Granite City Ready to Open First East Coast Location in National Harbor

Minneapolis-based Granite City Food & Brewery plans to open its first East Coast location (33rd in the nation) at National Harbor at the end of April on the bottom level of The Esplanade Building. With 300+ seats, this casual restaurant features an on-site brewery, open kitchen, spacious patio, private dining. They expect to have more than a dozen 450-gallon tanks on site. The company also owns Cadillac Ranch, which is slated to have a $1 million renovation this fall.

Quick Hits – Shaw edition: The Shay apartment building is expected to welcome a Tim Ma restaurant and a Compass Coffee … A ramen shop from Daikaya’s Daisuke Utagawa, Yama Jewayni and Katsuya Fukushima is slated for Shaw. Expect a Neighborhood Restaurant Group restaurant from their chef Rob Rubba in the old Atlantic Plumbing building.

More Shaw: All Purpose, a pizza-centric Italian American restaurant is slated to open in The Colonel in Shaw at 1250 9th St. NW. It’s a team effort from the Bloomingdale restaurateurs who brought you The Red HenMichael Friedman, Michael O’Malley, and Sebastian Zutant – and Boundary Stone owners Gareth Croke and Colin McDonough. Michael will work with pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac of Buttercream Bakeshop to create a special pizza dough. Tiffany will consult on All Purpose’s desserts as well as open a bakeshop in the same building. The beverage menu will be a collaboration between Sebastian, Gareth and Colin. The 80-seat restaurant is slated to open 4Q 2015.

Also opening in The Colonel is a Mexican restaurant, Espita Mezcalería. Shaw resident and owner, Josh Phillips, a Master Mezcalier, plans an innovative bar program that highlights the many varietals of the spirit, paired with the complex flavors of food from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Josh is a Cornell grad, who also worked in bars and restaurants in Philadelphia before studying mezcal in Oaxaca. A September opening is planned.

Robert Wiedmaier will open Urban Heights where The Roof was in Bethesda with Chef Cliff Wharton at the helm. Philippine and South Asian cuisine is featured, which complements Cliff’s Filipino heritage. It will feature small plates on three floors, a rooftop bar as well as a Tuna Bar – offering the unusual ahi poke to the popular tuna tartare. A May opening is planned.

Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong plan to open their first D.C. restaurant in SW DC’s Wharf development. It will be different from Restaurant Eve, as it will feature Filipino cuisine, but also feature food from all over Asia. Filipino food is trending hot now, as there is also Purple Patch in Mount Pleasant and Bad Saint in Columbia Heights. The Filipino connection is Meshelle, who is of Filipino descent.

Chef & Manager Update: Michael Williams was appointed beverage director of Bastille and its sister restaurant Bistrot Royal, both in Old Town, Alexandria. He previously worked at The Oval Room and The Occidental Grill Bobbie Miller is a new chef and beverage director at the Westin Arlington Gateway and will oversee hotel’s Italian restaurant Pinzimini Fabrice Bendano is the new pastry chef at Le Diplomate in DC’s Logan Circle. He has worked at Adour and Citronelle. Most recently, he worked as a consultant for Alain Ducasse’s mIX in Las Vegas. He won the RAMMY award for Best Pastry Chef in 2012.

Quick Hits: Robert Wiedmaier is opening Urban Heights where The Roof was in Bethesda … The Navy Yard Oyster Co., a wine-centric oyster bar, is slated to open at The Lumber Shed in SE … Woodward Building on 15th Street in downtown DC will soon feature an intimate prepared food shop and bakery from the owners of Pleasant Pops in Adams Morgan … Blackfinn will open a 6,500 sq.ft. restaurant at the Loudoun Station project in 4Q 2015. They currently have locations in downtown D.C. and Merrifield … Basil Leaf, a fast casual Mediterranean restaurant with Persian influence (as the chef is Reza Monsefan who used to run Pars Restaurant) will also open there. A summer opening is planned.

Openings Update: Momofuku Milk Bar has a summer 2015 opening scheduled … Pizza Studio in Dupont Circle is now planning an early 2Q opening. Tadich Grill is now aiming for mid-2Q 2015 … Smokehouse Live, a barbecue restaurant from Jim Foss, most recently of Hill Country BBQ, and Kristopher Diemer, formerly of Carmine’s, are taking this barbecue concept to Leesburg and plan to open mid-spring.

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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