NY Chef John Mooney will open a restaurant in Union Market in Spring 2013


1309 5th Street, NE

From a press release:

EDENS, one of the nation’s leading retail real estate owners and developers, announced today that 2011 New York Rising Star Sustainability Chef, John Mooney, will open a restaurant in Union Market in Spring 2013.

Mooney’s latest venture, Bell Book & Candle in New York’s West Village, has received critical acclaim for his ability to fuse conventional cooking with a more recent and driving inspiration, sustainability.

“I am thrilled to come back to DC and become part of the Union Market community with its storied history in the DC food culture. The authenticity and commitment to quality of the Market is very aligned with our approach to the food and hospitality experienced at our restaurant,” says John Mooney.

At Union Market, Mooney will open a restaurant with a contemporary American menu. His philosophy is to keep things closest to their natural form, which will result in a seasonal menu based on which ingredients are available at the specific time. Most of the food items used in the menu will be sourced from Union Market vendors and his Union Market rooftop garden, where he plans to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs.

20 Comment

  • Union Market amazed me. From the setting, to the architecture, to the vendors, to the crowd, it was as if Portland / Seattle / San Francisco had been transported to a little section of D.C. Never seen anything like it in this area (and by the way, I see this as a positive sign, but I’m sure others would disagree). This new restaurant sounds like it will fit right in / add to the awesomeness!

    • Were you there recently? I haven’t been back since opening weekend, when it was still pretty empty and most of the vendors that were there had very makeshift setups. It would be great if it’s a little more fleshed out now! And I do like the interior design.

      • It’s much more permanently populated now. There are still some pop-up looking places, but many of the vendors have a real presence now. I’m just glad to have a full service butcher so close! Prices are pretty reasonable, too. Of course that doesn’t go for every vendor there …

      • Yeah, I was there a few weeks ago. In the adjacent parking lot there was a crafts fair, more hipsters walking around at that fair (which had about a hundred vendors of t-shirts, silk-screen indie rock posters, bizarre stuffed animals, and the like) than I knew even existed in this city. There was also a pig roast outside (the meat was insanely good) and the entire market was packed with vendors of all sorts of tasty (and generally pricey) culinary merchandise. One home goods store as well which was very cool, but very, VERY expensive. Wall-to-wall people walking around throughout.

        • Crafty Bastards was great. Sponsored by City Paper and attracts DIY crafts people from across the country and lots of hipsters locally. It probably threw the hipster:normal ratio a little out of whack for a day, but Union Market will keep plenty of them coming back.

          Don’t be afraid. They’re pretty harmless

        • Oh man, I wanted to go to Union Market that day but I thought I couldn’t get in without paying the CB fee.

  • I’m looking forward to checking Union Market out. I haven’t gotten over there yet, but it sounds great.

  • Also worth noting that, at the dinner on Monday night when Mooney was introduced, Union Market announced a partnership with Wheatley Elementary in Trinidad. They’ll be teaching kids about nutrition, cooking, gardening, and entrepreneurship, with the hope that some of these kids will be the next generation of chefs in the city.

    That was the most exciting news for those of us in the nearby neighborhood. :)

    • are you warming up to union market?

      • I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to two after hours events now, and had a chance to speak at length with some of the principals involved in the changes going on. It’s helped me learn a lot that I wasn’t getting from blogs, news stories, etc.

        I’m not sure that it’s for me (I’m not one for fancy things), but I think it will be a net plus for our neighborhood. So you can certainly say I’ve warmed to it.

  • This is so wonderful for Trinidad, a neighborhood that, until relatively recently, was dealing with crushing poverty and despair.

    • It is so amazing to see so many new comers this past year into the neighborhood. Think we are finally starting to see the homes renovated/flipped bringing in a influx of new residents. Think next spring/year will be great for Trinidad.

      • You’re in a tight three-way neighborhood race to become the next “It” neighborhood.

        • I could care less about being labled “IT” neighborhood. I’m just happy to see it become a more family, walkable, lively neighborhood, where the homes are being taken care of etc. We have plenty of options living there as it was well located. Just happy to see the positives after living there for 7 years. All we need is a dog park in the area.

          • I guess you either have a different sense of humor or don’t get the reference and poking fun at the general PoPville readership, where it seems that 3 neighborhoods in particular, have commenters vying for neighborhood development in an unofficial race. It amuses me greatly. I agree with you that people should woop when neighborhoods move in the direction just as you are saying, regardless if it ever becomes an “It” neighoborhood. “It” neighborhoods aren’t sought to become so, they just happen, with lots of factors coming into play. Cheers.

    • Well, that’s stretching things quite a bit. While Trinidad sure has residents who live below the poverty line, most of the people in the neighborhood are blue-collar, working-class families. It’s been a working-class neighborhood from the beginning, through it’s history as a home to Jews, then mostly African Americans. The whites moving in now (yep, I’m one of them) are a break from the working-class roots of Trinidad.

  • If you really want to see disparity, compare Union Market with the old school wholesale outlets in that complex. Most of the traffic to Union Market would’t go anywhere near the vendors for cheap sunglasses, extentions, knock off designer goods, and generally discount wholesale food

    • I’m the type that would go to Union Market to browse, then stop by Litteri and the wholesale produce market to actually buy stuff.

    • Some of the butchers there look pretty interesting. At least one has a sign that says they butcher goats there daily. I might go to one of them to see if I can get a whole brisket or a suckling pig for my smoker from them.

  • I went to check out the place and do a walk around. It was interesting and really that word seems to apply. I actually really like what it was – Union Terminal Market with vendors bringing up their goods in trucks filling in the specialty stores (not in the modern-day sense). There’s something wonderfully old-world if you’ve ever had the experience of going to the butcher, the Italian market, the Spanish market to buy your goods. (I’m not talking here about the sleek new building but the old parts that haven’t been touched by multi-million dollar renovations.) There is something special about this experience though it is far from a luxurious or elegant shopping expedition and in part that is what gives it its immense charm. Then, there is the one building that has been renovated and is shiny and polished and reminds me of the Ferry Building Marketplace in SF. That’s strange. It doesn’t yet have the size (nor the locale) of the FBM but I hear that the entirety of Union Terminal Market will be renovated to match the building that has been done and is opening with new businesses. It’s sleek, as is FBM, but that is an odd dynamic. I don’t know where the best way to describe Union Market’s location because it’s a little bit of no-man’s land, as I think it’s almost mid-way between the NoMa and Trinidad neighborhoods. I don’t think it’s really walking-friendly and is not really pictureesque or idyllic, as is FBM. The location means you will have to pretty much drive to go there, which probably isn’t a problem for many people. The vendors are about as varied as you’d find in other markets similar across the country. Didn’t try the oyster place but looked like a good place. The butcher seemed nice and prices were so far pretty decent (better than Eastern Market, Whole Foods) but not as good as some other places. A draw, I guess. The Home Goods store was pretty outlandishly priced. I’ve been in upscale home good stores but this one sent my eyeballs popping with some of the prices. Right now it seems to be an interesting mix where people are sort of figuring out what the market will bear here and I think that’s a good question to be asking.

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