The question of what will happen to Minibar once America Eats Tavern closes its doors on July 4 is one people have been asking for some time and now here's the answer: Tom Sietsema reports first that Minibar will pack up and move a couple blocks over to the recently shuttered Zola Wine & Kitchen space, a space with three tables rather than bar seating, allowing for about 16 seats. But that's not the end goal for Minibar — Andrés tells Eater, "It buys me time to see what I do in [the America Eats Tavern] building in terms of moving Minibar back there."
The chef explains that he'd long planned to keep Minibar in the America Eats Tavern/Cafe Atlantico space, but hadn't yet come up with a satisfying concept: "The big building requires a major approach. It's a more complicated building and nothing I came up with I was happy, I kept working on it and working on it and no idea." So, he figured, the smaller Zola space would only take about three or four months to get up and running and, with that, he could keep Minibar alive while he irons out a plan for its ultimate future.
The Think Food Group has had possession of the Zola Kitchen & Wine Bar space for "some time" now — Andrés mentions they've been working on it for the last two or three weeks and already have some renderings they're not willing to share just yet. In the meantime, as he told Eater National last weekend, the Minibar team will be traveling to Denmark, Spain and beyond for inspiration and should open in the new space in October.
And though it's not going to be quite as big as the America Eats space, those who have tried in vain to get through the Minibar reservation lines should take note that the Zola space is much larger than the six seats Minibar currently offers: "But the good news to Washingtonians and the people of America is that I'm going to go probably all the way between 12 and 18 seats. So this is the big news because the amount of wait that we have right now, it's insane. I'm very happy it gives me the opportunity to do so many more people. And to have a space only dedicated to minibar is awesome."
· Jose Andres’s Minibar gets new, (slightly) larger digs, replacing Zola Wine & Kitchen [WaPo]
· America Eats Tavern Will Close in July, With Minibar Set to Reopen in the Fall [-EDC-]
· All Previous Minibar Coverage [-EDC-]
· All Previous José Andrés Coverage [-EDC-]