Food

A Beach Restaurant With Crabs and a Huge Boat Bar Is Coming to North Bethesda

Coastal California’s Hello Betty will open its second location at Pike & Rose.

Hello Betty, a coastal California transplant, opens this summer at Pike & Rose. Photography courtesy of Hello Betty

Hello Betty fish house has perched over the beach in Oceanside, California, for the past eight years, slinging fish tacos, fried seafood baskets, and cold beers to surfers and sand-goers. Now the restaurant is expanding for the first time with a giant indoor/outdoor location at North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development—it’s slated to open this spring.  

The restaurant will have a 167-seat patio for sipping beach-style drinks.

The new Hello Betty won’t have water views, but Sage Restaurant Concepts—a Denver-based company that operates the bicoastal spots as well as King & Rye in Alexandria—is thinking of creative ways to import the beach to Bethesda. Chef Derek Simcik, who got his kitchen start in the DC area at restaurants such as Cafe Milano in Georgetown and Alexandria’s Jackson 20, is planning a seafood-centric menu that mixes California classics with Mid-Atlantic traditions. Hello Betty’s tacos, fish ‘n’ chips, and peel-and-eat shrimp will be joined by Chesapeake inspirations like a crab-stuffed “Maryland roll.” Simcik also plans to use an open-fire oven in the 138-seat dining room to create a beach bonfire-esque play on a Maryland crab feast, where Chesapeake blue crabs are roasted, tossed with vinegar and Old Bay, and served by the bucket for cracking. 

The soon-to-be boat bar.

Another nod to the Maryland shores: a huge boat bar on the equally huge 167-seat patio. The team refitted an old 40-foot Deltaville Deadrise—a classic Chesapeake workboat—and transformed it into a 23-seat bar for sipping orange crushes and local beers. Groups can also order “buckets” of drinks served in vintage Igloo coolers. 

The restaurant will offer daily lunch and dinner, happy hour, and weekend brunch.

Hello Betty. 940 Rose Ave., North Bethesda.

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.