Yellow Cafe Closes in Navy Yard, Adds Cocktails and Pizza in Georgetown

The new location launches dinner in mid-February.

Yellow, a Levantine cafe, expands to evening hours in Georgetown with Lebanese wines, pizzas, and dips. Photography by Rey Lopez

When one door closes, another door opens for Levantine flatbreads and natural wines. At least that’s the way it goes for Albi chef Michael Rafidi, who closed his first Yellow Cafe in Navy Yard shortly after opening a new location in Georgetown. The latter, currently open during the daytime, will begin evening hours on Wednesday, February 15 with a new menu of snacks, “not pizzas,” Lebanese wines, and coffee cocktails. 

Pizzas like the margherita-inspired "Harissa Explains it All" can come with dips for dunking crusts. Photograph by Rey Lopez
Pizzas like the margherita-inspired “Harissa Explains it All” can come with dips for dunking crusts. Photograph by Rey Lopez

The Navy Yard location, attached to Rafidi’s lauded Levantine restaurant Albi—#2 on our 100 Very Best Restaurants list—was always meant to be a temporary pop-up. But, over two years after opening, Rafidi says it was tough to cut off the line for wood-fired pita sandwiches.

“It’s really for the team, not to operate two restaurants in one. It’s just not a sustainable way to operate,” says Rafidi, who’s also in expansion mode with a huge Yellow cafe, test kitchen, and wood-fired kebab shop opening near Union Market next year. “It’s definitely going to come back in the Navy Yard, I just don’t know where.”

Pies are available to stay or go. Photograph by Rey Lopez
Pies are available to stay or go. Photograph by Rey Lopez.

In the meantime, diners can head to Georgetown during the day for a nearly identical menu of creative coffee drinks (go baklava latte), homemade pastries, and pita sandwiches. The nighttime offerings—available for dine-in and to-go—center around “not pizzas.” The rounds come from a wood-burning oven and are brushed with garlic, Lebanese olive oil, and za’atar. Fun toppings include “That’s Not a Shawarma Wrap” with spiced chicken, labne, and smoked mozz, or “Lamachun Lovers” with garlicky toum, Palestinian olives, and torn herbs. 

Rounding out the menu: dips for dunking crusts and mezze such as chermoula lamb ribs drizzled with smoked honey. Sweet tooth can indulge in halva chip cookies, or our Albi favorite, labne soft-serve. 

Check out the evening menu below:

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.