Neighborhood Italian restaurant Rosario has closed, just a little over a year after opening in the heart of Adams Morgan.
“I have been holding out hope that the spring would provide the revenue turn we were hoping for, with the patio coming back online,” says Pint Size Hospitality Group founder John Andrade. “Now we are halfway through spring and it’s becoming abundantly clear that’s not going to happen.”
The last day of service (2435 18th Street NW) was on May 10.
Andrade’s working with an unnamed local partner to install a new Mexican eatery in the space and reopen it in the next two to three months. For now, he tells Eater he’s not looking to plant another Rosario elsewhere.
Over the weekend, the restaurant had to close to fix a mechanical issue in the kitchen, which “was a sign to pull the plug.” Those interested in staying on board with the restaurant group are being placed elsewhere until the new taqueria comes online. The family of restaurants includes Meridian Pint and Brookland Pint and casual barbecue restaurant Smoke & Barrel up the street.
Aesthetics at the taqueria will “mirror Mexican culture and geography,” he says, which means most of the current fixtures and furniture will be swapped out for more festive decor. This time around, Andrade says he’s installing a private dining room for around 20 customers in the back. He cites that lack of flexibility as part of the reason for Rosario’s short run. “I’d have constant requests for a 10, 20, or 40-person reservations I couldn’t accommodate,” he says.
Internal kitchen staff are “well versed” in Mexican cuisine, he notes, and existing chef Logan McGear will stay on board. Menu details are currently being ironed out; Andrade expects to serve enchiladas, burritos, tacos, and “a nice mix of Mexican favorites.”
The next project on the horizon is 2,400-square-foot beer bar Dominion Pint, which is heading to 6035 Wilson Boulevard in Dominion Hills. Andrade says his debut Virginia restaurant — which is right around the corner from his house and across the street from his daughter’s elementary school (he knows of lots of post-soccer game parents looking for a drink) — will feature 80 seats and lots of parking. Per Andrade, the architectural proposal for Dominion Pint will be going in front of Arlington’s planning and review board this week.
“With a little luck we will start swinging hammers in July and open in December or January,” he says.