Komi Expanding into Downstairs Space at 1509 17th St, NW

It’s been a big week for expansions as we just learned that Bar Pilar will also be expanding soon at 1833 14th St, NW. Komi located at 1509 17th Street, NW has long been on my special occasion must try restaurants list. We judged Komi back in Feb. ’09. And now it soon looks like I might get a chance to try them out. Even before Pres. Obama visited the restaurant it has always been tough to get a reservation.

A recent liquor license amendment says:

“The licensee requests the following substantial change of an Expansion of the premises for the space below and adjacent to the current premises. This will include an additional 6 seats adjacent and 26 seats below for a total increase to 74 seats. There is an additional expansion to increase the Sidewalk Café seating by 20 seats.”

I’m guessing that’s going to be into the dry cleaners space. Do you think an expansion is a good idea?

19 Comment

  • Oh Shit! My Pants! And Skirt!

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Just to be clear, when I took the photo the cleaners was still open and I assume the expansion is not going to be immediate. The hearing date isn’t until Feb. 22, 2011.

      Didn’t mean to scare ya!

  • I live directly across the street, so losing my super convenient (and probably most convenient to a host of big apt/condo buildings on Mass Ave.) dry cleaners would be a blow (they are kind of surly and expensive though and there are 3 dry cleaners within 2 blocks).

    Haven’t been to Komi in about 4 years, but more power to them. The outdoor seating doesn’t really make sense to me though, not a great situation for $150 dinner.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I don’t want my amazing, gazillion-dollar dinner screwed up by anything going on out on the sidewalk.

  • My guess is they will be expanding the formal section by 6 seats (adjacent), and making downstairs more casual a la Palena. There is no way they could serve the quality and excellence of the current model with an additional 26 seats (plus outdoor of 20?). If they do it right, this could be fantastic – a way for the best restaurant in DC to reach a larger audience! Johnny Monis is a wonderful chef (and a generally nice guy) and I love the idea of him expanding to make it accessible to the general public (and myself as a new parent…I can see taking my kid to the outdoor cafe on a nice evening…). Here’s hoping this is what the expansion means!!!

  • My fav, the Tibetan/Buddhist place in Alexandria leaves their door open all the time and their heat or AC blasting. I asked the owner once and she said it some how balances the spirit in the store or some bs like that.

    I told her it was feng’n my shui wrong which she did not think was funny.

  • Not everyone remembers that when Komi first opened, it was a moderately-priced restaurant — with pizzas. It took years for it to develop into the (justifiably, in my view) most critically acclaimed and highest price table in town. Perhaps the lower level/outdoor space will be more like the restaurant’s original trattoria concept.

    • jburka

      I remember! Of course, I ate there with you (and my parents) in the early days. But even then Johnny was serving the roasted medjool dates with mascarpone and sea salt.

      Damn. Just typing about it makes me think we might need to go there for another birthday.

  • This is annoying. I have yet to eat at Komi but that is the best drycleaner I’ve ever been to. EVER. They get stains out that anywhere else would have me throwing away the clothes.

    This is annoying.

  • Boo hiss! Nothing against Komi (except that I can’t afford it), but I like my dry cleaner!

  • Is this why the Dunkin Donuts closed?

  • Komi doesn’t have a sidewalk cafe, so there’s nothing to expand. I’m pretty sure that quote is referring to Bar Pilar and its sidewalk seating.

  • Drycleaner is staying. They are moving into Dunkin.

  • correction: expanding.

  • That is a good dry-cleaner but the rat problem in that basement is so vile — whenever I stopped there early in the morning, before they cleaned up the previous night’s poisoned rat carnage, the stink and sight around the steps was hilariously bad. Life in the city.

    Wonder how that will go over with the Komi crowd.

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