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Shaw’s Artsy New Diner Serves Build-Your-Own Avocado Toast

Tracking recent restaurant openings across the DMV

Custom avocado toast at Unconventional Diner.
Photo: Unconventional Diner

In this week’s restaurant news, a fine dining alum opens a wine-friendly neighborhood restaurant in the NoVa ‘burbs, while newly minted restaurateur marries sous vide ribs and kale nachos to traditional comfort foods in Shaw. Read all about it below.

Have intel about a newly opened restaurant, bar, cafe, or other dining establishment that’s been overlooked? Tipping is essential: Send Eater the details over the D.C. tipline or email us directly ( and we’ll investigate.

December 18, 2017

SHAW—First-time restaurateur David Deshaies’ long-anticipated Unconventional Diner opens inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for dinner and drinks, serving modern twists on traditional comfort foods inside a bright Southern California-inspired oasis. Its adjoining 55-seat cafe is scheduled to start serving breakfast and lunch next month. Status: Scheduled to open at 5 p.m. 1207 Ninth Street NW; website.

December 16, 2017

DOWNTOWN—Popular food truck Arepazone formally unveiled its inaugural brick-and-mortar location. The new restaurant features Venezuelan favorites including arepas (grilled corn cakes), cachapas (corn pancakes), and tequenos (fried cheese sticks). Status: Certified open. 1121 14th Street NW; website.

December 15, 2017

BRAMBLETON—Chef turned restaurateur Jason Maddens has installed his debut restaurant, Ahso, in Brambleton Town Center. The wine-friendly establishment features a dedicated bar, cozy tasting counter, and spacious dining room. Status: Certified open. 22855 Brambleton Plaza #108, Brambleton, Va.; website.

FALLS CHURCH—The powers that be behind Arlington’s Liberty Tavern and its sibling restaurants (Lyon Hall, Northside Social) have branched out to Falls Church with Liberty Barbecue. The latest addition to the family serves smoked meats (brisket, turkey breast, spare ribs) and pickle-brined fried chicken. Status: Certified open. 370 W. Broad Street, Falls Church, Va.; website.

MCLEAN—The dedicated carryout counter at new Tysons food hall Isabella Eatery is now open. Kapnos Marketa features ready-made Greek dishes as well as custom sandwiches. Status: Certified open. 2001 International Drive, McLean, Va.; website.

December 14, 2017

DOWNTOWN—Convenience mart Wawa has opened the first of many planned stores in D.C. The 24/7 outpost features coffee (hot and cold brew), baked goods, and made-to-order sandwiches. Status: Certified open. 1111 19th Street NW; website.

December 13, 2017

ROCKVILLE—A new quick-service Greek restaurant has taken root in the Maryland suburbs. Gyroland features assorted eats cooked on a rotisserie, spicy feta dip, and honey-covered fritters. Status: Certified open. 1701-B3 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md.; website.

December 12, 2017

DOWNTOWN—Recent arrival Gregorys Coffee has opened its second location in the area. Status: Certified open. 1900 L Street NW; website.

December 11, 2017

MCLEAN—The first phase of Isabella Eatery has arrived. Top Chef alum Mike Isabella is introducing himself to mall shoppers with thick-crust pizza, boozy coffees, and gourmet ice cream. Status: Certified open. 2001 International Drive, McLean, Va.; website.

December 9, 2017

PETWORTH—Newcomer Lulabelle’s Sweet Shop is now serving gourmet ice creams, candy, and specialty coffees at this neighborhood shop. Hours appear to be limited to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday through Sunday, to start. Status: Certified open. 847 Upshur Street NW; website.

December 8, 2017

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS—Roll into cycling-themed Bar Roubaix for doner kebabs, Belgian brews, and video bike racing. Status: Certified open. 1400 Irving Street NW; website.

December 7, 2017

SHAW—Whereas Mid-Atlantic cuisine is the focus at the Dabney, local wine gets some love down below at newly minted Dabney Cellar. Status: Certified open. 1222 Ninth Street NW; website.

December 5, 2017

NAVY YARD—First-time restaurateurs Sahil Rahman and Rahul Vinod are charting their own course in the family business with quick-service Indian restaurant, Rasa. Status: Certified open. 1247 First Street SE; website.

POTOMAC—Budding local chain Gringos & Mariachis has opened a second Tex-Mex restaurant in the evolving Park Potomac complex. Status: Certified open. 12435 Park Potomac Avenue, Potomac, Md.; website.

