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The Salt Line Is Opening a Second Location in Ballston

The Navy Yard seafood restaurant will anchor a mega mixed-use project next year

Salt Line DC seafood
The Salt Line’s seafood spread.
Greg Powers/Greg Powers Photography
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Navy Yard’s raw bar and oyster destination The Salt Line will expand to Ballston in spring 2020, the casual seafood restaurant announced today.

The Salt Line, from chef Kyle Bailey and Long Shot Hospitality (The Dubliner, Town Hall), will become the ground floor anchor tenant at 4040 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia.

The building — slated to be the tallest in the neighborhood — is part of a blocks-long project called Liberty Center, being co-developed by The Shooshan Company and Brandywine Realty Trust.

Like its D.C. location next to Nationals Park (79 Potomac Avenue SE), the new spot across the river will feature an open-air plaza with seating for the same number of customers (100 inside and 100 outside).

The New England-themed eatery is engaging its same Navy Yard designers, Grizform Design Architects, to craft a similar look complete with blue-and-white window arches, retro-brass lighting fixtures, and nautical antiques sourced from coastal Maine.

Bailey, an alum of Birch & Barley and Sixth Engine, is the first local member of sustainable fishing cooperative Dock to Dish, a program designed to connect eco-minded chefs with local fisherman. Catch of the day specials at Salt Line, which debuted on the banks of the Anacostia River in summer 2017, feature often underutilized species of fish purchased from purveyors in the Chesapeake Bay region, while New England dining is represented by the likes of lobster rolls and clam chowder.

Its future Ballston neighborhood is getting ready to welcome a surge of millennial-targeted restaurant arrivals, thanks to Forest City Realty Trust’s $330 million transformation of Ballston Common mall into Ballston Quarter. Denver-based “eatertainment” brand Punch Bowl Social opened its first location on the East Coast there last month.