A lobster roll chain from Annapolis that has spread up and down the East Coast has opened the first of two locations planned for D.C.
Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls opened a Dupont Circle store (1303 19th Street NW) for takeout and delivery yesterday. A 12-seat patio is also open in line with D.C.’s Phase 1 outdoor seating guidelines.
The chain’s second location in the District is set to arrive in September inside Foggy Bottom’s Western Market food hall (2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW).
“Classic” lobster rolls from Mason’s ($15) are served chilled and dressed in mayo and lemon butter. Lobster meat from Maine goes into other rolls, like a warm Connecticut-style option with butter, or a lobster BLT. A $20 Bar Harbor roll pulls meat, tail included, from a one-and-a-quarter-pound lobster. The crustacean also goes into mac and cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich. Accents include potato salad, cole slaw, Cape Cod chips, lobster bisque, or New England clam chowder.
An opening week combo deal includes a free side and drink (like a Maine Root Soda) or a cup of soup with any lobster roll purchase (through Monday, June 16).
Dupont Circle is the franchise’s 10th location to date. Locally, there’s one in Reston, Virginia, and another in National Harbor to go with the Annapolis flagship that opened in 2014. The brand also has stores in Charleston, South Carolina; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Fort Myers, Florida, with another one en route to Miami.
Its D.C. arrival marks instant competition for another prolific chain: Luke’s Lobster. Rolls full of lobster and crab start at $17 there. The coast-to-coast brand, which debuted in New York City’s East Village in 2009, closed all but one of its 26 U.S. locations by early April because of the pandemic, reports WSJ. Its comeback has been slow, with just a handful opening for takeout and delivery last month (including one in Penn Quarter).
Its Farragut West and Georgetown locales are still marked as “closed until further notice.” Bethesda comes back online Friday for takeout and delivery, according to its site.
Around Mason’s in Dupont, Bareburger recently shut down, and and Slapfish pulled out of the market before the pandemic struck.