Quick Hits: Ryan Ratino plans to open Jônt, a restaurant specializing in tasting menus, capitalizing on his recent culinary research trip to Japan with Kaz Okochi. Jônt will open in the second-level space above Bresca on 14th Street NW … Kevin Tien of Himitsu plans to open Emilie’s, a 200- seat restaurant at Eastern Market’s Penn Eleven project at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. An opening late in the second quarter is targeted … Rajiv Chopra, who owns three Punjabi By Nature fast-casual restaurants in Northern Virginia, opens a 100-seat Bombay Velvet restaurant in Reston Town Center at 12100 Sunset Hills, featuring an intimate outdoor patio area and bar …Dave & Buster’s will open this summer in Gaithersburg, making it the chain’s fifth DMV location and its third in Maryland … Rasa, a fast-casual Indian restaurant, is slated to move into Taylor Gourmet’s former location in Virginia’s Crystal City at 2200 Crystal Drive. Owners Sahil Rahman and Rahul Vinod opened the first Rasa in Capitol Riverfront near Nationals Park in 2017 … Bandoola Bowl salad bar plans to open early in the second quarter at 1069 Wisconsin Ave. NW in Georgetown.
Warm weather equals rooftop dining and drinking. Players Club, a retro arcade bar at 1400 14th St. NW underneath Shake Shack, will add Skybar, a ’70s sports-themed rooftop venue, brought to you by the Hilton brothers … And speaking of roof decks, Colada Shop has added a retractable roof to its roof deck on T Street NW near 14th … Matt Baker will debut a rooftop cocktail bar called The Conservatory featuring raw seafood, charcuterie, cheeses and tartines above his Gravitas in Ivy City. It will be open Thursday through Sunday evenings. Baker plans to cultivate a garden on the roof deck to supply produce to the kitchen.
Ed McIntosh, formerly of Matchbox Food Group, will open Chop Shop Taco, where an honest-to-goodness real chop shop (auto body shop) was located. It’s inside the Madison Collective development, at 1008 Madison St. in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The 50-seat restaurant will serve chopped meats roasted on a spit alongside nostalgic snacks, tacos, and Mexican barbecue. McIntosh opened Pendleton Carryout Co. in Alexandria last fall.
Now that Aramark has the new food service contract at the Washington Convention Center, the company will roll out its new food and beverage program, titled DC Eats. The plan calls for a rooftop terrace with a lounge and bar. There are also plans for a pop-up restaurant featuring local chefs and a market that includes local products. Expect new restaurants and a food hall. Tech improvements are a key component, with mobile ordering at the top of the list.
Great American Restaurants will open three restaurants in one space at Fairfax Square, at 8051 Leesburg Pike in Tysons Corner: upscale Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks, casual Patsy’s American and Best Buns Bakery & Café. GAR is owned and operated by the Norton family: Randy, Patsy, Jon, Timmy, and Jill. Patsy’s American will feature menu items for which GAR is known, as well as creative happy hours at the back bar — a nod to the late, great Fantastic Fritzbe’s Flying Food Factory. The upscale Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks, with just 28 tables, plus 20 seats at the bar, will feature $50-plus cuts of prime and wagyu steaks, with a wine list curated by Randy. Fast-casual Best Buns Bakery & Café will feature breads and pastries familiar to GAR fans.
Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations and marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry. Reach her at email@example.com.