Jamie Leeds, the Mid-Atlantic seafood maven behind the D.C. area group of Hank’s restaurants, announced plans today to reboot her company’s sole Italian venue by giving it a new name and bringing in a new chef to oversee pizza production and shared plates.
Hank’s Pasta Bar, which closed for renovations last month in Old Town Alexandria, is expected to reopen as Hank & Mitzi’s Italian Kitchen by the spring of 2020. Leeds named Will Artley, an alum of Evening Star Café and Pizzeria Orso who was most recently cooking at short-lived English restaurant Scotts in Penn Quarter, as executive chef. Artley, who has competed on Chopped, also has D.C. dining experience cooking at the White House and Grist Mill Restaurant.
Hank & Mitzi’s (600 Montgomery Street) will also eventually sport a new 80-seat rooftop patio. Some hit dishes from Hank’s Pasta Bar will make a comeback.
Named after Leeds’s parents, Hank & Mitzi’s will be her first place that brings on a chef from outside her group, and the first that serves pizza. Leeds opened the first Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle in 2005. D.C. responded to her raw bar specialities and lobster rolls. She’s since opened three more locations and a Hank’s Cocktail Bar, which moved from Petworth to Dupont earlier this year.
Hank & Mitzi’s will preview some of Artley’s dishes at Art League’s Art On Tap event on Friday. It’s possible he could add his famed “BLT” gnocchi to Hank’s rotation.
Artley, a new dad, told Eater when Scotts closed that he’d prioritize stability for his next gig.
”I just want to make sure my next spot is somewhere I can put my roots in and settle,” he said at the time.
- Penn Quarter’s British-Inspired Scotts Restaurant and Bar Closes [EDC]
- Chef Will Artley Is Making His D.C. Comeback at Penn Quarter’s Splashy Scotts Restaurant [EDC]
- Inside Penn Quarter’s Cozy Newcomer, Scotts Restaurant and Bar [EDC]
- Hank’s Pasta Bar Is Closing in Alexandria for a Months-Long Revamp [W]