Details on New Restaurants From Owners of Local 16


Above is the location we spoke about located at 1832 14th Street, NW. It will tentatively be named Table 14.


Above is the spot next to Columbia Heights Coffee that we spoke about here. It will tentatively be named Barrio.

Wow, I got an email/press release with tons of details:

The new restaurants announced by Local 16 will be located at 1832 14th St. NW and 3418 11th St. NW; both locations will be open by spring of 2010. Owners for announced locations include: Aman Ayoubi, restaurateur and owner of Local 16 and co-owner of 18th Street Lounge and Josephine; Eric Gronning of Gronning Architects, the design firm behind CommonWealth, Cork, Hank’s Oyster Bar and Marvin; and Doug Whipple of Whipple Farm. Much of the produce for each location will come from owner Whipple’s farm in Rixeyville, Va., and a network of other farmers.

Whipple Farms, a 160-acre, biodynamic farm nestled in the Virginia Piedmont region, is not only partnering in the new restaurant ventures on 14th and 11th Streets, but also supplies Local 16 and other area restaurants with locally and biodynamically grown heirloom vegetables. Local 16 has been providing financial support to expand the farm’s operations.

Executive Chef Eric McKamey will continue his role at Local 16, in addition to overseeing the menu and kitchen operations at the new restaurants.

“Eric has been a wonderful addition to Local 16,” said Local 16 owner Aman Ayoubi. “For such a young age, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge as well as an obvious talent for creating incredible and comforting dishes based on his new-old take on cuisine.”

“Working with such amazing, quality ingredients is, in and of itself, an inspiration,” said Chef McKamey. “Dedication to local food sourcing and the fostering relationships with local growers and farmers is a cause I take very seriously.”

One restaurant, tentatively named Table 14 (1832 14th St. NW), is scheduled to open in early 2010. This location will offer three distinct experiences on each of its floors. The main level is conceived as a farm-to-table restaurant serving modern American cuisine with an Italian influence. This level spans 2,000 square feet with plans for 60 table seats, 15 bar seats, 12 cocktail/counter seats and 16 outdoor seats. Interior will utilize existing textures and historical elements of the building. Features will include a two-story atrium space and an open kitchen.

The second floor will feature a large yakitori grill and bar. It will be designed as a light-filled space overlooking a green roof and garden space. It will feature a bar and table seating with a balcony overlooking 14th Street. The third floor will be a flexible special events space offering views of 14th Street and a small roof deck.

Barrio (3418 11th St. NW), also tentatively named, is slated to open at the end of 2009. It will feature the same consortium of owners in addition to Lori Robertson, a Washington D.C. journalist. The establishment will serve as an affordable, comfortable neighborhood spot, offering a selection of Latin-influenced and American food. The menu will be small with a focus on home-style cooking and vibrant flavors.

“We are very excited about the upcoming openings,” said Ayoubi. “These two eclectic neighborhoods — 14th Street and Columbia Heights — and the wonderful people who live there have been an inspiration to us. We hope the Washington community receives much enjoyment [from the restaurants] for many years to come.”

Biographies after the jump. How do these spots sound to you?

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Aman Ayoubi
With 30 years in the hospitality industry, Ayoubi has worked with global and luxury hotel chains, restaurants, lounges and nightclubs. Aman Ayoubi is currently a restaurateur and owner of Local 16 and co-owner of 18th Street Lounge and Josephine. In the past Ayoubi has been involved with other D.C. establishments including Red, Dragonfly, Mondo Sushi, Marvin and Current.

Eric Gronning
Eric Gronning is an architect, furniture designer and metal fabricator currently living in Washington D.C. Gronning has operated his architectural practice, Gronning Architects, PLLC, for 14 years in D.C . and the metropolitan area. His design-build firm focuses on residential, small commercial and restaurant projects. Some of his most notable restaurant projects include Cork Wine Bar, Hanks Oyster Bar, Commonwealth, Marvin and the new Pizzeria Paradiso currently under construction.

Eric McKamey
At age 25, Eric McKamey has served as executive chef for Local 16 since March 2009. This D.C.-area native has 10 years of experience in the kitchen, last holding the position of chef at Etrusco in Dupont Circle and prior to that working at Palena, Central, Proof, CityZen and 2941. Chef McKamey believes in keeping food simple and recipes tied closely to tradition. His style of cooking is modern American with an Italian influence. McKamey is dedicated to the sourcing of his food and continues to develop strong relationships with farmers and producers locally and throughout the country.

