Maple bartender Sherman Golden is planning a restaurant in the space at 1316 Ninth Street, Northwest, next to Seasonal Pantry, Prince of Petworth first learned last month. Golden is teaming up with a local chef—that chef’s name won’t be released until closer to the opening date, but Golden, a veteran restaurant employee and first-time restaurateur, did share some tidbits about what we can expect when his Shaw spot opens.
Golden met his Maple employers—architect Eric Gronning and his wife, Lori Robertson—after asking Gronning to come look at the Ninth Street space. On top of designing Maple—which features a dramatic wood-topped bar and slate-black walls—Gronning is the architect behind restaurants like Cork and Hank’s Oyster Bar. He and Golden have been working together to design the new space, which will have a “modern industrial” look that incorporates steel, wood, and glass, along with other materials, including the structure’s exposed-brick walls.
Menus at the contemporary American restaurant will change seasonally and include local ingredients, though Golden is clear that he and his partner are not claiming any “farm to table” orthodoxy. Other trends he’s bucking: small plates, communal tables, and charcuterie. The pastry program is still in the air, but Golden is a big milkshake fan and would love to do a dessert menu of milkshakes and doughnuts—though “only if we can make our own ice cream,” he says.
Drink-wise, look forward to value-driven new- and old-world wines and lesser-known varietals. A wall hanging will guide guests through the list—which will change regularly—dividing vinos into categories so people can pick based on what they like (light-bodied, medium-bodied, etc.) There will be 12 or so beers on tap, as well as cocktails including riffs on classic drinks. Golden plans to use Counter Culture coffee, and may offer espresso drinks, too.
Other things to expect: a semi-open kitchen, a 25-seat section with pod seating that can be used as a private event space, and banquettes up front. The restaurant will offer dinner and a weekday lunch. Because of his experience as a restaurant employee, Golden says he probably won’t subject his staff to a regular brunch service. “Everyone hates to work it,” he told us.
Look for the restaurant to open in early spring, and check back here for the big reveal of that mystery chef.