Changes are afoot at Cashion’s Eat Place, which recently announced plans to open a laid-back, beach-inspired seafood shack called Pop’s Seabar in the space vacated by Taan Noodles next door. Now the Adams Morgan institution, which has operated on Columbia Road for 19 years, will close for two evenings before it debuts a new, more casual dinner menu on Friday.
Longtime regulars shouldn’t worry; the dining room remains unchanged, save for a few larger tables, and that beloved roast goat with fresh pita isn’t going anywhere (though it’s one of the only carry-over dishes). When the current co-owners—chef John Manolatos, his brother George Manolatos, and Justin Abad—took over the eatery from original chef/owner Ann Cashion in 2007, they maintained the restaurant’s reputation as the neighborhood’s more formal, “special-occasion” spot, albeit with informal touches such as late-night happy hours and patio barbecues. Now on the eve of their seventh anniversary, they’re planning to appeal to a wider audience with a more flexible menu format (a sample can be viewed here).
Instead of starters and mains that average in the mid-$20s, you’ll find a range of portions divided by categories such as “raw,” “vegetable,” and “enough for two.” John, who trained under Ann Cashion and served as a sous chef for 11 years before taking over the restaurant, plans to stay loyal to the eatery’s farm-to-table ethos. You can still order a traditional three-course meal by starting with an appetizer/size dish like salmon tartar, followed by a seven-ounce local flank steak with chimichurri and bread pudding for dessert. Still, the idea now is for more options, whether you’re looking to share a few plates, cobble together a light meal of Filipino-style pork skewers and a cress salad with trumpet mushrooms and crispy lamb-fat “crumbs,” or split a platter for two such as whole herb-stuffed dorade. Regardless of the variety of new options, don’t expect what Abad calls “tapas-style service”—dishes that appear when they’re ready, in no particular order, sometimes all at once. Guests can stagger a meal as they please. Weekend brunch will continue as usual.
Should you want to go even more informal, keep and eye out for “Pop’s pop-ups,” where John will test out dishes for the new spot such as peel-and-eat shrimp and popcorn-style chicken.