Together, Lubens and Chiacchiaro — the “Fry Brothers” — sling piping hot cones of Belgian-style potatoes at their pop-up fry shop at Canteen (2100 M St. NW) on Fridays and bars and breweries across the District on Saturdays.
The idea to run a shop centered around french fries started more than a year ago.
“We were both interested in food and working with food,” Chiacchiaro said. “I had gone to New York and Boston and realized that a lot of french fry places existed, but none in D.C.”
But it wasn’t until his past winter that the two friends set their plans into motion by devising ways to make their taters unique.
Their idea: Turn the crispy fried potatoes into vessels for flavorful sauces. So, they created a batch of dippers that felt more fun than ketchup.
“We create sauces based on dishes, and we know what goes into the full version of that dish and how it’s prepared [and] made,” Chiacchiaro said. “If we want to keep on eating it, we’re sure our customers will want to as well.”
Today, the brothers’ menu includes DC Fry, a mixture of ketchup, mayonnaise and Ethiopian spices; Mumbo sauce; Old Bay aioli; and Pho 16, a “Vietnamese-pho inspired” concoction.
And there might be more sauces on the way, such as Peruvian green chili, Lubens added.
“We don’t have a shortage of idea for sauces,” Lubens said. “We have a lot of our own ideas, and we get a lot of ideas from customers as well.”
In addition to working on new sauces for the menu, Lubens and Chiacchiaro are trying to find a more permanent location inside an existing business, like a coffee shop.
“We want to make food people want to eat,” Chiacchiaro said. “Food that is delicious. We’ll travel for good food, and we think other people will, too.”
Find out where the Fry Brothers will pop up next by visiting their Twitter page.
Photos courtesy of Micah Lubens
A bar that helped spur the revitalization of the H Street corridor when it opened in 2005 might have served its last beer and Argo burger.
Scott Magnuson, who owns The Argonaut at 1433 H St. NE with his wife, Shaaren Pine, declined to comment to Borderstan this morning about reports that the tavern may have closed. Local blogs Frozen Tropics and PoPville today posted stories that The Argonaut had “No Trespassing” signs up and padlocked doors.
“Right now, I can’t talk about it,” Magnuson said in a brief phone conversation with us.
Residents of a micro-unit apartment building under construction in Dupont Circle won’t have to go outside to visit a bar with fast-casual food, if a developer gets its way, recently released paperwork filed with the D.C. government shows.
The redeveloped Patterson Mansion at 15 Dupont Circle NW is slated to have interior access between its 92 fully furnished tiny apartments and the drinking and eating area, according to a liquor license application Borderstan obtained last week.
In addition to booze, the bar space is set to have “continental breakfast, fast casual food service and lite fair,” as well as “speakers, chef presentations, lectures, exhibits, etc. for residents,” the paperwork says. The bar is slated to provide seats for nearly 50 people.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B and the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board are expected to consider the liquor license application in the coming months.
A representative of the building’s developer, SB-Urban, wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Photo by Alyse Mier
A cafe and popsicle shop in Adams Morgan closed early today after the ongoing heat wave fried its air conditioner.
Pleasant Pops (1781 Florida Ave. NW) closed its doors at 11 a.m. after its air conditioner stopped working earlier this morning, said owner Roger Horowitz.
Although it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the unit to break down, Horowitz blamed it on the heat wave.
“The problem is that it’s the hottest day of the year and everyone’s air conditioner is breaking,” Horowitz said.
Temperatures in the District are expected to skyrocket throughout the day today. According to the National Weather Service, the mercury could reach 100 degrees this afternoon, which is bad news for a popsicle business with a broken air conditioner.
Store employees moved juice, yogurt and other perishable goods to a back room cooler this morning.
“We’re just not going to reopen until this is fixed,” Horowitz added. “Some people are coming here to beat the heat and that’s not exactly what’s happening.”
our Adams Morgan store has a broken Air Conditioner. We are closing at 11AM and hope to reopen tomorrow morning. Downtown still open.
