In early July, the people behind New York tapas restaurant Boqueria announced that they'd be bringing the concept south to DC this fall — hitting both the tapas restaurant trend and the New York restaurant trend we've seen so often here lately. Well, it is now fall and still no opening date in sight. So what is happening?
In town on what is soon to become once or twice weekly visits, owner Yann de Rochefort tells Eater that they're now shooting for the end of January. As will surprise no one, the DC regulatory process has been "constraining" and construction is just barely now getting underway on the space at the corner of 19th and M streets. Boqueria began putting out job ads back in September and while rumor has it that the chef position has already been filled, de Rochefort insists that they are still in the stage of "furiously interviewing" candidates.
De Rochefort, who went to Georgetown University and whose first job was coincidentally just around the corner from the new Boqueria spot, says he's glad to be bringing the restaurant to DC because "unlike other people these days, I have a positive association with DC." He has tried out the competition here — Estadio, Jaleo, Taberna del Alabardero ("my clientele's parents go to Taberna") — and while he likes them all, he thinks there's room for more: "We're not coming to DC because there's no good tapas here, we're coming because people like tapas."
And though Boqueria is barely even into its buildout, there's already some possibility of more concepts from de Rochefort in our nation's capital in the future. He didn't want to say much on that but, when pressed, admitted that there's another Spanish concept he's soon to unveil in New York that would later be a possibility for DC as well. So stay tuned on all that.
· All Previous Boqueria Coverage [-EDC-]