Shaw resident Andre McCain’s plans to build a U.S. restaurant empire are set to go into motion next week with the opening of a fast-casual, sausage-centric eatery in the neighborhood.
HalfSmoke is slated to open at 651 Florida Ave. NW a week from today, Oct. 4, with a focus on gourmet half-smokes, bratwursts, veggie dogs and other sausages, dressed how customers want them for $7-$10. McCain said he intends to use the restaurant as a prototype for other HalfSmokes across the country.
“The goal is to become America’s preeminent brand in terms of sausages,” he told Borderstan yesterday.
But HalfSmoke isn’t just about grilled tubes of meat.
The restaurant will serve cocktails, boozy milkshakes and more than 20 beers, as well as sugar cane soda, house-made lemonade and cold brew coffee. It also will have free games, a photo booth and a foosball table that is near a light display that says, “Don’t grow up it’s a trap.”
McCain said he’s looking to establish a “community gathering place” at the restaurant, which has seating for 100 diners inside and 50 customers outside.
“The goal is to create a place where everyone can hang out,” he said.
HalfSmoke only is slated to serve dinner and late-night customers for its first two weeks. The restaurant will open at 4 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 2 a.m. on the weekends for now.
Eventually, the eatery is expected to open every day at 11 a.m.
The popular eatery announced today it has plans to sling burgers, fries and shakes at 1400 14th St. NW. The new location “will be right in the heart of the city, steps from historic Logan Circle,” according to a press release.
The forthcoming restaurant will also have a large outdoor seating area with picnic tables and plants, the release notes. Inside, the eatery will feature a “ceiling that is inspired by the distinctive street grid that radiates from the nation’s capital.”
If all goes according to plan, the Shake Shack would open in 2017.
More information from the press release:
Exiles (1610 U St. NW) is scheduled to host a “hootenanny” next Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The party will include a pig roast, beer pairings, spiked apple cider and a family-style buffet, according to the bar’s co-owner, Brian Hillery.
“We will host the hootenanny on our back patio where our smoker Suzie Q lives,” Hillery said. “As we recently installed outdoor televisions, I was planning on screening The Last Waltz at some point.”
The event will also include games like cornhole and darts along with a chance for partygoers to make some music.
“We’re also encouraging attendees to bring along guitars, banjos, harmonicas, fiddles, and empty jugs with ‘XXX’ printed on them,” Hillery said.
Tickets to the “hootenanny” cost $45. Those interested in attending can email the bar to make reservations.
Flier courtesy of Bryan Hillery
Showtime Lounge (113 Rhode Island Ave. NW) is scheduled to start serving “Bowls and Bohs” each Wednesday at 6 p.m., according to the bar’s resident souper hero, Jason Mogavero.
During the pop-up, Mogavero — a longtime Showtime patron who says he drinks there “way too much” — will be serving steaming bowls of homemade soup for $5. For an extra two dollars, Showtime’s bartenders will throw in a cold Natty Boh.
Originally, Mogavero wanted to do a cheesesteak pop-up, but when he floated the idea to Showtime owner Paul Vivari, his response was lukewarm. Vivari worried the bar didn’t have much ventilation, Mogavero recalled. Cooking cheesesteaks could make the place reek of cooked meat.
So, Mogavero decided to switch to his other love in life: soup.
What’s on the menu? The pop-up will kick off with West African peanut soup on Sept. 28, then — of course — cheesesteak soup on Oct. 5.
“It’s going to be a different soup every week,” Mogavero said. “I’m going to get the full beautiful kaleidoscope of soup in there at some point or another.”
Mogavero is no stranger to serving up hot broth. Last year, he organized the D.C. Rock ‘N’ Roll Chili Cookbook, which had its launch party at Showtime. He also DJed at a gathering for soup lovers there earlier this year.
Though Mogavero said he’ll be the bar’s resident soup chef to start with, there might be some “guest soup artists” in the mix at a later date. And attendees can request soups, too, he added.
“Soup and beer are two of the great connective tissues of us as a species,” Mogavero said. “I don’t think that anyone is going to stop loving soup any time soon.”
Photo via Twitter / Jack on Fire
You have until Tuesday to buy a blended drink at Dupont’s Smoothie King. The national chain’s location at 1621 Connecticut Ave. NW is closing up shop.
“It is with heavy hearts to let you know that Smoothie King Dupont location will be closing its doors,” a sign in front of the business reads. “Our last day of operation ends on the 27th of September at 12:00 a.m. midnight.”
When asked why the location is closing, an employee at the store uttered one word: “rent.”