December 3, 2017

MCLEAN—Former food trucker turned shopkeeper Gizem Salcigil White has opened Turkish Coffee Lady Cafe inside Tysons Corner Mall. The 26-set eatery features gourmet coffee, tea, and desserts. Status: Certified open. 1961 Chain Bridge Rd, Tysons, Va.; website.

December 1, 2017

ECKINGTON—Local producer Junius Coffee has installed a new coffee bar inside Yang Market. Expect cold brew on draft as well as drip and pour-over coffee service. Status: Certified open. 138 U Street NE; website.

ROCKVILLE—Family-run Live Crawfish & Seafood is now serving Cajun-spiced crawfish, snow crabs, king crabs, and lobster in Maryland. Status: Certified open. 765 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md.; website.

STERLING—After closing its first two shops a few years back, Naughty Girls Donut Shop is back with a new store and plans to expand nationwide. Status: Certified open. 23520 Overland Drive, Sterling, Va.; website.

November 30, 2017

BALTIMORE—Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has exported the steakhouse he created in Las Vegas to Charm City. Status: Certified open. 1525 Russell Street, Baltimore, Md.; website.

SHAW—Seylou Bakery, a whole grain bakery with the District’s first in-site mill, is now selling fresh baked breads to carb lovers. Status: Certified open. 926 N Street NW, Suite A; website.

November 29, 2017

BRIGHTWOOD PARK—A trio of Red Derby alums has refurbished and reopened long-neglected lounge Jackie Lee’s. The updated bar features classic cocktails, throwback video games, and smoked meats. Status: Certified open. 116 Kennedy Street NW; website.

November 27, 2017

DOWNTOWN—The powers that be behind Solly’s Tavern and the Pug have joined forces to bring straight up drinking den Union Trust to the area. The converted bank features draft cocktails, beer, and bubbly, but no food. Status: Certified open. 740 15th Street NW

November 26, 2017

BROOKLANDAll-Purpose alum Sebastian Zutant is now pouring wine he made out in rural Virginia at Primrose, the new bistro-style spot he’s opened in Brookland. Status: Certified open. 3000 12th Street NE; website.

November 21, 2017

CLARENDON—Game-oriented Dupont bar Board Room has expanded to Northern Virginia, opening a new outpost in Arlington that features a Champagne room and is expected to focus on brewing beer. Status: Certified open. 925 N. Garfield Street, Arlington, Va.; website.

November 20, 2017

ADAMS MORGANDuke’s Grocery alum and pop-up enthusiast Alex McCoy has translated an early hit into Lucky Buns, the brick-and-mortar burger- and cocktail-spot he’s opened in Adams Morgan. McCoy is joined in this latest venture by bar pros Fabian Malone and Jo-Jo Valenzuela. Status: Certified open. 2000 18th Street NW; website.

CAPITOL HILL—Mediterranean-themed Cava has opened a new location inside Union Station. The burgeoning chain plans to open additional stores throughout Northern Virginia in 2018. Status: Certified open. 50 Massachusetts Avenue NW; website.

DOWNTOWN—New York-based chain Gregorys Coffee has opened the first of at least four new stores in various stages of development around D.C. Status: Certified open. 1000 Vermont Avenue NW; website.

TENLEYTOWN—Super-sized sushi roll maker Buredo has opened its third store inside the District. The homegrown chain plans to open additional locations in the Atlas District and NoMa in the coming weeks. Status: Certified open. 4235 Wisconsin Avenue NW; website.

November 17, 2017

ALEXANDRIA—Neighborhood watering hole Union Street Public House is courting the spirits crowd with new whiskey bar, 1986. Status: Certified open. 121 S. Union Street, Alexandria, Va.; website.

SOUTHWESTEquinox founder Todd Gray has opened two quick-service eateries inside the newly christened Museum of the Bible, cafeteria-style Manna, and grab-and-go coffee shop Milk & Honey Cafe. Status: Certified open. 400 Fourth Street SW; website.

SOUTHWEST—Whiskey Charlie, the rooftop bar atop the Hilton-owned Canopy hotel, is now serving bar snacks and cocktails high above the Wharf. Status: Certified open. 975 Seventh Street SW; website.

