Aussie coffee chain Bluestone Lane continues to blanket the D.C. area with its “avocado smash” toasts and flat whites, having just added a sixth area cafe in the heart of Scott Circle last week.
The global brand’s latest D.C. location opened Thursday, May 30, at the foot of the Darcy hotel (1515 Rhode Island Avenue NW). The tiny space was formerly occupied by Lil’B, the Southern cafe from chef and TV personality David Guas that went dark in February.
This summer, Bluestone Lane will debut its largest area cafe to date (2,270 square feet) nearby at the base of the mixed-used Liz complex coming together at the site of the old Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center on 14th Street NW.
Remembrances of its former life as Lil’B — which included a D.C.-themed mural and odes to Guas’s native Louisiana — were wiped away to make way for Bluestone’s iconic teal-colored tiles, desert plant life, and Aussie beach scenes.
Guas told Eater earlier this year he parted ways with the hotel following its change in ownership, with plans to open a cafe elsewhere in the city within the year. Darcy also lost its Michelin-starred restaurant Siren in December for similar reasons, and the seafood spot’s search for a new home is in full swing.
The hotel, which debuted as D.C.’s first and only piece in Hilton Worldwide Inc.’s Curio Collection, was sold late last year to private real estate investment group Northwood Investors.
Siren’s space is now filled by an in-house hotel restaurant, dubbed The Darcy, that kept a raw bar option alive, alongside Impossible burgers and Asian menu twists (ramen and miso-glazed black cod).
Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s seafood-centric spot likely won’t reopen elsewhere until early 2020, its team tells Eater, adding the to-be-announced location will stay put in the Northwest quadrant of the city.
Wiedmaier is aware its year-long temporary closure means Siren likely won’t retain its Michelin star for D.C.’s 2020 guide, which is announced in the fall.
“As of now it looks that way, we keep getting new offers but the dates are farther out,” Polly Wiedmaier, RW Restaurant Group’s chief marketing officer, told Eater last month.
Michelin did not respond to a request for comment regarding Siren’s eligibility for the upcoming guide.
D.C. currently is home to 16 Michelin-starred restaurants, with the Inn at Little Washington being the only one holding the highest three-star rating.
Both Siren and Ryan Ratino’s “bistronomie” focused Bresca joined the coveted list last year, with one star for each — categorized by Michelin as “high quality cooking, worth a stop.”
Bluestone Lane entered the D.C. market in January 2018 with a West End cafe. The budding company, which roasts its beans in Brooklyn, also has outposts downtown and in Dupont Circle, Georgetown, and Navy Yard.