Chaia’s tacos are made with hand-pressed tortillas. (Morgan Hungerford West)

Summer brought a slew of new restaurants, which only whet our appetite for the blockbuster fall season ahead. Though Shaw will dominate the landscape in terms of openings, we couldn’t be more excited for these other D.C.-born projects to get off the ground.

Bantam King

700 Fifth St. NW
Line too long at the Daikaya ramen shop? No problem. Soon you’ll be able to stroll around the corner and check the wait at Bantam King, a noodle bar from the same ownership team and chef. With a concentration on ramen made with chicken broth as well as fried chicken, Bantam King will be housed in a 1,700-square-foot restaurant that formerly held Burger King. There’s even a small takeout window, which the team is considering keeping for orders on-the-go. EXPECTED OPENING: Fall

Unnamed Alex McCoy project

845 Upshur St. NW
Inspired by his travels through Southeast Asia, Alex McCoy is opening an international restaurant in Petworth that caters to well-heeled diners. The former chef at Duke’s Grocery will serve regional classics from lesser-known parts of Thailand as well as Australian hamburgers. He promises the concept makes sense. “A lot of Aussies live in Thailand,” McCoy says. “They have burger shops where they flip burgers and serve them with grilled pineapple and beetroot.”


4000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
This Japanese noodle restaurant will be chef Jonah Kim’s first foray into the D.C. market. (He most recently cooked at Pabu in the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore.) Earlier this year, Kim hosted pop-ups at Mike Isabella’s G sandwich shop, previewing what’s to come at Yona. Dishes like fresh tofu with dashi, Asian pear, mushrooms and scallions suggest Kim will rely heavily on traditional Japanese ingredients and preparations.


3207 Grace St. NW
Following the success of Chaia’s farmers market stand, the plant-based taco company will open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Georgetown. Expect the same nourishing taco combinations (like garlicky greens with goat cheese and pickled red onion) served on Chaia’s handmade corn tortillas. Yes, making tortillas from scratch is a laborious process and adds seconds to your wait time, but Chaia’s committed to wowing you with freshness.

Hank’s Pasta Bar

600 Montgomery St., Alexandria
Jamie Leeds, the founder of Hank’s Oyster Bar, has plans to open an Italian restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. Nicolas Flores, a Hank’s Oyster Bar alum, will serve as executive chef. In place of bivalves, Leeds’ new restaurant will focus on handmade pastas, traditional red sauce Italian dishes as well as meats cured in-house. Additionally, the 100-seat space will have a small patio nearby, as well as a predominantly Italian wine list.

More dining news:

Compass Rose to debut a ‘Bedouin tent’ tasting room on back patio

Sundevich owner to open Small Fry, a smoke house and fry shop in Parkview

Nick Pimentel, co-owner of Room 11, signs lease at old Heller’s Bakery property