November 15, 2017

MCLEAN—Hilton hotels unveiled its new food hall, the Social, inside its corporate headquarters. The embedded food stalls were directly inspired by local chains Taco Bamba, Sweetgreen, and Cava. Status: Certified open. 7930 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, Va.

November 13, 2017

RESTON—South African chain Nando’s Peri-Peri is now offering its brand of zesty grilled chicken, wings, and assorted wraps in a suburban complex already occupied by several quick-service competitors (Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, Potbelly, and Starbucks are all within walking distance). Status: Certified open. 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, Va.; website.

November 11, 2017

BETHESDA—Diet-conscious entrepreneur Jamie Mertz has opened a brick-and-mortar version of her gluten-free operation, Red Bandana Bakery. Status: Certified open. 8218 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Md.; website.

November 9, 2017

14TH STREET CORRIDOR—Restaurateurs Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts have completed the consolidation of their retail and hospitality endeavors, unveiling the newly unified Cork Wine Bar & Market. Status: Certified open. 1805 14th Street NW; website.

PETWORTH—Neighborhood eatery Cabana Grill has taken over the space formerly occupied by Epiphany BBQ. The new restaurant is also doing barbecue, focusing on brisket, short ribs, and lamb. Status: Certified open. 4128 Georgia Avenue NW; website.

SHAW—Career changer Stephen Lawrence has traded construction work for the hospitality trade, opening new wood-wrapped bar, 600t. The unassuming spot features custom furniture, a fireplace, and straightforward cocktails. Status: Certified open. 600 T Street NW.

November 7, 2017

ATLAS DISTRICT—Chef turned restaurateur Adam Stein brings video games and funky snacks to H Street NE with Bar Elena. The new bar, which replaces shuttered Boundary Road, is a prelude to Stein’s forthcoming entertainment complex, the Eleanor. Status: Certified open. 414 H Street NE; website.

SHAW—Restaurateurs Jonathan and Laura Nelms have added another source of hot, cheesy khachapuri to the District with the debut of their proudly Georgian eatery, Supra. The new restaurant features Eurasian food, imported wine, and custom art. Status: Certified open. 1205 11th Street NW; website.

November 6, 2017

BETHESDABethesda Row reports that local chain Shilla Bakery is now selling Korean sweets inside Westfield Montgomery Mall. Status: Certified open. 7101 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, Md.; website.

DOWNTOWN—Wisconsin-based Rare steakhouse has opened a fancy two-level restaurant right near the White House. Status: Certified open. 1595 Eye Street NW; website.

FOGGY BOTTOM—Award-winning restaurateur Ashok Bajaj has improved upon the Indian street food spot he developed in Cleveland Park, installing a bigger, brighter version closer to downtown. Status: Certified open. 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; website.

FOGGY BOTTOM—District-born Laoban Dumplings has temporarily taken up residence in the same mini-mall housing the new Bindaas. Status: Certified open. 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; website.

LOGAN CIRCLE—Hando Medo, a new sushi restaurant from local restaurateur Jin K. Oh, is now serving its brand of hand rolls in D.C. Status: Certified open. 1315 14th Street NW; website.

November 3, 2017

BETHESDA—Local restaurateur Mark Bucher has transformed failed diner Community into burger bar One Scotch, One Burger, One Beer. Status: Certified open. 7776 Norfolk Avenue, Bethesda, Md.; website.

November 2, 2017

16TH STREET HEIGHTS—Hospitality professionals from around the area have come together to birth Moreland’s Tavern, a neighborhood restaurant with local brews and kid-friendly fare. Status: Certified open. 5501 14th Street NW; website.

October 30, 2017

DUPONT CIRCLE—Local watering hole Sign of the Whale has recast itself as DC Tap House. The “new” restaurant features 24 draft beers, assorted cocktails, and familiar bar fare. Status: Certified open. 1825 M Street NW; website.

October 28, 2017

ADAMS MORGAN—Local chain Pitango has branched out with a combination gelateria/cafe serving frozen treats, draft wine, and gourmet sandwiches. Status: Certified open. 1841 Columbia Road NW; website.

October 27, 2017

NAVY YARDExpansion-minded eatery Cava has opened its latest location in bustling Navy Yard. Status: Certified open. 52 M Street SE; website.

October 26, 2017

SHAWSugar Shack Donuts and Coffee has unveiled its new speakeasy, Nocturne — a subterranean drinking den featuring cocktail flights, exotic brews, and boozy treats. Status: Certified open. 1932 Ninth Street NW; website.

