Lance London is ready to open his third outpost of his low country restaurant The Carolina Kitchen, and his first in D.C.
The restaurant will open this summer at Rhode Island Row, the mixed-use development adjacent to the Rhode Island Ave. metro station. This will be the biggest of London's restaurants, with seating for about 250 people spread out over two levels and an outdoor patio. A mezzanine area overlooks the restaurant and will be able to be rented out for private parties, London said. Warm colors dominate the design. "It's like food for the eyes," he said.
London's particularly excited about the oyster bar, a first for his Southern restaurants. "In the Carolinas, oysters are big, of course," he said. He's also rounding out the menu with some new additions, including shrimp and grits and a health-conscious section.
London says he has a ton of customers at his Largo and Hyattsville restaurants who make the trek from D.C., and having a restaurant in the city had always been part of his plans.
"As we all know, the cranes are constantly moving in Washington D.C., and I'd been looking for years for the ideal location," he said. "What other better location than one on top of a subway that takes people directly to the restaurant itself?" The area also has nearby high-end apartments, offices and shopping that will draw foot traffic to the place, he said. The Carolina Kitchen will open sometime this summer, likely in July or August.
[Photo: The Carolina Kitchen]