Neighborhood Eats: Againn, Li’l Pub Closing, District Taco To Capitol Hill

by Rebecca Cooper

Neighborhood Eats: Againn, Li’l Pub Closing, District Taco To Capitol Hill: Figure 1
(Photo: Fawkes Wei)

Now that you have time to read something other than election coverage, Neighborhood Eats has your roundup of area restaurant news — including some coming attractions and, sadly, a couple of closings.

Closing: Againn (1099 New York Avenue NW) made its closure official on November 4 after nearly a week of trying to dispel rumors of their demise. The Scotch-heavy gastropub, which opened three years ago, didn’t offer much of a reason in the announcement posted on their website, saying only that the decision was made after weeks of discussions with investors. No word either on what happened to the contents of their personalized “scotch lockers.”

It’s not set yet, but there’s a good chance that the L’il Pub dive bar on Capitol Hill will be closing soon, pending the sale of its tiny cottage at 655 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The CVS Pharmacy next door is reportedly in contract to buy the property, reports Capitol Hill Corner, and unless the deal doesn’t go through, the pub will close. The owner reportedly offered to sell the property to the bar’s owner, but he declined. The L’il Pub building is one of several former L’il Tavern or Li’l Burger buildings around the DC area, including the one that now houses the flagship Sweetgreen location in Georgetown, according to POP commenters.

Open: minibar is back!. The 16-seat avant garde restaurant from Chef José Andrés was set to open earlier this month in the old Zola Wine & Kitchen space at 9th and E streets NW, but Hurricane Sandy changed those plans. The space reopened November 7, complete with a revamped — and more expensive ($225 per head) — tasting menu. If you’re hoping to try it out in the new space, or for the first time for that matter, you’ll have to make your reservation a month in advance, just like at the previous space.

Opening soon: Woodward Table, the restaurant taking over the former Potenza space at 1430 H Street NW, has soft opened and will be open to the general public soon. The restaurant has several seating areas, including a bar that can seat up to 100 people, and will serve a Southern-tinged modern American menu — including turtle soup and pimento cheese puffs — from Jeff Buben, previously of Bistro Bis and Vidalia.

Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s next project, Wildwood Kitchen, is set to open November 17 in Bethesda. The 55-seat restaurant in the Wildwood Shopping Center [map] has Mediterranean influences — think oil instead of butter and seafood-centric dishes — but won’t be strictly a Mediterranean restaurant, Wiedmaier tells Washingtonian. It will be casual and a little “old school,” according to the chef.

Neighborhood Eats: Againn, Li’l Pub Closing, District Taco To Capitol Hill: Figure 2
District Taco truck. (Photo: FoodTruckApp)

The former Blackbyrd space at the busy intersection of 14th and U streets NW will officially become Hanoi House on November 25, Prince of Petworth reports. The Vietnamese restaurant at 2005 14th Street NW will serve pho and other Vietnamese dishes cooked by executive chef James Claudio, including papaya salad, banh mi sandwiches and vermicelli noodle bowls.

Opening…eventually: The expansion of District Taco’s empire continues. Owner Osiris Hoil has signed a lease on Capitol Hill and will open a new taqueria there by early next year, The Washington Post reports. The 75-seat restaurant at 656 Pennsylvania Avenue SE will have the casual, open-kitchen feel of the other restaurants, and serve the restaurant’s full menu of tacos, burritos and other Mexican dishes, as well as beer. It will be the third brick-and-mortar location for the business, which also still runs its two “toros” — food carts — on the streets of Arlington.

In what is sure to be one of many new restaurant announcements for the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood in the coming months, beer-centric chain Gordon Biersch announced this week that it will move into a space at 100 M Street SE, one block from Nationals Park, Eater reports. The owners have been eying the area for awhile, and decided that this year was the time to take the plunge on an 8,500 square-foot space. Could the Nationals’ recent playoff berth have something to do with it? Gordon Biersch is saying it plans to be open by the spring — just in time for baseball season.

Events: If a bar crawl on steroids sounds like just the way you want to spend a Saturday, Beerathon is your event this weekend. For $65, you crawl to 26 bars and try 26 different beers throughout the day — and mind you, these are not just tastes, but full beers. Few have finished, according to the organizers, who also guarantee that Beerathon will be “the best day of your life.” There are four start locations to accommodate those in different neighborhoods; tickets are available here.

Trendy 14th Street restaurant Masa 14 (map) will celebrate its third anniversary Sunday with a “guest appreciation happy hour” running from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. (This could be especially attractive for government employees and others that have off for Veterans’ Day Monday.) There will be complimentary passed appetizers, including garlic-teriyaki chicken wings and shrimp tacos, on the rooftop from 9-11 p.m., and $4 beers and mixed drinks until 2 a.m. Rooftop entry is first come, first served, so get there early if you want to take advantage of those free apps.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/neighborhood_eats_againn_lil_pub_closing_district_taco_to_cap_hill/6278

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