News & Politics

José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup Will Help Make the Cafe Menu at MLK Library

DC Central Kitchen is operating the restaurant, which will also serve as a job-training site.

The library recently reopened after three-and-a-half years of renovations. Photo by Daniella Byck.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library recently reopened after a $211 million renovation that installed a kids slide and recording studios in DC’s central public library. Now the library plans to open a first-floor cafe in early 2021 helmed by non-profit DC Central Kitchen. The organization is tapping some local star power to help create the menu at Marianne’s by DC Central Kitchen — José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup.

Expect breakfast sandwiches, salads, and grab-and-go wraps when the 4,300-square foot cafe opens with indoor and outdoor seating. The eatery will offer more than just a spot to fuel up between books: the library’s culinary stop plans to provide a year-long apprenticeship that will help DC residents gain food and beverage management experience.

In fact, the restaurant’s moniker is an homage to Marianne Ali, who led DCCK’s job-training program and passed away in 2017. Her namesake cafe will continue her mission to provide job opportunities and workforce skills as a part of the Culinary Job Training Program. A similar training cafe is also located at Ward 8’s Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.