Lore Group, the international hospitality company behind Penn Quarter’s luxe new Riggs Hotel, is ready for its second US opening: Lyle Washington DC, a boutique hotel and restaurant, Lyle’s, that opens April 15. The property takes over a 1940s Art Deco building on New Hampshire Avenue previously operated as the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel, which also housed American tavern The Riggsby (the latter restaurant is moving to Bethesda).
Chef Nick Sharpe is leading the kitchen at Lyle’s, a seasonal American restaurant and bar. Sharpe’s resume contains plenty of fine dining experience; he got his start in DC at Fabio Trabocchi’s pioneering restaurant, Maestro, and since worked with the Mina Group, including RN74 in Seattle and Wit & Wisdom and Pabu in the Four Seasons Baltimore. But he’s also helmed the kitchen at more casual spots like Ba Bay and Birch & Barley/Churchkey.
At Lyle’s, Sharpe says he’s going for “familiar food, nothing too complicated,” and is angling for a strong neighborhood clientele as much as catering to hotel guests. Diners will find seasonal dishes like homemade ravioli with goat cheese, spring onions, and asparagus, or lamb loin with fava beans and ricotta gnudi. There are also comfort dishes such as a thousand island-sauced cheeseburger or Sharpe’s fried chicken—served simply with hot honey and pickles, but created with a cheffy technique. (Sharpe dredges it in potato starch, like he learned at Pabu for Tokyo-style wings, so that it’s extra-crispy and also gluten-free.) For dessert: nostalgic treats like soft-serve or warm banana bread.
Guests will eventually be able to sit at the bar (pending Covid regulations), and also visit the restaurant for breakfast and brunch, which begin May 8. You may also find in-suite dining like at sister property Riggs, which offered up hotel rooms for brunch or dinner while indoor dining was banned, though general manager Abe Liao says nothing is set. “There’ll be programming that’s unique to the time and property,” he says.
Lore Group Creative Director Jacu Strauss, who’s behind the look of the Riggs—including its First Lady suites and moody Silver Lyan cocktail bar—is responsible for a full revamp of the Lyle space. As opposed to the grand bank building downtown, the Dupont spot will have a more relaxing, residential feel. The restaurant will be filled with bespoke furniture and lit with a custom Herman Miller pendant, and flanked by an open kitchen.
For the 196-room property, Strauss combined Art Deco touches with nods to the building’s history as house apartments. Over 50 of the rooms will have kitchenettes for longer-term visitors, whether that’s business travelers to the many surrounding embassies, or locals looking to escape their homes after many pandemic months.
Liao says business is still fairly stagnant in the hotel industry, as tourism and business travel have yet to fully resume. But he’s hopeful for the Lyle’s spring debut.
“There’s confidence about vaccinations. We’re hoping there’s pent up demand—people will want to dine out, get out, travel. Lyle’s a unique opportunity. Maybe downtown it still feels sparse, but around Dupont and Adams Morgan, it’s not uncommon to see patios packed on a nice day—or as packed as they can be.”
Lyle Washington DC. 1731 New Hampshire Ave., NW.
*This article has been updated from an earlier version with new information from the hotel group.