Tabaq to become Borka Kitchen & Bar on U Street, Truxton Kitchen & Wine Bar coming to Truxton Circle

1336 U Street, NW

Yesterday we learned that Tabaq had closed for “major renovations” on U Street. Thanks to a commenter for sharing the link from the Cham Restaurant Group announcing Borka Kitchen and Bar (Opening Summer 2013):

Borka kitchen & bar, will primarily serve modern American comfort food. Located in the heart of the vibrant 14th & U St. corridor. “Borka” translated “coming together” in the native language of wollof from The Gambia, West Africa. Chef / Owner Howsoon H.O. Cham delivers his home style of cooking using ingredients that are organically grown, sustainably produced and purchased from local farmers whenever possible.”

You can see their menu here.

And the Cham Restaurant Group also announces plans for a new restaurant for Truxton Circle:

The Truxton Kitchen & Wine Bar features a menu of Italian & Local Wines, inspired shared plates and speciality house cocktails. The menu emphasizes such cherished Italian staples as savory crostini, pastas, and cheeses. We use many different local and orgarnic farmers including produce from Mocks Green House and Coastal Produce. Our passionate and educated wine staff are eager to introduce you to your new favorite bottle and to expertly pair it with our food. The name Truxton Kitchen & Wine Bar derives its name from Truxton Circle which contains late 19th-century houses and historical schools, including Armstrong Manual Training School (where Duke Ellington received his high school diploma) and the original Dunbar High School, the first all-black public high school in the United States. The neighborhood is currently home to several parks and playgrounds, such as Truxton Park, which lies at the corner of First Street and Florida Avenue.”

And it looks like there are also plans for Mezcal “Mexican Small Plates” and Butcher Shoppe barbeque bistro – dates and locations TBD…

25 Comment

  • Is the address known for the Truxton restaurant? Didn’t see one on their site.

    • It’s 87 Florida NW (NE corner of Florida and First). The property sat on the market for quite some time until it went under contract just the other day. As a local resident, I look forward to this!

      • OH! just saw that this building sold… great news! thanks for posting. also looking forward to this!

      • How do you know that’s the address?

        • It’s the only previously vacant/available commercial property at First and Florida. 87 Florida NW was (relatively) infrequently used as an art space/studio. Sunset Liquors aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

      • As a note, I’m pretty sure that corner is considered Bloomingdale. Florida is the southern boundary. It’s half a block south of Big Bear.

        • I have to admit that I was a little startled by the cavalier usage and ascription of this corner as ‘Truxton’ anything given that – if the previous speculators are correct on the proposed location – this restaurant project will be cited at the exact portal into the neighboring community of Bloomingdale. Doesn’t help that there are many residents of ‘Truxton Circle’ – across FL AVE from the supposed location? – who have yet to realize or appreciate that they actually live in Truxton Circle (vs. Shaw). Its ‘historic schools’ certainly haven’t realized it. And, “Truxton Park”? Really surprised that the boundary czars haven’t made more of a fuss (vs. my ‘commentary’) about this…. Now, to be clear, if this location, concept and name happen to be true then more power to them and I wish these small business owners the best of luck! Afterall, a new wine bar that is just steps from Georgetown AND my house a couple of blocks north would be cool! (Ok, yes….the ‘Bloomingdale Kitchen…’ would be fine with me, too!).

          • “Doesn’t help that there are many residents of ‘Truxton Circle’ – across FL AVE from the supposed location? – who have yet to realize or appreciate that they actually live in Truxton Circle (vs. Shaw). Its ‘historic schools’ certainly haven’t realized it. ”

            You said a lot I’m confused by, I’ll just address your Truxton vs. Shaw statement. Shaw was/is a large neighborhood that had/has several smaller communities with in its boundaries. More recently those neighborhoods have developed significantly more individual identities and have slowly been called separate entities from the greater Shaw neighborhood. Truxton is one of those communities. More familiar to most in the city are Logan and “U Street” (which is still just a street and not a neighborhood in my opinion). That all said, it’s unfair to uproot traditional naming rights to neighborhoods because realtors wanted to rebrand communities–see Logan Circle–or new community members want to ignore their legacy neighborhood. Dunbar was in Shaw back before Truxton Circle was even there….and Dunbar is still there after the circle was demolished.

  • When are they going to rebuild Truxton Circle? I would assume that’s why people refer to the neighborhood as Truxton Circle, which must be confusing to some people, since the circle has been gone for almost 70 years.

    • I would sell my kidneys if they rebuild Truxton circle – this would be amazing! Alas, I don’t think there’s any political/capital will at this point.

      • the intersection is too small for a circle. also, it wasn’t a normal circle. it didn’t actually affect traffic on florida avenue at all since florida was a tangent to the circle.

  • Borka? Terrible name.

    • I agree terrible name, but I applaud the concept: a restaurant that isn’t a small plates restaurant, and, even more, it doesn’t appear to be trying to be a themed restaurant like most other ones in DC. It just seems to be serving food . What a concept! And how unusual for DC.

    • saf

      It makes me think that the Swedish Chef will be cooking there.

      (Bork! Bork! Bork! Bork!)

    • You have to understand, good names are running out for everybody these days! Bands, wineries, web sites, restaurants, even neighborhoods!

  • Finally a place to get a $12 turkey sandwich!

    And that menu doesn’t scream “American comfort food” to me at all.

    • If I was in a good mood, I’d describe it as “American Comfort Food” in that it draws from a number of different food traditions (gnocchi! gumbo! wontons!) in a “melting pot” sort of culinary mode and seems to offer fairly simple preparations. It’s not meat loaf (thank God), but it seems to aim for warming and relaxed.
      If I was in a bad mood, I’d suggest that they pulled in just about every current trend and cliche they could find (flatbread, pork belly, hangar steak…), and crammed it into a menu that is too long and unfocused to be anything other than spectacularly mediocre. Kind of an upscale version of the old America and Union Station.

      We’ll see.

  • andy

    I can’t help but think of the Swedish Chef:”bork, bork, bork!”

  • spoke with someone today i was told the name wont be Borka its something else ….everybody stop crying out loud

  • That’s a pretty terrible website with some grammatical errors. What’s up with cursive that a lot of people these days can’t read?

  • who cares as long as we can understand what is meant….tell me something more productive please…geeeeez

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