The Watergate Hotel will feature new restaurant and bar concepts at its reopening, slated for March. The main restaurant is Kingbird, a fine-dining dinner restaurant in the evening, and a casual restaurant during the day, serving breakfast and lunch, as well as a casual-dining component in the evening. The Next Whiskey Bar is the lobby bar with a significant whiskey, bourbon and rye menu. The name is taken from lyrics to a Doors song, for those boomers who thought it sounded familiar. The property will also feature a rooftop lounge called Top of the Gate (or is it ’Gate, get it?) that has a panoramic view of the Potomac River. The executive chef is Michael Santoro, most recently at Andaz 5th Avenue in New York. In D.C., he served as chef de cuisine under Brian McBride at Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt Hotel in the West End.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is slated to open this month in Ashburn’s Belmont Chase Shopping Center. It offers modern American food, featuring their own proprietary varietals crafted from their Illinois-based winery. The large 10,985-square-foot restaurant will offer indoor and outdoor seating for more than 300 guests, as well as a large private dining and events room. They also offer a wine of the month club. There are currently 20 locations around the country, including a Richmond site. They also expect to open in Reston this year. Jeffrey Patterson is the general manager.
Papadopoulos Properties is working with Boston chef Michael Schlow to expand his concepts in the DMV. Schlow’s Italian concept, Alta Strada, is slated to open in Northern Virginia’s Mosaic District where matchbox and Ted’s Bulletin are (also Papadopoulos deals). Alta Strada is also slated to open in the Mount Vernon Triangle section of DC. Schlow has already made his mark in D.C. with TICO and The Riggsby at The Carlyle — Dupont Circle Hotel.
C-C-Changes: Wagshal’s opened a full service restaurant behind the deli at its Spring Valley (AU Park) location on Yuma Street NW. The Fuchs family hopes to do the same at his other location at 3201 New Mexico Ave. NW, serving breakfast and dinner … Raku in Dupont Circle has re-branded as Rakuya, Japanese Kitchen & Bar. Chef Update: Jose Adorno is the chef at Mix Bar & Grille in Silver Spring. He was previously chef de cuisine at Graffiato … Ricarda Planas has been appointed chef at Mpire in the Golden Triangle.
Quick Hits: Manuel Iguina, owner of Mio in downtown D.C., does not plan to renew his lease, but does plan to open a similar concept, called Acerola (cherry-esque), in Fairfax over the summer. Chop’t Creative Salad Co. has signed deals to open in Vienna, Rockville and near Nats Park. These three new locations will give them 15 in the D.C. metro area, all part of the Papadopoulos portfolio. Haikan is the name of the new ramen restaurant slated to open this spring in Shaw by the folks who brought you Daikaya. The 2,000-plus square-foot restaurant will offer a varied selection of Sapporo-style ramen. Nobu is slated to open this fall in West End at 2501 M St. NW. Jackie Greenbaum, plans to open Little Coco’s, an Italian eatery in Petworth. Adam Harvey will reign over the kitchen, as he has done at Jackie’s in Silver Spring. Un Je Ne Sais Quoi will open where Hello Cupcake was in Dupont Circle. It will specialize in merveilleux, a pastry with layers of merengue and ganache. The Tilted Kilt plans to open in Silver Spring and in Sterling by end of the second quarter in 2016. Pamplona, a Spanish tapas restaurant from the Social Restaurant Group, will open where SoBe Bar and Bistro was. Super Grill opens in Merrifield’s H Mart shopping center where Mario’s Pizza House was. Arepas Pues is slated to open on Fenton Street in downtown Silver Spring, serving hand-made corn arepas, complementing Venezuelan, Colombian and Cuban cuisine. Arepas are cornmeal pockets traditionally served with diverse fillings. Burton’s Bar & Grill is planning to open this March in Alexandria. Dylyn Coolidge, formerly of Commissary and the Beacon Bar, will be the chef, adding vegetarian and gluten-free dishes to the menu. Zannchi Korean Kitchen will open in the Wisconsin Avenue space in Georgetown where Yummi Crawfish was; the owners are Georgetown MBA students. They plan to open in February. From the folks at Eat Well DC who brought you The Pig, Commissary, Grillfish and Logan Tavern, comes The Bird, slated to open in Shaw on 11th Street NW, specializing in — what else? — chicken. Seating capacity will accommodate 99 with plans for an outdoor patio. Just Chicken is also slated to open in the U Street corridor this season. Chuy’s Tex Mex is slated to open in Sterling. They just opened in Woodbridge on Prince William Parkway, in addition to the units open in Fairfax and Springfield. More are planned in the DMV in 2016. Smashburger opens in Rockville at 1800 Rockville Pike before end of the first quarter 2016. This will be the 11th Smashburger to open in the D.C. metro area.
Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations and marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, Reach her at: Linda@LindaRothPR.com.