Diners will have to wait longer than anticipated for Oyamel alum Christian Irabien’s first restaurant to arrive in D.C.
The native of Mexico tells Eater he recently decided to squash plans to open Amparo in a tiny subterranean location at 3110 Mount Pleasant Street NW. This spring he told Eater about his vision for the 35-seat spot, which he had hoped to open by this winter.
“We love Mount Pleasant so much, but as we have evolved and our concept continues to develop, unfortunately the space doesn’t look like it will work out to meet our needs,” he tells Eater.
The search is on for a different location, and he says he’s “in talks” with a couple of spaces in different neighborhoods. Amapro’s modern menu will still focus on the coastal regions of Mexico, with lots of seafood, produce, and mezcal in the mix. While Amparo will be his first solo project, Irabien helped opened a large and stylish Mexican restaurant in Oakland called Calavera in 2015.
Diners can taste test Amparo’s future offerings at its next pop-up at District Space in Brookland, slated to run for nearly two months from Wednesday, August 8 to Sunday, September 30. Other shorter-term Amparo pop-ups this year have featured fare like hand-made noodles with wild mushrooms and corn truffle.
As of now, there’s no replacement tenant in mind for 3110 Mount Pleasant.
“I’ve been approached by someone, but nowhere close to anything formal,” landlord Jason Hamacher tells Eater.
The building has seen some action as of late, with the arrival of Mount Desert Island Ice Cream on July 1. President Obama put the small-batch shop on the map when he stopped by for a scoop of toasted coconut at its Bar Harbor location in 2010. The ice cream team tells Eater a photograph of the presidential moment will hang in the Mount Pleasant location soon.