The restaurateur duo of Jackie Greenbaum and Gordon Banks (Jackie's, El Chucho, Bar Charley) have another concept in the works: a casual Italian restaurant opening at 3907 14th St. NW in spring 2015. The restaurant's working name is Little Coco's.
"Gordon and I had daydreamed about what projects we’d like to do, and an Italian and pizza place has been on our desire list for a while," Greenbaum said. "We felt that there was a dearth of the kind of casual Italian places that we like."
Those kind of places, Greenbaum said, are casual kid-friendly Italian restaurants that cater to the young families in the neighborhood. She and Banks felt the area, which sits near Columbia Heights, Petworth and 16th Street Heights, remains underserved, despite the presence of a few bars and restaurants, such as the nearby Red Derby.
Chef Adam Harvey of Jackie's will become the restaurant's executive chef.
"Anything that he touches that has flour in it is amazing," Greenbaum said. "We’re pretty confident that he’ll be able to do something masterful with dough."
They're still working out the menu of wood-fired pizzas, but you can expect "some cheffy combinations" of pizza flavors: olive oil-poached tuna with artichokes; snails and garlic; and butternut squash with pear and taleggio are among the possibilities. Guests can also expect to see antipasti, pasta and a plate of the day on the menu.
The bar menu will feature frozen negronis, seasonal shaved ice (for cocktails and dessert), sangria, affordable wines by the bottle and "as many bottled Italian beers as we have room to stock," Banks said. "It’s a very tiny space."
There will be 20 seats at a bar that will take up much of the first floor, and 50 seats on the second floor, split between an indoor and outdoor space. "It’s a neighborhood place. We’re not trying to make something snooty," Greenbaum said. "I would say it’ll be the Italian version of El Chucho."
Little Coco's, 3907 14th St. NW (Metro: Georgia Avenue-Petworth). Expected to open in spring 2015.