The Latest Dish: Good Vibes Coming to Town

Emanuel Pagonis and the Pagonis family, owners of notable Greek restaurant, Nostos in Tysons, plan to open Yellow Diner, a classic American diner, at 501 Maple Ave. West in Vienna by Q1 2024. The 94-seat, yellow-designed diner will offer a modern take – such as reservations. It’s not the family’s first diner, as they owned and operated Four Seasons diner in Alexandria. 

Jose Garces’ Philadelphia-based Buena Onda (“good vibes” in Spanish), a fast-casual seafood operation, plans to open in late Q2 2024 in Rockville at 12137 Rockville Pike. The franchisor is Jose and New-Orleans-based Ballard Brands. The franchisee is Zong Chen and Alexis Chen, who plan to open five stores in the DMV and NE region. They also operate Takumi Sushi in Falls Church, Nan Xiang Express in Ellicott City, and Top Pot & BBQ in College Park, Chinatown’s Luna Hall food hall,  which includes Kung Fu Tea, TKK, Pollo Aria, and District Dumpling. 

Buena Onda means “good vibes” in Spanish. Courtesy Buena Onda.

Just opened: Fireclay opened at the Hotel Washington at 515 15th St NW with chef de cuisine Israel Lopez-Albarracin, formerly of Ben’s Next Door, at the helm. It’s an 80-seat Argentine-style grill lobby-level restaurant…. Simona Café opened at 35 N Street NE where Sweet Science Coffee used to be. It’s the second store in the metro are — the first is in Arlington… Knead Hospitality + Design opened Bistro du Jour, a 200-seat restaurant at the Royal Sonesta hotel at 20 Mass Ave. NW on Capitol Hill. The first Bistro du Jour opened at The Wharf. It’s their 20th restaurant… and counting…. Captain Cookie & the Milkman opened in Cleveland Park at 3411 Connecticut Avenue NW. They also have stores in Foggy Bottom, Brookland, Eastern Market and Arlington. 

Outdoor food hall, Water Park, in Crystal City, has opened with a variety of dining concepts: Queen Mother, Bubbie’s Plant Burger, Cracked Eggery, DC Dosa, Tiki Thai, PhoWheels, Dolci  Gelati, Falafel Inc, and Brij café and wine bar. The food hall is managed by Sthrn Hospitality Co.  

Justin Cox is on schedule to open Atlas Brew Works in Alexandria’s Carlyle Crossing at 2429 Mandeville Lane in Q4 2023 with a huge outdoor patio and award-winning pizza from Andy’s Pizza. 


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






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