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PHOTOS: Jaleo 30th Anniversary Celebration

It's been three decades since chef José Andrés founded his flagship tapas bar. No one confuses it for a "topless" bar anymore.

José Andrés Group president Sam Bakhshandehpour, chef José Andrés, Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Keith Anderson, and José Andrés Group co-founder and executive chairman Rob Wilder.
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Party photographer Dan Swartz’s diary of bashes, benefits, and galas.

Paella supplanted the traditional 30th anniversary gift of pearls on Tuesday night, during a block party hosted by chef José Andrés celebrating the milestone for Jaleo.

Guests were treated to endless food, beverages, and entertainment during the restaurant crawl that spanned all five of the José Andrés Group’s Penn Quarter locations: Jaleo, China Chicano, Oyamel, Zaytinya, and Minibar (Capital One customers only).

When Jaleo first opened in 1993, Andrés joked that people kept confusing his tapas bar for a topless one due to his thick Spanish accent when describing the restaurant. But any such confusion has long since been resolved and the chef now presides over a culinary empire that stretches from DC to Dubai, including five Jaleo locations.

A lucky, close-knit group of friends were invited to join Andrés and his family at Jaleo prior to the official start of the evening for a slice of jamon and a celebratory toast. Interim deputy mayor for planning and economic development Keith Anderson presented the beaming chef with a proclamation from Mayor Muriel Bowser declaring June 27 as “Jaleo Day” in the District.

“Thank you for making Jaleo part of your life,” Andrés said to guests. “Because you know you are a part of our life…Spain has now a place—it’s a little corner—in the heart of DC.”

Chef José Andrés and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Danylo Volynets, Ambassador of Ukraine Oksana Markarova, and Patricia Fernández de la Cruz.
José Andrés Group cofounders José Andrés and Rob Wilder share a hug.
Even with a packed restaurant full of guests to greet, José Andrés couldn’t help but put the finishing touches on a giant pan of paella.
Annette and Tony Nader, investigative journalist Jim Popkin, and Monumental Sports’s Cliff White.
Mariano Andrés and Jordi Andrés (two of José’s three brothers).
Mark Ein (Kastle Systems chairman and Mubadala Citi DC Open chairman), Raul Fernandez (vice chairman and owner of Monumental Sports), Michael Powell, Sophia Fernandez, and Jim Van Stone (Monumental Sports President of Business Operations and Chief Commercial Officer).
A 30th birthday cake for Jaleo.
Shawn Townsend (Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington President & CEO) and Rob Wilder (José Andrés Group cofounder and executive chairman).
Guests take a selfie with Justice Sotomayor.
Chef Rubén García Castillo (Chief Creative Officer & founder of Unfold Hospitality; former Minibar chef) and Rick Billings (José Andrés Group Executive Chef Partner).
José Andrés talks with Ukraine Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova (left) and Danylo Volynets about his work in Ukraine with World Central Kitchen.
José Andrés and Rob Wilder welcome guests.