The Washington Post

Jeff Black plants a restaurant stake in Takoma Park

(Shelter Studios)

Still to be named, their modern American restaurant will embrace a dining room, two spots for drinking, a patio, live entertainment a couple times a week and — to absolutely no one’s surprise given Black’s multiple seafood-themed establishments — a raw bar. The owner of seven concepts under six roofs, including BlackSalt and Pearl Dive Oyster Palace , Black describes his next venture as “offbeat, fun, nothing too serious.” 

 Choosing the market was a no-brainer. The restaurateur considers Takoma Park “vastly underserved.” And it doesn’t hurt that Wells, 30, has been eager for years now to open in the area he was born and raised. In addition to heading up the kitchen as executive chef, Wells will be a business partner in the project.

 It’s too soon to forecast what will be on the menu (the restaurant won’t open until fall at the earliest), but Wells is eager to tap into the Takoma Park Farmers Market, a mere 10 feet from the restaurant’s door. Having listened to potential customers in the area, Black also promises plenty of meatless choices.  The 80-seat restaurant will be designed by Bethesda-based GTM Architects, the same firm Black used to whip his Chevy Chase home into shape.

Read more from the Going Out Guide:

Jeff Black’s Empire Oyster House won’t be built in Merrifield’s Mosaic District

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.


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