by Tim Regan December 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

637-t-st-nw-photo-via-google-street-viewA new restaurant and bar could soon bring Ethiopian and Thai food to a vacant building in Shaw.

The forthcoming business, dubbed “Kiss Tavern,” is currently in the works at 637 T St. NW, according to a liquor license application recently filed with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Administration (ABRA).

When it opens, Kiss Tavern will serve “modern” Thai and Ethiopian dishes alongside “unique cocktails,” the application reads.

Though the District has many Thai and Ethiopian restaurants, it has few — if any — that serve both kinds of food at the same time.

The space, which once held a copy, printing and shipping business called DC Postal, has been under renovation for months.

A representative for Kiss Tavern was not immediately available to comment on the opening. We’ll update this story if we hear back from someone.

by Tim Regan November 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm 8 Comments

Wet Dog Tavern exterior, photo courtesy of Raj Lal

A new watering hole near U Street is set to start welcoming pups and people by mid-December.

Wet Dog Tavern, a new “dog-friendly” beer garden, is set to open its doors at 2100 Vermont Ave. NW in a matter of weeks, according to general manager Raj Lal. Though the bar was originally slated to open over the summer, some construction and permitting issues have delayed that process.

When the bar finally opens, it will serve beer, wine and seasonal cocktails. The idea, Lal said, is to keep things simple and unsophisticated.

“I want to focus on producing great, balanced cocktails that patrons can connect with and really enjoy,” Lal said. “I’m a huge fan of a well-made perfect manhattan, so you can expect to see something like that offered. Perhaps a twist on a margarita and a warm cocktail or two for our winter opening.”

The bar will also pour some beers “that are being brewed for us out of a Pennsylvania brewery,” Lal added. “For the rest of the taps and bottle choices, we’ll be focusing on nationwide brews, not just the same local breweries that are commonly found around this area.”

Patrons can sip their drinks in a heated outdoor beer garden that will be large enough for about 75-100 people. The tavern’s interior will hold between 35 and 50 people, Lal added.

As the name implies, customers seated in the outdoor area can bring along their canine companions.

“We plan on having tables outside where people can bring their dogs,” Lal told us in April. “You want to walk your dog, you can bring them here.”

Photo courtesy of Raj Lal

by Tim Regan November 23, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Future home of Barada in Adams Morgan

A new Cuban restaurant is in the works for Adams Morgan.

The forthcoming eatery, called “Barada,” is planned to open at 2309 18th St. NW, according to a liquor license application recently filed with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

The business will be a “full service restaurant that will offer Cuban cuisine,” managing member Eduardo Barada wrote in the application. Barada will also have seats for 124 people inside and 35 people in a summer garden area.

The eatery will occupy the space that formerly held Czars 11, the tapas bar that closed in August.

A representative for Barada was not immediately available to comment on the opening. We’ll update this story if we hear back from them.

by Tim Regan November 22, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

A fast casual restaurant centered around quinoa bowls and semi-automated ordering is slated to start serving breakfast and lunch downtown in one week.

San Francisco-based chain Eatsa will open its first D.C. location at 1627 K St. NW on Tuesday, Nov. 29, according to a representative for the company.

Borderstan got the scoop on the forthcoming eatery in July.

Ordering works like this: Instead of talking to a cashier and moving down an assembly line Chipotle-style, customers order on tablets at kiosks or on their phones, then retrieve their food from glass door “cubbies,” all without saying a word.

The restaurant’s menu includes quinoa bowls and salads topped with ingredients such as kale, arugula, chickpeas, paneer and avocado.

by Tim Regan November 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

The “home of the sweet potato pie” is back in business on U Street.

Henry’s Soul Cafe reopened its location at 1704 U St. NW this morning at 11 a.m. Today’s opening marks the first time the U Street soul food eatery has served customers since it closed after a fire in 2014.

A small handful of people gathered at the restaurant this morning to place their orders for pies, fried chicken and fish, mac and cheese, ribs and cornbread.

Owner Jermaine Smith said the reopening has been “pretty good” so far.

“We’re working out some of the kinks with the new system we have,” Smith added.

Locals can start picking up Thanksgiving orders on Sunday, Nov. 20. The store is open 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays.

