Joon Yang (Epic Smokehouse, American Prime) and Chef Jon Mathieson have opened UnCommon Luncheonette, a diner at 1028 N Garfield St. in Clarendon where Riverside Hot Pot and Bowl’d used to be, serving breakfast, lunch and brunch only. The space seats 50 inside and 50 on the outdoor patio. They have a traditional menu with egg sandwiches, and waffles & fried chicken, but they also serve five different kinds of poutine avec French fries, cheese, and gravy — a Canadian favorite. Epic Smokehouse’s influence can be tasted in their smoked steak frites and rib sandwich. Their liquor license completes the brunch menu.
Driveshack’s Puttery, a new indoor golf venue, with food and beverages (re: cocktails) that complement its mini golf themed courses, recently opened in Penn Quarter where The Spy Museum used to be. Executive Chef James Oakley created a menu crafted for championship hole-in-one shareable small and medium dishes.
Seven Restaurant Group will open a modern, Latin American concept, JOY, at The Collection in Chevy Chase at 5471 Wisconsin Ave. in Q4 2022. It will seat 150 with additional outdoor patio space under a retractable roof. They also plan to open a new concept, Surreal, in Q4 2023, in Arlington. Dallas-based Sixty Vines, a wine-centric restaurant, will open where Clyde’s of Reston was at Reston Town Center. It will join Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar, Fogo de Chao, Open Road Distillery and The St. James. The concept features communal seating with 60 wines on tap and a menu with items selected to pair with them. It is operated by FB Society, formerly Front Burner Restaurants.
Jose Andres’s patience and determination pays off. He will finally open a restaurant at the Old Post Office Pavilion, which is now a Waldorf Astoria, operated by CGI Merchant Group. What will open there: Bazaar, an international concept that originally launched at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Quick Hits: Mola Empanada, a Panamanian restaurant, is opening where Domburi was at 2438 18th St NW, in Adams Morgan, sometime in late summer, according to owner J’Nai White…. Michael Rafidi plans to open a second location of Yellow café, in Georgetown in Q4 2022, serving Levantine (savory and sweet) pastries and light fare, along with coffee drinks. It will be bigger than the Navy Yard location, with capacity for 60 guests…. Trippy Tacos food truck goes brick-and-mortar (too) in Silver Spring at 12134 Georgia Ave. It offers a breakfast menu in addition to its regular menu.
More Italian – yes. Carolyn and Massimo Papetti (I’m Eddie Cano, The Italian Bar) have opened In Bocca al Lupo in Glover Park at 2400 Wisconsin Ave. where Arcuro used to be, featuring Roman-style pizza bassa, meaning with crispy cracker-thin crust, served in white and red flavors. Chef de cuisine Jacob Brown, and Pizzaioli Maestro Fulvio de Rosa run the BOH pizza operation. The name translates to: mouth of the wolf — which means good luck.
Hakan Ilhan (Brasserie Liberte, Al Dente, Ottoman Tavern) has opened Il Piatto, an Italian restaurant, where his French-themed Mirabelle used to be, at 16th and I Streets, NW (900 Black Lives Matter Plaza NW). Chef Lina Nicolai, formerly of Al Crostino, is the chef.
Better Hospitality Group (Takoda, The Boardwalk, Boardwalk Bar & Arcade, Cortez, Easy Company) opened a second (bigger) location of Takoda Restaurant & Beer Garden — with a rooftop – across from Nationals Park at 1299 First Street SE. It has capacity for 385 patrons on two levels, with a 24-line draft system that serves 16 beers and eight cocktails.
Peter Chang (Peter Chang, Q by Peter Chang, Mama Chang, NiHao) is slated to open Chang Chang, his 13th restaurant, in Dupont Circle, in Q4 2022 at 1200 19th Street, NW where Mai Thai used to be. With 200 seats in the restaurant, bar and garden patio, they will also offer a distinctive carryout operation, called Chang-Out, with its own menu. Chinese-American chef Simon Lam, previously at NiHao, is in charge of the kitchen.
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, #LindaRothPR, or www.lindarothpr.com.