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

by Prince Of Petworth February 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm 20 Comments

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.”

  • timmyp2353

    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?

    • Anon

      Because high rent.

    • Caroline

      This location is more than just a convenient place for baseball fans. Many of us live, work, and visit the Navy Yard neighborhood for reasons that have nothing to do with baseball.

    • AG

      You can also walk a few blocks to Barracks Row and go to Ugly Mug or Molly Malone’s.

    • bll

      I live and work in the area and as much as I’m excited for this, I do tend to agree. I think it’s a result of not just high rents, but also new construction. Everything that’s going in now is created with a very specific plan in mind, not just opened as a bar that serves beer that formulated a cool identity over the course of 20 years. Have you checked out Due South? When we went a few months ago, it seemed like a solid place to get a burger and beer.

      • SW,DC

        Due South is cool

        • AJSE

          Due South is the best!

    • sproc

      Many of the MLB parks in other cities are also a lot older–or at least their location was a lot older, even if the stadium is new. So those more neighborhood-y places grew over time as opposed to the relative blank-slate redevelopment around Nats Park.

    • CapitalDame

      What about Justin’s? The big stick? Buffalo Wild Wings? This place isn’t even as close to the stadium as those options. They may not be dives, but that’s not really surprising with rent so high. I live here and I’m plenty happy about it. The only restaurant in this area that I would characterize as consistently slow during the offseason is probably Kruba with second prize going to Willie’s.

      • Jerry Grundle

        Even Bonchon has a really nice, large bar that is great for pre-game drinks.

    • AJSE

      Big Stick is literally right across from the ballpark, so is Justin’s. And yes, the Bullpen is leaving but it is/was also a great area to grab a beer pre-game. But as other commenters have covered, Navy Yard isn’t Wrigleyville nor do we want to be.

  • Philippe Lecheval

    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.

    • Anon

      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?

    • If only they sold beer at the stadium!

      • Philippe Lecheval

        If only you weren’t missing the point!


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