DC Celebrity Eateries Come Full Circle

Celebrity-owned restaurants are popular once again — with DC celebrities, that is. Tony Kornheiser, Maury Povich, Gary Williams and Alan Bubes are the new owners of Chad’s (formerly Chadwick’s) in Friendship Heights. Sports fans will have a lot to look forward to, as Tony plans to do his (sometimes) sports talk podcast from there. The name will change, based on a contest Tony will run on his podcast. Geoff Dawson of Penn Social, Carpool and Buffalo Billiards will be the operator. Out of all these sports & media personalities, guess which one plays golf with Michael Jordan whenever he comes to town? If you play golf at Woodmont, you know the answer.
Frederik de Pue plans to debut a Flemish-inspired restaurant, Flamant, in Annapolis in Q2 2017.
The 2800-sq ft Flamant will serve classic European cuisine with a twist.  It’s open for dinner only, seats 40, with a cozy 12-seat bar, and an outdoor patio when the season hits. He will continue to operate his catering company out of Flamant kitchen on a limited basis.
Raphael Francois is the new executive chef at Panache on DeSales Street, NW, which is undergoing a major renovation.  He was executive chef at Le Cirque in New York City and at Launceston Place in London.  He was raised in France and Belgium, so the menu will reflect that. Owners Aziz Safi and Farid Nouri also own MXDC and U Street bars Marvin and The Gibson.
Another big 337-seat steak house will open in downtown DC in Q3 2017.  Wisconsin-based Nobel Chef Hospitality plans to open Rare Steakhouse & Tavern in Laborer’s international Union building at 16th & I Streets, NW. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant also has catering rights for the private events space on the top floor that overlooks the White House.
Bar Bao opens in Clarendon at 3100 Clarendon Blvd. where Mad Rose Tavern used to be.  It’s brought to you by Social Restaurant Group  (Provision N. 14, The Prospect, Pamplona). Bar Bao will specialize in bao, fluffy white buns filled with savory flavors, popular street food in Asia. They are slated for a March opening.

Just Opened
Ari and Stacy Gejdenson of Mindful Restaurant Group opened Ari’s Diner, La Puerto Verde and Dock FC (which stands for Football Club since Ari played professionally in Italy) in Hecht’s Warehouse in Ivy City… Penn Quarter’s Free State Atlantic Bar with orange crushes and Berger cookies.  The Baltimore connection comes from owner Brian Leonard, as he grew up in Aberdeen, Maryland and went to University of Maryland. Go Terps…. Ivan Iricanin opened Baba just below Ambar at 2901 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon.   Baba translates to “grandmother,” and is open for breakfast, lunch and small plates dinner, as well as an evening lounge with a DJ on weekends. The space was designed by Ivan’s wife, Nya Gill.

Chef & GM Update
Chad Medina is the kitchen manager at SteelFire Kitchen & Bar in Maple Lawn development in Howard County. He comes from Blue Stone seafood restaurant in Baltimore’s Timonium.  Kristin Shedd is the general manager… Alex Levi of Osteria Morini in SE joins Michael Schlow Restaurant Group as the executive pastry chef, overseeing all restaurants in DC (The Riggsby, Tico, Alta Strada, Conosci, Casolare) as well as in Los Angeles and New England…Brian Drosenos is the new chef de cuisine for The Hay Adams hotel.
Pidzza, offering Turkish-inspired pizza, opened in the Hecht Warehouse in Ivy City at 2000 Hecht Avenue NE in December.  Owner Koray Bozkurt, plans to expand into Penn Quarter at 736 6th Street NW, as well as the H Street NE and U Street NW corridors. Nicholas Acker has been hired as area manager.

Hotel Restaurant Update
At The Line hotel, slated to open in early May:  Erik Bruner-Yang will open a casual Brothers & Sisters with a bar called Eastern Bar Parlour. Broken English will be his more formal dining space.  Spike Gjerde will open Rake’s Progress, a Rake’s Bar and The Cup We All Race 4 (sounds similar to Baltimore’s legendary Horse She Road In On)… Nakazawa  by Chef Daisuke Nakazawa opens in Trump International Hotel care of NY-based Bedford Street Hospitality

Quick Hits
Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s Nobu is slated to open at 2501 M Street, just over the M Street/Pennsylvania Ave bridge bordering Georgetown, seating 234…Reverie is slated to open this summer on Grace Street in Georgetown by Chef Johnny Spero of minibar, who is currently executive chef at Columbia Room, serving modern American food, seating 60…Black Restaurant Group’s Addie’s is planning their Q2 2017 opening at Park Potomac Development.
New restaurant signs spotted in Rehoboth:  The Blue Hen (at The Avenue), The Vineyard, Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls.

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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