Some Serious Down and Dirty Scuttlebutt: Fmr. Colorado Kitchen’s Chef Gillian Clark to Open a Restaurant in NoMa?

This is some old school dirty scuttlebutt. This is the type of scuttlebutt that pisses off a lot of people. So let me be blunt – I have zero confirmation on this, it is pure hearsay and I will only give it 50/50 odds of it being true. Nevertheless, there are a couple of reasons why I wanted to share. Firstly, I’ve got a ton of emails from folks asking about Gillian Clark’s project above the Petworth metro (pictured above). They referenced an Examiner post (via Washingtonian) saying that Clark’s Georgia Avenue Meeting House was slated to open at 3730 Georgia Ave., NW in early 2011. Then City Paper’s Tim Carman also reported after talking with Clark that her Petworth spot should open around March 2011.

It was in Dec. ’08 that I first shared Clark’s Petworth plans. And don’t get me wrong. I really hope the Petworth project is gonna happen but I heard some scuttlebutt from a person very familiar/involved with DC’s restaurant scene. And I just can’t dismiss it because the person who I heard it from is really plugged in. They heard that Clark had signed a lease in one of the new NoMa spaces around 1st St, NE.

So it leaves me with one nagging question – if the scuttlebutt is true – will it affect the Petworth plans?

Of course there is an equally good chance that this scuttlebutt is just scuttlebutt and the NoMa project was never gonna happen. Or even if it does, perhaps NoMa and Petworth will both get new Clark restaurants? In which case I’ve got all worked up over nothing. That’s another thing I’ve learned after 4 years of blogging. That happens too. I promise to update as more info becomes available. I tend to find alcohol application permits (while not perfect) a very good indicator if a restaurant is actually coming or not. All that is to say, stay tuned.

21 Comment

  • Or…by making this public, you’ve made it more likely that Clark’s NoMa project will get scuttled, thereby increasing the odds that Clark will go to Petworth…cunning strategy, really.

  • This is the best type of scuttlebutt and the reason we read blogs instead of newspapers

    keep up the good work!

  • I’ll believe it when I see it. The lady has a lot of grand schemes that will probably never see the light of day.

  • A NoMA location would be awesome (not that I don’t think there should also be a place in Petworth, too).

    I wonder if this is for the Loree Grand retail spot at the corner of 3rd and K NE? It’s a couple blocks from First Street, but she’s definitely one of the few restaurant owners to feel confident enough to be all on her own in a neighborhood.

    • The Loree Grand retail space isn’t able to accommodate a restaurant.

      • Actually, it’s definitely specifically designed to accommodate a restaurant, right at the corner of 3rd and K.

        • Actually its definitely not. Restaurants require separate mechanical exhaust systems, a loading entrance, and additional fire-proofing.

          • Name-calling over a potential retail space? Seriously?

            It was built as a restaurant space. Ask Cohen (the owner) if you don’t believe it. It’s on the ground floor of a multi-story building, just like the majority of restaurants in DC.

  • And then there’s the coffee shop on the other side of the building . . . can someone get in there and move that wheelbarrow every once in a while so I can make believe there’s progress?

    • I’m with you. I imagined it would take some time to fill the Park Place retail spaces, but this is getting redonkulous. There’s heavy foot traffic in this area. The CVS does big business. I think restos and retail would have snatched these spots. Good for Sala Thai and Subway for locating there. I hope they do well. I plan to head to Sala in the next week or so.

  • what is the plan for the development of Park Place? initially we heard about the coffee place, in addition to Clark’s restaurant..but not seeing much progress on either..and with this latest news if she does indeed go to NoMa..then what replaces her proposed spot? anyone have any info on that?

  • All, if PoP hasn’t already done it, I will ask the Donatelli representative. The ANC doesn’t have any requests for license support for any of the emtpy spaces in the building. That said, the Subway has casually asked about getting outdoor seating.

  • jack5

    Nothing worse than a Coffee shop that has a “grand opening” that goes on for years… Please, let the out of their lease so someone successful can move in instead.

    I wish they’d knock down sweet mangos and put a starbucks or dunkin donuts there to be honest.

  • I’ll believe it when I see it. She also said she would set up shop in Tk Pk, then said at the Petworth metro new building, then a few days ago you said on New Hampshire Ave, and this now…Really why doesn’t she set up shop already!

  • I now put Gillian Clark news in the same category as Ellwood Thompson’s news: I wouldn’t hold my breath until construction actually starts. And maybe not even then!

  • From what I’ve heard, she is known for being brash, demanding, uncompromising, and arrogant. So I suspect unless she gets everything she wants she’ll go elsewhere.

  • Parkview needs to be the first DC Site of a HardTimes Cafe.

    • Funny you should say it, as I have always thought it would be the perfect, local, resaponable price-point, and obviously business-savvy group that could create an atmosphere that would breed neighborhood integration.

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