• Monday, Prince of Petworth noticed a liquor license in the window at the former Locanda restaurant on Capitol Hill. The notice mentioned a Vietnamese restaurant with 49 seats. Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post followed up Wednesday with the full scoop: Khoa Nguyen, a former manager and special-events planner at Vidalia, is behind the new place, called Ba Bay. With plans to open in November, Nguyen will serve Vietnamese street food as small plates (is there any other way these days?). Think beef-and-pork soup, duck with cabbage, and of course, bánh mì sandwiches. Nguyen’s cousin Denise is a managing partner. The two were a team that competed on the short-lived Chopping Block reality show on NBC.
• After press time for last week’s Wrap-Up, Tom Sietsema had a couple significant Twitter announcements. First, John Wabeck, a former chef and most recently sommelier at the now-shuttered Inox, is now working for Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong on their upcoming projects: Virtue Feed & Grain, an Irish pub, and Society Fair, a gourmet market. Also, Jeff Tunks—whose Passion Food Hospitality Group owns Ceiba, TenPenh, Acadiana, and others—will open a double whammy in DC’s West End next summer: an American tavern, called District Commons, and Burger Tap & Shake with, um, burgers and shakes.
• Pho 14 in DC’s Columbia Heights is taking over the adjacent storefront, reports Prince of Petworth. In addition to extra space, the owners are beefing up their menu with 30 to 50 more dishes, including hot pots.
• Nycci Nellis says that the long-awaited Galileo III, chef Roberto Donna’s resurrection of his downtown DC restaurant, is scheduled for mock service starting next week. There have been lots of setbacks for the place, including big-time financial troubles.
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