Zinnia will open where the iconic Mrs. K’s Toll House used to be at 950 Dale Drive in Silver Spring, Maryland. Chris Brown of Takoma Beverage Company plans to transform the expansive space into a fine-dining restaurant with a café, a tavern and a beer and wine garden. First up is the beer and wine garden, featuring a “Wiesn in a Box” beer truck, in addition to an outdoor bar with 13 taps for beer, wine, frozen cocktails and hard cider. Brad Feickert, formerly of Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt, is overseeing menu development for all the concepts. Justin Kaplan-Markley is GM and Seth Cook is wine director. The plans call for the all-day café to open early in the fourth quarter, followed by the tavern, featuring classic pub food, then the fine-dining restaurant.
By the end of the second quarter, London-based Swingers is slated to open a 20,000-square-foot mini golf complex with a Knead Hospitality + Design food hall and an all-day DJ in Dupont Circle at 1330-33 19th St. NW, where Buffalo Billiards and The Front Page used to be. The fast-casual concepts include Lil’ Succotash (a mini version of Succotash), Tu Taco (a mini Mi Vida with Mexican street food), Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery and Kneadza Pizza, plus four themed bars. A hole-in-one is rewarded with a free shot.
More Knead expansion in 2021: Mi Casa at 1648 20th St. NW in Dupont Circle, where Bareburger used to be; Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery in Crystal City, Virginia; Gatsby modern American diner, near Nationals Park; and casual French café Bistro du Jour at the Southwest Wharf.
Quick Hits: Chef Nicholas Sharpe is opening Lyle’s restaurant early in the second quarter in the Lyle hotel near Dupont Circle, at 1731 New Hampshire Ave. NW, where the Carlyle hotel used to be … SAN’dwich LORENZO, a to-go lunch place from Massimo Fabbri, has opened inside San Lorenzo Ristorante + Bar at 1316 9th St. NW in Shaw ... The Salt Line plans to open a second location in Ballston, Virginia, early in the third quarter … Miami-based Yardbird is scheduled to open early in the second quarter where Acadiana used to be, in Mount Vernon Triangle at 901 New York Ave. NW… Restaurant 54 will open in Virginia this summer at Springfield Town Center, where Zinburger used to be … Shinwari Grill, serving Pakistani and Afghan food, is slated to open in Penn Quarter at 609 H St. NW … The Setting underground cocktail bar by Nick Hopkins, formerly of Lettuce Entertain You, is slated to open at 2512 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in the West End … Cathal Armstrong just opened Mattie and Eddie’s (named for his grandparents), serving Irish pub food, at 1201 South Joyce St. in Arlington, Virginia, at what was formerly Pentagon Row, now known as Westport … Barca Pier & Wine Bar, a bar barge, is slated to open on the water in Old Town, Alexandria, next to Ada’s on the River. In addition to wine, beer and cocktails, Mediterranean small plates will be served.
Chef Update: Kristen Essig, formerly of Coquette in New Orleans, is now the executive chef at Long Shot Hospitality’s Dauphine’s at Midtown Center, 1100 15th St. NW. Essig joins Neal Bodenheimer of New Orleans’ famed cocktail bar Cure … D.C. native Mark Eason is the new head chef at Barracks Row’s Valor Brewpub and The Ugly Mug.
Just Opened: CIA grad Rolando Frias opened Taqueria al Lado, a gluten-free tribute to Mexican street food, in Adams Morgan, next door to Osteria Al Volo, where he continues as chef and partner. There is a heated patio in the rear … Hawaii native Lucas Irwin opened NaRa-Ya, a high-end Japanese restaurant at the Southwest Wharf, offering a tasting menu only. Kaz Okochi is culinary director and Michael Deery, formerly of Nobu, is GM. Once greater capacity is allowed indoors, NaRa-Ya will add a full à la carte menu.
Late in the fourth quarter or early in the first quarter of 2022, Pupatella will open in West Springfield, Virginia, at 8434 Old Keene Mill Road, where Tiyaki Grill used to be. Existing locations: Dupont Circle/Adams Morgan and South Arlington, Reston and Richmond (franchised) in Virginia. Founders Anastasia Laufenberg and Enzo Algarme recruited Michael Berger, formerly of Elevation Burger, to plan for greater expansion in the region. A sixth location is slated to open in Mosaic District in Merrifield, Virginia, in the first quarter of 2022.
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 food service and hospitality industries. Visit her on the web at lindarothpr.com.