Doug Whipple
Doug Whipple is a business attorney, pianist and farmer, who lives in Virginia with his family, where he also operates a 160-acre biodynamic farm, growing high quality, heirloom vegetables. Prior to setting up his own boutique law practice, Whipple was a partner at Jones Day. He has led legal teams for such diverse companies as United Therapeutics, Harman International, Materna Information & Communications, Hyster-Yale, CitiBank, Knorr-Bremse, and Hachette. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Whipple was an R&D software engineer, and studied piano performance with Russell Sherman at New England Conservatory of Music.

72 Comment

  • It’s about time DC got some decent yakitori grills. There’s some small plate food that actually fills you up. Great bar food. Maybe they can serve okonomiyaki as well.

  • Glad to see this development instead of vacant storefronts

  • From the owners of Local 16? So, it’ll be over-priced, mediocre and hipster-trendy? No thanks.

  • I haven’t been to Local 16 since the new chef started, so I can’t make any judgment about the food quality until that time (and others who are similarly situated should likewise refrain — from what I understand the menu is very different). But, the place on 11th Street sounds great to me. As long as the food is high-quality, I’ll be there often. The space is tiny so I am very curious to see how they will utilize is. Looking forward to the store frontage, which is currently a major eyesore, being fixed up. That entire side of the block will soon be looking good, other than the one remaining vacant space. Now if only we could get the two stalled developments across the street moving … the tan building in particular, which stalled after a ton of work had already been completed, is particularly galling.

  • skeptical – regardless of what you think of the future restaurant, don’t you think it’s an upgrade over what is there currently?

  • Why does it always come down to a choice between vacant storefronts and over-priced, mediocre, and hipster-trendy? This place will succeed or fail based on its merits, food, service. If it’s stuffed with hipsters, avoid the place. If you want what they’re selling, you know what to do. And when you find your low-priced, nonmediocre, hipster-hostile nirvana, keep it to yourself so that THEY don’t take over the place.

  • Enthusiastic

  • I used to be of the opinion that something was better than a vacant building, that is until Acuario opened up and changed my attitude completely about new businesses in 11th St. Now, I am much more active in making sure I know what is really being considered by new establishments.

  • No self-respecting hipster (get it?) would be caught dead at Local 16.

  • If they had any self-respect, they wouldn’t be hipsters.

  • Hey-yo!

  • sounds delicious. will spend my money there if the reality comes anywhere close to their plan.

  • Barrio? I hope they reconsider that offensive name.

  • in what way is “barrio” an offensive name?

  • Anon at 11:17 apparently finds “neighborhood” offensive.

  • Eric, let’s see, you take a place that will cater mostly to either hipsters or other whites with disposal income. I know this is a generalization, but does anyone really doubt that the clientele will mainly come from these groups? Look at the patio at Redrocks on any given night for confirmation.

    Okay, so you take this place, then you have American chefs cooking, and I quote from them “a selection of Latin-influenced and American food.” Which means mediocre, far from authentic tex-mex or something similar, given the track record of this ownership group and other similar types of places in town.

    Then you plunk this place down in an area known to be a center of latino recent immigrants and first generation hispanics, and you call it Barrio, a word that is okay on its own or used by spanish speaking folks, but that has also been traditionally used by white folks as a word for “hispanic ghetto”.

    So to sum up, a bunch of non-hispanics are going to go eat fake latin food at a place called Barrio.

    Could you imagine if a consortium of white folks opened up a place with mediocre soul food called The Ghetto, and served it up to hipsters and other DC white folks?

  • Not that wikipedia is an airtight source, but here’s how they define barrio:

    “More commonly, however, in the United States, barrios refer to lower-class neighborhoods with largely Spanish-speaking residents, basically the Latino equivalent of a “ghetto”. The word often implies that the poverty level is high in such a neighborhood, but this inference is not universal.”

  • I think the 14th street corridor is being gentrified by “yupsters,” who are making housing completely unaffordable for the “hipsters.” This is an absolute catastrophe.

  • Imagine this.

    You own a house in a neighborhood. The area experiences significant development. Crime goes down. Businesses come in. The general appearance of the neighborhood improves.

    If you want to sell that house, it’s natural and legitimate that you would sell it to the highest bidder. Would you give the government the right to limit how much you could sell you house for? I would hope not.

    If you want to rent that home, it’s also natural and legitimate for you to

  • want to do the same thing.

    Put yourselves in the shoes of the homeowners.

    Do you really want to give the government the power to limit these exchanges?

  • I think we need price fixing in all aspects of the economy, real estate included. And yes, I’m a home owner.