— Pleasant Pops (@pleasantpops) July 25, 2016
The Pleasant Pops at 731 15th St. NW is still currently open.
A speakeasy-style bar on K Street that shut down after allegedly operating without a valid liquor license last November has reopened, this time seemingly within the letter of the law.
The Speak reopened its doors at 1413 K St. NW on Tuesday, a representative with the bar told us yesterday afternoon.
A visit to the bar last night revealed it’s operating much as it did before it closed last year. The bar’s menu includes nine cocktails and an assortment of beer and wine only accessible to patrons who step through a “hidden” door made to look like a mirror.
Though it remains unclear how the bar got its new liquor license, regulators approved an alcohol license for The Speak’s upstairs neighbor, Vieux Carre, last week.
A representative for The Speak declined to comment on the record but said they would share more information with us soon.
Avid tomato eaters will have a chance to indulge their taste buds in a series of dishes with the fruit on the 14th Street corridor next week.
Cafe Saint-Ex (1847 14th St. NW) is hosting its inaugural “Tomato Week” from Monday until next Sunday, July 31. Diners will have the option to order from a special menu with a variety of tomato-based dishes, Cafe Saint-Ex general manager Zeina Badran said.
“We wanted to highlight the seasonality and the freshness,” she said. “Most people don’t know that we do a lot of farm-to-table and use a lot of locally grown produce. There is nothing better than heirloom, or locally grown tomatoes.”
A French restaurant with the trade name of “Plateau” is set to open in the redeveloped Third Church of Christ, Scientist, building at 900 16th St. NW, according to a liquor license application notice the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration published this week.
The eatery will operate as a “full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring French cuisine with live entertainment indoors on the weekend,” the ABRA paperwork says. The restaurant also will have almost 150 seats and a sidewalk cafe.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the eatery will open.
A representative of Plateau, which is owned by a company called 16th Street Dining Inc., wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Doner Bistro (1654 Columbia Rd. NW) will shut its doors on Aug. 1, the restaurant announced on Facebook today.
In memory of its four years in Adams Morgan, the beer house will throw an “Astra La Vista Party” with dollar Astra beers on Sunday, July 31.
Naturally, the business reassured its longtime fans with a German saying. “Everything has an end,” the company wrote on Facebook. “only the sausage has two.”
More information from Doner Bistro:
A Boston eatery known for its burgers, fries and shakes will open near the 9:30 Club later this week.
Tasty Burger is set to open in the Atlantic Plumbing development at 2108 8th St. NW this Thursday, the company announced this afternoon.
When it opens, the new burger joint will serve burgers, shakes, hot dogs and chicken nuggets. Tasty Burger’s menu will also include mumbo dipping sauce and a gin rickey cocktail, two culinary items rumored to have been invented here in D.C.
“I don’t want people thinking… this is a Boston place coming to D.C. because that’s not who we are,” Tasty Burger owner David DuBois told us last month. “We’re a neighborhood restaurant group wherever we are. That’s just who we are.”
Read more from a Tasty Burger press release:
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s Summer Restaurant Week is almost here again.
About 250 eateries in the D.C. area have signed up to participate in the week-long event from Monday, Aug. 15, to Sunday, Aug. 21, according to a RAMW news release. All the participating restaurants are set to have prix fixe menus, with lunches for $22 and dinners for $35.
Other restaurants in the Borderstan coverage area include:
Several of the owners behind a group of popular D.C. bars and hangouts have plans to open a new dance club in the former Midtown Space in Dupont.
Decades, a new business from the partners behind Echostage, Soundcheck, Ultrabar, Barcode and other businesses, will open at 1219 Connecticut Ave. NW this fall, according to managing partner Antonis Karagounis.
The bar is an homage to D.C.’s “retro” club scene, Karagounis said.
“It’s supposed to bring back the old-school vibe of the multi-level, multi-DJ clubs that defined D.C. Nightlife in the ’90s and 2000s,” Karagounis said. “Places like Spy Club, Zei Club, Fifth Column, Vault, The Ritz, Tracks, DC Live, [and] Love, were nightlife staples in the ’90s and 2000s. Decades is supposed to recreate that vibe and atmosphere and give clubgoers a new weekend hangout where they can party and be part of various decades of nightclub music.”
