an in-process liquor license. But Duffy said he expects to receive the liquor license and open start pouring beers later in the month.

The pub made headlines last week when Duffy announced its re-opening.

Duffy said excited neighbors have already stopped by the pub as he has been preparing for the reopening.

“A guy came by yesterday with his kid in a stroller and looked in the window, then 10 minutes later he came back with a six-pack of Guinness to welcome us back,” Duffy said. “We’ve had stuff like that happening all week.”

Photo courtesy of Duffy’s

by Tim Regan — August 28, 2015 at 11:10 am 148 0

Italian restaurant Odeon Cafe (1714 Connecticut Ave. NW) is changing its name and its menu.

Odeon’s general manager, Ben Triano, says the restaurant will become Madrid, a Spanish eatery with tapas, paella and a sangria bar, after the Labor Day holiday.

Last night, the eatery unveiled a portion of its new menu during a tasting party. The menu — which Triano stresses is just a taste of things to come — included fried calamari and paprika aioli, puff pastries stuffed with pepper marmalade and chorizo and a smattering of Spanish wines.

Triano says that the restaurant will be closed during the second week of September to train staffers, switch up the menu and finalize the interior renovations.

“We’re going to close for one week and reveal the final touch-ups,” Triano says. “We’re very excited.”

by Tim Regan — August 27, 2015 at 3:40 pm 151 0


A vegan restaurant by the owner of Sticky Fingers bakery is set to debut its wood-fired margarita stromboli, chocolate-espresso torta, and mushroom and spinach spanikopita next month on 14th Street NW.

HillNow, a Borderstan sibling publication, reported this afternoon that forthcoming eatery Fare Well will pop up at G by Mike Isabella (2201 14th St. NW) for dinners on Sept. 21 and 22.

The restaurant is expected to open on the H Street corridor later this year.

The pop-up’s dinner menu has a dozen items, including small plates, mains and sweets. In addition to the stromboli, torta and spanikopita, the food includes cashew and almond burrata, roasted pepper and tofu frittata strata, and berry shortcake, among other dishes.

Fare Well also will have complimentary bread and infused olive oil for customers who attend the pop-up dinners.

Locals interested in the meals can make reservations by calling G at 202-234-5015. Seating begins at 6 p.m.

Photo via Instagram/Fare Well

by Sean Meehan — August 27, 2015 at 2:40 pm 178 0

Veuve Clicquot's champagne truck (Photo via Twitter/ Veuve Clicquot)Bar Dupont will receive a special shipment of French champagne tonight.

A traveling truck packed with Veuve Clicquot champagne will be parked at the bar’s patio at 1500 New Hampshire Avenue NW from 5-9 p.m. tonight.

Representatives from the high-end champagne brand have been touring the country and hosting patio events at bars in several cities. Bar Dupont patrons will be able to purchase $20 glasses of bubbly or $110 bottles between 5 and 9 p.m. today. For $129, customers can purchase unlimited champagne for the evening.

Bar Dupont will also be serving three specialty cocktails made with Veuve Cliquot champagne, and a food menu that includes hibiscus-infused ceviche, mini lobster rolls, and Chesapeake Bay oysters.

The Veuve Cliquot truck will stop at several downtown bars over the weekend before leaving the District.

Photo via Twitter/ Veuve Clicquot

by Tim Regan — August 26, 2015 at 4:25 pm 557 0

Thip Kao, photo via Facebook.com/ThipKaodcLaotian restaurant Thip Khao (3462 14th Street NW) will be closed for minor reservations from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, says bar consultant and restaurant employee Jack Caminos.

During that time, workers will touch up walls, work on the restaurant’s plumbing and remove a small waiting room located at the restaurant’s entrance.

“We’re going to clean up and change a little bit of the interior,” Caminos says. “Nothing design-wise, just to make it feel a little roomier.”

Part of the reason the restaurant needs some touching up, says Caminos, has been its recent popularity. Earlier this month, the eatery was named among the Top 50 restaurants in the U.S. by Bon Appetit. Since then, Caminos says consistently huge crowds of diners have left the dining room with minor scrapes, bumps and dents.

