The Latest Dish

Once ChiKo, the Chinese-Korean fast-casual D.C. favorite opens in Bethesda in January 2022, it will cross the bridge to open a 30-seat place in Northern Virginia at 4040 Campbell Ave. in Shirlington, where DakChicken used to be. ChiKo is owned and operated by Danny Lee and Scott Drewno of the Fried RiceCollective, who operate two other D.C. ChiKos as well as Anju, near Adams Morgan and I Egg You, a breakfast pop-up within the Capitol Hill ChiKo. A fall 2022 opening is targeted.  

Shake Shack plans to open where Arby’s was at 11710 Rockville Pike, south of Pike & Rose development. Plans call for 54 seats inside and 24 seats on a remodeled outdoor patio. Most important – it will have a drive-thru. Shake Shack has one store in Cabin John, and one opening soon at Westfield Montgomery Mall and another in Gaithersburg at 195 Kentlands Blvd. They currently have stores at MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County, three in Northern Virginia and seven in D.C.  

Danny and Johnny Dubbaneh of Z&Z, specializing in manoushe Arab flatbreads, plan to open Z&ZManoushe Bakery and market in Q3 2021 at 1111 Nelson St. in Rockville, featuring other signature dishes they are known for at their family farmers market stand. Being restaurateurs is in their DNA as their parents ran Chicken Basket in Gaithersburg for years. They will seat 25 people indoors, and 25 outdoors. The plan is to feature an Arab breakfast platter on weekends.    

Co-owners Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon of Chaia plan to open a pop-up at 7237 Woodmont Ave., where a Häagen-Dazs shop was in Bethesda, next to the still-closed Bethesda Row Cinema. It will be their third location. They have locations in Georgetown and in Penn Quarter. The 20-seat space plus patio seating, slated to open in early Q4, will also debut a new kids’ meal program.    

Ch-Ch-Changes: Grand Duchess at 2337 18th St. NW in Adams Morgan has morphed from a cocktail bar into a full-service restaurant, with Chef Enoc Lopez, formerly of Martin’s Tavern at the helm, serving pastas and seafood dishes. Partners Vinnie Rotondaro and Rory Adair leveraged a winterization grant with a new 14-seat patio out front.  

Food hall update:  Common Plate Hospitality (CPH) plans to open The Heights Food Hall at Wisconsin Place, by Chevy Chase, in Q2 2022. It is the former site of a P.F. Chang’s and Anthropologie. The plan is for CPH to operate three stalls, leasing five to other chefs, as incubators. Confirmed concepts: ThisDeli of Ours, serving artisan sandwiches, and Spoons & Sticks, serving international variety of soups (ramen, pho), dumplings and bao. Included in the concept is a communal bar, a speakeasy with its own hidden entrance, as well as a full-service location of Urbano, as CPH owns and operates Urbano 116,Mason Social, and Augie’s Mussel House and Beer Garden in Alexandria, Virginia.   

New Delhi natives and owners Sachin Mahajan and Ricky Singh of Karma Modern Indian, will open Kismet Modern Indian, a more casual concept, in Old Town, Alexandria at 111 N. Pitt Street (where a BurgerFi used to be) in early Q4 2021. It includes a 30-seat courtyard patio in the rear. Executive chef Ajay Kumar will oversee the menus for both places. Christian Richardson, formerly of Doyle at DupontCircle Hotel, is the bar manager.  

Slice & Pie, serving takeout pizza pies and pizzas by the slice, and full-service 60-seat restaurant Lucy are slated to open at 2221 14th Street NW where Pizzeria Vetri used to be. A Q4 2021 opening is targeted. Brought to you by Peter Bayne and Geoff Dawson of Tin Shop, who also own and operate the nearby Franklin Hall, Church Hall in Georgetown, TallBoy in Shaw, Penn Social in Penn Quarter and HighlineRxR in Crystal City. Master pizzaiolo Giulio Adriani, of Forcella in New York is working with them. 

Quick Hits: Matt Baker of Gravitas is moving into the Eaton Hotel’s lobby space, where Tim Ma’s American Son used to be, to open Michele’s, a French/American place, in early Q4 2021, featuring seafood-centric tasting menus. There will also be a third location of Baker’s Daughter café at the hotel… A new brewpub called The Brass Rabbit Pub will open where sports bar Bracket Room used to be…. Mike Cordero will open his third Taco Rock at 1116 W. Broad Street in Falls Church in Q4 2021. It will be larger than his Taco Rock taqueria-and-tequila bars in Rosslyn and Alexandria… TOKUJapanese& Asian Cuisine has relocated to 2439 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan, joining Hilo Poke & Sushi. 

Just Opened: Lahlou Restaurant Group opened Lupo Pizzeria at 1908 14th St. NW, where a TaylorGourmet used to be. Corporate chef Juan Olivera is part owner of the 160-seat restaurant. They also own the nearby Lupo Verde, The Wharf’s Lupo Marino, and Lupo Verde Osteria in the Palisades…. Knead Hospitality + Design opened Mi Casa in Dupont Circle at 1647 20th St. NW. It seats 130 with an outdoor covered patio…. Denver-based Smashburger is back, this time opening in Penn Quarter at 804 Seventh St. NW…. Texas-based The Boiling Crab, opened at 400 H St. NE, where Driftwood used to be, serving a wide variety of crabs: blue or Dungeness crabs (seasonal), king crab legs or snow crab legs. 

Linda Roth is Founder & CEO of Linda Roth Associates (LRA), a DC-based public relations & marketing firm that specializes in the foodservice and hospitality industries. Follow her at: @LindaRothPR @LRAPR #LindaRothPR  or 



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