When the forthcoming club opens, DJs will spin music from bygone eras on all three of the building’s floors and on its rooftop deck. Though the nightclub won’t serve food or snacks, its bartenders will sling past club staples like orange crushes, Jello shots and Goldschläger, Karagounis said.
“The event that aims to promote raw food in the D.C. area, its health benefits, environmental advantages, its fantastic taste,” spokeswoman Margaux Delotte-Bennett said.
The festival is broken down into three sections: uncooked vegetable and fruit tastings, the benefits of a raw food diet and fitness and gardening.
The event will have five talks on the health benefits of raw food and how to properly prepare it. There’s also an Afro-Brazilian martial art demonstration from the International Capoeira Angola Foundation.
Guests can vote on their favorite juice, sweet and savory foods and enter raffles for classes and dinners prepared by chefs, who cook raw vegan dishes, too.
Tickets, which are $25 for adults and $20 for children, get attendees $15 worth of food and entrance to the talks and other activities.
Photo courtesy of Emergence Community Arts Collective
A new fast casual restaurant built around quinoa bowls and automated ordering has plans to open an outpost in downtown D.C.
A representative for San Francisco-based Eatsa has filed building permits to open a 3,733 square foot cafe at 1627 K St. NW. Real estate company J Street Properties helped the tech-focused fast food joint lease the space in April, according to a press release.
The forthcoming eatery has also filed plans with DDOT to serve up to 18 patrons on tables outside.
When it opens, Eatsa will sling customized quinoa bowls with little to no human interaction. Instead of talking to a cashier and moving down an assembly line Chipotle-style, customers order on tablet kiosks then retrieve their food from glass door “cubbies” without uttering a word.
The restaurant’s menu includes quinoa bowls and kale salads topped with ingredients such as arugula, chickpeas, paneer and avocado.
The chain currently has locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles but hopes to open 10 locations across the U.S. this year, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.
Photos via Eatsa
A new restaurant with a rooftop bar is on track to showcase its menu of burgers, steak and drinks near the U Street corridor this Thursday.
801 Restaurant and Bar will open for limited dinner service in the former Dunya space at 801 Florida Ave. NW this Thursday, according to partner Eric Heidenberger.
“Join us for our soft opening weekend this week,” reads a Facebook post about the opening. “We will be open Thursday at 5 p.m. Stop by and say hello to the 801 family.”
On opening night, patrons will be able to order steak frites, pan seared halibut and “The Burger,” a beef patty topped with fontina cheese, sautéed onions, bacon and lettuce and wedged between brioche buns. The eatery will launch its full menu next week, Heidenberger said.
The new bar and restaurant — which according to the Washington City Paper is owned and operated by the team behind The Front Page, Bottom Line and the Madhatter — will span three floors in total, two of which will be centered around dining.
Photos via Facebook / 801 Restaurant and Bar
The Black Squirrel (2427 18th St. NW) is scheduled to host its first ever “panty party” to celebrate National Porn Day tomorrow night from 4-7 p.m.
The happy hour will include food specials such as the aptly named Kim Kardashian burger, which wedges two beef patties between “you-have-to-be-kidding buns.”
The event will also include beer and giveaways of nylon panties, Bowman said.
Black Squirrel owner Amy Bowman said the idea first came about during a conversation about the names of different craft beers.
“I was talking to some women in the hospitality industry and we started talking about some of the ridiculous names that beers have,” Bowman said. “It’s clearly misogynistic and they’re named by men who didn’t get laid in high school.”
The event will showcase some of the worst offenders, such as Burley Oak’s “Just the Tip,” Elysian’s “Men’s Room Red” and Sixpoint’s “Sweet Action.”
“I thought maybe we could have some fun with this and just make fun of them,” Bowman said.
Photo courtesy of Black Squirrel