Think Bar Before Restaurant. In Capitol Hill: Daru — from Suresh Sundas, formerly of Rasika, and Dante Datta, formerly of Elle — at 1451 Maryland Ave. NE will highlight South Asian ingredients in creative cocktails and classic curries. In Adams Morgan: Death Punch at 2321 18th St. NW is the new edition of D.C.’s Christmas pop-up bar (sake-spiked cocktails 2.0), formerly on 7th Street NW. In Logan Circle: Jane Jane at 1705 14th St. NW wraps up classic and retro cocktails and food into one snug bar, guided by the culinary and cocktail talents of Jean-Paul Sabatier of Rappahannock Oyster Bar fame.
Shaun Sharkey and chef-partner Margaux Riccio are targeting the first quarter of 2021 for a second location, at 1250 I St. NW, of Pow Pow, which specializes in plant-based products. They also plan to open Bubbie’s Plant Burgers in Adams Morgan in the fourth quarter of 2021. With the Plant Food Lab incubator opening by the end of 2020 at 1829 M St. NW, stay tuned for more plant-based restaurant concepts.
JR Robinson, an alumnus of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, and his uncle Sudon Williams opened their second location of KitchenCray at 1301 H St. NE. The original, serving breakfast and brunch, is in Lanham, Maryland. The D.C. spot offers dinner and a full bar in addition to brunch. In Lanham, they activated the empty office parking lot next door into “Cars and Brunch” on select Saturdays to take advantage of the social distancing it offers.
From the folks who brought you Muncheez, Georgia Brown’s and the late Neyla comes Taqueria de Beirut, a new ghost kitchen cooking up Mexican and Middle Eastern street food, operating out of Muncheez in Dupont Circle. The connection between Mexico and Lebanon? Lebanese and other Middle Eastern immigrants arrived in Mexico in the late 1800s, introducing vertical spits still used to make “tacos árabes.”
Spanish Diner, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, replaces José Andrés’s Jaleo restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland, at 7271 Woodmont Ave. Andrés’s first Spanish Diner made its debut in the Mercado Little Spain food hall in New York’s huge Hudson Yards development. Jaleo still operates in Penn Quarter and in Crystal City, Virginia. Chef Update. Kevin Tien will oversee the kitchen at a new Vietnamese restaurant called Moon Rabbit at the InterContinental hotel at the Wharf in Southwest D.C. Tien was most recently at Emilie’s on Capitol Hill … Kyoo Eom helms the kitchen at the newly reopened 1789 Restaurant. He was previously at Dirty Habit in the Kimpton Hotel Monaco on F Street NW … Peter Smith heads culinary operations, introducing a gourmet market, at Ghostline virtual food hall in Glover Park … Drew Allen is the chef de cuisine at Ruthie’s All-Day at 3411 Fifth St. South in Arlington Heights, Virginia, opened by Matt Hill and Todd Salvadore, both formerly of Charlie Palmer Steak. So far, it’s dinner only, working its way to all-day.
Luke Silverman and Jeff Kurtzman will open Bark Social, a 30,000-square-foot beer garden, pet store and off-leash park for dogs at 935 Prose St. at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland, by the end of the year. Guests must purchase a pass: daily, monthly or annual. They plan to serve Ceremony Coffee as well as a variety of local and national craft beers and wines.
Linda Roth (@LindaRothPR) is the founder and CEO of Linda Roth Associates, a D.C.-based public relations and marketing firm that specializes in the foodservice and hospitality industries. Visit her on the web at lindarothpr.com.