  • That would be a bad move. It would deter investment and home improvement.

  • I’m willing to sacrifice incentives for investment properties and home improvement to get more people, with less income, to own their own homes.

  • Yeah, that would work real well, Anonymous 11:53! It would deter just about all economic activity in the country, period.

  • Not really. We do it in various aspects of the economy already without that impact. Agriculture, dairy, energy, e.g. Don’t believe the hype on unfettered capitalism, it doesn’t work all that well.

  • Using your logic, sounds like you would also say that no matter how educated you are, how well you did in school, how many degrees you have, that you’re not allowed to make more than X dollars per year. OK, go ahead and get Ds and Fs. It doesn’t matter. If you get As, you won’t earm more, so why bother?

    Yeah, that sounds like a country I’d like to live in.

  • Muchas gracias Anonimo (11:35 am) por tu comentario. Bravo! Estoy completamente de acuerdo contigo. Es un insulto realmente de parte de estos inversionistas/restauranteros nombrar un lugar en espanol y pensar que este simple hecho lo convierte en un restaurante “latino”. En vez del nombre “Barrio” porque no otra palabra arbitraria como “Sombrero”, “Chips y Salsa”, “Mesa”, etc.? Esto, precisamente indica la ignorancia de estos inversionistas/restauranteros sobre la cultura latino americana y su comida. Obviamente, estos inversionistas tienen toda la intencion de servir exclusivamente a gringuitos no a los latinos que vivimos en esta comunidad. Espero me equivoque pero estoy casi seguro que, no vamos a ver latinos en este nuevo restaurante……..con la excepcion de los lavaplatos.

  • We need to remain a country that rewards success and hard work.

    Cleaning up a neighborhood (which does lead to higher property values, but I argue that that’s a good thing) is not a bad thing and I think most people would agree with me on that point.

  • Home-owner, you already live in that country. Most students in DC do get D’s and F’s. Look at the literacy rates, math competency rates, graduation rates, drop-out rates in DC. It’s atrocious. The current system has already failed. You live in the country you fear.

  • Ya know, the Barrio choice struck me as an odd one as well. I hope they reconsider.

    As for the inevitable gentrification-related ranting, why don’t we just copy and paste any other POP post discussing a new business rehabbing a formerly vacant space, because we’ve pretty much covered the territory ad nauseum on other threads …

  • @Anonymous 11:53:

    “I think we need price fixing in all aspects of the economy, real estate included. And yes, I’m a home owner.”
    Please take at least one economics course. Heck just get the Cliffs notes to Microeconomics 101 because you need it.

    Any one who has taken an economics course knows how bad price fixing screws things up. Both fixing in the form of ceilings and base price limits.

    Or you could take history, And review what happened in various countries when they imposed fixing. Ever heard of the Famous constant Bread lines in soviet Russia? Or how huge the black market was?

    I guess what I am getting at is perhaps you need to study some history and/or economics before you should think you have a valid opinion.

    Or you could take history and review what happened in various countries when they imposed fixing. Ever heard of the infamous constant Bread lines in soviet Russia? Or how huge the black market was?

    I guess what I am getting at is perhaps you need to study some history and/or economics before you think you have a valid opinion or anyone should take your economic ideas seriously.

  • @Anonymous 12:19:
    ” Home-owner, you already live in that country. Most students in DC do get D’s and F’s…The current system has already failed. You live in the country you fear.”

    Since when did DC become a legitimite representation of the entire country? Especially in regards to schools?

  • We need more restaurants so thse idiot kids can have jobs in 10 years!!! Who else is going to take my order?!?!

  • Hey speaking of restaurants what ever happened with those IHOP rumors? I just wish we could get an Original Pancake House in (worlds, worlds better than IHOP). I am telling you that place would do a ridiculous, insane business in DCUSA. Anyone have any corporate contacts there?

  • Who let Karl Marx in?

    “To let more people, with less income, own their own homes” Didn’t we just try to do that and it failed miserably.

    Here’s an idea – you want something, work to earn it, save for it, make sacrifices and buy it.

  • @New2CH

    I would love to hear more about those IHop rumors as well. I agree that place would always be busy, and I personally would love to have it around.

  • All the capitalists in here seem to ignore the fact that the system has failed here in the U.S. Completely failed. Government buyouts are the only thing saving everyone here from bread lines and 30-40% unemployment.

  • Not sure how you define “completely failed” but life is still going on for most folks.

