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Penn Quarter Gets a New Mediterranean-Themed Rooftop Bar Next Week

Plus, Oyamel returns to D.C.’s dining scene on Wednesday, August 5

Rooftop at Riggs will open Thursday, August 13, with summery cocktails and European bites.
Riggs Hotel/official photo

Penn Quarter’s Riggs hotel, the grandiose property in a historic bank building that was recently renovated by an international group that manages high-end properties in London and Amsterdam, is introducing its rooftop bar on Thursday, August 13. The 12th-story venue will have a Mediterranean theme that includes specialty cocktails, aperitifs, and a food menu tied to the brasserie in the lobby.

Rooftop at Riggs will offer limited indoor and outdoor seating from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, with service running from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Cafe Riggs, which was open for a little over a month when the COVID-19 crisis shut it down, reopened for indoor and outdoor dining in mid-July. Chef Patrick Curran, an Eater Young Gun (‘16) and Momofuku CCDC alum, introduced a classic European-style cafe menu that brought on lots of vegetable-based dishes to accompany the lobster tartine and steak frites. The hotel accepts its first guests since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday, August 11. Its basement cocktail bar, highly anticipated Silver Lyan, remains closed for now.

In other news...

  • Oyamel, the José Andrés Mexican restaurant famous for “salt air” margaritas and grasshopper tacos, reopens Wednesday, August 5, for dinner only (takeout included). Hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with seating on its extended patio and inside its butterfly-adorned dining area.
  • In attempt to ride out the pandemic, Adams Morgan’s pasta place Red, White, and Basil just announced plans to take a three-month hiatus. “As you know, covid-19 has taken a toll on DC’s restaurant landscape ... unfortunately, we find it necessary to pause our operation for the next 90 days, so we can reassess where things stand,” according to a message from the owners posted by Popville. Its nearby sister restaurant Duplex Diner remains open. [P]
  • The Wharf development on the Southwest Waterfront starts hosting outdoor movie screenings this week with the debut of Sunset Cinema, which will run every Thursday through the summer. Pacifico is sponsoring the event, which is 21-and-up only. Every $10 reservation comes with a Pacifico beer and a bag of popcorn and applies to a $20 minimum. Menu items include drinks and snacks from Cantina Bambina, sandwiches from Grazie Grazie, and pizzas from Union Pie and Lupo Marino. Movie goers grab take a seat at cabanas or tables on Transit Pier, with flicks aired on a big screen on the floating stage at 8 p.m. The first feature on Thursday, August 6, is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
  • Dupont Circle’s historic Heurich House Museum just decided to make its sporadic “1921” happy hour a regular event out back. Happy hour in the garden (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) will now run every Thursday until further notice. There are just two canned options: Senate Beer and Heurich’s Liberty Apple Cider, a new collaboration with D.C. cidery ANXO that revives D.C. brewer Christian Heurich’s fermented apple drink, first sold in 1920. Outside food is permitted.
  • Fast-casual Island Fin Poke will bring its Hawaiian-style raw fish bowls to Falls Church this fall (7501 Leesburg Pike). The coast-to-coast chain, which recently made its DMV debut in Bowie, Maryland, was co-founded by restaurant industry veteran Mark Setterington.
Build-your-own bowls include eight proteins and over 25 toppings to choose from.
Island Fin Poke/official photo
  • D.C.-based Matchbox Restaurant Group just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, sparking a sale of the wood-fired pizza chain to Thompson Hospitality Corp., reports WTOP. The Reston, Virginia-based restaurant group (American Tap Room, Hen Quarter), assumed a controlling stake in Matchbox via an $11 million investment in 2018. Matchbox maintains 10 D.C.-area locations, along with a presence in Sunrise, Florida, and Dallas, Texas. “Restructuring will allow us to right-size our balance sheet and position the business for growth going forward,” said Edwin Sheridan IV, a member of the Matchbox Food Group board of directors, tells WTOP. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry has been swift and damaging.” [WTOP]

Riggs Washington DC

900 F St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004 (202) 638-1800 Visit Website

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