A diner that will serve “healthy comfort food” is being planned east of Lincoln Park.
The DC Capitol Square Bar & Grill is under construction at 1500 East Capitol St. NE, the former site of Deedeez Cutz and Hookupz. Information on the project was presented Mar. 23 to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee.
The restaurant will serve healthy staples for lunch and dinner, including seafood, wings, pasta chicken and steak. It will also serve weekend brunch and offer a kids menu.
Construction on the new Capitol Square Bar & Grill is expected to be completed in 4 to 6 weeks, Construction Manager Paul Mowbray told the committee Tuesday.
The business is owned by the TIS Foundation, a social impact non-profit founded by Dr. Emmanuel Irono and Dr. (Mrs.) Ogay Irono. Dr. Emmanuel Irono is also the President and CEO of MOTIR Services, a facilities maintenance contract support services company. Both the non-profit and MOTIR are based down the street from the proposed diner at 1508 East Capitol St. NE.
Dr. Emmanuel Irono told the committee that a restaurant was a new venture for the organization, but added that after being in the area for the past 10 to 15 years, he himself saw a need for a healthy sit-down restaurant that did not require him to travel across town or to Barracks Row. “We believe this will be added value to the neighborhood,” Irono said.
Former ANC 6B08 Commissioner Chander Jayaraman acted as representative for the TIS Foundation at the meeting (6B08, his former SMD, is located right on the edge of ANC 6A). Jayaraman said that while the interior has a limited capacity on the main and second floors, there is potential for a good-sized outdoor sidewalk cafe.
Owners will seek a restaurant class “C” liquor license. Expected hours are Monday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 1130 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The applicant is waiting for approval for occupancy of a sidewalk cafe. After that, they will apply to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) for a permit for a Sidewalk Cafe. That permit, and the completed application for the liquor license will each be the subject of additional appearances before ANC 6A, possibly in April but most likely in May, said ANC 6A ABL Co-Chair Mark Samburg.
Jayaraman told the committee the applicant might later seek an entertainment endorsement, which he said would be for “a single person playing guitar.”
Commissioners expressed their general support for a restaurant at the site, and several neighbors appeared to say they were excited at the prospect of a diner. Many of those who put in a good word live at the Car Barn Condominiums (1400 East Capitol St. NE), located just across 15th Street.
Commissioner Brian Alcorn (6A08) offered his assistance in facilitating community outreach for the operators at Capitol Square Bar & Grill, as the site is in his Single Member District (SMD). Alcorn noted that at the next meeting the applicant was likely to be additional questions from residents on subjects such as construction, parking and trash.
Jayaraman said that the team was working to stay ahead of the issues. “The success of the restaurant is only as good as how good we listen to and address community concerns and desires,” he said. “We look forward to and are grateful for it.”
The new restaurant could be the first to open in a string of planned eateries on the east side of Lincoln Park. Della Barba Pizza is expected to open in the spring in the former Al’s Pizza (1382 E. Capitol St., NE), serving pizza housemade bacon, baguettes and pastries. A Pacci’s Restaurant, known for wood-fired pizza, fresh pasta and sea food, is expected to open in fall 2021 in the former site of the Lincon Park Wine Bar (106 13th St. SE).
Learn more about ANC 6A and its committees by visiting anc6a.org