The Latest Dish

Ch-Ch-Changes: Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place on the Georgetown waterfront recently opened a new cocktail lounge named The Gardens, managed by Dean Cibel. The new lounge features 800 varieties of flowers, trees and greenery and 10,000 flowers from floor to ceiling. A comfy seating area is nestled within.

Master mixologist David Strauss plans to reopen his popular speakeasy The Sheppard, with former head bartender Dylan Zehr as his partner, on the second story of 3165 Mt. Pleasant St. NW in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. A food component is also planned.

Daikaya Group, owners of Daikaya in Penn Quarter near Capital One Arena, will open Tonari, a wafu (Japanese-style) pizza and pasta restaurant where its former nextdoor neighbor, Graffiato, was (à propos, as Tonari translates to “neighbor”). The pizza dough is sourced from a flour mill in Sapporo, Japan, and toppings will reflect Japanese favorites, including tuna sashimi and clam and miso. Pasta choices will showcase ingredients like uni. An opening in the first quarter of 2020 is targeted.

Recently Opened: Unwined wine store owners Vanessa and Warner Moore opened Revel Wine & Craft Beer Bar next door at Belle View Shopping Center in south Alexandria. Earlier, chef Larry BlevinsBellido was at Todd Thrasher’s Tiki TNT at the Wharf and Society Fair in Old Town Alexandria. Wine director Vickie Reh was previously at Buck’s Fishing & Camping and Georgetown’s Via Umbria. Greg Frankena is director of the beer program.

Boston-based Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar will open where Kapnos was at 14th and W Streets NW. Operated by COJE Management Group, there will be a major renovation to the space before this Mexican restaurant opens. A summer launch is in the works.

Courtesy Lolita Cocina

Union Market Update: Laoban Dumplings, a Chinese noodle and dumpling shop from Patrick Coyne, will open in Union Market where Thamee/Toli Moli used to be — just in time for the Lunar New Year, high season for dumplings. From the culinary mind and heart of Tim Ma, of American Son and the late Kyrisian, it will also include a market with Laoban foods and culinary items. Also opening soon: Annaré, an Italian pastry shop from Stellina Pizzeria. By the fourth quarter of 2020, Alex McCoy plans to open a Lucky Buns burger counter and Som Tam, a Thai street food stall.

Courtesy Laoban Dumplings.

Linda Roth is the founder and CEO of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations and marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry. Visit her online at


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