Corduroy's Tom Power is a chef with a passionate fan base, and also a person who has always focused on his cooking rather than rapid expansion plans. The chef/owner will finally move beyond a single restaurant when Baby Wale, the casual counterpart to his home base, opens at 1124 9th St. NW. Eater got a look inside the space, which has an industrial feel, high ceilings with skylights, and splashes of color, from reds to turquoise.
The building was just a shell when Power got it, with no roof and some steel in place (the original plan for the building was condos). The restaurant kept the steel and built the mezzanine level (the colors on the wall are from the old plaster, which added additional texture). The space was designed by Edit Lab at Streetsense, a firm known for its urban rustic designs. Old doors are used as the face of the restaurant's bar.
Menu items at Baby Wale will range from the lobster roll to the pupusa. Power says he sees the place as a bar with a focus on food and wine. He's working on a roast chicken for two that will be a bigger version of Corduroy's roast chicken dish. There will be soups, salads and other dishes (a crispy salmon with refried black beans is in the works). Friends and family events could come as early as the weekend — Baby Wale will open to the public sometime next week.
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