Brian McBride, who has spent the past 25 years cooking at restaurants at the Park Hyatt, is leaving the West End hotel to go into business with his longtime friend and fellow chef Robert Wiedmaier, whose restaurants include the high-end Marcel’s in Washington and the easygoing Mussel Bar in Bethesda.
“It was a tough decision,” says McBride. But, he adds, “I’ve done pretty much everything I could do here.”
The chef’s last day at Blue Duck Tavern , the traditional American restaurant he launched in 2006, is Nov. 12. (Previously, he helmed the former Melrose for 19 years.) For the next few months, says McBride, “I’ll be making my home at Brasserie Beck ,” Wiedmaier’s Belgian outpost downtown, where Will Morris, formerly of Bourbon Steak in Georgetown, is settling in as chef de cuisine.
At Beck, McBride says he will be “building a model” for the first of at least three restaurants he and Wiedmaier hope to open together beginning in a year. “We are looking at spaces now” in the District, McBride says.
The multiple venues have yet to be named, and McBride declines to offer much detail for the moment. He hints that “butchery will be in the forefront,” adding, “We’d like to have some fun” with the concepts.
For sure, McBride is retiring from the Park Hyatt on a high. Blue Duck Tavern, he says, has annual sales of $8.5 million.