Food

Maydan Owners and ThinkFoodGroup Alums Will Open a Middle Eastern Restaurant in DC

Tawle, with chef Rubén García, is planned for a massive new downtown food hall.

Chef Ruben Garcia, part of the newly formed Unfold Hospitality group. Photograph courtesy of Ruben Garcia.

Two culinary powerhouses are teaming up for an exciting new restaurant in downtown DC. Maydān owners Rose Previte and Mike Schuster have joined forces with a new restaurant group, Unfold Hospitality, from Union Market mastermind Richie Brandenburg, former Minibar chef Rubén García (the longtime Creativity Director for José Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup), and Mayu Horie, another TFG alum. Their first venture together is Tawle, an eclectic Middle Eastern restaurant that will open in Tishman Speyer’s massive new food hall, the Market at International Square (1850 K St., NW) next year.

Similar to Maydān, flavors will draw on trade routes through the Middle East and North Africa, from Morocco and Tunisia to Turkey and Lebanon, where Previte’s mother is from. The restaurant’s name comes from the family-style “tawle” menu at Maydan, which began as a takeout option in the pandemic and is now available for dine-in as well. It means “table” in Arabic, and nods to the gathering of friends and family over a shared meal.

“During the pandemic, we all became so deeply aware of what we were missing not being able to have meals with friends and loved ones,” says Previte. “As operators, we had to learn how to quickly adapt operations to retain that connectivity and bring food to people in new ways. Tawle is our way of putting all those lessons into practice for good — reaching new communities with a gathering place that is truly relaxed and flexible, where you feel comfortable coming in anytime or bringing the food and the spirit home with you.”  

Maydan co-owner Rose Previte. Photograph by Jennifer Chase.

The first Tawle location in the food hall will likely be counter-order with options for communal dining over platters of kebabs, dips, and spreads, plus a la carte entrees and quick-grab items for  takeout and delivery. Though they’re not yet ready to announce future locations, the group is already planning more Tawle restaurants with a casual, full-service dining format (plus items for takeout and delivery).

Unfold Hospitality, which is launching the Market at International Square alongside developer Tishman Speyer, has been fairly hush-hush about plans for the massive culinary complex near Farragut West metro station. The Washington Business Journal first reported on the revitalization of the former food court based on documents from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which show plans for 18 stalls, a capacity of 827 people over two floors, and a mix of dining formats including two full-service restaurants in addition to kiosks and a boutique grocery. Architect Michelle Bove and the team at Design Case, who are behind the transportive look of Maydan, will draw design inspiration for Tawle from sea and sand.

Tawle. 1850 K St., NW

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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.