The smoothie shop opened its doors seven years ago. A PoPville reader first spotted the closure.
A new restaurant could begin serving roasted chickens and fried plantains on 14th Street early next year.
New eatery “Chicken and Whiskey” could open at 1738 14th St. NW by the “end of February,” according to Star Restaurant Group managing members Stuart Damon, Kristopher Carr and Desmond Reilly. The trio laid out their plans for their forthcoming restaurant during an ANC 2F committee meeting last night.
But Chicken and Whiskey won’t serve “American cuisine,” as its alcohol license application noted. Instead, the restaurant will focus on pollo a la brasa.
“What we’re endeavoring to do is a brand new Peruvian casual restaurant,” Carr said. Enrique Limardo, executive chef at Alma Cocina Latina in Baltimore, will lead the restaurant’s kitchen.
Chicken and Whiskey’s specialty will be chickens that are brined for 12 hours and then roasted over wood coals, according to a sample menu. Other items on the forthcoming restaurant’s menu could include chicken sandwiches, shredded beef, fried plantains, watermelon salad and yucca fries.
The business will also include a “sophisticated whiskey bar” that serves “small batch, artisanal, sipping-style whiskeys,” Reilly said. The bar will also serve cocktails, canned craft beer and wine.
When it opens, Chicken and Whiskey will have a “vintage 1940s industrial” design, Carr said. Diners will eat and drink surrounded by painted brick walls, steel panels and treated wood.
A Colorado-based fast casual eatery has plans to start slinging sandwiches, pizzas and salads in downtown D.C. early next year.
Modern Market will open a new location at 1010 Vermont Ave. NW, a representative for the company told us. If all goes according to plan, the new location would start serving customers in “mid-January” next year, the representative said.
When it opens, the downtown Modern Market will sell a long list of food made with “whole ingredients that come from farms, not factories,” according to the company’s website. The eatery’s menu includes egg scrambles, waffles, sandwiches, salads, brick oven pizzas and “homestyle platters” of protein, starch and veggies.
Modern Market also seeks to serve alcohol at the new restaurant, according to a recent filing with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.
The forthcoming location will be the chain’s first in the District, but not in the surrounding area. A Modern Market opened in Bethesda earlier this year, and additional eateries are slated to open in Rockville and Reston, the company’s representative said.
An Adams Morgan bar is set to mark its fifth anniversary with a “bourbon-fueled bash” that will include gratis whiskey, punch and appetizers tonight, according to the watering hole.
The “5 Years Finished” celebration for Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th St. NW) is scheduled to run from 5 to 8 p.m.
A Facebook event page adds:
Open to the public and free to attend, the bourbon-fueled bash will treat loyal guests to a complementary bourbon punch, ½-ounce tastes of five different ‘finished’ bourbons which have further matured in casks such as sherry, cognac and Spanish brandy. Jack Rose will also resurrect rare barrel-finished beers and popular cocktails from the past, with deals on $5 draft beers and wines by the glass. The anniversary bash will also serve as the launch party for the bar’s exclusive new single barrel from Tennessee’s Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery – a cask-strength 10-year Belle Meade bourbon finished in sherry casks.
Jack Rose also will have “swag bags full of goodies from us and some friends” for the first 25 people who stop by, according to a post on the bar’s Facebook page.
But the birthday festivities won’t end tonight. The celebration will continue until the weekend, with $10 Dram & Grain bourbon cocktails tomorrow, a free opportunity to dip Maker’s Mark glasses with red wax Friday and discounted Pappy Van Winkle whiskey Saturday.
Photo via Facebook/Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Subway is set to get another place to sell its cold cut combo and meatball marinara sandwiches in the NoMa area.
The D.C. government this week issued a permit to build an outpost of the sandwich shop chain at 90 K St. NE, according to public records.
Construction crews will convert a “warm vanilla shell” into a 1,725-square-foot restaurant with 39 seats, a permit says.
The eatery is expected to open between late December and mid January, Subway spokesman Ben Cohen said.
“We look forward to adding another restaurant,” he said.
The eatery will open about a half-mile from Subway locations in Union Station and at 800 North Capitol St. NW.
Photo via Facebook/Subway
A U Street corridor wine bar that “closed for repairs” this summer won’t reopen, a co-owner told Borderstan today.
Dickson Wine Bar at 903 U St. NW has shut down for good following “much deliberation” between its owners, co-owner Steve Kaufman said in an email. The bar served its last customer July 30.
“Dickson’s owners no longer wish to own/operate a wine bar and the business is for sale,” Kaufman said. “As of yet, we have not found a replacement.”
