Pit Master Rob Sonderman Leaves DCIty Smokehouse

The District's best barbecue joint is also on the move.

Rob Sonderman (pictured above) leaves DCity Smokehouse. Photograph by Scott Suchman

DCity Smokehouse’s longtime pit master Rob Sonderman has left the restaurant after building what’s become the best barbecue spot in the District. The Southeast Restaurant Group announced that Shawn McWhirter will take the helm, a Hill Country vet like Sonderman who’s cooked at DCity since its opening in 2013.

DCity is undergoing more than just transitions in the kitchen. As forecast for some time, the team closed their flagship takeout operation at Eight Florida Avenue, Northwest to move into a full-fledged, 83-seat restaurant space nearby at 203 Second Street, Northwest. The Washington Post, who first reported Sonderman’s departure, says the team is currently cooking out of Union Kitchen. Anyone hungry for barbecue can find an abbreviated DCity menu at sister bar Wicked Bloom, located just around the corner from the original operation, which continues to serve ribs and brisket sandwiches alongside its own staples like the mac n’ cheese “Smokehouse Bomb” waffle.

We’ve reached out to Sonderman for details on his next move.

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.