Pizza Studio plans to open two personalized fast-casual restaurants this month. It’s a gourmet-pizza-quick-casual-create-your-own pizza-cooked-in-two-minutes concept. They will be the first locations for the company in the D.C. and Baltimore metro areas. The D.C. store will open in Dupont Circle where Baja Fresh was. The Baltimore location is in Charles Village near the Johns Hopkins University campus. The principals, who now reside in California, have local connections: Samit Varma used to live in Rockville and partner Ron Biskin lived in Owings Mills, a suburb of Baltimore.
Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises loves the D.C. metro area and has plans to open a few more restaurants. In 2015, the plans include opening Summer House Santa Monica in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose neighborhood. It’s a California-inspired American restaurant (not to be confused with Summer House in Rehoboth Beach). Stella Barra Pizzeria, serving artisanal pizza, small plates and handcrafted pastries and breads is also slated for Pike & Rose. And LEYE will open RPM Italian, a modern Italian restaurant, in partnership with celebrity couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic. It will open at 601 Massachusetts Ave. NW in the second quarter of 2015. Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak and Stone Crab is their most recent entry into the D.C. market, celebrating one year at the end of January.
Bo Blair plans to open another Surfside, a fast-casual restaurant, in Dupont Circle this month. The first one is in Glover Park. His new southern concept, Due South, is due to open in the Lumber Shed Building at the Navy Yard in the third quarter of 2015. Rusty Holman, who has worked for Bo at Bayou in the West End, has been tapped as executive chef. Next up for Bo in this area is a Millie’s, which should open in Spring Valley. The original Millie’s is in Nantucket. (This one will have the same menu if not the same amazing seaside view.)
Chef Update: Frank Ruta, formerly of the now closed Palena, takes over as head chef of The Grill Room at the Capella Hotel in Georgetown. His pastry chef from Palena, Aggie Chin, will join him at Capella. Will Greenwood will be taking over the chef duties at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw in D.C.
Will the new restaurant that José Andrés will open at the new Trump International Hotel (where the Old Post Office was) be anything like his Bazaar at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills? That takes over much of the lobby and has various rooms creating the overall concept. Stay tuned.
Jose Garces may be opening a 20,000-square-foot market that will offer a range of Latin groceries and prepared foods at Union Market in D.C.’s NoMa neighborhood. It will be located in a new 520-unit residential building. It’s not the Philadelphia-based chef’s first venture in this market; he opened Rural Society in the Loews Madison Hotel last summer.
Quick Hits: Charlottesville-based Green-berry’s coffee shop plans to open in downtown D.C. on the corner of 18th and E Sts. NW…Potomac’s Grilled Oyster Company will open a 4100-square-foot seafood restaurant at the new Cathedral Commons development on Wisconsin Avenue NW. The original location is at Cabin John Mall in Montgomery County … Liam LaCivita, former chef at Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall and Northside Social, plans to open Bar Civita in Woodley Park where Murphy’s was at 2609 24th St. NW. The restaurant will serve modern American food. An opening in the first quarter of this year is planned.
David Guas’s Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington is opening a second location in D.C. at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Renovations to a two-story carriage house will create a 53-seat restaurant on the first floor and a kitchen on the second floor, with seating for 36 in the summer garden.
Local restaurateur Ammar Daoud will take over management of The Heights in Columbia Heights this month. His plans include an update to the menu and the décor, but not to the staff. The Heights will continue to honor EatWell (previous management company) gift certificates through March 31. EatWell DC will continue to focus on their restaurants: The Pig, Logan Tavern, Commissary DC and Grillfish.
Openings Update: Tadich Grill is now expected to open in late February or early March.