Restaurant Makeovers: Jaleo Bethesda (Photos)

The Woodmont Avenue eatery reopens with an updated look and foosball dining tables.

By: Jessica Voelker

In March 2012, José Andrés revealed a revamped version of Jaleo in Penn Quarter, the original location of his Spanish tapas restaurant. Big on bold, primary colors and boasting long murals and foosball dining tables, the update was a creative collaboration between Andrés and architect Juli Cappella, who also helped create the second iteration of Minibar. Their newest project: an overhaul of the sprawling Jaleo Bethesda.

The new look at the Woodmont Avenue restaurant has a similar look to its Penn Quarter sibling—both were inspired by the colorful, whimsical aesthetic of Barcelona. An artist from that city, Rafael Vargas, created a mural for the restaurant, and much of the furniture has been imported from Spain. The glass-covered foosball tables—there are two in Bethesda—feature characters designed by Andrés. Guests can order food and eat and play at the same time.

The design scheme seems to be a winner—for the similar look it created at Jaleo Las Vegas, Capella Garcia Arquitectura was nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Redesign (75 Seats and Under) in 2013.

This was the first major overhaul for the 12-year-old restaurant.
Hams are on display near the entrance.