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A Modern Tequila Bar Will Open Underneath a D.C. Strip Club Next Year

The owner of Masa 14 and El Centro D.F. is moving into Mt. Vernon Triangle

“Coming soon” signage for Richard Sandoval’s newest D.C. project at 476 K Street NW.
Sherri Borman/official photo
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Richard Sandoval, the prolific restaurateur behind Mexican-themed El Centro D.F., Toro Toro, and soon-to-close Masa 14, is opening a restaurant underneath a strip club in Mount Vernon Triangle that will speak to his obsession with tequila.

Sandoval is teaming up with prominent Mexican chef Pablo Salas on Tequilaria (476 K Street NW). Salas runs Amaranta, a Toluca, Mexico, spot that was named one of Latin America’s 50 best restaurants in 2018.

Owners of the 7,000-square-foot corner space on K Street have been trying to woo a restaurant tenant for about a year. It sits directly below Cloakroom, a renovated strip club that reopened last summer with a two-night performance from porn star (and Trump nemesis) Stormy Daniels.

Tequilaria is shooting for a mid-2020 opening date, according to Sandoval’s director of marketing. The new venture will be a “modern Mexican concept with an on-site tequila lounge.” Recently installed “coming soon” signage also teases a wood-burning kitchen inside.

Sandoval grew up in Mexico City and opened his flagship modern Mexican restaurant, Maya, in Manhattan in 1997. His restaurant group currently claims some 45 businesses. Most of them are sprinkled across the East Coast and the Southwest, but the chef’s reach extends into Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Costa Rica, Japan, Qatar, and Serbia, too.

His Latin-Asian restaurant Masa 14, known for its bottomless brunch and once-trendy rooftop, is expected to close this month after a decade on 14th Street NW.