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.

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Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture. Originally from Rockville, she lives in Logan Circle.