The owners of Duke’s Grocery and Duke’s Counter – polished British pubs located in Dupont Circle and Woodley Park – intend to open a third restaurant late next year in Foggy Bottom.
The new location at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, also called Duke’s Grocery, will resemble the two existing restaurants, both of which fall somewhere between cozy English nook and sleek District hotspot.
Duke’s Grocery managing partner Daniel Kramer said he is “very excited” about the prospect of setting up shop in Foggy Bottom.
“It’s got all of the best of D.C. in a very small location,” Kramer said, highlighting neighbors such as the White House, the state department, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and George Washington University, as well as numerous embassies, law firms and private residences. “It’s a great mix of everybody.”
The D.C. restaurant scene’s growth, Kramer said, has been focused in large part around the 14th Street and U Street corridors.
“Foggy Bottom has kind of been overlooked,” he said.
Kramer said Duke’s Grocery and Duke’s Counter patrons will recognize much of the casual, pub-style menu at the upcoming location with a few new additions.
“The brunch is very busy and fun, the huge sandwiches, the strong bar program, all of those are going to stay,” he said.
The weekend brunch, served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature a series of authentic offerings. These include the “proper English brekkie” – a hearty plate filled with bacon rashers, a runny egg, tinned beans, braised mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, toast and a black and white pudding – and the “posh B.L.T.A,” which is a hot ciabatta sandwich topped with bacon, rocket, tomato and avocado.
The eatery’s famed “Proper Burger,” whose recipe of Angus beef, gouda, dill pickles, red onion, sweet chili, rocket and aioli on a brioche has won the restaurant several awards, will also appear on the Foggy Bottom menu, Kramer confirmed.
The 4,500 square-foot space, which is larger than its Dupont and Woodley counterparts, will afford Duke’s Grocery Foggy Bottom room to expand its menu, Kramer said.
Studio 3877 was selected to design the Duke’s space within a historic structure that was built for D.C. governor “Boss Shepherd” in the 1870s. The location was also inhabited by famed chef Bob Kinkead for two decades, until his eponymous seafood restaurant closed in 2012.
The restaurant space is part of a retail and office complex owned by George Washington University. A contentious development battle in the late 1970s and early 1980s resulted in the high-rise construction behind the historically designated I Street NW row houses, which are known as “Red Lion Row.”
While the Duke’s team is excited about its impending expansion, Kramer said there are no plans to venture outside D.C. just yet.
“Let’s take it one restaurant at a time,” Kramer laughed.