Celebrity chef Mario Batali is fast becoming Washington’s version of Bigfoot: Buzz about a local outpost of his New York destination Eataly won’t quit, but a true sighting remains elusive. The latest burst of chatter locates his massive Italian market/restaurant concept in the Capitol Crossing project on Northwest DC’s Massachusetts Avenue, not due to open until 2017. Speculation that New York empire builder (and former Washingtonian) David Chang will be opening a Momofuku at CityCenterDC is also just that—neither Chang’s team nor the all-but-finished development will confirm—but we’ll know soon.
Texas senator Ted Cruz has reportedly landed a deal with HarperCollins for a book that’s part memoir, part vision for America, and part recommendations of how to get Washington functioning again. The Tea Party favorite netted a nearly $1.5-million advance—more than Sarah Palin got for her campaign tell-all in 2009.
Rumours to Believe
With the return of Christine McVie after 16 years, Fleetwood Mac is back to its Rumours-heyday form. The group hits the road in September, stopping at the Verizon Center on Halloween.
New Dinosaur in Town
Though the whole skeleton won’t go on display until 2019, when the National Museum of Natural History completes its renovated dinosaur exhibit hall, the Wankel T. rex arrived from Montana in mid-April after delays caused by the government shutdown. Named after Kathy Wankel, who discovered the fossil in 1988, the new dinosaur is one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons in America.
For decades, local air-ports have had little to offer bored travelers but magazines, candy, and a full line of DC snow globes at the America! store. No more: Ten new retailers, including Chanel, Montblanc, Thomas Pink, andMichael Kors, are setting up at Dulles with food purveyors including Chef Geoff’s and Smashburger. Reagan National needn’t feel left out: It’s getting a Taylor Gourmet.
The National Building Museum—which has enticed tourists with mini-golf for two summers in a row—is shaking things up by building a maze with 18-foot-high walls in the museum’s Great Hall.
Big Names Come to Springfield
If Britain’s Topshop hasn’t whetted your appetite for the new Springfield Town Center, here’s more reason: The two-year, $225-million project, which could open as soon as October, will also welcome Michael Kors, H&M, Banana Republic, LA Fitness, a movie theater, and a slew of casual eateries.
Photograph of Cruz by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo ; Photograph of Fleetwood Mac by Matt Mindlin; Photograph of T. Rex by Donald E. Hurlbert/Smithsonian; Photograph of Dulles International Airport via Shutterstock; Photograph of Maze Rendering Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group.
This article appears in the May 2014 issue of Washingtonian.