GM & Chef Update: Native Cuban Angel Roque was named head chef at Cuba Libre in Penn Quarter. Before he worked at Guillermo Pernot’s Cuba Libre flagship in Philadelphia, Roque was head chef at Restaurante Café del Oriente in Havana. Expect to see hyper-local Cuban specialties, as well as modern riffs on traditional dishes … Jammir Gray is now executive chef at Firefly in Dupont Circle. The CIA grad has built her career at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. She was most recently executive sous chef at Red Owl Tavern in Philadelphia … Jordi Rojas Gallardo has been appointed executive chef for Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown. Chef Gallardo was senior executive sous chef for the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Since he was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, could there be delicious Spanish influence on the menu at the property? … Justin Abad will become general manager of Café Dupont at the Dupont, which had been known as the Dupont Circle Hotel. He was formerly with Cashion’s Eat Place.
Re-Openings: James Beard Award-winning chef Ann Cashion and John Fulchino prove you can go home again. Johnny’s Half Shell makes its return to where it all began on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan. Will their legendary 20-minute-prep-time roasted chickens to order also return? Stay tuned.
Quick Hits: Central Place development near Rosslyn Metro will have Sweetgreen, Nando’s Peri-Peri, The Little Beet and Compass Coffee … Little Beet Table, a full-service version of the fast-casual vegetarian restaurant, will open at the Collection at Chevy Chase … Andy Shallal’s Busboys and Poets will open in a new redevelopment project on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast D.C., a pioneer project east of the Anacostia River … The Happy Tart bakery in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood has gotten approval to expand so that it can add a restaurant component to the bakery at 2307 Mount Vernon Ave. … Glory Days Grill will open a new restaurant at Barcroft Plaza Shopping Center in Falls Church in the third quarter of 2017. It will be their seventh location in Fairfax County … Owen’s Ordinary in North Bethesda opened in the Pike & Rose development, featuring 75 Maryland beers, among its total of 250 bottle and draft selections.
Openings Update: Dave & Buster’s will open at Ellsworth Place in Silver Spring the week of Thanksgiving … Ten Penh lives again — and plans to be open in Tysons at 7900 Westpark Drive by the end of November … Maria and Fabio Trabocchi’s Sfoglina, their pasta concept restaurant in the Van Ness project, is expected to open in early December.
Kudos to Export Promotion Bureau ProChile, consistently strong supporter of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s RAMMY Awards for the past 10 years, on its successful Chile Week campaign in the U.S. Although familiar with the country’s phenomenal wines, we learned that Chile is the world’s largest exporter of Pacific salmon, trout, blueberries, fresh grapes, plums and prunes — and that we are the recipient of a quarter of their food and beverage exports. That trip to Chile just moved up on the schedule.
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.