Hawk n’ Dove Gets a Makeover, Minibar Reopens: The Week in Food News

Every week we fill you in on what's been going on in the food and restaurant world.

José Andrés’s Minibar is back in action. Photograph by Pablo de Loy.

The Shaw’s Tavern drama continued to unfold this week, and the media was on it like ABC inspectors on, well, Shaw’s Tavern. DCist broke the news that owner Abbas Fathi closed down the gastropub before service last Friday due to slow traffic because of its lack of a liquor license. We followed up with Fathi, former chef John Cochran, and ex-manager Steven May, and discovered Fathi’s yet-to-open sister operation, Engine Company 12, may be facing problems as well. The Atlantic‘s Megan McArdle weighed in on the city’s troubled liquor laws, while others, like the City Paper, placed blame on the management. Look for updates on the tavern reopening (or not) in the coming weeks.

The Hill Rag broke the news that watering hole Hawk n’ Dove, a Capitol Hill institution, has been sold. New owner Xavier Cervera (Senart’s, the Chesapeake Room, Molly Malone’s) plans to keep some things the same, including some wall memorabilia and the “friendliness” of the 44-year-old bar. Still, a total renovation is planned before a projected October re-opening, along with a new, locally-sourced bistro menu.

Washington Post‘s Tom Sietsema announced that Drew Trautmann, former chef at Georgetown’s defunct Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar, has secured a 75-seat spot in Woodley Park for his own restaurant. The American eatery will be called District Kitchen, which Sietsema says will be modeled after Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen (Trautmann has no formal connection to the operation). Duck cracklings and a vegetarian french dip with mushroom jus may be on the opening menu this fall. 

The America Eats Tavern Facebook page posted news  that Minibar—José Andrés’s six-seat restaurant-within-a-restaurant—is back open. Good luck with those impossible-to-get reservations!

You know it’s a slow August news week when even mayonnaise makes headlines. Tim Carman at the Washington Post has the scoop on Taylor Gourmet‘s decision to change their anti-mayo and mustard policy. You can now order the formerly contraband condiments on your Philadelphia-style subs, though know that co-owner Casey Patten’s grandparents are “rolling over and over and over again in their graves.”

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.