“A lot of it comes down to touching up the paint job,” he adds.

Chef Seng Luangrath will use her time off to experiment and brainstorm ideas for a new fall menu, says Caminos.

“We’ll be experimenting with some new menu items, some new cocktail items,” he says. “But the core of the menu will still be there. Lao food is Lao food.”

And Caminos says there will be one change that customers likely can’t see: Luangrath’s son, Bobby Pradachith, will serve as the restaurant’s general manager when it reopens.

Image via Facebook.com/ThipKhaoDC

by Tim Regan — August 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm 0

Dupont Circle beer hall Sauf Haus (1216 18th Street NW) is set to debut a new retractable roof by Sept. 19, says the bar’s general manager John Issa.

Currently, the bar’s top floor patio is protected only by a few moveable sheets. The new retractable roof will help protect the bar area from the elements as well as control the temperature there, Issa says.

The new roof will also contain noise coming from late night bar crowds and live music.

“This was a big motivating factor in the owners’ decision as they’re working hard to be a fun, neighborhood bar and not a late-night nuisance,” says Sauf Haus marketing and event coordinator Brittney Roberson.

Designer Adam Ford Roll-A-Cover designed the new roof, which Issa says will have cost “in the six figures” once installed. Ford has also designed retractable roofs for the Argonaut, Jack Rose, Ivy & Coney and Red Rocks on H Street.

Renderings courtesy of Sauf Haus

by Tim Regan — August 25, 2015 at 3:05 pm 0

Photo courtesy of &Pizza

The &pizza location at 1250 U St. NW will close to undergo some much-needed repairs tonight at midnight.

The eatery will reopen “in the next few days” with fresh coats of paint, newly repaired fixtures and a shiny interior, says &pizza public relations representative Ashley Mason-Greene.

“They’re just doing some light sprucing up and taking care of some of the wear and tear that naturally occurs,” Mason-Green said earlier today in an e-mail.

The eatery’s windows are currently covered by signs emblazoned with the slogan “WE DO IT ALL FOR U.”

Photo courtesy of &pizza

by Tim Regan — August 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm 197 0

1220 Connecticut NW

(Updated at 1:39 p.m.) A bar centered around “rare bourbons” may open in Dupont Circle.

A public hearing notice for a liquor license application posted recently on the ABRA website shows that the proprietors behind a new bar identified under the trade name “DVL” seek to set up shop at 1220 Connecticut Avenue NW.

According to the application, the bar would serve “light fare” alongside “rare bourbons” in a space with seating for 30 and a total occupancy of 250. The bar would also host occasional events with DJs and bands.

The bar’s owners seek to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The bar’s listed contact, David Chung, was not immediately available to comment.

by Tim Regan — August 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm 378 0

Duffy's, photo via facebook.com/DuffysIrishPubDuffy’s is coming back.

The bar, which was heralded as D.C.’s best Nats bar by the Washington Post when it closed last November, will again serve its famous wings when it reopens at 2106 Vermont Avenue NW in mid-September.

On Saturday, the pub launched an IndieGoGo campaign seeking $150,000 to help with the reopening. Contribution perks include half-off food and drinks, credit toward future bar tabs and the chance to rent out the bar for an entire night.

Former owner Andy Duffy says he will return to serve as the pub’s general manager. Manning the ship as owner will be Casey Callister, a local film producer and longtime Duffy’s regular.

“We are going to reopen regardless of whether we hit the goal,” Duffy says. “The lease is already signed.”

Although the ownership has changed, the general feel of the bar hasn’t, says Duffy.

“There will be new furniture and some things the customers won’t even notice,” he says. “We’re going to concentrate on the wings.”

But Duffy hopes customers will take notice of one small change: the addition of fish and chips to the menu. “Casey is a huge fish and chips fan, so we’re going to do the best fish and chips in town,” he says.