The bar, which opened in 2010, was set to resume operations “shortly after Labor Day,” Kaufman said in early August. The plan was to “take August off and freshen the place up,” he said at the time.
A Dupont deli may have served its last sandwich after its landlord forced it out this morning.
My Way Gourmet Deli (1730 Connecticut Ave. NW) closed its doors some time before 9:30 a.m. today after an eviction from the shop’s landlord, DL Management.
Many of the deli’s belongings were piled up on the sidewalk in front of the business and a worker was busy changing the shop’s locks when a Borderstan reporter visited earlier today. Several U.S. Marshals Service officers were also spotted aiding in the eviction.
“They’ve been here about a year, a little bit over, and I guess they just ran into financial troubles,” said Ana Pedroso, an employee of DL Management.
Pedroso explained that the deli will stay closed until it at least pays its back rent, but she added that’s not likely to happen.
“The landlord still has a choice on if she wants to [allow them to reopen],” Pedroso said. “We don’t really want to go through this same process a second time.”
(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) The bar and restaurant above the Ben’s Chili Bowl on the H Street corridor has a new name after about a year in business.
Ten 01 (1001 H St. NE), which the owners of Ben’s Chili Bowl opened last fall, is now Ben’s Upstairs. The switch officially happened over the weekend, Ben’s spokesman Manuel Iguina said.
— Ben's Upstairs (@bensupstairs) September 16, 2016
“As part of the Ali family’s full service restaurant group, it became obvious that an address name,’ was not inclusive,” Iguina said in an email. “The full service restaurants are either ‘Ben’s Next Door’ or now ‘Ben’s Upstairs’ and reflect that they are part of the overall family brand.”
Ben’s Upstairs bills itself on its website as “Southern with a splash of Caribbean.”
The restaurant has a fried green tomato BLT ($12), fried oysters po’ boy ($12), jerked salmon ($21) and meat loaf ($19), among other dishes.
“We are all very exited and cant wait to share food, fun, and good times with the neighborhood,” Iguina said.
Ten 01 served jerked salmon, but few of the other items at Ben’s Upstairs.
The old restaurant said on its website it had “spirited and creative food,” including a pork belly sandwich and shrimp and half-smoke corn dogs, which have disappeared from the menu.
Photo via Facebook/Ben’s Upstairs
(Updated Wednesday at 7:52 p.m.) Several of the owners behind Chaplin’s are plotting to open a new diner about a block away from the Shaw ramen restaurant.
Ari Wilder said during a meeting of Logan Circle’s ANC 2F earlier this month he intends to help open a new restaurant called “Shaw Shank Diner” at 906 P St. NW. Chaplin’s co-owner Adrian Williams is also attached to the project.
If all goes according to plan, the restaurant would serve diner fare and include outdoor seating, Borderstan learned during the meeting.
Though it’s unclear when Shaw Shank Diner would open (the forthcoming eatery is still in its early stages, the Wilders said) a sample menu designed by local company KTD Creative seems to reveal what it might serve.
According to the sample menu, the diner would serve fried egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, egg skillets, fried chicken sandwiches and “small chow” like smoked beef brisket, mac and cheese and burgers.
Shaw Shank may also have cocktails, beer, wine and soda, according to an unfinished drink list.
Additionally, Anne Alfano, co-founder and executive chef at Little Red Fox, appears to be attached to the new eatery.
A representative for the eatery declined to comment but said more information would be available soon.
A Philadelphia-born purveyor of late-night cookies and ice cream has come to Adams Morgan.
Insomnia Cookies has opened its first outpost in the District at 2318 18th St. NW, according to the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District. The location is above Wash Hydro.
An Insomnia Cookies representative wasn’t immediately available to comment.
The shop, which offers delivery, closes at 3 a.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and 4 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. It opens at 9 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends.
Founded in 2003, Insomnia Cookies has locations in more than 30 states, including Colorado, Illinois and New York, in addition to Pennsylvania.
Dupont Circle might get a new place for falafel sandwiches and fries.
Amsterdam Falafelshop is “exploring” the possibility of opening a location at 1829 M St. NW, president and CEO Arianne Bennett told Borderstan. House of Kabob, which currently occupies the space, is closing, a worker there said. But the restaurant’s departure date wasn’t clear.
Local blog PoPville first reported rumors yesterday that Amsterdam Falafelshop is replacing House of Kabob. In March, a “very good source” told the blog that House of Kabob would shut down in October.
Founded in 2004 in Adams Morgan, Amsterdam Falafelshop has seven locations across the country.
Photo via Facebook/Amsterdam Falafelshop