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D.C.’s Trump International Hotel Stripped of Trump Name

Plus, Santa Rosa Taqueria will return, Shouk is expanding, the birria trend is forever, and more D.C. dining intel

DC Prepares For Presidential Inauguration
Trump International Hotel has sold its lease for $375 million
Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage

Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of D.C. food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

The Trump International Hotel will get a new “identity” as a Waldorf Astoria without the Trump name attached to it. Though the federal government owns the coveted property, Miami-based investment firm CGI Merchant Group signed a contract to take over the hotel’s lease for a reported $375 million. [WSJ]

The hotel’s Michelin-rated omakase gem Sushi Nakazawa won’t be affected by the sale, reports Washingtonian. The pub also bids adieu to the hotel with memories of wild times past, like the seven-step, four-photo illustration doc the hotel used to train its workers on pouring a Diet Coke for former President Donald Trump. [Washingtonian]

Shouk and Good Food Market make important expansions

Plant-based street food hub Shouk’s world-saving mission is taking root in Maryland with two new locations in Rockville’s Montrose Shopping Center (5568 Randolph Road) and in Bethesda’s Westwood Shopping Center (5436 Westbard Avenue), effectively doubling the casual eatery’s number of outlets. Shouk Rockville will open Tuesday, November 16, 2021. Shouk Bethesda is planning to open at the beginning of 2022. Shouk already has two locations in D.C. [Eaterwire]

Good Food Market and Cafe (4001 S Capitol Street SW) cuts the ribbon on its new Bellevue location this Saturday, giving the underserved Ward 8 neighborhoods more access to fresh food. While Ward 8 has approximately 80,000 residents, the Giant has been the only full-service grocery store until now. [DCist]

three tacos with flour tortillas, fried filling, slaw, and lime wedges on a wooden table
Tacos from Santa Rosa Taqueria
Santa Rosa/Facebook

Spike Mendelsohn plots a Santa Rosa Taqueria revival

Spike Mendelsohn and family’s Santa Rosa Taqueria is returning to a new location at 301 Pennsylvania Avenue just a few doors down from the original at 315 Pennsylvania Avenue, where the pandemic forced it to shutter in late February. The new location, opening in the 2022, was previously a Pret-A-Manger. [EaterWire]

A much-loved Southern Italian eatery is actually not closed permanently

A year and a half after a near-fatal battle with Covid-19 and 40 days on a ventilator, owner Jimmy Khan will reopen his perennial favorite Pines of Florence in Arlington’s Cherrydale neighborhood on Saturday, November 20. The new rendition of the Southern Italian eatery takes over the former Portobellos spot (2109 North Pollard Street, Arlington), which closed at the end of September after nearly 20 years in business. Khan sees the new Pines of Florence as an investment in the next generation of his family. []

Why settle for a cafe when you can have a cafe in a flower shop or bookstore?

Restaurant and flower shop mash-up Poppyseed Rye (818 North Quincy Street) opens its doors in Ballston this Friday. It’s finally possible to get a lovely bouquet and a lovely sandwich, fresh-pressed juice, or glass of Champagne at the same time. []

Meanwhile, 45-year old Dupont Circle bookstore, restaurant, and bar Kramer’s is expanding to a larger space next to the original by the end of the month. A new menu will include more natural and small producer wine labels, craft beers on tap, cocktails, and bites from Kramer’s James Beard award-winning chef. [EaterWire]


“Please Don’t Do Coke in the Bathroom” signs are spreading in the D.C. with variations in cross stitch and neon. [Washingtonian]

The saucy, meaty birria trend is also taking root in the D.C. area and the Washington Post says it’s here to stay. [Washington Post]

red, strawberry-flavored popcorn in a clear bag held by a hand with long pink fingernals
Strawberry pound flavored gourmet popcorn from The Popcorn Bag DC
The Popcorn Bag DC

Chicken and waffles popcorn arrives in Tysons Corner

The Popcorn Bag DC, gourmet popcorn shop and Dreamstart competition winner, pops open at Tysons Corner Friday, November 19 with popcorn flavors like chicken and waffles, key lime pie, and Buffalo ranch. The black-owned popcorn shop will also sell milkshakes, cheesecakes, and bundt cakes. It’s the final DreamStart competition winner to open after contestants competed against each other “Shark Tank-style” to win a package worth over $100,000 as an incubator and launchpad for their brand. [EaterWire]

Good Food Markets

2006 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20018 (202) 248-8494

Santa Rosa Taqueria

315 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003 202-450-4800 Visit Website


40 Drumcondra Road Lower, , D (01) 532 2114 Visit Website

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

1517 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, , DC 20036 (202) 387-1400 Visit Website

Poppyseed Rye

818 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, va 22203 Visit Website

Pines of Florence

2109 North Pollard Street, Arlington, VA 22204