Crios Modern Mexican Restaurant Coming to Former Vento Space in Dupont Circle

2120 P St, NW

Back in April I shared some scuttlebutt that a tex-mex restaurant was coming to the former Vento space at 2120 P St, NW from the owners of Scion, located next door. Thanks to a reader for sending a tweet from @ScionRestaurant:

“No better time than today, our 3rd birthday, to announce that we will be opening Crios Modern Mexican very soon in Dupont Circle!”

Looks like they’ll be having a sneek peek at Scion on Wed. July 18:

13 Comment

  • Oh, Mexican small plates! You know what that means? Smaller diarrhea!

  • Can we start a death pool on when this restaurant will close? This space seems to be cursed, considering the number of places that have come and gone.

    • People said the same thing about Scion…

    • thebear

      Mimi’s was there for 7 years. Stars, 2. Vento, also 2.

      The problems are concept and management. Mimi’s went after Andy Shallal decided he was more interested in building Busboys & Poets. Stars was just rebranded Mimi’s run by basically inept people who couldn’t come up with a fresh idea or at least make the food compelling…so it failed. Vento was doomed because their plan all along was to be a lounge/nightclub and turned the neighborhood into enemies the same way Marrakesh Palace did.

      The thing about Dupont that makes it radically different from the “new” neighborhoods is the vibe here is relaxed, comfortable and welcoming to everyone. “Exclusive,” “high-energy” or “hip” simply don’t fit unless your product is that good it draws a strong and very loyal following, not just status or destination seekers. Scion works because it appeals to both locals and visitors based on good food and service, and being comfortable, not trendy. Vento tried to bring the PQ, CH, Logan or H Street demos and here, only to discover that without being able to do “the morph into a pretentious nightclub after dinner” thing, mediocre, overpriced fare will not keep you in business. They also discovered that you cannot “in-your-face” an established neighborhood, much less decree a change of demographics.

      • thebear

        All of the non-corporate/non-hotel restaurants that “make it” in Dupont require being comfortable and accessible to the neighborhood. We put particular emphasis on the food being good, satisfying and at least worth the price. If you can’t get that right, you aren’t going to last.

        Too often these days, “high concept” or “hip nightspot” being mentioned in media are more important in a proprietor’s eyes than whether it will fly…regardless of where it is. Just look on here for the post mortems all the other “hot” places that didn’t last more than a couple of years…in the “hot” neighborhoods, too. The location isn’t the jinx…being out of touch with what will work at that location is.

        Living next door, I certainly hope it works. For years I have longed for a good Mexican place in the ‘hood instead of having to hike up to Cleveland Park, Tenley, or the burbs. No: Chipotle does not qualify.

  • What? Helloo? Scion has notoriously mediocre food. They get by on the booze sales. I can’t wait to ALSO have a mediocre mexican place around the corner too! That space is too big, and I think that’s why Vento failed. It had a decent menu, a nice bar, and was reasonably priced. They tried but filling all that space and making it work is hard.

  • I think this place has promise, if simply from the fact that Mexican cuisine options are sorely lacking in Dupont (yes I know: Lauriol plaza, that’s why I said ‘options’). I just hope it stays open late so I don’t have to by DC Cafe’s overpriced food after hitting the bar.

    • thebear

      Restaurants around here generally close by 11PM. Previous establishments there were able to work out later hours because it is in a hotel (though Vento stopped staying open late once their hopes of being a nightclub were squashed by neighborhood opposition). Even so, late-night operation for sit-down restaurants are hard to make profitable. The surrounding area is residential. Even though there is substantial foot traffic well past midnight (especiallly weekends), the demos of the bars favor establishments like SoHo, DC Cafe or the pizza parlors in the 2000 block for quick, after-bar chow…not sitting down at a linen tablecloth. Luring in that crowd would undoubtedly require practices that would quickly run afoul of the neighborhood…and the ownership of Scion is not like that.

  • Richard III only has one matinee on Sunday, July 17th. The Directors mltualuy decided that they would rather have more nighttime performances of Richard and more daytime performances of As You Like It.

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