Whaley’s, a raw bar and restaurant, (from owners of DGS Deli) coming to the Lumber Shed this Spring

whaley's
301 Water Street, SE

Ed. Note: This is the space that was once planned for the Navy Yard Oyster Company.

From a press release:

“Cousins and fourth generation Washingtonian’s Nick and David Wiseman will open Whaley’s, a raw bar and restaurant, in Spring 2016 in the historic Lumber Shed at The Yards, located at 301 Water Street SE in the growing Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront District.

The menu will feature shellfish towers, crudos, a selection of seafood-focused small plates and a rotating family-style plate for sharing. Dishes will feature items like New England clam chowder with oyster crackers; scallop crudo with charred grape vinaigrette and shaved radishes; iceberg stack with buttermilk dressing and shaved bottarga; and grilled swordfish with braised endive and black garlic vinaigrette. Only sustainably caught and harvested seafood will be served.

The new restaurant’s design, from Edit Lab at Street Sense, features the building’s floor-to-ceiling, 35-foot tall glass façade with the original roof trusswork exposed, recalling the Lumber Shed’s heritage as a former industrial part of the Washington Navy Yard. Whaley’s will be located on the south face of the Lumber Shed building, between Osteria Morini and Agua 301. The restaurant’s layout will include a 20-seat counter bar and a 40-seat dining room, as well as outdoor patio seating, facing the riverfront and the surrounding Yards Park. Whaley’s will initially be open for dinner, with plans to later expand with brunch and lunch service.

The name Whaley’s honors the Revolutionary War hero Zedechiah Whaley, commander of the tiny Maryland Navy. History holds that Commander Whaley was a casualty during a storied Chesapeake Bay battle while single-handedly confronting a fleet of British ships in an effort to protect the local watermen.

Partners, cousins and fourth generation Washingtonians Nick and David Wiseman, the team behind DGS Delicatessen & Specialty Bar, are the creative force behind Whaley’s.

In Washington DC’s early days, eating places opened to cater to the congressmen, senators and citizenry who spent at least parts of their year on and around Capitol Hill. The most popular dining option at the time was oyster bars, the casual eateries of the early 1800’s that highlighted the bounty of the Mid-Atlantic coast and waterways. Oyster bars remained a fixture across the region throughout the 1900s. Dave and Nick grew up eating at Crisfield’s in Silver Spring, a seafood counter their fathers frequented growing up.

“We grew up eating piles of oysters with our dads at Crisfields,” said Nick Wiseman. “Now, to be able to open our own raw bar on the waterfront in DC is truly a dream come true.”

Whaley’s aims to recreate the same sort of experience—a neighborhood place where friends and colleagues can gather casually to enjoy icy cold oysters and other raw bar favorites, along with delicious composed plates, all woven together with carefully selected wines, beers and cocktails.”

20 Comment

  • I’ve been to about 10 of the MLB parks and they all have these things called pubs around them for casual eating and drinking before, during and after a game. We have seafood small plates, Osteria’s, an upscale brewery and a chain in Gordon Biersch. I know you can’t build a place that instantly has Billy Goat tavern feel to it but damn these places do not scream baseball at all. Why can’t someone open a Pickles type place?

  • Ashy Oldlady

    There is definitely not enough bar capacity to meet demand during Nats games, as most places are completely packed an hour before the game. It’s only going to get worse now that the Bullpen/Fairgrounds is going away. I’m hoping all of this changes before the All-Star Game comes to town in 2018.

    • The Fairgrounds is staying for 2016. Construction isn’t slated until after the baseball season is over, like with 1244 South Capitol. But 2017 will certainly have a shortage of drinking space, unless the long-stymied proposal for what is essentially a new Fairgrounds takes off south of Nats Park, west of the Dock 79 development. Also worth noting is that, given the timing, it’s unlikely the Fairgrounds redevelopment will even be done in time for the All Star Game, since they don’t plan to start construction until the end of this year. But maybe they’ll prioritize getting the retail online even if the apartments above them aren’t ready for move-in?

    • justinbc

      If only they sold beer at the stadium!

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