Owner of New York’s Famed Minetta Tavern Scouts Location in DC

The Greenwich Village hotspot is known for its celebrity clientele and luxe Black Label burger.

Minetta Tavern in New York. Photograph by Lucas Richarz/Flickr.

New York restaurateur Keith McNally is eying DC for a second location of his clubby destination Minetta Tavern. The hospitality vet posted an old photo on his Instagram yesterday showing writer Jay McInerney and “accountant” Jerry Seinfeld dining at the Greenwich Village location. At the end of the caption, McNally says he’d spent the day in DC looking for a space to build another Minetta Tavern. In the comments, he says he visited two “nice spaces”—one in Georgetown and the other in Capitol Hill.

McNally is behind some of New York’s most high-profile, buzzed-about restaurants, including Balthazar and Pastis. Minetta Tavern bills itself as a “Parisian steakhouse meets classic New York City tavern.” It’s known for its who’s who clientele and luxe Black Label burger with prime dry-aged beef and caramelized onions. Minetta Tavern had a long, storied history dating back to the 1930s before McNally took it over in 2009. His revamp was an instant hit and one of the most-coveted reservations in town.

McNally already has some Washington connections. He partnered with another big-name restaurateur, Stephen Starr of Le Diplomate, on Pastis, which is currently helmed by St. Anselm DC chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley (she currently splits time between New York and the NoMa steakhouse). Meek-Bradley recently posted an Instagram story showing McNally posing with Starr at St. Anselm near Union Market, captioned: “When worlds collide in DC. Love working with these legends.” Maybe Starr, who’s also been looking to expand in the nation’s capital, gave McNally the DC bug?

Washingtonian has reached out to McNally for more details and will update this story when we hear back.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.