Though they kept the neon signage for Cashion's Eat Place and put it on a wall, the new home for Johnny's Half Shell definitely has taken on an identity of its own.
"The biggest thing we wanted to do was to make it be Johnny's Half Shell, not Cashion's Eat Place," co-owner Johnny Fulchino, a former owner of Cashion's, explained. He described the look of the space as "bright and fun," which means touches like fish and seahorse wall hangings, a mermaid painting (revamped from one co-owner Johnny Fulchino purchased in Baltimore back in the 90s), and handmade light fixtures brought over from the former Johnny's space.
The restaurant at 1819 Columbia Road NW has seating for 80, so it's much more intimate than Johnny's recent Capitol Hill home. They'll have outdoor seating eventually as well. Expect many similar dishes to Ann Cashion's old menu, with an emphasis on making things more affordable for the new neighborhood. That means turning dishes like frito misto and crab imperial into appetizers instead of entrees, with classics like seafood gumbo and crab cakes staying on the menu as is. They'll have a new "for the table" section, too.
"We're just really happy to be back here," said Fulchino. "We both live here, and it just feels right to be back like this." The space should open by Monday or Tuesday of next week, Fulchino said.