9 New and Reopened Bars and Restaurants Around DC

Hatoba, now a fully Hawaiian restaurant in Navy Yard. Photograph by Veronika Sabir-Idrissi

Hatoba
300 Tingey St., SE
Daikaya group chef Katsuya Fukushima, who has familial ties to Hawaii, was already experimenting with poke, plate lunches, and other island eats at this Navy Yard ramen shop. Now, after a three month closure, it’s reopened as a full-fledged Hawaiian eatery. Diners can relax in the tropical dining room and patio with a Big Island Ice Tea or Mango Crush, eats like lomi lomi salmon and loco moco, and fun desserts (we have our eye on the pineapple Dole whip soft-serve with chili and lime) . There’s no more ramen, but you will find saimin noodle soup.

Buena Vida Gastrolounge
2900 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Ambar restaurateur Ivan Iricanin has re-envisioned his three-story Mexican restaurant in Clarendon a few times since it opened in 2019. The new iteration — which debuts this week with a lush Tulum-inspired redesign — embraces the all-you-can-eat dining model of his Balkan eateries. Mexico City native chef Jaime Garciá Pelayo Bribiesca, an Oyamel alum, oversees the unlimited tasting menus: lunch ($ 25), dinner ($ 45), and brunch ($ 40), filled with homemade salsas, ceviches, grilled meat and seafood, and specialties like huitlacoche enchiladas. Barman Felix Meija is behind the many agave drinks and Mexican beers and wines. Look for the massive rooftop bar to open soon.

Buena Vida brings limitless Mexican dining to Arlington. Photograph courtesy of Buena Vida

Churchkey
1337 14th St., NW
The popular Logan Circle bar that helped put DC’s beer scene on the map is reopening Wednesday, April 20 after a two-year pandemic hiatus. Hops guru Greg Engert’s dedication to rare, hard-to-find brews remains, as do 50 temperature-controlled draft lines. New to the lineup: wood-fired tavern-style pizzas and an extensive drink list that extends beyond suds with ample whiskeys, natural wines, and fun cocktails from bartender Nick Farrell.

Fountain Inn
1659 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Georgetown is home to several intimate, boutique-y bars (Apero, Donahue), and this new 21-seat rare-spirits tasting room and cocktail bar fits right in. Jack Rose alum Morgan Kirchner tunes into the Fountain Inn’s 18th century roots — the 1783 Georgetown original counted several Founding Fathers and Presidents as customers — with cocktail revivals, rare whiskeys, madeiras, and more.

Photograph courtesy of the Fountain Inn.

Bindaas Bowls & Rolls
415 Seventh St., NW
Rasika owner Ashok Bajaj and chef Vikram Sunderam expand to the fast-casual realm with this spinoff of Bindaas, their Indian street food spot. When it opens in Penn Quarter on Thursday, April 21, diners can customize bowls with chili salmon or lamb meatballs; order homemade kathi (flatbread) rolls; or try a ten-veggie burger. Desk lunches can grab-and-go, but there are desserts, Indian beers, and draft cocktails for lingering.

Santa Rosa Taqueria
301 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Mother-daughter duo Cathy and Micheline Mendelsohn will reopen their casual Capitol Hill taqueria after a two year hiatus on Saturday, April 23. It’s now in a new location with a roomy 60-seat patio for sipping margaritas created by bar talent Gina Chersevani (Buffalo & Bergen, Last Call Bar). Also new: eats like a “piled high volcano nacho bar,” birria tacos, and both happy hour and brunch (the latter coming soon). Proceeds from sales on opening weekend will be donated to World Central Kitchen to support relief efforts in Ukraine.

Santa Rosa opens in a new spot on Capitol Hill. Photograph by Sora Devore

BLT Steak
1625 I St NW
The swanky downtown steakhouse recently reopened after a year of closure with a full redesign from Studio Saint, who’s behind the look of scene-y spots like Maketto and Parc de Ville. What’s new: comfy saddle leather booths, a 16-seat bar, and a private rooftop terrace for events. Thankfully never changing: free duck pâté and warm gruyere popovers to start every meal.

As You Are.
500 Eighth St., SE
Industry vets Jo McDaniel and Rachel Pike (she / they) are behind this inclusive new cafe, bar, and dance hall on Barracks Row, designed to be a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTQIA + community. Patrons can drop in during the day for coffee drinks, breakfast sandwiches, and bowls, or hit the dance floor in the evenings. A busy event schedule includes entertainment like live drag shows and, as the first official home to the Washington Mystics, sporting events.

Taco Bamba opens in Landmark. Photograph by Greg Powers

Taco Bamba
6259 Little River Tpke., Alexandria
Chef Victor Albisu’s popular NoVa-based taqueria chain is in expansion mode with new chef talent on board. The next location opens Wednesday, April 20 in Alexandria’s Landmark neighborhood with a full-service bar and patio — plus tacos, tortas, and quesadillas unique to the location (look for a Korean-fried-chicken taco). Up next: branches in Gaithersburg and Herndon, opening this summer, and a return to DC this fall.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. Louis. John, US Virgin Islands.

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