In light of his recent bankruptcy filing, Philly restaurateur Jose Garces is setting aside plans to bring gourmet burger bar Village Whiskey to the District.
Louisiana-based Ballard Brands bought Garces’ entire portfolio of restaurants for $5 million; the Iron Chef alum had been seeking financial support for months to ease pressure from the shuttering of some profitable restaurants and mounting lawsuits. The James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef, who was involved with hotel steakhouse Rural Society until it closed last year, has been talking about building up a presence in D.C. for years. His two-part strategy included exporting Village Whiskey here and building a self-styled food hall near Union Market (1270 Fourth Street NE).
A spokeswoman for Garces tells Eater his priorities have now changed.
“I can share that the Village Whiskey project will not be moving forward though the team does hope to revisit bringing the concept to the area in the near future,” the aide says. “The food hall is still on track and we hope to have a more detailed update to share soon.”
Other Garces aides had previously floated opening dates of last fall for Village Whiskey D.C. and this summer for the aforementioned market.