Celebrity-owned restaurants are popular once again — with D.C. celebrities, that is. Tony Kornheiser, Maury Povich, Gary Williams and Alan Bubes are the new owners of Chad’s (formerly Chadwick’s) in Friendship Heights. Sports fans will have a lot to look forward to: Kornheiser plans to (sometimes) do his sports talk podcast from there. Follow the podcast to hear about a contest to rename the restaurant. Geoff Dawson of Penn Social, Carpool and Buffalo Billiards will be the operator. Out of all these sports and media personalities, guess which one plays golf with Michael Jordan whenever he comes to town? If you play golf at Woodmont, you know the answer.
Raphael Francois is executive chef at the new Le DeSales, in the former Panache space on DeSales Street NW. Formerly executive chef at Le Cirque in New York and Launceston Place in London, he was raised in France and Belgium, so the menu will reflect that. Owners Aziz Safi and Farid Nouri also own MXDC and U Street bars Marvin and The Gibson.
Frederik de Pue plans to debut a Flemish-inspired restaurant, Flamant, in Annapolis in the second quarter of this year. The 2,800-square-foot Flamant will serve classic European cuisine with a twist. It will open for dinner only, seating 40, with a cozy 12-seat bar and an outdoor patio when the season hits. He will continue to operate his catering company on a limited basis out of the Flamant kitchen.
Just opened: Ari and Stacy Gejdenson of Mindful Restaurants Group opened Ari’s Diner, La Puerta Verde and Dock FC (which stands for Football Club, since Ari played professionally in Italy) in the Hecht Warehouse in Ivy City … Penn Quarter’s Free State Atlantic Bar has orange crushes and Berger cookies on the menu. The Baltimore connection comes from owner Brian Leonard, who grew up in Aberdeen, Maryland, and went to the University of Maryland. Go Terps! … Ivan Iricanin opened Baba just below Ambar at 2901 Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon. Baba, which means “grandmother,” is open for breakfast, lunch and small-plates dinner. On weekends, there is an evening lounge with a DJ. The space was designed by Ivan’s wife, Nya Gill.