For Duffy, the reopening couldn’t come soon enough. He says that when his restaurant and bar closed in November, he moved to Florida and got a job waiting tables at a Bonefish Grill.

“I was completely broke when I left,” Duffy says. “I literally didn’t have a dime to my name.”

Though he says he enjoyed not being the center of attention for a while, Duffy is eager to get back to the way things were before.

“I’ve been here for about five days now painting and renovating. I’ve been inside the place day and night,” Duffy says. “I’m full of energy and focused and ready to go. We want to start off strong on day one.”

Image via Facebook.com/DuffysIrishPub

by Tim Regan — August 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm 235 0

coldbrew 1

Lucky residents in Shaw, Dupont Circle and elsewhere will be able to drink nitro coffee for free next week thanks to local food delivery startup Galley.

The delivery service will give away thousands of 12-ounce bottles of Compass Coffee‘s nitro cold brew to residents in Chinatown, Penn Quarter, Shaw, Mount Vernon, NoMa, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom and Georgetown on Tuesday starting at 1 p.m.

To enter to win a free bottle, participants must request a free coffee delivery through Galley’s iPhone app. The more requests received from a specific address, the more likely it is that participants will win free coffee.

Galley will also sell Compass nitro coffee as an add-on to any lunch order.

Image via Facebook.com/CompassCoffeeDC

by Tim Regan — August 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm 812 3 Comments

A new Vietnamese restaurant is on track to arrive in Shaw next spring.

The new restaurant, Hoa Tuc, will be located at 715 Florida Avenue NW and will serve contemporary versions of traditional Vietnamese dishes, says co-owner Suzy Duong.

“We will do traditional Vietnamese food in a very contemporary way, but we will still use the traditional recipes,” Duong says.

For example, Duong says the restaurant will serve clay pot fish with local rockfish or sea bass instead of the more traditional choice of catfish.

“We would like to use fresh ingredients that are local and present them in a contemporary way using local resources and available herbs and spices,” Duong adds.

Duong says the restaurant will seat 74 people and include a full bar that serves local beers, wine and cocktails.

The new eatery will be co-owned and managed by Van Pham and Jon D’Souza, and is an extension of a pre-existing Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City that shares the Hoa Tuc name. The owner of the Ho Chi Minh City restaurant, Kim Ha Do, will relocate to D.C. to help open the restaurant, Duong says.

“[Do] has such a proven record in Ho Chi Minh city. She is the owner of nine different restaurants,” says Duong.

The idea, she adds, is to recreate some of what made Do’s restaurants successful in Vietnam.

“We are hoping to convey the fact that it’s very warm and inviting,” Duong says. “There will be Vietnamese heritage art on the walls. We are hoping that this will turn into a local neighborhood hangout for people in the Shaw neighborhood.”

Duong also says she hopes the nearby Shay development will help bring people through the door.

“It’s lucky for us that The Shay is across the street,” she says.

Photos courtesy of Hoa Tuc

by Tim Regan — August 21, 2015 at 10:00 am 0


Local kids can get a free sweet treat in honor of Ben’s Chili Bowl’s 57th anniversary tomorrow.

The eatery located at 1213 U Street NW and famous for its half smokes will give away mini milkshakes to kids 12 and under all day tomorrow. Full-sized milkshakes usually cost $3.55.

When reached by phone earlier, spokeswoman Vida Ali was helping a customer in the restaurant and couldn’t immediately comment.

by Tim Regan — August 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm 440 0

Passenger Menu

We now know a little more of what to expect from the hotly anticipated new 14th Street NW cocktail bar being opened by Tom Brown of The Passenger and Hogo fame.

Brown handed out a sample menu for his new bar, Left Door (1345 S Street NW), during an ANC 1B ABR committee meeting held at the Thurgood Marshall Center last night.

If the sample menu is any indication of things to come, future patrons should expect drinks such as Manhattans made with barrel-aged vermouth and Canadian rye whiskey; vesper cocktails made with potato vodka, gin and two types of aperitif wines; and a $55 spin on a French 75 cocktail made with vintage champagne, aged rye whiskey, lemon and honey.

