Giuliana and Bill Rancic Confirm Plans for Washington Restaurant (Updated)

The Style Network reality stars will debut RPM Italian in 2015.
Reality stars Giuliana and Bill Rancic are bringing an Italian restaurant to the former Buddha Bar space. Photograph
via Shutterstock.

The rumors
are true: Reality stars
Giuliana and
Bill Rancic are opening a restaurant in Washington. Giuliana, a Bethesda native, announced on

The Tommy Show that she and her husband are planning to debut a branch of their Chicago-based RPM
Italian here.

We first became aware of the expansion after the season six premiere of
Giuliana and Bill, wherein the couple scout potential spaces for their restaurant around town. There’s
no word yet on how close the DC version will stay to the Windy City original, which
is a collaborative project with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (which is also behind
Maggiano’s,
Mon Ami Gabi, and Wildfire
in our area). You can see a copy of the original restaurant’s menu online;
it includes everything from fairly moderately priced pastas to a $118 steak for two.

While some are skeptical about the number of celebrity- and celebrity-chef-driven
eateries opening in Washington—Chris Bukowski’s “lady-friendly” sports bar,
anyone?—there’s some hope for RPM:
Michelle Obama seems to be a fan.

Update: This post previously stated that RPM was going into the space that formerly housed Buddha Bar. In fact, a lease has not yet been signed. Stay tuned for more information. 

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Anna Spiegel
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.