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Owner of Lola’s, Molly Malone’s, the Chesapeake Room, Senart’s Oyster & Chop House, Pacifico, and The Box Car Tavern Considering Sale

by Prince Of Petworth — December 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm 30 Comments

Big potential Capitol Hill restaurant news from Capitol Hill Corner:

This afternoon, local restaurateur Xavier Cervera confirmed to Capitol Hill Corner that he has received offers to buy all nine of his Capitol Hill operations, and that he is reviewing these offers seriously.

The article also updates the status of Hawk & Dove:

“the Hawk & Dove will open early in February

  • monkeyrotica

    1. Scrap the menus.
    2. PROFIT!

    • Anonymous

      + 1

  • Identified

    Sell all 9 bars?

    Why wood he do that?

    • Anonymous

      wood/would, kinda cute actually, never seen this homophone confused

      • Identified

        Confused? Nope. Resetting my sarcasm meter to low.

        • monkeyrotica

          Why WOOD you do that? Besides, even though all of Xavier’s restaurants are OAK-kay, you won’t find people PINE-ing for them. People just like to BIRCH bout his fetish with paneling, but that’s what blogs are FIR.

          • Anonymous

            simply awesome

          • Identified

            I knew I should have ASHed you about that. People and all their BEECHing.

          • Like buttons all around

        • Anonymous

          I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.

  • Sean

    this makes me nervous.

    • ET

      That was my first thought as well.

      The only person/company that could do that would be one with very deep pockets possibly looking to move into the DC restaurant market. And if we think Cervera does mediocre then this person/company could be even worse.

      • Sean

        I live in the area and while I don’t think the restaurants are the most amazing things ever, they have become local hangout spots. I like going to Mollys and Lolas for drinks, Senarts for happy hour oysters, and the chesapeake room for brunch. We have a group of locally owned restaurants and any time a bigger company thinks they can buy them and run them from afar and do better… i will be skeptical.

        If he does sell, I hope he sells to a company that he believes can run the restaurants well, if not better, so his legacy isn’t tarnished. Despite what people say, he pioneered a lot of the revitalization of the barracks row area.

    • Nervous that the food, service and pricing might improve?

      • Sean

        Devil you know vs. the Devil you don’t. A lot is at stake. I just don’t want it screwed up. Things can always be worse. An “equity group,” may not be looking at anything more than extracting money out of the restaurants to finance something else, or it could be an amazing change. It’s hard to know, but as I said at first: It makes me nervous.

  • Anonymous

    I’m confused.

  • Anonymous

    I wish it was Great American Restaurants (Coastal Flats, Sweetwater Tavern, etc.) but I doubt they could afford such an expansion.

    • monkeyrotica

      I’ve never had much luck with the Great American Restaurants chains. Mike’s American, Artie’s, Sweetwater. Nothing bad, per se, but nothing particularly memorable either. They’re sort of the backup plan if the place we really want to go to is too crowded. They remind me of Zest only with a bigger menu. Also parking.

    • Oh please god no. I have never had such consistently terrible meals as I have at the Great American restaurants. Not to mention their italian joint in Fairfax Corner gave my wife food poisoning that required a trip to the emergency room. They’re literally the worst.

  • Anonymous

    The article said it was a Boston-based private equity group. That doesn’t sound particularly promising to me.

    • monkeyrotica

      I’m thinking either “extreme chowder” or Spike’s porn themed Massachusetts eatery, “Boston Creampie.”

    • nooooo

      “Boston-based private equity group.” I know a Boston based private equity guy who is recently looking for a job.

      Romney Tacos? Willard’s Wings? Mitt’s Thai Palace?

  • Anonymous

    I had been told by another restaurant owner in the area that this was always his plan – build up a bunch of profitable restaurants and then sell after five years or so. No long-term investment in the neighborhood.

    • Anonymous

      Yep, knowing his modus operandi, he’ll take that money and skip town shortly to do the same thing in another town.

    • sbc

      you mean he invested money, made renovations that will stay even if he doesn’t, created places people like to go, and brought more tax revenue to the district and you’re mad at him for not staying for 50 more years?

      He clearly is interested in making investments and trying new things (albeit all on a similar model). That’s how he opened all the DC restaurants in the first place! I can’t fault him for wanting to do more of that.

  • Rococo

    I’ve heard the name Molly Malone’s (probably on this site) but have never heard of any of the other places, no wonder they’re being sold. Are these all small neighborhood places?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, all are neighborhood places. I don’t think any of them has more than 15 tables (maybe Lola’s?).

  • Anonymous

    Is it Bain Capital?

  • Darley

    I hope this doesn’t delay the opening of the Park Tavern in Canal Park — that’s his too, right?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Sounds like it’s still on track, the article also said, “Park Tavern will open in three weeks”.


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