SOUTHWEST—Restaurateur Mike Isabella has added modern French restaurant Requin to the hospitality scene still taking shape along the evolving waterfront. Status: Certified open. 100 District Square SW; website.

October 23, 2017

SOUTHWEST—Restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi moves from Italian food to Spanish cuisine with Del Mar at the Wharf. Featured menu items include jamon Iberico, tortilla Espanola, and paella. Status: Certified open. 791 Wharf Street SW; website.

SOUTHWEST—Restaurateur Jamie Leeds adds a waterfront location to her growing family of Hank’s Oyster Bar restaurants with her Wharf spot. Featured menu items include raw bar selections, seafood corn dogs, and specialty cocktails. Status: Certified open. 701 Wharf Street SW; website.

SOUTHWEST—Local sandwich chain Taylor Gourmet is now selling its seasonally inspired hoagies at the Wharf. Status: Certified open. 85 District Square; website.

October 20, 2017

SOUTHWESTTop Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi has switched gears from the prix fixe, progressive dining experience that never quite caught on at the short-lived Shaw Bijou, to family-style dining at his new Afro-Caribbean restaurant, Kith and Kin. Status: Certified open. 801 Wharf Street; website.

October 19, 2017

DUPONT CIRCLE—The new cafe inside locally focused Made in D.C. features two guest pop-up kitchens (dumpling maker Dorjee Momo and taco-happy Tortilladora), a slew of regional pours (beers from six local breweries, one homegrown cider, and a draft cocktail mixed up by a local distiller), and fresh java from a local roastery. Status: Certified open. 1333 19th Street NW; website.

MOSAIC DISTRICT—Sea Pearl founder Sly Liao has shifted from fine dining to street food with neighborhood cafe, Boba & Bites. The casual eatery plans to focus on bao buns, bubble teas, and snazzy desserts. Status: Certified open. 8191 Strawberry Lane #2, Falls Church, Va.; website.

October 18, 2017

CLARENDON—Restaurateurs Mike Cordero and Scott Parker have grown their portfolio of local watering holes with G.O.A.T (greatest of all time). The new sports bar features TVs everywhere, a private champagne room, and food ranging from bulgogi tacos to deep-fried Oreos a la mode. Status: Certified open. 3028 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.; website.

DOWNTOWN—Midwest chain Naf Naf Grill is now serving hummus, pita sandwiches, and BYO rice bowls in D.C. Status: Certified open. 1875 K Street NW; website.

October 16, 2017

ROCKVILLE—A new modern American restaurant — think: lobster-foie gras ravioli in corn foam, and honey-lavender duck breast with grilled goat cheese polenta — has joined Rockville Town Square. According to Bethesda Magazine, new arrival Pandora Seafood House & Bar is the brainchild of a pair of restaurateurs behind transitioning dim sum standby China Garden. Status: Certified open. 36A Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Md.; website.

October 13, 2017

SOUTHWEST—Northeast food truck Red Hook Lobster Pound has planted a dedicated sandwich stand inside the new Wharf complex. The standalone eatery sits opposite the Florentijn Wafelhuis booth (think: sweet and savory waffle creations) at the entrance to District Pier. Status: Certified open. 890 Water Street SW; website.

October 12, 2017

SOUTHWEST—Marquee music hall The Anthem boasts multiple bars expected to supply patrons with veggie chili dogs, gourmet grilled cheese, and dessert waffles, among other things. Oh yeah, and there’ll also be plenty of booze. Status: Certified open. 901 Wharf Street SW; website.

SOUTHWEST—Iconic brand Ben & Jerry’s is now scooping its one-of-a-kind ice cream flavors inside the Wharf. Status: Certified open. 705 Wharf Street SW; website.

SOUTHWEST—D.C. restaurateurs Ian and Eric Hilton have added waterfront pub The Brighton to their portfolio. Staff at the new Wharf restaurant tell Eater to expect wings, sliders, and pizza to start. Status: Certified open. 949 Wharf Street SW; website.

SOUTHWESTLocal chocolate maker Harper Macaw has opened a second shop inside the Wharf. Status: Certified open. 835 Water Street SW; website.

SOUTHWEST—Restaurateur Mark Kirwan expands his collection of Irish pubs — he also owns Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington, Virginia — with the debut of Kirwan’s on the Wharf. Status: Certified open. 749 Wharf Street SW; website.

