Update, March 28:
Jackie's final hurrah will be this Wednesday. "It is just a party," owner Jackie Greenbaum said. There's no cover charge, but patrons can chow down at an optional $20 buffet that will feature spit-roasted pig, barbecue ribs, fried chicken and salads. (It's $30 in advance if you want to partake of an open bar.) Expect music from J.P. McDermott and Western Bop, too. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. "We'll basically be here until we run out of booze," Greenbaum said.
Original post, Jan. 6:
Jackie's, restaurateur Jackie Greenbaum's eponymous Silver Spring restaurant, will shutter by the end of March after an 11-year run.
The closing coincides with the spring opening of Little Coco's, Greenbaum's contemporary Italian eatery in Petworth, whose kitchen will be led by current Jackie's chef Adam Harvey.
Greenbaum said she made the decision to close her first restaurant, along with Sidebar, its sibling cocktail bar, as the scope of the Little Coco's project increased. Originally she had envisioned something along the lines of El Chucho, her cozy Columbia Heights taqueria, but thanks to additional space, Little Coco's went from being a pizza spot to one that would offer a larger menu.
Greenbaum said Harvey's immersion in Italian cuisine (the restaurant is named for Harvey's Italian-born wife) helped convince her that a more ambitious concept could work.
Keeping Jackie's up and running wasn't feasible once Greenbaum had pulled Harvey and other members of his team into Little Coco's. "Suddenly I had raided the entire staff of Jackie’s," she said. Most Jackie's employees will move to Little Coco's as well.
Greenbaum said Jackie's had run its course. When it opened, "I really felt we had something to contribute that was missing on the dining scene." Now with so many other additions, she decided the restaurant wasn't necessarily doing anything novel or unique.
"We were still strong. We were still doing fine," Greenbaum said. "I just felt it had its time."
Greenbaum said what she's saddest about is taking away one of Silver Spring's gathering places. She wanted to announce the closing far enough in advance so diners could come in and say goodbye. Over the next three months, Jackie's will be featuring past hits, including mini Elvis burgers, skillet fried chicken and pork riblets, along with guest chef appearances.
But Greenbaum isn't totally ceding her presence in Silver Spring. Quarry House Tavern remains open, as efforts continue to move it back to its original basement location on Georgia Avenue. It moved across the street to the former Piratz Tavern space after a devastating fire last spring.
Tom Sietsema contributed to this report.