    Also, the other elephant in the room that people seem to tip-toe around is that if all those people hadn’t defaulted on their loans, then we wouldn’t have had the problems. Is it the banks fault for giving loans to people who arguably couldn’t afford them or is it the people’s fault for defauling on their loans. No one forced anyone to take out a loan. If they hadn’t been given a loan, they probably would have been accused of keeping poor people from home-ownership.

    You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.

  • Tmoney, I should add, I would be happy with IHOP as well, just that I’d be ecstatic with an OPH (albeit 20 pounds heavier, but ecstatic).

    POP: where a thread about a new restaurant evolving in three hours into a debate on the merits of capitalism vs. marxism happens.

  • Ok, back to the topic (?). Great news. I am personally not too enthused by the cuisine of Barrio (Americano-latin food.. mehh…) though.

  • Liberal white guilt aside, Barrio is a horrible name.

  • Mario and Luigi’s would be more appropriate.

  • Could you imagine if a consortium of white folks opened up a place with mediocre soul food called The Ghetto, and served it up to hipsters and other DC white folks?

    Well, it’s about time Florida Avenue Grill got some competition. I just hope they don’t serve any thing pretentious like “deconstructed chitlins” (“a whimsical take on the original intestine-based classic”) where you get three small plates each containing sauce, tripe, and feces.

  • Sort of like calling a Jewish deli “Schtetl.” I imagine I wouldn’t be pleased. Then again, if we ever got a good true Jewish deli in D.C., they could call it whatever the hell they want (OK, maybe not “Goebbals”) and I’d still be a regular customer …

  • I think if “Barrio” was going to offer true Latin food, whether it be Salvodoran, Mexican, Peruvian or something else, the name wouldn’t be so offensive. But to serve up a bastardized, americanized version of it, catering to a non-hispanic clientele, and then calling it Barrio is pretty bold, or ignorant.

  • agree that barrio is a horrible choice for a name, if the definitions posted here are true.

    as for the patio at redrocks and who it caters to… you can get a delicious baked calzone thing for $6 during happy hour, among other great choices, which is less than i have ever paid at a ghetto chinese place or the ga avenue wendies for a meal. i think that wide open comments about who certain places cater too are misleading, because its not the establishments fault that one group frequents it over another. it doesnt take a degree and a 50K a year job to enjoy a $10 meal here and there, but apparently it does take an open mind and a willingness to branch out.

  • I don’t blame Redrocks for its clientele, but you can’t deny its makeup. It’s obvious from observation.

  • I’m convinced that none of you anonymous food critics have ever actually eaten any “authentic” “Latin” food. Because it is effing awful. I’m not talking about what you ate on your one trip to ATX or back home in SoCal, I’m talking about walking around in Honduras or Guatemala or somewhere and eating the local grub. It is god awful.

    The reason the “bastardized, american version of it” is so good is because it is the essence of America itself. A mix of influences not just from the Tejanos, but the ranchers, cowboys, Southern Americans, and especially (IMHO) the Germans. The coming together and blending of so many cultures over time is what has created an “authentic” cuisine that you deride as Tex-Mex.

    And for the record don’t try to prove me wrong by waxing poetic about some dish you had in Santiago or Buenos Aries or the rich culinary tradition of Mexico City– all of those places are major international cities with the same infusion of diverse cultures and peoples into their “authentic” local flavors.

  • Politico, you’re crazy. Authentic Mexican food is some of the best stuff on earth. The shit they serve at Alero’s tastes bad. I’ve spent time in Central America, South America and the Carribean and eaten all kinds of street food and pub food. Some of it is good, some isn’t that great, but ALL of it is better than what you get at Loriol Plaza for example.

    But I guess bad taste is still taste, carry on enjoying the crap you love so much. It’s still not okay to pass it off as “Latin food” and name your place the Hispanic ghetto as you serve it.

  • Get over yourself. Most of the workers at Loriol Plaza are latino themselves. You act like you’re the great defender of Latinos in DC, but you’re really insulting them without realizing it by saying that the food at Loriol or Alero is no good. The food at Loriol Plaza is fine. If it weren’t people wouldn’t wait an hour to get it. That place is ALWAYS packed.

  • lol, ask the workers at Loriol or Alero if they like the food there, see what kind of responses you get.

  • anon @ 2:00

    Wow. Not sure which is a more ridiculous argument: 1) since Lauriol is packed, it must be good, or, 2) criticizing the food at Lauriol is an insult to Latinos.

  • McDonalds is always packed when I go. Stuff must be good then.

  • People don’t wait an hour to eat at McD’s.

