Amazon HQ2’s Helix (aka the “poop emoji” building) may be on hold, but the area will soon be getting 11 new restaurants and bars as part of National Landing’s reimagined Water Park. The rollout will begin this summer with a grand opening scheduled for September.
Developer JBG Smith will convert 1.6 acres at 1601 Crystal Drive into a community space with a live performance stage, art installations, and an interactive water feature. (Sorry, “Water Park” does not mean water slides and surf pools.) Nine of the forthcoming eateries will have their own 300-square-foot kiosks. The line-up will include Indian street food, falafel bowls, fried-chicken sandwiches, Vietnamese fare, and much more—with an emphasis on local minority- and women-led businesses.
Meanwhile, Atlanta-based group STHRN Hospitality, which has created several food halls and culinary events, will operate two larger concepts: Water Bar will offer a raw bar-focused menu and cocktails with an open terrace perched above a water wall. Crush Pizza will serve “creative” New York-style whole pies and slices, salads, and wine by the glass.
Best of all: the park has gotten approval to allow visitors to walk around with alcoholic drinks.
Here’s the full list of kiosks, via a press release:
- Brij, a DC-based café and wine bar by Skyler Kelley, whose vision is to bridge people and communities together with proceeds benefiting single mothers, the LGBTQ+ community, and the un-housed.
- Bubbie’s Plant Burger, a plant-based and kosher certified Americana burgers, fries and soda pop shop from chef Margaux Riccio and general manager Shaun Sharkey, the creators of DC’s award-winning Asian fast casual restaurant Pow Pow.
- Cracked Eggery, launched by Potomac native Mike Tabb and his partners as a popular food truck serving inventive egg sandwiches, bowls and tasty sides throughout DC. It now has permanent locations in Cleveland Park and Shaw, where it occupies space in a JBG SMITH-owned building.
- DC Dosa, Bombay-born Priya Ammu’s South Indian street food concept, and her first location outside of Union Market.
- Dolci Gelati, a DC-born gelato shop by Gianluigi and Anastasia Dellaccio serving up 450+ seasonal and artisanal flavors made fresh on a daily-basis as well as a robust coffee/espresso program.
- Falafel Inc., launched by Ahmad Ashkar in Georgetown with a simple, inexpensive menu of falafel bowls, sandwiches and sides and the goal of feeding refugees alongside the World Food Programme.
- PhoWheels, a family-based business from Tuan and Jennifer Vo featuring Vietnamese inspired dishes. Their kiosk will be the first brick and mortar location for the popular DC food truck.
- Tiki Thai, a new outpost of chef Porntipa “Pat” Pattanamekar’s Reston eatery that has been dubbed “Virginia’s first premier tiki bar and Thai restaurant,” offering a wide-range of eats inspired by Thai and Polynesian cuisine.
- Queen Mother’s, Virginia native and James Beard Award Semi-Finalist Chef Rahman “Rock” Harper’s tribute to his mother through his renowned fried chicken joint.