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A Posh New Hotel in Penn Quarter Will Have an All-Day Cafe Led By a Momofuku Alum

Eater Young Gun Patrick Curran (‘16) will cook at the Riggs Washington DC

Rendering of Café Riggs
Café Riggs will open in early 2020 inside Lore Group’s new Riggs Washington DC hotel.
Lore Group/official photo

An international hotel group putting its first U.S. property in D.C. is opening a modern, European-style cafe and restaurant inside a historic bank building in Penn Quarter.

Café Riggs is expected to open inside the Riggs Washington DC at the corner of 9th and F Streets NW in early 2020. The ownership group has tabbed Patrick Curran, who was named an Eater Young Gun (‘16) after opening Momofuku CCDC as executive chef in 2015, to lead the kitchen. An announcement for the all-day stop says it will be “inspired by the grand brasseries of Europe.” The 80-seat, lobby-level setup will include a 14-seat bar and two private dining rooms.

Headshot of Patrick Curran
Café Riggs executive chef Patrick Curran
Lore Group/official photo

By day, the bright and open lounge area at Café Riggs (900 F Street NW) will serve pastries, juices, smoothies and chia and acai bowls, as well as coffee from Small Planes Roastery, the respected homegrown brand that can be found at places like Maketto. By night, the space will transform into a “dynamic wine bar.” The dual day-to-night setup is similar to the one of newly Michelin-starred Little Pearl on Capitol Hill.

Recently, Curran has cooked Oaxaca-style food as an executive sous chef at Espita in Shaw and homey Italian fare as executive chef at Michael Schlow’s Casolare in Glover Park. Menu details for Café Riggs are slim, but Curran is will focus on tweaking “familiar and comforting” dishes by working with sustainable ingredients. The Rochester, New York, native and Culinary Institute of America graduate kicked off his career as a line cook for David Chang’s New York-based Momofuku group in 2010. He rose the ranks to chef de cuisine, making Momofuku’s vegetarian hozon ramen famous.

Rendering of the exterior of Riggs Washington DC
The illuminated exterior of Riggs Washington DC.
Lore Group/official photo

At Riggs, Curran will oversee culinary operations for the entire hotel, including Cafe Riggs and the highly anticipated Silver Lyan cocktail bar. The underground venue was announced Friday by Food & Wine magazine.

Ryan Chetiyawardana, the London-based cocktail maven who presided over Dandelyan, the No. 1 ranked venue on the the World’s 50 Best Bars list from 2018, announced earlier this year he’d plant his first permanent cocktail bar in the U.S. somewhere in D.C. At that point, he’d already announced that Dandelyan was closing in Lore’s London hotel.

Chetiyawardana — known as Mr. Lyan — did a two-day pop-up last year at D.C.’s The Gibson.

Lore Group’s in-house designer Jacu Strauss plans to sprinkle custom furniture pieces, artwork, and mirrors across Riggs. The building’s historic bones — Corinthian columns, expansive ceilings, and stonework — will remain in place. Soft blue, grey moire, and plum red tones will join the space’s existing regal green, pale peach stone, and plaster finishes.

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