  • whole lotta offendin’ going on nationwide, apparently – these are just from the first page of google hits for “barrio restaurant”

    barrio restaurant seattle –
    barrio tequila bar minneapolis –
    barrio restaurant columbus –
    barrio restaurant tucson –
    barrio restaurant atlanta –

  • hard to say about that list Eric, do they serve good food, bad food, and to whom?

  • anon235:
    Can’t blame McDonald’s for having better service. Whoops, I mean service at all!

  • Soooo…. you’re saying you’d rather have a McDonald’s than a Lauriol Plaza?

  • I’d rather have McD’s than Lauriol Plaza. It’s more honest. I’ve eaten at McD’s a hell of a lot more than Lauriol Plaza. Both pretty much suck though. Can’t we have a third way? Good, affordable places to eat? Like in most cities?

  • Even if the place sucks (and Barrio is sufficiently offensive in my opinion), they will at least fix the place up so that a respectable restaurant with an exceptionally offensive name can replace them for minimal cost and provide a good venue for people to start conversations, get off topic, take stands on capitalism/communism/economics face to face.

  • I just got a robo-call that said “Press one to hear a message about capitalism.” Honest to god! Is this some kind of cosmic advertising?

    Unfortunatley, I was instinctively pressing hang-up before my curiosity prompted me to press 1 and hear the message.

  • Thank you Anon at 11:35 am… just my thoughts. “barrio” is a not very well thought out name, especially in this context (restaurant catering to people with disposable income in a neighborhood with a large Latino population that is being displaced by them). It’s kind of a slap in the face.

    Los Politicos… totally agree about some Latin American food… Honduran, Guatemalan, etc. being “god awful”. Don’t even talk about other cuisines like Chilean (grr) or Argentine (do they even have a cuisine of their own?). The only Latin American cuisine that deserves to be called good is the Peruvian one (yum). They (meaning us) even make tripe taste good… a feat that the Mexicans have tried but not succeeded in perfecting.

  • Don’t forget that the former owners, the so-called “displaced” are making a fortune off of their homes. There’s two sides to every story.

  • Most of the latin immigrants around here don’t own the homes they’re being displaced from. not a lot of fortunes being made there. at least not by those in this “barrio”

  • “La Monstra”…..puleez…..Mexicans have succeeded in perfecting tripe. Have you ever been to a true taqueria or pozoleria? It figures you’re Peruvian. I love Peruvians, but you have to admit, you all are a bit insecure about your ranking in world cuisine. Ask any classically trained chef worth her/his salt around the globe and s/he will tell you one of the top three cuisines of the world is Mexican, hands down……otherwise all these DC area investor-quasi-chefs would not be so eager to embrace their distorted version of it to make their millions in places like Lauriol Plaza, Alero, Guapos, etc.

  • You still haven’t defined “displaced.” Who’s at fault and what alternative would you suggest?

  • “Most of the latin immigrants…” – that’s way too scientific for me.

    Of the 8 homes on my block inhabited by latin folks, 7 of them own their homes… while my block is probably unique, your statement is worthless. As a renter, you always run the risk of being displaced… but no one is worried about the owners when property values become depressed.

  • I’m an owner, and I don’t think I should be worried about, I’m not the most vulnerable person in the chain of events. Big Worm, are you really arguing that most Latinos in CH own their own homes? That doesn’t pass the laugh test.

  • So…you’re all saying you like the Table 14 concept…right? Just want to give the proprietors a cheat sheet for deciphering the comments should they choose to read this thread. Oh, and the use of Barrio to name a restaurant in a latin-heavy part of town seems to be offensive. Unless your restaurant caters only to latinos. Take note!

  • No, no, no… when renters overtake an area it tends to depress property values because there is less incentive to improve/maintain the property… i.e. most condo buildings have maximum rental capacities to reduce the risk of property depreciation. My street is nicer because we have 80% of owners living in their properties who maintain and care for them, the renters are noticeably more neglectful with trash, noise, etc…

    You can always take the side of the little guy, but that’s what immigrants of every generation have dealt with, handling adversity breeds character, being given things breeds laziness.

    If you are so concerned, please start advising these said latin displacements to sign 10 yr leases with annual cpi increases and 10yr options to extend or you could thing about how much better this country is than wherever they come from and be glad that you live here and not there. If this country is so much worse, I think they’ll return home.

  • What restaurant doesn’t cater to people with disposable income? Isn’t that the point of eating out?

  • I ate this weekend at Local 16. The menu under the new chef is, as advertised, MUCH improved — I had two items and both were quite good.

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