Holy Mackerel – Tons of Top Restaurants in Talks for spaces at The Wharf

The Future

A couple weeks ago we heard about Cathal Armstrong opening a “a Filipino-Thai-Korean-Vietnamese” in SW Waterfront in 2018. Now Washington Business Journal gets another huge scoop:

“Restaurant Eve chef/owner Cathal Armstrong said earlier this month that he has a preliminary agreement to open an Asian-focused restaurant there. Now, we’re hearing he could be joined by “Top Chef” alums Mike Isabella and Bryan Voltaggio along with Robert Wiedmaier, Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr, Fiola phenom Fabio Trabocchi, Hank’s Oyster Bar’s Jamie Leeds, Jackie Greenbaum of Jackie’s and El Chucho, and the Hilton brothers.”

34 Comment

  • maxwell smart

    I’m not going to lie – I’m so excited to see how this area develops and wish I had the money to afford to live there when it’s done. IMO this has the potentially to be one of, if not, the most exciting redevelopment project in DC – it literally has everything – close to the water, near TONS of things to do, access to multi-use trails, easy commute to most of the business district and increasingly more retail and dining.

    • Yep. I’m amazed how underutilized so much of the waterfront has been until just the last few years. This area especially since it already has so many people already there. I was miserable the few months I lived there (prior to the new Safeway and 4th street opening). The nearest Starbucks was at Federal Center and even that wasn’t open Sundays. If I wanted to walk anywhere for food or shopping, I’d have to go to the other side of the mall and deal with tourists.

  • I sure hope it turns out to be a whole lot more exciting and attractive than our other waterfront destination, the Washington Harbour in Georgetown. Everybody loves being by the water, but that place has been an enormous letdown since it opened.

    • Difference between here and Georgetown is that it’s Metro accessible via 3 or 4 metro lines. Hard to enjoy something when it’s a pain just getting there.

    • How so? It’s got a great mix of restaurants and it’s a really appealing public space. We walked through there mid-afternoon last Sunday, and it was full of people, restaurants doing gonzo business. Granted, it’s a very different market and crowd than say, Shaw or H St, if that’s your idea of a letdown.

    • The Washington Harbour is packed all the time. It’s not exactly my cup of tea but it’s clearly still a successful development in my opinion. This one is probably going to be a bit better just due to accessibility and the ability to develop things from scratch, I imagine (rather than working around the highways, existing buildings, etc. in Georgetown).

    • palisades

      What are you even talking about? I hate Georgetown as much as the next person, but the waterfront is the only redeeming quality of that area. So many people are always there and it’s got a great view of Virginia.

  • VarnumGuy

    I’m excited that all of this is a very short metro ride from Petworth!

  • This is by far the development project I am most excited for in the whole region. I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about it – I feel like every time I mention it to a friend they’re just like “Oh really? I went to the fish market once.” End of convo. THIS COULD BE A GAME CHANGER PEOPLE!

    • Shh! Once people discover it, it will get really expensive! Unfortunately there’s not much on the market down there now anyway.

      • maxwell smart

        “Once people discover it, it will get really expensive!” I’m afraid that’s already happened. That or I can’t ever afford to move anywhere else in DC.

      • justinbc

        Yeah, I’m guessing that the prices people are imagining for this development is what’s keeping many people from having a lot of genuine interest. Even in a very expensive city to live in, I have a feeling most of this is going to be priced out for the majority of residents.

        • so you don’t think the developers did any market research on which stores would fit best in a 2 billion dollar project? LOL. ok…

  • justinbc

    So basically they just contacted every restaurateur in the area with money so they could say they are “in talks” with them in order to drum up buzz for their place which is about to start selling units. Clever. Although for what it’s worth, when I moved here 8 years ago I always wondered why the waterfront area wasn’t more popular, since just about everywhere else in the country it’s the most prime real estate.

    • I think in the case of DC, it had a lot to do with the legacy of Southwest, and the perceived/real mistakes of urban renewal. Most of the development done in that area during the 60’s was to re-house the people who lived there before and were uprooted. Now that nearly all of the lower- and middle-class people have been driven from all those concrete towers that were built to house them, it’s easier for the city to make everybody forget about it.

  • Exciting stuff. If we could underground 395/695 and do a few other things to improve connectivity and walkability, this ‘hood will be the envy of the entire city once all of this is done. Or the country, for that matter. Walkable to the Hill/Mall, almost every Metro line, and the water – plus close to National’s Park and the new United stadium? Not sure what more one could ask for. Kind of jealous.

  • LOL I just noticed the caption on that photo

  • anonymouse_dianne

    The area wasn’t popular because of all the public housing across from what is now the fantastic new Safeway. The developer is PN Hoffman who brought Union Row to 14th Street. Our complex is anchored by a Yes! organic market and a 24/7 CVS. Compare that to 850 Quincy which is still lacking anchor markets. I think this is really going to go very well, also in large part to the redevelopment of Arena Stage, the Safeway, Station 4, and Masala Art.

  • the drawback to doing this as a big new project is that you’ll get expensive places and perhaps some chains that are everywhere.

  • Looking at the development website they are definitely going big. Hopefully it turns out like they are billing it but given the accessibility issues – even with the Metro – I wonder how many people who don’t live there will actually go. It will definitely change the landscape over there.

    I do wonder how the residential is going to turn out. They have some “affordable” set asides but I assume most of the remaining units will be presold – to partially fund the project. Of course those are the units going to wealthy speculators paying a lower price who will sell them once things are finished for a significant mark-up. Which means what was going to be fairly price places being that much pricier. Not that they were appealing to my age/income demographic.

    • justinbc

      What accessibility issues exist here that aren’t in every other DC neighborhood though?

      • I actually cannot think of any accessibility issues for SW. It’s super convenient to 395, has a metro stop and you can walk to Federal Center SW to catch the orange line. There’s bikeshare and it’s walkable to Navy Yard and the National Mall.

    • maxwell smart

      Yeah, I don’t buy the accessibility argument and the fact that it is on the water is a huge draw. I mean, look, I live way, way up in Upper NW and flat refuse to go anywhere near H Street because it’s too far away and a pain to get to – but during the summer I will go down to Yards Park all the time.

    • wrong post?!?

  • I’ve been told by a friend that, upon contacting about condos, was told a condo in the size she wanted was currently over $1M. Which makes me very confused – it’s not even developed yet and charging that? yikes.

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