Good news for all the material girls (and guys) out there: Chef Tom Power’s long-anticipated restaurant, Baby Wale, is aiming for a mid-January debut. The Corduroy owner checked in with us and says that while permitting and construction delays have stalled the project—planned for the building next door to Corduroy on Ninth Street, Northwest—progress should move relatively swiftly from here on out.
Plans for the casual eatery have changed several times since we first reported news of its opening. Fabric-fancying Power was originally going to call the place Velour, but Kim Cattrall ruined everything by tarnishing the name (more than a jumpsuit ever could) in the porn-star-themed flick Meet Monica Velour. The toque then moved on to the title Herringbone, until California-based Enlightened Hospitality Group—self-described operator of “numerous fabric-themed restaurants”—alerted Power of trademark infringement. Which brings us to Baby Wale. (“Wale” is the name for corduroy’s ridges; baby wale describes the smallest corduroy weave.) “Third time’s the charm,” as Powers says.
The plan is to create a relaxed, pub-style spot that serves dishes like roast chicken for two, lobster rolls, hot dogs, and pupusas. Power says the bar may be one of the longest in DC, with 50-plus seats primed for sipping cocktails, microbrews, and old-world wines. Another 100 seats are divided between the bilevel space, with an open atrium and sky lighting. Design firm Edit, the company behind recent Hilton brothers projects the Brixton and Satellite Kitchen, has been charged with realizing the interior, which will feature exposed-brick walls and dark wood as well as reproductions of old-school go-go posters. Check back in with us closer to the debut for more details.