Capitol Hill Eateries’ Coming and Goings
by Larry Janezich
A couple of new restaurants are coming to Barracks Row, and Pitango Gelato on 7th Street near Eastern Market is gone. (Earlier this week, CHC reported on the projected March opening of a new Japanese restaurant – YAJU Ramen/Izakaya – a traditional Japanese ramen restaurant and cocktail bar at 525 8th Street, SE, a space formerly occupied Phase 1, DC’s legendary lesbian bar.)
In addition, Mekki NYC is opening at 517 8th Street, in the space formerly occupied by Las Placitas, Brink Lane, and then, for a couple of months, by Marrakech. That iteration closed a few weeks ago and will be replaced by a sister restaurant of the highly touted Mekki NYC in Greenwich Village. Mekki is the brainchild of New York City restaurateur Mekki Karrakchow. The menu features Moroccan fusion inspired by Karrakchow’s mother’s authentic Moroccan cuisine recipes. Here’s a link to the Greenwich Village outlet where you can find that restaurant’s menu. http://mekkinyc.com/ CHC learned that Mekki Barracks Row is expected to open next week.
Capitol Hill restaurateur Tom Johnson (Hill Restaurant Group: Finn’s, Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Lola’s, Orchid, Tortuga, Willie’s, and Ophelia’s Fish House) told ANC6B’s ABC Committee on Tuesday night that the former LBGT venue Orchid at 520 8th Street, will become a high end steak house opening in January. Earlier, there was speculation that it would become a speakeasy.
Finally, last week saw the apparent demise of Pitango Gelato at 328 7th Street, near Eastern Market. The Italian-style ice cream/espresso/hot chocolate shop closed suddenly last Monday, with no indication it would reopen. One source says they are looking for another location. An email to the company seeking details has not yet been answered.