Just as Columbia Heights gem Room 11 gears up for its expansion, partner Ben Gilligan is stepping down as the restaurant's head chef. According to general manager Jessica Woods, Gilligan — who recently had a baby — is taking a step back to consider some new projects. He'll still be around and involved with Room 11, she says, but the restaurant is now actively looking for a new head chef who will keep the spirit of the tiny small plates restaurant, but will also "put their own spin on things." So, chefs, time to polish up those resumes.
As for Room 11's expansion into the space next door, Woods says they're looking to open in mid-October with 20 more seats and a new, smaller bar. That bar will be physically separate from the main bar and also might have its very own concept — among the potential concepts, they're considering a focus on amaro and vermouth at the smaller bar. Stay tuned for the final decision on that as well as developments in the head chef search.