The bar will also likely serve wine by the glass — including Cristal champagne — and bar snacks like roasted nuts, marinated olives and pickled vegetables.

Brown teased the new bar in the Washington Post in April.

“It’s more of an adult cocktail bar,” Brown told the Post. “We’re focusing on the total guest experience, with high-end audio, not just drinks. It’s going to be a respite from the craziness of U Street.”

Brown said at last night’s meeting he hopes to open Left Door by October.

by Sean Meehan — August 19, 2015 at 3:55 pm 0

La Tomate

La Tomate Italian Bistro in Dupont Circle is celebrating 28 years in business with happy hour and dinner specials until Sept. 17.

The restaurant, located at 1701 Connecticut Ave. NW, has been serving Italian food since 1987.

For the next month, the bistro will host a $10 happy-hour appetizer buffet every day, which includes one drink. Diners will also be able to order a three course dinner for $28.

Jonathan ten Hoopen, who has served as general manager at La Tomate since 1993, says that the restaurant owes its longevity in part to its consistency over the years and its crowd of regulars who live or work in Dupont Circle.

“We’ve had a loyal following since we’ve opened,” he said. “We’ve always been very neighborhood-involved and active in the Dupont community and we’ve kept our price point the same.”

Although La Tomate has focused on consistency over the years, the neighborhood and city around them have changed a lot, especially in recent years.

“The most change has happened in the last five years where development [in the] east has really started to pull away a lot of the business,” ten Hoopen said. “The three big areas for dining and bars used to be Dupont, Georgetown and Cleveland Park, and we’re now three neighborhoods that are suffering a little in that regard due to growth elsewhere.”

As the cost of living in Dupont Circle has gone up, younger customers have moved east, and new restaurants have followed, ten Hoopen says. La Tomate is hoping to bring diners and drinkers back to Dupont with more affordable options and happy hour specials.

Last year, the bistro converted one of its dining rooms into La Tomate Caffe, which serves lighter, more affordable breakfast and lunch options.

“We’ve had a loyal following since we’ve opened, but what we’re looking for now is to create the next group of loyal customers,” he said. “That’s been a challenge because of where the younger generation is living and the number of new options people have.”

While ten Hoopen admits that Dupont is no longer the trendiest restaurant spot in town, he doesn’t worry about La Tomate’s longevity looking forward, describing the restaurant as an “old favorite” that people will always return to.

“There’s no doubt that we’ve felt the shift in the concentration of diners and drinkers because they have so many more options now,” he said. “But we benefit from being a neighborhood bistro for so long. It’s less of a trendy destination and more of a regular, comfortable place to be.”

by Sean Meehan — August 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm 1,282 4 Comments

1831 Bar and Lounge

A steampunk-inspired bar and lounge is set to open on M Street in September.

The bar — appropriately called 1831 — will be located in the former Second State space at 1831 M St. NW.

The new hangout is the brainchild of brothers Jeff, Sean and Jean-Paul Chreky. Daniel Chreky, the brothers’ father, owns the building and operates Daniel’s Hair Salon on the upper level.

Jeff Chreky, 24, said he and his brothers, 31 and 34, came up with the concept for the bar together, hoping to give diners a “classier” alternative to clubs and college bars.

“We don’t want to be a club or a place that gets crazy,” Chreky says. “We want it to be a place where you can sit down and have a drink and something to eat.”

The lounge will serve small plates with salads, skewers and meat and cheese plates, Chreky says, and the bar will feature six taps and a wide selection of wine, beer, liquor and cocktails.

The interior, which is still under construction, will feature rustic light fixtures, sleek black tables and several small couches. In connection with the steampunk theme, a brick wall opposite the bar will house a mural inspired by the Jules Verne novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

“Some of the places that were here before sort of went around what the space is,” Chreky says. “We decided on the concept because it’s something different than what is around here.”


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