Nearly a year after unveiling a new menu and design at Del Campo, chef Victor Albisu is tabling his five-year-old South American grill in Penn Quarter and sliding in dual Mexican eateries there instead.
The restaurant (777 I Street NW) will sell its last steak on Saturday, March 24 and get a quick renovation by Swatchroom before reopening this spring as a new location of his fast-casual Taco Bamba and Poca Madre, Albisu’s first crack at high-end Mexican fare with langoustine veracruzana, roast duck pibil, and sablefish al pastor slated to be served.
The plan is to place Del Campo elsewhere, and Albisu is currently on the prowl for a new location in D.C.
The success of Taco Bamba’s existing lunch counter on site got Albisu thinking a switch to Mexican was the way to go. A new double door vestibule will separate the two spaces; Taco Bamba, projected to debut first on Monday, April 2, will feature a bar and more tacos than its other spots. Poca Madre — which is slang for “really cool” — will open later this spring for dinner service, seating 70 with a color scheme of green, black, and bronze, and a plant-filled patio.
The James Beard Foundation Award nominee operates several other Taco Bamba locations in Northern Virginia. D.C. recently got a fancy Mexican addition when Mi Vida joined the Wharf.