SOUTHWEST—The owners of neighboring Cantina Marina embrace the live music scene with performance venue and self-styled diner, Pearl Street Warehouse. Status: Certified open. 33 Pearl Street SW; website.

SOUTHWEST—The New York City-born burger chain continues its march across D.C., adding a new outpost inside the Wharf. Status: Certified open. 975 Wharf Street SW; website.

October 9, 2017

DUPONT CIRCLE—Corporate beer haven City Tap House has opened its second location inside the District. Status: Certified open. 1250 Connecticut Avenue NW; website.

MOUNT PLEASANT—Each Peach Market spin-off Pear Plum Cafe has arrived. The neighborhood eatery plans to focus on coffee, beer, cocktails, wine, and seasonally inspired food. Status: Certified open. 3064 Mt. Pleasant Street NW; website.

October 8, 2017

SHAW—Urban garden Calico joins sibling establishment Tiger Fork in Blagden Alley. Status: Certified open. 50 Blagden Alley NW; website.

October 7, 2017

ROCKVILLE—New Japanese restaurant Akira Ramen & Izakaya is now serving noodle-laced soups, poke salad, and Asian-style fried chicken in the Maryland ‘burbs. Status: Certified open. 1800 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md.; website.

October 2, 2017

ALEXANDRIA—New York chef Philipos Mengistu has teamed with a local investor to open Makeda Ethiopian restaurant in Northern Virginia. The upscale African eatery features traditional injera bread, assorted meat and vegetarian dishes, and a full bar. Status: Certified open. 516 S. Van Dorn Street, Alexandria, Va.; website.

CHINATOWN—Nightlife impresario Ian Hilton has completed the hat trick of restaurant openings promised to the boutique Pod hotel with the debut of Crimson Whiskey Bar. The subterranean drinking den features fried snacks, gourmet burgers, and moonshine cocktails. Status: Certified open. 627 H Street NW; website.

DOWNTOWN—Restaurateurs the Roche brothers have planted Bold Bite Market in the Golden Triangle. The combination restaurant/retail operation serves fancy doughnuts, gourmet coffee, and specialty burgers, as well as grab-and-go offerings plucked from their other local eateries (Bold Bite; Tapabar). Status: Certified open. 1028 19th Street NW; website.

September 29, 2017

MOUNT VERNON SQUARE—New sports bar MVP is now serving wings, burgers, and vegetarian tacos in front of wall-to-wall TVs. Status: Certified open. 1015 Seventh Street NW; website.

September 26, 2017

14TH STREET CORRIDOR—Restaurateur Andy Shallal has replaced Southern-themed Mulebone with Ancient Rivers, a communal place celebrating Middle Eastern cuisine. The latest venture features chefs from North Africa and the surrounding area, as well as a juice bar. Status: Certified open. 2121 14th Street NW; website.

September 25, 2017

COLLEGE PARK—Restaurateur and Top Chef alum Mike Isabella has installed the second of his Greek-themed tavernas inside the new Hotel at the University of Maryland. The original Kapnos Taverna is located in Arlington, Va. Status: Certified open. 7777 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, Md.; website.

LOGAN CIRCLE—Nationwide chain Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams started dishing out its first scoops on Monday. It’s the first East Coast locale for the brand, which now has nine stores. Founder Jeni Britton Bauer, a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, will be on hand Thursday, October 5 for the grand opening event with free goodies. Status: Certified open. 1925 14th Street NW; website.

LOGAN CIRCLE—California-based noodle chain Jinya Ramen Bar has opened a new multi-story eatery focused on ramen, its first inside the District. Jinya put down roots in Northern Virginia (Mosaic District) last year. Status: Certified open. 1336 14th Street NW; website.

ROSSLYN—MYO meal chain Little Beet has opened its second area location — this one serving breakfast — in a commuter-packed corner of Arlington, Virginia. The New York-based eatery also operates a shop in Dupont Circle. Status: Certified open. 1800 N. Lynn Street, Arlington, Va.; website.

September 22, 2017

14TH STREET CORRIDORAward-winning chef turned restaurateur Ryan Ratino is putting his stamp on modern cuisine — think: intensive beef tastings, raw seafood dishes, and pasta dishes — at self-styled Bresca. He’s joined in this latest venture by fellow Ripple alum Jose Arguelles and Colada Shop co-founder Juan Coronado. Status: Certified open. 1906 14th Street NW; website.


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