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The Wharf’s Officina Unveils Its Anticipated Opening Date

Nicholas Stefanelli’s gigantic Italian market, restaurant, and rooftop bar is all slated to arrive very soon

The menus for Officina’s second-floor restaurant.
Officina/official photo

Officina, the tri-level culinary playground restaurateur Nicholas Stefanelli is building at the Wharf, just gave itself a hard deadline: to be fully up and running by Saturday, October 13.

The owner of Michelin-starred Masseria will likely quietly roll out Officina’s Italian shopping hub and cafe on the bottom floor the week leading up to the opening date, which is when all three levels plan to debut (1120 Maine Avenue SW).

The bottom floor, boasting soaring exposed ceilings, aims to replicate a modern market in current-day Italy; an adjoining cafe will transform into a bar of sorts as the day progresses, with alcohol served until midnight daily. The cavernous space will also house a 12-seat amaro library — dubbed The Salotto — a second-story Italian restaurant with 150 seats, and above that, a year-round rooftop bar and scene-y lounge (Terraza). Reservations will likely go live on Resy next week, the team tells Eater.

D.C. architecture firm Grupo-7 (behind Atlas District’s colorful Fare Well and Dolcezza City Center) integrated lots of blue tiling, wood accents, soft lighting, and black-and-white flooring across the space. Stay tuned for an exclusive peek inside next week.

Here’s a summary of Officina’s moving parts, along with finalized hours for each:

Mercato: Stocked with to-go items like freshly-baked breads, imported cheeses, dried pasta, and anchovies. And, of course, lots of Italian wines. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Cafe: The cavernous first-floor space will also house an all-day cafe, slinging pastries and egg sandwiches, with all-day Italian street food fare entering the mix as the day progresses. Think: Roman-style pizzas, gourmet sandwiches, cakes, and a gelato bar. An in-house butcher will provide an array of meats. 7 a.m. to midnight daily

Trattoria: Stefanelli’s a la carte restaurant — a diversion from Masseria’s prix fixe menu mantra — will focus on casual Southern Italian fare. The 90-seat main dining room will be flanked by a 44-seat outdoor patio and 12-seat private dining room overlooking the water. Monday to Thursday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The Salotto: D.C.’s only Amaro Library will house a long list of vintage herbal liqueurs — some dating back to the 1930s — and contemporary varieties sourced from around the globe, with 12 bar seats. Monday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Terraza: Inspired by the terraces of Rome and aperitivo culture, the year-round al fresco rooftop — with 70 seats and 10 bar stools — will feature a lineup of elevated bar bites, cheese and charcuterie boards, and seasonal cocktails. There’s also an adjacent 64-seat private events space with prime waterfront views. (Private events are, overall, a big part of Officina’s business model — and the whole venue can be bought out for 500 guests.) Monday to Thursday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Eater is waiting on the updated ETA for another three-story mecca landing on the Wharf: mixologist Todd Thrasher’s highly anticipated Potomac Distilling Company, featuring a distillery and Polynesian-style neighborhood tavern, Tiki TNT. For now, he’s previewing his tiki drinks at U Street’s Archipelago, with the next pop-up scheduled for Monday, October 1.

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