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Urbana Closing for 5 Week Renovation in Dupont starting July 14

by Prince Of Petworth June 11, 2014 at 11:55 am 8 Comments

Photo via Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar – 2121 P Street, NW

From a press release:

“After eight years of operation, Urbana will close to the public beginning Tuesday, July 1 July 14th, to undergo a $600,000 interior renovation for a refreshed look, reopening for business in early late August.

Urbana will retain its sleek, urban ambiance while doubling its bar area, relocating its private dining room, refreshing its P Street patio area, and incorporating other design elements into a more free-flowing floor plan. The design concept for the renovation was led by GrizForm Design Architects, an award-winning design firm based in Washington, DC that has designed spaces for Fiola, Estadio and Cava.

The most noticeable effect of the refresh will be the bar area, which will incorporate a new double-sided bar, doubling capacity with 28 new bar seats and 22 new lounge seats to accommodate demand for Urbana’s signature happy hour and booming bar area. “Bars are a major focus for us at Kimpton, and we saw a great opportunity to expand Urbana’s bar scene while making aesthetic and design changes to help with overall flow in the restaurant,” said Regional Director of Operations and Urbana General Manager Eric Santiago, who managed a similar bar-focused refresh at Firefly in 2012.

In addition to the bar expansion, the refresh will create new options for private dining and special events while removing barriers within the 6,250 square foot space to achieve an open vibe among the bar, dining room, and hotel lobby spaces. The 12-person private dining room will also be moved near the lobby entrance, freeing up additional lounge space and room for a drink ledge within a bar area inspired by an Art Deco 1920’s cityscape. To mitigate sound, GrizForm will install strips of sound panels of various sizes to the ceiling, which will be wrapped in rich brown Maharam fabric for added visual interest. Custom red sliding doors to the private dining room and at the entrance to the restaurant will also provide additional buffers for private events.

The new look will also extend to Urbana’s recently added P Street patio area, which will receive inviting new tables, chairs and planters. The color palette will be reflective of the Italian coast with pops of marine blue, gold, and sunset red to complement materials such as wood, marble, grey plaster and chrome. Meanwhile, Urbana’s signature subway tile walls and highly recognizable pizza bar will remain in place.

The components of the renovation will include:

Expanded bar area, doubling in capacity from single-sided to double-sided
Expanded lounge area, assuming the space of the current private dining room
More open lounge area with drink ledge for flow
Relocated private dining room near the hotel lobby
Booth nooks replaced with floating tables
Two statement walls with table lamps as art elements
Incorporation of saturated primary colors as part of a coastal Italian color palette
A blend of sleek and rustic surfaces, incorporating wood, marble, grey plaster and chrome
Sound-mitigating ceiling panels
Revitalized patio space with new tables, chairs and planters

When the restaurant reopens, the Urbana team plans to complement the new look with an updated cocktail program and a new menu from Executive Chef Ethan McKee that builds on his passion for pasta and gluten-free dishes.”

  • Anon

    That build should never have gone up. It’s out of scale and out if place. The only thing worse is the high rise on the corner of 22st.

    • oh2dc

      I am confused. Are you complaining that this hotel was built? The article is about renovating the restaurant/bar in the hotel. This building has been here a long time. There are several high rise buildings in this area, including another hotel across the street. People will forever complain about development anywhere, anytime on this site.

  • sproc

    I do hope they don’t screw it up. We’ve really enjoyed the food and the experience the couple of times we’ve been there for dinner. I suppose they’re adapting to their clientele, but becoming more bar/lounge-y vice a nice sit-down dining experience is troubling. I also hope with the new menu they don’t go whole-hog on the small plate practice of bringing food whenever the kitchen gets around to cooking it. Some of us still enjoy dining in courses!

    • I haven’t been since John Critchley left as head chef, but it was always solid when he was there. That “bring stuff out as it’s ready” is one of my least favorite dining trends nowadays.

    • Anonymous

      It’s already fairly loungey/bar-scene in the evenings. Usually the bar is packed full and the dining room is fairly empty. It makes sense to make more room for the bar/lounge area.

  • Anonymous

    Ever since Dom left, all his favorites are closing…

  • Anonymous

    A new menu is well needed. I went there for brunch on Saturday with friends. We all found the menu to be very boring and unappetizing sounding. We ended up just staying because every other brunch place we tried had a long wait, while Urbana was more than half empty. As expected, our food was quite boring tasting, and over priced for what it was.

    At least they were prompt about refilling our bottomless drinks.

  • True Story

    I was once having champagne at Urbana, when my friend texted me from Champaign-Urbana.


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