Start making plans for your stomach (and wallet): These are the most exciting restaurant and bar openings coming in 2017.
Celebrated Oakland coffee roaster Blue Bottle is known for serving responsibly sourced coffee beans less than 48 hours after they’ve been roasted — and for the meticulous brewing methods implemented in its California, New York and Tokyo cafes. Washington is about to get a taste, with three Blue Bottle cafes opening in the city in 2017. A location near Union Market, scheduled to arrive in the spring, will be the largest of the bunch, with classroom facilities as well as a coffee shop. Shops in Georgetown and at the Wharf are in the works, too.
The next big addition to the buzzing area around Nationals Park is the Dock 79 development, located between the ballpark and the Anacostia River. Slated to open in the spring are the Salt Line, a New England-style seafood restaurant from chef Kyle Bailey and the team behind Sixth Engine and Town Hall, and a second location of All-Purpose, the critically acclaimed Shaw pizzeria. They’ll be joined by Bardo, which plans to open a beer garden and dog park before baseball season.
Five to One and Marble Alley
Trevor Frye, who co-founded the inventive Dram and Grain bar in Jack Rose’s basement, is a busy man. His 2017 plans include the openings of Marble Alley, an Adams Morgan bar that he told Express will be “an elevated experience” focused on comfort rather than craft cocktails, and Five to One, a music-themed cocktail spot in the former Dickson Wine Bar space on U Street, which will begin serving in January.
This Adams Morgan property will open in early 2017 with built-in dining cachet. Erik Bruner-Yang (Maketto) will operate Brothers and Sisters, a lobby bar and restaurant, and Spoken English, a tasting-menu restaurant; spirits guru Todd Thrasher (PX, Restaurant Eve) will lead the cocktail program, run wine service and work the bar at Brothers and Sisters. Spike Gjerde (Woodberry Kitchen) is also opening a restaurant, A Rake’s Progress, in the hotel.
Chef Frank Ruta has moved on from his post-Palena gig at the Grill Room to a restaurant closer to his old digs at the White House, where he worked as a chef. The French-American dining room, scheduled to open by March, will be something between a bistro and fine dining destination. Restaurateur Hakan Ilhan (Alba Osteria, Ottoman Taverna) is behind the project, and Ruta will be joined by his longtime pastry chef, Aggie Chin.
Mike Isabella projects
Chef and restaurateur Mike Isabella is rapidly approaching mogul status. Among what’s on tap for 2017: Arroz, a southern Spanish spot with Portuguese and North African accents in the Marriott Marquis in Mount Vernon Square; the Greek Kapnos Taverna in College Park; and a multi-concept food court in Tysons Galleria.
The Washington spinoff of the New York restaurant helmed by chef Daisuke Nakazawa, who appeared in the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” will open in the Trump International Hotel this summer. Expect an omakase menu of around 20 courses. Also expect continued chatter about the restaurant’s location, given the political climate surrounding President-elect Donald Trump and his ongoing lawsuits with José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian over the celebrity chefs’ decisions to pull out of the hotel.
Another swanky sushi spot, this chain started in 1994 in New York, overseen by chef Nobu Matsuhisa — with actor Robert DeNiro as one of its founders. The Washington location, in the West End, joins almost three dozen others of a worldwide collection. The massive 11,000-square-foot restaurant will include a bar, lounge and private dining.
Acclaimed Chinese chef Peter Chang has plans to open Qijian in Bethesda sometime around May. The fine-dining restaurant will include two concepts under one roof: an a la carte option and an ambitious tasting-menu experience, which Chang's business partner, Gen Lee, has compared to José Andrés's Minibar.
The popular burger chain from the Wahlberg brothers — actors Mark and Donnie and chef Paul — makes its Washington-area debut with not one, but two locations. Restaurants are slated to open in Dupont Circle and Ballston. The menu has burgers, of course, but also sandwiches, salads, frappés and such dishes as sloppy Joes and mac and cheese inspired by the brothers’ mom, Alma.
The $2 billion project remaking the Southwest Waterfront will feature 20 to 22 restaurants and bars, including seafood establishments run by chefs Fabio Trabocchi, Cathal Armstrong and Jamie Leeds; a music venue from 9:30 Club owner Seth Hurwitz; and a rum distillery by PX founder Todd Thrasher. Look for the first wave of openings in October.
Tim Carman contributed to this report.