Photos and additional reporting by Andrew Ramonas

by Tim Regan October 13, 2016 at 3:45 pm 4 Comments

Two employees of Cleveland Park’s Cactus Cantina have plans to open a new dining spot in Adams Morgan.

The eatery, dubbed “Alfresco Tap and Grill,” could soon come together on a plot of land at 2009 18th St. NW, according to Cindy Sanchez, one of the forthcoming restaurant’s managing partners. As we reported last week, that land is currently being used as a parking lot for Cactus Cantina’s sister restaurant, Lauriol Plaza.

“Alfresco will be a full service restaurant that will provide its patrons with an indoor and outdoor garden experience and will feature a menu based on American comfort food, such as burgers, sandwiches, pizza, steaks and gourmet specials,” Sanchez told Borderstan. “We will also serve an array of craft beer on tap, creative cocktails and great wines.”

According to plans filed with D.C.’s Historic Preservation Review Board last month, Alfresco Tap and Grill would be located inside a new building.

“We are excited to go heavy on the fresco with a large outdoor garden and patio, an outdoor terrace and a rooftop vegetable and herb garden,” Sanchez explained.

Though it’s unclear when workers might break ground on the new building, Sanchez said the company is set to “start the lengthy permitting process soon and construction would start shortly after that.”

by Tim Regan October 13, 2016 at 11:35 am 1 Comment

U Street’s newest neighborhood bar is set to start serving seasonal cocktails and fried chicken sandwiches when it opens its doors next week.

Service Bar (928 U St. NW) co-owners Glendon Hartley, Chad Spangler and Chris Willoughby are scheduled to host a grand opening event next Thursday at 5 p.m., a representative for the company told Borderstan.

When Service Bar opens, its bartenders will shake, stir and serve a list of cocktails that includes classics like mint juleps, old fashioneds, and daiquiris alongside contemporary specialties such as the “Sumo Punch,” a concoction of clarified lime, yuza, smoked apple mint, Midori and Japanese whiskey infused with green tea and Asian pears.

The hangout’s food menu is composed of five chicken dishes. Offerings include a fried chicken sandwich on a pretzel bun, chicken quesadillas and fried chicken salad. Service Bar will also sell Good Humor ice cream cones and have a happy hour with $7 cocktails that “literally never ends.”

Read the full event listing for the grand opening below:


by Tim Regan August 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

1420 New York Ave. NW 2

(Updated at 9 a.m. Thursday) The chef behind a sushi restaurant in Bethesda has plans to open a new eatery in downtown D.C.

Yoshi Ota, executive sushi chef at Yuzu in Bethesda, will open a new restaurant called Sushi Gakyu at 1420 New York Ave. NW later this year, he told Borderstan.

The forthcoming eatery will serve “traditional and modern sushi, sashimi, and varieties of Japanese fish menus with my 30 years experience as a sushi and fish expert,” Ota said.

Ota is a veteran of Sushiko in Chevy Chase and the late Kushi in Mt. Vernon Triangle, according to his bio. He also previously owned a restaurant called Ginza Gakyu in Tokyo, Japan.

If all goes according to plan, Sushi Gakyu should open “around the end of 2016,” Ota said.

by Tim Regan August 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

Ice Cream JubileeThe rumors are true. A shop known for its eclectic ice cream flavors will open a store near the 14th Street corridor.

Ice Cream Jubilee is moving into the space at 1407 T St. NW, founder Victoria Lai told us today. The store will share the space with local bakery BakeHouse, which closed the retail portion of its business in May.

“We’re really excited to be working together with them and to bring ice cream to the northwest D.C. neighborhood,” Lai said.

When the new shop opens this September, it will sell Jubilee’s menu of ice cream flavors along with “some new things,” she added.

Read more about the opening in a press release from Ice Cream Jubilee:


by Tim Regan August 25, 2016 at 3:25 pm 1 Comment

207 Florida Ave. NW

A new bar aimed at local artists and photography enthusiasts could soon develop along Florida Ave. NW.

The hangout, dubbed “The Darkroom,” is in the works at 207 Florida Ave. NW, according to a liquor license application recently filed with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Administration (ABRA).

