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Some historic details from Old Glory remain in place at America Eats Tavern, like the ornate wood detailing behind the downstairs bar and the exposed brick walls.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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José Andrés’ Newest America Eats Tavern Arrives Just in Time For Summer

The patriotic-themed eatery takes over Old Glory’s former space with smoked meats, raw seafood, and plenty of spirits

Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Restaurateur and humanitarian of the year José Andrés’ latest version of America Eats Tavern — the chef’s tribute to the evolution of American cooking — begins serving cherry wood-smoked barbecue and more on Monday, June 4 in the former Old Glory space.

Thinkfoodgroup’s newest restaurant (3139 M Street NW) is focused on grilled fare, raw seafood, wines, cheeses, beers, and other ingredients plucked from the Mid-Atlantic region. It’s the third home for America Eats Tavern which originated as a pop-up in conjunction with the National Archives inside the former Cafe Atlantico space back in 2011. It later migrated to the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner.

A redesign of recently shuttered Old Glory from Saint Studio for Architecture and Interiors polishes up the 26-year-old restaurant via shiny bronze bar tables, modern lighting fixtures, brown leather seating, and bright geometric tiling. The 193-seat, two-story establishment makes good use of Old Glory’s downstairs bar and the one on its back patio: Spirits sourced from all 50 states will make up the liquor menu including whiskey from Alaska and rum from Hawaii. Even some seafood gets spiked with a bit of booze (the oysters “Rickey” order is inspired by the D.C. gin cocktail).

Old Glory’s ownership group Capitol Restaurant Concepts (J. Paul’s, Paolo’s Ristorante) is staying on board as a partner in the project. Keeping barbecue in the mix was key, which is new territory for Thinkfoodgroup. Whole cherry wood logs, cut 120 miles away, fuel a wood-burning oven installed inside the entirely renovated kitchen. Barbecue selections include beef brisket (available by the half-pound) sourced from Creekstone Farms, Kansas, pulled pork, half-chickens, and pork spare ribs (either half or full racks) from Prairie Farms, Illinois. Grilled whole trout, brought in from Virginia, is marinated in a green goddess dressing and also gets the wood-burning treatment.

“We are experimenting with charred and smoky flavors,” says chef Claudio Foschi, a Cityzen alum who’s worked at Michelin-starred Minibar and Zaytinya for the past four years. In its former lives, America Eats Tavern has served Andrés’ take on dishes such as Virginia ham and New England clam chowder. Historic recipes include an early 19th century vermicelli mac and cheese, as well as gazpacho from American author Mary Randolph.

The updated eatery is starting with dinner service; lunch joins the rotation next week, followed by brunch service the week after.

Status: Scheduled to open at 4 p.m. 3139 M Street NW; website.

Scroll down to look inside the new space and get a sense of the action during a preview dinner on June 1:

Inside America Eats Tavern
A mural by Michael Pacheco of Muve LLC, stretches across a wall at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The reimagined America Eats Tavern integrates modern lighting fixtures and new floor tiling.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The lively upstairs dining room at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Old Glory’s original rooftop bar — a rare perk for Georgetown — got a colorful backsplash, new furniture, and bull skulls that act as wall art.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The fully renovated patio at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Waiters at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown sport jeans and blue plaid shirts.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

A shrimp and grapefruit appetizer at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown is inspired by Irma Rombauer’s recipe in The Joy of Cooking (1931).
Greg Powers/Greg Powers

The rolling dairy cart at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown will feature a rotating selection of cheeses sourced from local farms.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Smoked St. Louis-style ribs at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown come with rye bread, pickles, and house barbecue sauce.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Smoked brisket at the new American Eats Tavern in Georgetown comes with grilled rye bread, pickled shallots, and fresh herb sauce.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Smoked, grilled, and glazed half-chicken with house barbecue sauce at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Sides at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown include cheese grits, fried okra, Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries and pecans, and a twice-baked potato.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Assorted desserts at the new America Eats Tavern in Georgetown.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Customers toasting during a meal at the new American Eats Tavern in Georgetown.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

America Eats Tavern

3139 M Street NW, Washington, DC, DC 20007
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