When Baltimore residents are looking for dishes like chicken and waffles and Key lime-cheesecake stuffed French toast, many of them (between 1,000 and 1,500 on a typical Saturday, in fact) turn to Miss Shirley's. Soon, D.C. residents may get the same opportunity.The restaurant group, which has two Baltimore locations and one in Annapolis, has been working with real estate broker Lance Marine of CBRE to find the perfect site — or two — to expand the brand to Washington. "I'd be very surprised if you didn't see a Miss Shirley's under construction in the metro D.C. area by next year," said owner Edward Dopkin.
It might happen even sooner, but it depends on where they end up. Dopkin has his eye on a spot in D.C. proper, but an existing restaurant lease there would mean they couldn't open the spot until fall 2013. There are some other D.C. sites on the table, plus a Bethesda location looks promising as well, he said.
Dopkin's no stranger to the D.C. market. Back in the day, the GW graduate used to run a deli called Bagel Place in The Shops at National Place. And Miss Shirley's actually has a decent number of Washington and Virginia residents who make the trek to Baltimore for pulled pork and gumbo. "There's more than I ever thought," said Dopkin. "I think it's partly because we've really enjoyed more national press over the last year and a half." Food Network, for example, made it its Maryland pick for a "50 States, "50 Breakfasts" feature.
They're looking for a medium-sized space with lots of room for a patio; Marine says he's showing the company sites ranging from 5,000 to 6,000 square feet. Miss Shirley locations manage to bring in enough mimosa-swillers so that they can operate exclusively during breakfast and lunch hours, seven days a week. Dopkin thinks the D.C. metro area could support multiple locations, but he also doesn't want to get too big, too fast. "We don't want people to call us a chain; we're more like a collection of boutique restaurants," he said.
·Miss Shirley's [Official Website]
·Food Network Magazine Names Best Breakfast In Every State [ -EN-]