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Imported Spanish goods on display, an open kitchen counter, and sleek booths sit in the back of Boqueria.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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Inside the New Boqueria, an Abstract Spanish Stunner With Glowing Banquettes

The New York brand’s second D.C. location opens tonight in Penn Quarter

D.C.’s second Boqueria brings Penn Quarter a taste of Barcelona’s modern tapas scene with lots of swaying palms, Ibérico ham carved at the entrance, and abstract artwork.

The 164-seat restaurant opens for dinner tonight in Penn Quarter (777 Ninth Street NW). It will serve executive chef Marc Vidal’s best sellers — think seafood paella, patatas bravas, and boquerones — alongside a lineup of dishes exclusive to D.C.

Boqueria, which has four locations in New York, was founded by Georgetown graduate Yann de Rochefort. Displays of Spanish bottled vinegars and vegetables and a glossy red meat slicer welcome guests to the thick marbled 24-seat bar — the brand’s biggest yet — which will serve Shishito margaritas, exclusively Spanish wine, and lots of sherries and sangrias. A nearby temperature-controlled wine locker sports a curved retro design, with a lacquered burgundy finish that picks up Boqueria’s logo.

D.C.’s debut Boqueria — and its first outside of New York City — opened in Dupont Circle in 2012.

For its second District location, potted plant life from D.C.’s Little Leaf by Salt and Sundry lives everywhere to create an overgrown Mediterranean vibe. There’s also a hand-selected piece from late Chicago painter John Almquist, a big name in the Mid-century modern world. Dramatic lighting fixtures such as dangling Edison bulbs and oversized oval lanterns also sport an abstract look.

The airy floor plan, complete with 12-foot ceilings, includes a variety of seating styles.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Diverse seating options across the sleek setup include semi-private booths near the cooking action, with partitions comprised of vertical metal rods. Striking terrazzo flooring lines the entry vestibule and bathrooms. In-demand D.C. interiors firm Studio 3877 (The Smith and Succotash) also designed the white oak-clad private dining room with an 18-seat custom dining table and a flat screen TV for conferencing capabilities.

A grand opening is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, and lunch will join the mix on Thursday, March 14. Happy hour (3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily) will come online later this month, adding clams with garlic and parsley sauce and head-on shrimp cooked in sea salt into the rotation for the first time.

Scroll on for a look inside D.C.’s new Boqueria:

There’s high bar-style seating in the cocktail area and main dining room, as well as low seating at window-side tables and six-person booths.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
The dining room is framed with glowing, oak-trimmed tufted banquettes and oversized lanterns also found at other Boqeria locations.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Boqueria’s four-sided bar features an illuminated spirits selection, with reclaimed factory lighting fixtures hovering above. A red Italian Faema espresso machine uses La Colombe products.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
French doors will open up to a bistro sidewalk cafe, which will seat 22 when warmer weather arrives.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
An elevated dining area in the back is anchored by a 12-seat open kitchen counter.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Boqueria Penn Quarter

777 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

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