EXPANDING HIS SIGHTS: Chef Jeff Black, the owner of Addie's in Rockville and Black's Bar & Kitchen in Bethesda, is branching out into the District with his most ambitious project yet: Black Salt, a combination retail seafood market and 80-seat dining room, slated to open in September at 4883 MacArthur Blvd. "The response has been overwhelming," says the chef, whose concept is unfolding in a predominantly residential neighborhood with only a handful of places to eat. Black has asked Joseph Zumpano, a veteran of both Addie's and Black's Bar & Kitchen, to stoke the wood-burning grill at the forthcoming restaurant, but he's looking for a second cook to watch over the retail operation and help shoppers "allay fears of handling and cooking" fish and seafood. Skylights and plaster walls painted with fish swimming toward the back of the restaurant will enliven the scene, adds the restaurateur, which will include "fish deliveries through the front door all day long."
BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS: The days are numbered for Mandalay (9091-A Baltimore Ave., College Park; 301-345-8540), the popular Burmese restaurant near the University of Maryland. Manager Kyaw Myint, whose family opened the place three years ago, reports that the land on which the restaurant sits has been sold by its owner; once all the necessary permits are approved, Myint and kin will have a month to vacate the site, which will be replaced by an apartment building. On the bright side, the Myints already have secured a new home in Silver Spring, a bare shell of space at 930 Bonifant St. "It's a good opportunity," says the manager, noting that the new location will more than double Mandalay's seating (to about 100) and give its chef a bigger kitchen. Within walking distance of the Silver Spring Metro Station, the new Mandalay will serve the same menu. And unlike the original, this one will pour alcohol, Myint says.