- Woodley Park's forthcoming District Kitchen is still a work in progress, but they hope to open in November.
- The spot where these gentlemen are standing will be District Kitchen's open kitchen.
- The bar taking shape.
- This wall will be lined with a banquette leading up to the front window, where there will also be seating.
Drew Trautmann and Jawad Saadaoui announced back in August that they intended to open a restaurant named District Kitchen in Woodley Park, perhaps as soon as October. Well, as tends to happen in this business, October is now out of the question. But on a tour this week of the construction zone, the business partners — who have both worked for the group behind Redwood and the now-shuttered Mendocino Grille — shared that mid-November is the new target date for the restaurant to open on Connecticut Avenue. They also shared some details of what you can expect from the design and menu — including potentially some wine on tap if all goes well.
The restaurant will have 70 seats, plus some patio seating and about 10 stools at the galvanized steel bar that are actually vintage drafting chairs. The hope is that the tables will be cork-topped and banquettes will line the wall to the right of the restaurant. As is so trendy these days, Saadaoui says they're going for the rustic look, which was made a little bit easier by their discovery of the building's original brick walls and terrazzo tile flooring that they plan to leave as-is. One thing they won't leave as-is? The two-toned purple exterior of the building will soon be more of an off-white color.
As for the menu, Trautmann says he's aiming for seasonal American with menu items changing at least once a week. There will be a burger available for around $14, while the rest of the menu will generally top out at $27-$28 — though on occasion a special might go up to $40. The chef will be on the lookout for more interesting types of fish whenever his purveyor has them available and roast them up whole. But while the menu might be aiming for fine dining, the atmosphere will be casual enough so as not to scare off the families that make up much of the neighborhood — though Saadaoui and Trautmann acknowledge that some of their future neighbors have been clamoring for a more adult-friendly bar than those of the nearby 18th Street strip.
That said, the cocktail-oriented bar will serve as many local spirits as possible, in addition to a selection of local beers. And, to keep up with West Coast trends, Saadaoui says another thing they're trying to procure is wine on draft — up to four tap lines of it.
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