Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of D.C. food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls will import its beloved Maine lobster rolls to Arlington in early 2022 with a new outpost at the Village at Shirlington (4017 Campbell Avenue). The flagship opened in Annapolis in 2014, and the fast-casual franchise now has 18 locations scattered across Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, D.C., and Texas. The cafe serves lobster meat sustainably sourced from Maine on a grilled, buttery split-top roll; lobster mac and cheese; creamy lobster bisque; and New England clam chowder. Rolls come in several varieties, like a Connecticut option tossed in butter and served warm. The booming Shirlington complex will welcome Astro Beer Hall next summer. [EaterWire]
Good Company Doughnuts is heading to Waterfront Station II, an incoming mixed-use development near The Wharf in Southwest D.C. The all-day cafe with a menu that covers everything from doughnuts and Intelligentsia coffee to tacos and meatballs will debut at the foot of a 449-unit apartment building in winter 2023. [EaterWire]
Sala Thai, the decades-old area fixture with two locales in Northeast and another in Bethesda, will bring its curries and spring rolls to Southeast. A new 120-seat location is en route to 1901 C Street SE, per an ABRA filing. [EaterWire]
The iconic Adams Morgan space that housed Songbyrd (2477 18th Street NW) is slated to become Hotbed comedy club and bar in 2022. Songbyrd relocated its live music venue and vinyl store to Union Market this year. Hotbed is an offshoot of the underground comedy club that enjoyed a seven-year run out of Dupont’s now-shuttered Big Hunt. [PoPville]
New spots to try
Beach-y Latin street food chain Bartaco quietly opened its inaugural D.C. location in Mount Vernon Triangle last week, with a menu filled with glazed pork belly tacos, street corn, and chips and guac (1025 5th Street NW). [EaterWire]
Jamerica is unleashing Jamaican jerk chicken and goat curry in the Woodbridge neighborhood (2125 Rhode Island Avenue NE). The menu is still being finalized and the bar isn’t serving yet, but “soft” opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. [Brookland Bridge]
Irish restaurant and bar Hunter’s Hound opened in Chevy Chase last weekend, bringing the Wisconsin Avenue corridor fish and chips, sticky toffee pudding, and other British pub classics (5471 Wisconsin Avenue). Opening hours are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Walk-ins only. The restaurant plans to expand hours and add reservations in the next month. [Bethesda Beat]
Changing of the guard
Soccer lovers’ home base Lucky Bar (1221 Connecticut Avenue) changed hands December 16 after 30 years. The new owners plan to keep it closed for the duration of the holiday season for minor renovations.
Atlas Restaurant Group just scooped up a couple of Baltimore County’s big deal restaurants: the historic Valley Inn and the beloved steakhouse Oregon Grille. The Valley Inn will not change in name or concept. A design update awaits the interior and patio of the Oregon Grille after this spring. It will reopen in fall 2022 in time for the restaurant’s 25th anniversary. Longtime owner Ted Bauer will continue as a partner and consultant at the restaurants. [EaterWire]
Chef Malcolm Mitchell is taking the helm as Donohoe Hospitality’s first corporate director of restaurants and bars, making him responsible for the 18 food and beverage outlets in the D.C. company’s hotels. Mitchell formerly ran Ryder’s, Butcher’s Hill Society Kitchen and Wine Lounge, and others. It’s a move that’s in line with the trend of putting more emphasis on hotel dining and drinking options. [Washington Business Journal]