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New Serbian Restaurant from owner of Masa 14 Coming to Barracks Row will be Called – Ambar

by Prince Of Petworth September 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm 31 Comments

528 8th Street, SE

In early Aug. we learned that the former Jordan’s 8 space on Barracks Row would become a new Serbian restaurant from the owner of Masa 14. The Eastern Market Metro Community Association shares more info:

“The restaurant will serve Balkan cuisine, focusing on dishes from the owner’s native Serbia. The name “Ambar” refers to the bin where corn is stored after harvest in Serbia, and according to Iricanin, is part of every Serbian household.”

Check out a rendering of the space here.

They’ve also recently applied for a liquor license that says:

“New Restaurant, offering full dinner, Balkan-style cuisine. Entertainment Endorsement to include live acoustic music as well as DJs on some weekend nights. No designated dance floor.

Summer Garden with 40 seats and Sidewalk Café with 12 seats. Total occupancy load is 140 with 140 seats inside.

Stay tuned for a possible November opening.

  • Anonymous

    Is it bad that Serbian still has such bad connotations for me?

    • Well, if you have any connection to any of the former Yugoslav republics that aren’t Serbia, it’s understandable. All that bombing and ethnic cleansing isn’t really a good PR strategy.

      I love balkan food but tend to get a bit cross-eyed when it’s billed as “Serbian” given the negative ethnic connotations.

      • Anonymous

        To follow the same logic, German food is also despicable for all the war crimes they’ve done during world war 2. And then we probably wouldn’t eat any ethnic cuisine if we start digging around their history.

        • Anonymous

          except that americans generally have a far broader view of german culture. serbian culture doesn’t have the same place in american popular culture. if all you know of something is one thing, well, that’s what you’ll think about.

        • Actually I do know plenty of Jewish people who refuse to buy German cars and probably wouldn’t eat at a German restaurant.

          And you’re exaggerating my comments, since I didn’t say the food was despicable. I said that the connotations of Serbian nationalism turn me off, even though I enjoy the food and balkan culture generally

          In any event, Germans seem to have done a pretty good job at tamping down their nationalist political parties (e.g., Nazism is outlawed in Germany), while in Serbia sabre-rattling ethnocentric parties are not only legal but quite popular.

          • Anonymous

            Really? Because it seems like at least half the Jewish people I know own a Mercedes-Benz, and they were among the most vicious benefactors of slave labor in Nazi Germany.

          • Anonymous

            Not only Serbia is this way but all countries in the Balkans. Seems unfair to single them out. Also dont forget where we live.

          • Ron

            I’m sorry, but I can’t let this stupid, American ignorance slide. I’m sorry, but do you really think every Serbian person who tries to open a restaurant is evil? So you think because of the actions of the Milosevic regime the entire culture is crap and everyone of Serbian heritage is a war criminal?

            As an American who has spent a lot of time in Serbia I can tell you that it is a rich culture with great food and a wonderful country full of warm, loving people. Most people hated and hate Milosevic for what he did and were unaware of the true extent of what was happening (esp in Bosnia.) There was ethnic cleansing on ALL SIDES and there were plenty of Serb refugees who were displaced. Why do you think there are Serb immigrants in DC?

            I know Bosnians, Croats and Serbs whose families were impacted by the war. And guess what, they’re all decent people who are just trying to get on with their lives.

            As if any of these has to do with a damn restaurant. Your post has revealed, without a doubt that you would have thought that rounding up all the Japanese living in the US and putting them in camps was a good idea because, ya know, they are JAPANESE after all.

            Get over your bigotry, go meet some actual Serb people and try the food – it’s pretty good.

    • anon

      its been almost 20 years…i think its time to move on.

      if so USA should have bad connotations for you as well. genocide against native americans, slavery,racism and numerous illegal wars.

      • Anonymous

        Amen. It seems like Americans in general have a hard time moving on.

    • jim

      Why hint to politics here?

      Hope the food is as good as in the Balkans.

  • Anonymous

    I’m really excited about this, even though my options might be limited as a vegetarian. I love trying new cuisines! And the weekend nights could be a lot of fun.

    • Balkan Grill has some decent veg options: they do falafel, babaganoush, and burek pastries stuffed with spinach, potato, or zucchini. Given the neighborhood, I doubt they’d be veg-averse.

  • Anonymous

    On the subject of new Barracks Row restaurants with roofdecks… it looks like a roofdeck is going up above the Moby Dick/Nooshi building, but it’s set back a bit so I’m not sure if it’s part of the restaurants. Can anyone confirm or deny?

  • Chevapi!
    I had the best hamburger I have ever had in Belgrade – here is to hoping this place provides a decent rival.
    Re Serbia – had a blast in Belgrade and the people were great – same for all of the former Yugoslavia.

  • Gloomingdale

    Great! Hopefully another place for me to buy a $7 Yeungling.

    • Anonymous

      for real for real.

  • neighbor

    What happened to the restaurant the Masa owner was supposed to be opening at 715 Florida Ave NW? http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/04/tasty-scuttlebutt-new-richard-sandoval-peruvian-restaurant-coming-to-715-florida-ave-nw/ Looked like an amazing roofdeck was going up for a while but the awning, etc. under construction has since disappeared and it doesn’t seem that anything is happening. Amazing potential if someone takes it on… wish I had some $ to invest

  • This comment is nothing against Serbian food, I’m welcoming this new restaurant in my neighborhood, but it baffles me how many restaurants there are on cap hill/barracks row/eastern market and NO decent sushi places. :(

    • jch

      maybe nooshi if that place ever opens up.

    • Anonymous

      Old Siam does Wednesday and Thursday sushi nights, and it looks like they’re expanding to create a separate sushi space. I had their sushi one of the first weeks they started doing it, and it was not remarkable, but now that they’ve been doing it longer (and presumably will be doing it full-time) maybe it will get better.

    • What about that SizzEx place near the Penn office building at 6th/Pennsylvania?

      The sushi isn’t great, and it’s overpriced, but they have it.

      Is that place even still there?

  • Anonymous

    check out some Emir Kusturica movies.

    • Anonymous

      that was meant as a reply to the first comment.

  • Now if I could just find a place that offers leutinitsa (hard to spell in English letters…) – a Bulgarian fave, that would be awesome. Surprisingly, when I briefly lived in Phoenix, they had a Bulgarian restaurant, way better Middle Eastern markets and more import food than I can find here!

    • Sandi

      Mmmm Luentenista!!

      I made the comment below by the way.

  • Anonymous

    I lived in Bulgaria for a year and the food in neighboring Serbia is very similar. Its a combination of Mediterranean with Turkish/Ottoman influence. Lots of Salads, Meat, Potatoes and local white cheese (like feta). My favorite dish is Shopska Salad, which Bulgarians and Serbians claim as their own (the debate can get heated over who stole it from who) – it includes cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, Bulgarian/Serbian feta and roasted peppers. Soooo good, especially with Rakia (grape/plum liquor – 100 proof). Can you tell I’m excited to have this restaurant in my hood!

    They closed down the only Balkan Restaurant in DC last winter – it was in AdMO.

    • anon

      sounds exactly like the salad commonly served in Romania too

  • Anonymous

    Lets be honest and just call it Turkish food

    • The Turks serve wienerschnitzel? Who knew?

    • Anonymous

      let me honest and call it Perisan/Arab food. Turks were nomads who picked up the cultures as they went along.


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