Chuy’s Comes to Fairfax … Where Only the Margaritas are Frozen

Austin-based Chuy’s Holdings plans to open its first DC metro area Chuy’s in Fairfax at 11219 Lee Hwy where Chili’s used to be. This Tex-Mex-inspired casual dining restaurant group celebrates their first store in the DC metro area and its 57th restaurant in the chain. Everything is made from scratch – nothing is frozen but the margaritas. An August opening is planned. Springfield is also in the expansion plans for Northern Virginia.

Loudoun County is the next … Loudoun County. One Loudoun development in Ashburn will host metro area restaurant groups ready to expand west. Robert Wiedmaier plans to open a new Italian concept restaurant. Matchboxfoodgroup plans to open a matchbox next summer. Bryan Voltaggio is already northwest of DC so he’ll travel south to open his second Family Meal (first one is in Frederick) at One Loudoun this late summer/early fall. More outside of DC concepts that are slated to open there include: Uncle Julio’s Mexican restaurant (from the folks who brought you Rio Grande) as well as a Redskins Grille from a company that opens NFL-themed restaurants.

Texas de Brazil plans to open where Buddha Bar used to be in NoMa aka Mount Vernon Triangle on Mass Ave NW. The churrascaria-style Brazilian steakhouse (with Texas-style hospitality) is known for its all-you-can-eat service right at the table. There is currently a location in Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax and in Richmond. A 4Q 2014 or 1Q 2015 opening is targeted.

Openings Update: GRK, the fast casual Greek concept opening on 1140 19th Street, NW plans to be open in late June … Boss Shepherd’s, next to the Warner Theater, plans an early July opening … America Eats Tavern in The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner is also targeting June … Gypsy Soul in Merrifield’s Hyatt in the Mosaic District is owned and operated by RJ Cooper of Rogue 24. He plans to open before July 4th (two words: roof deck) … Crane & Turtle in Petworth has Chef Makoto Hamamura, who plans to fuse Japanese and French cuisine … Dolcezza’s Robb Duncan, plans to be open in early June at his new Logan Circle site on 14th Street featuring a to-go street window as well as a sundae bar … Philadelphia’s Jose Garces’s new Argentinan steakhouse Rural Society, is slated to open in The Loews Madison Hotel this summer …  Boston’s own Michael Schlow plans to open Tico, with food influenced by his travels to Spain, Mexico and Latin America, in Logan Circle’s popular 14th Street corridor, this month … Spike Mendelsohn’s We The Pizza Crystal City is also slated for a June opening … Smashburger plans to open its 8th unit in the DC metro area when Gaithersburg opens in July.

Ch-ch-Changes: Ashok Bajaj will close the Oval Room on June 30 for a complete renovation of menu as well as décor. Chef Tony Conte’s most popular dishes will be featured during the entire month, to tide guests over until the re-opening in early August … Sanjeev Tuli is planning to open a casual cafe concept with pizza/pasta/burgers and perhaps even Tex Mex, where Malgudi was on 17th Street, NW.

Robert Irvine of “Restaurant Impossible” and “Dinner Impossible” cut a deal to open Robert Irvine Fresh Kitchen at the Pentagon. It’s a restaurant in Arlington you may not be able to visit unless you an employee or a contractor. Irvine has the military creds, as he began his career in the British Royal Navy and was a guest chef at the White House mess, which is run by the Navy. It will offer full service as well as fast casual and fast food, for breakfast and lunch. A February 2015 launch date is expected.

A new Italian restaurant, Noelia, will open where Finemondo was at 1319 F Street, NW near Metro Center. Owner Kaiser Gill hired Carmen Piazza, formerly of Sette Osteria and Café Milano as executive chef. The businessman comes from a restaurant family, which owns and operates Aabshaar, a Pakistani restaurant in Springfield, and Shineys in Annandale. Noelia, named for his niece, will serve modern Italian comfort food. He also plans for the space to become a lounge in the evenings, as there is a dance floor. It’s targeted to an older demographic which does not favor the club scene.

About the Author

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc. specializing in marketing, promotions and publicity in the hospitality industry. Contact Linda at 202-888-3571 or or visit her website at

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