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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The owners of Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle plan to open a second location of their popular seafood joint in Alexandria as early as mid-September, according to one of the principals, Jamie Leeds.

The veteran chef says she wasn't looking for a second location, but the space, at 1026 King St., "fell into our laps" with the recent closure of Bohio's Cuban Bistro. The "quaint feeling" of Old Town and the restaurant's proximity to the Potomac River helped seal the deal, Leeds adds.

As in Washington, the new place will be cozy -- just 50 seats -- and the menu will offer lobster rolls, fried clams, raw oysters and "meat 'n' two" (sides). In deference to a neighbor, Eamonn's/A Dublin Chipper, however, the seafood spinoff won't be serving fish and chips. And unlike in the District, Hank's in Old Town will be open for lunch. Greater support space in Alexandria will also translate into more salads and a larger wine and beer selection, says the chef, who refers to King Street as "the new restaurant row."

Leeds has hired Troy Walker, formerly of Beacon in Dupont Circle, to cook at the future restaurant and eventually oversee both Hank's locations. Walker's sous-chef is also his wife, Xochil Walker.

Even bigger news is on the horizon: Leeds and company are aiming to open "a restaurant for the people" -- a.k.a. a gastropub -- in Columbia Heights by next spring.

-- Tom Sietsema


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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