The forthcoming business will be “a venue dedicated to building community through the art of photography,” the application reads.

If all goes according to plan, the bar will feature “a working darkroom, photography studio, bar and art gallery,” and will host screenings, art shows, lectures and classes “designed to preserve the history and and explore the future of the medium.”

The Darkroom will also serve charcuterie, cheese and olives in addition to alcohol, the application notes.

We were unable to reach a representative from the business to comment on the opening. We’ll update this story if we hear back from them.

by Tim Regan August 24, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

1738 14th St NW

It looks as though a new restaurant is in the works on 14th Street.

An LLC called “Chicken and Whiskey” has plans to open a to-be-named eatery at 1738 14th St. NW, according to an application recently filed with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).

Though little is known about the forthcoming restaurant or the LLC behind it, the application says simply it will serve “American food” and drinks.

Star Restaurant Group principals Stuart Damon, Kristopher Carr and Desmond Reilly are listed on the application as managing members behind Chicken and Whiskey, LLC. We were unable to reach them to comment on the opening.

The space at 1738 14th St. NW previously held Planet Pet, a business that closed last November but promised to reopen with a “new name [and] a new vibe.”

by Tim Regan August 23, 2016 at 2:35 pm 0

District residents interested in tasting dishes from forthcoming poultry-centric eatery The Bird will have only one more chance to do so before it opens in Shaw this October.

The Pig (1320 14th St. NW) is slated host two pop-up tasting events to showcase selections from its new restaurant’s menu on Sept. 17 and 18.

During the special “Taste the Bird” brunch, chef Michael Bonk will prepare a variety of fowl dishes that include a “Birdcuterie board” with capon rillettes, duck prosciutto, pheasant galantine; smoked chicken benedict; and Tennessee-style hot chicken.

Though the brunch will showcase The Bird’s menu, pork fanatics will still be able to order some of The Pig’s popular menu items during the pop-up, Bonk said.

Photo via Facebook / The Bird

by Tim Regan August 16, 2016 at 11:40 am 0

A long-awaited distillery pub will open near the intersection of 14th and U streets NW next week.

District Distilling Company (1414 U St. NW) is slated to open Friday, Aug. 26, according to a press release.

The new business will merge “a state-of-the-art craft distillery [and] retail store on the first floor, and a full-service kitchen [and] bar with seating for 140 guests on the second floor,” the release said.

Diners can expect to find “seasonal American dishes” and vodka, gin, white rum and bourbon made onsite. A walk through the company’s dinner menu reveals grilled rockfish, crispy skin suckling pig and cast iron steak.

District Distilling Company will also offer distillery tours starting next month, the company said.

More information from a press release:


by Andrew Ramonas August 10, 2016 at 10:45 am 0

Osteria Al Volo at 1790 Columbia Road NWAn Italian restaurant tomorrow is set to mark its arrival in Adams Morgan with a multi-course wine dinner, for diners with tickets only.

Al Volo Osteria (which its owners also have called Osteria Al Volo) is scheduled to christen its space at 1790 Columbia Road NW with a meal of oyster mushroom ravioli, stuffed lamb loin and other food at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Dinner tickets are available online for $49.

The complete menu is slated to include:


by Tim Regan August 3, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

715 Florida Ave. NW

The duo behind Adams Morgan’s Grand Central is looking to open a restaurant that would serve deli sandwiches and drinks near U Street.

Brian Vasile and Andy Seligman, who also own a sports bar in Bethesda called Brickside, have plans to open a new eatery called “Capo” at 715 Florida Ave. NW, according to Linda Roth, a PR rep for the forthcoming restaurant.

Though Vasile and Seligman are still hammering out many of the details, Roth said the new concept “will not be your grandmother’s deli.” The restaurant would seat 120 people with room for 150, according to a liquor license application filed with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

If all goes according to plan, the co-owners would open Capo next spring, Roth said.

As we reported last year, a Vietnamese restaurant called Hoa Tuc previously planned to open a restaurant in the same building, but those plans appear to have fizzled.

Hoa Tuc’s social media accounts have been inactive for nearly 10 months and we’ve been unable to reach co-owner Suzy Duong since publishing our original story.


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