Starting a restaurant involves a lot more than just cooking great food. Things also needed? A fully-formed vision, not to mention financing, a space, a business license, a trained staff, and sourced supplies and ingredients… not to mention the know-how to deal with leaky pipes and ornery customers alike. What if you’re an aspiring chef with a great idea but you’re not quite ready to open your own place? Enter EatsPlace, a new “pop-uppery” opening in Park View this September.
EatsPlace is the brainchild of Katy Chang. In the District, producers are required to prepare their food in a commercial kitchen if they plan on selling it. Chang needed somewhere to make her award-winning kimchi. After searching for a space that would fit her needs—and commiserating with fellow would-be artisans—she decided to open EatsPlace.
“I want EatsPlace to be a great neighborhood restaurant and bar that just happens to be an innovative food incubator and restaurant accelerator,” says Chang. Chefs-in-residence will be able to concentrate on their food while EatsPlace handles the logistics. Meanwhile, Chang herself will be behind the bar, serving local beer and craft cocktails.
The first two residents? Mason Dixie Biscuit Company and DC Born and Raised. On weekdays for breakfast and lunch, Mason Dixie will serve up golden, flaky biscuit—made into delicious sandwiches filled with everything from fried chicken to eggs and bacon. DC Born and Raised will offer “elevated soul food” for dinner and weekend brunch. Count us in.
So with so many chefs-to-be in DC looking for space, how does EatsPlace pick? Says Chang, “I'm looking for concepts that get diners excited. That the food will taste great is a given, and then let's go deeper. What's the culinary story being shared? I’m fascinated with how food forms complex relationships, and we're all connected. I'm looking for a great business idea but there must be a soul behind that.”
With so much happening, it’s hard to say what to what we’re most excited for. The great food? The fact that it will be a home for DC’s homegrown chefs and producers? Or that they’re turning a run-down building into an asset for the community? Let’s just say we can’t wait for the whole package.