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Johnny’s Half Shell Owners Will Revive the Dearly Missed D.C. Restaurant as a Mexican Spot

Plus, Rako’s new all-day cafe in Clarendon serves pretty beet hummus and coffee cocktails

Chef Ann Cashion and John Fulchino pose for a portrait.
Chef Ann Cashion and John Fulchino are turning the Johnny’s Half Shell space in Adams Morgan into a Mexican restaurant that complements their Taqueria Nacional brand.
Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post via Getty Images

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

The business partners behind Johnny’s Half Shell, a D.C. favorite for 21 years across multiple locations, are reinventing the Adams Morgan restaurant they shut down last fall. Washingtonian reports that chef Ann Cashion and John Fulchino are weeks away from opening Los Compañeros, a full-service Mexican restaurant that will complement their Taqueria Nacional brand, at 1819 Columbia Road NW. The menu will reportedly include taqueria and fonda fare such as Gulf shrimp enchiladas, Yucatan-style grilled chicken, a Veracruz crab cake, and throwback queso from Cashion’s Austin Grill days. [W]

Raise a rib to Smoke & Barrel

Adams Morgan barbecue bar Smoke & Barrel, which bounced back from a long winter hibernation, celebrates its 10th anniversary Thursday, September 30, with $10 specials for all-you-can-drink Narragansett drafts and $10 sampler platters (meat or vegan).

Coffee cocktails in Clarendon

The new cafe/bar in Clarendon from the wholesalers at Rako Coffee serves much more than single-origin brews. DCist has a first look showing off pretty beet hummus, Pluma by Bluebird pastries, espresso martinis, Negronis made with coffee-infused Campari, and low-intervention wines. [DCist]

Polka showdown in Tysons

Mixed-use development the Boro is hosting a Battle of the Polka Bands in Tysons on Saturday, October 2, with drinks from Sandlot, Oktoberfest mugs, and inflatable pretzels. The free fest (registration required) runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

All-star chef dinners at the Line

Indie Chefs Community, a national organization with more than 700 chefs across 13 cities, is organizing its latest D.C. dinners at the Line hotel in Adams Morgan on Thursday, October 14. ICC is billing the three-day event as an “anti-food festival” that champions social justice and compensates chefs for their contributions. Here’s the star-studded lineup, which includes chefs from across the East Coast. All the participants and guests must provide proof of vaccination. Thursday dinners cost $225 per person, which covers 12 courses and wine pairings. The Saturday finale is $275

Thursday, October 14, 7 p.m.

Aisha Momaney – Gravitas, Washington, DC

Annie Coleman – Tail Up Goat, Washington, DC

Cable Smith – The Royal and Lulu’s, Washington, DC

Erik Bruner-Yang – Maketto, Washington, DC

Kevin Tien – Moon Rabbit, Washington, DC

Masako Morishita, Maxwell Park, Washington, DC

Mavis-Jay Sanders – Drive Change, Brooklyn, NY

Mimi Weissenborn – Unaffiliated, Portsmouth, NH

Opie Crooks – No Goodbyes, Washington, DC

Tyler Akin – Le Cavalier, Wilmington, DE

Thursday, October 14, 7:30 p.m.

Annie Pettry, Unaffiliated, Asheville, NC

Armani Johnson, ABC Pony, Washington, DC

Boby Pradachith, Thip Khao, Washington, DC

Claudette Zepeda, VAGA Restaurant, San Diego, CA

Isabel Coss, Lutèce, Washington, DC

Marcelle Afram, Shababi Palestinian Rotisserie Chicken, Washington, DC

Omri Oflalo, Tribune & The Town Revival, Oakland, CA

Paola Velez, Unaffiliated, Washington, DC

Tim Ma – Lucky Danger, Washington, DC

Saturday, October 16, 7 p.m.

  • All the previously mentioned chefs will collaborate with a “surprise culinary talent”

Raise a toast to Atlas

Atlas Brew Works celebrates its eighth anniversary in Ivy City with a party Saturday, October 16, and food from Andy’s Pizza. Tickets for the event (proof of vaccination or a negative test required) are $15. A special Mayor for Life beer blends three barrel-aged brews and incorporates 400 pounds of marionberries.

Johnny's Half Shell

1819 Columbia Road Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 506-5257 Visit Website