777 I Street, NW
From a press release:
“Nearly five years after opening the award-winning South American steakhouse, chef Victor Albisu is replacing Del Campo with two Mexican concepts. Taco Bamba, his wildly popular counter-service taqueria, will have its first permanent D.C. home in the front bar and dining room, while the back dining room and patio will welcome Poca Madre. Albisu’s first upscale Mexican concept will offer a refined menu for dinner only.
“Del Campo has had a great run at 777 I (EYE) St., but the success of the Taco Bamba lunch counter made me think it’s time for a change in this space,” Albisu said. ” When I first opened Taco Bamba in Falls Church my goal was to introduce people to a different side of Mexican food, respecting the classics, but also showing off how cool and creative the cuisine could be. Poca Madre is going to be a more upscale experience, but the goal is similar. There are very few refined contemporary Mexican restaurants in the U.S. and none in D.C. I want to bring a different kind of Mexican experience to the District.”
Poca Madre and Taco Bamba in Washington, D.C.
Albisu is actively searching for a new location to open Del Campo in the District. It will close on I (EYE) street after dinner service on Saturday, March 24. Renovations to create the dual concept space will begin immediately. Among the new features will be a double-door vestibule separating the two spaces.
When Taco Bamba opens as a permanent concept the week of April 2, it will do so with a new-to-Chinatown look. The former Del Campo bar, lounge and front dining room area will be made over in the signature Taco Bamba style. Like the Springfield and Vienna and locations, this new outpost of Taco Bamba will feature a bar and an expanded menu of tacos, many original to the location.
The space is getting extended hours as well, operating from 8:30am-10pm Monday-Thursday, 8:30am-11pm Friday, 10am-11pm Saturday and 10am-10pm Sunday. Taco Bamba DC will celebrate its transformation into a permanent concept with a rooftop Cinco de Mayo blowout on the building’s rooftop on Saturday, May 5.
Renovations to the back dining room and enclosed patio are expected to finish in April for a spring opening of Poca Madre, which is Mexican slang for “really cool.” The menu will present a refined look at Mexican dining, and include dishes like langoustine veracruzana, roast duck pibil and sablefish al pastor.
Albisu is working with local design firm Swatchroom to transform the space. Poca Madre’s look will see the intimate, 70-seat space fitted with laser-cut panels filtering light into the dining room. Interior colors of deep green and black, with gold and bronze accents, will mirror a re-designed outdoor lounge and dining area. The plant-filled patio area will also serve as the restaurant’s main entrance from the breezeway between I and K streets. In the front room, Swatchroom will integrate the black, red and natural wood look sported at Taco Bamba’s Virginia locations into the bright, open dining room and large bar area.”