Top chef alumnus Kwame Onwuachi’s restaurant, The Shaw Bijou, has dropped its prices dramatically.
The restaurant announced today in a press release that it is changing its concept, which includes dropping its pricing. It will now exclusively offer a seven-course menu, including a welcome cocktail, for $95.
When the restaurant first opened in early November, it debuted with an $185 per person tasting menu as a starting price, not including drink pairings. Dinner for two could stretch close to $1,000 at a restaurant from a chef opening his first place in D.C. The restaurant received a tepid preview from The Washington Post upon opening.
Since then, The Shaw Bijou has made some concessions to appeal to a larger dining base, including nixing its plans for a members-only bar, and opening the bar to walk-ins (with an a la carte menu). UPDATE: A spokesperson confirms drink pairing options will still be available, and the bar will continue to operate as before next year.
Here’s the full letter sent out from the team, explaining the new plan. The changes begin January 3.
Dear DC, When people ask me “why DC?” my immediate response is always “DC chose me.” And it did. I came to this city because of the energy. The Shaw Bijou’s vision was simply an extension of a 5-year dream of ours; and while achieving that goal, we fostered an environment and restaurant that was not reasonable for all.
So, with the spirit of the New Year, we adjusted our concept with the people of DC in mind. In order to continue to invite and welcome people into our home, The Shaw Bijou, will now only offer a 7 course-tasting menu, which includes a welcome cocktail, for $95 beginning Tuesday, January 3.
Humility creeps up on you when least expected, and the opening of this restaurant has taught us just that. This being our first restaurant, and for some a first business venture, we had a substantial amount of learning and adjusting to do. And we have, immensely.
We hope that DC continues to support us and welcome us into its home, much like we cannot wait to invite you into ours.
Kwame and The Shaw Bijou Team