Beyoncé came to town to dazzle. Jay-Z came to brunch. The superstar’s husband, Shawn Carter, and sister, Solange Knowles, were spotted Sunday morning with a small group at what might seem like an unlikely dining destination: Opal, a new coastal American restaurant in Chevy Chase.
“Honestly, not quite sure how he found Opal. They just stopped by for brunch very casually. I guess they researched what are the good restaurants in DC,” says owner Danilo Simic, who opened the 80-seat dining room only a year ago as a follow-up to his Shaw eatery Nina May. After chaotic rain delays, Beyoncé performed later that evening at FedEx Field as part of her Renaissance World Tour.
Simic says the party of five showed up for a late brunch without a reservation and were seated in the main dining room near the open kitchen. “Most people recognized him right away,” he says.
Simic declined to reveal what the group ate other than to say they shared some dishes and particularly seemed to enjoy the seasonal pastries and wood-fired bread.
Simic says Opal gets big names and public figures quite often, and he likes to protect their privacy. But in this case, Jay-Z offered to take a photo with the staff near the end of the meal. “Who doesn’t like to have to have a memory with Jay-Z? That was a very nice gesture from him,” Simic says.
Kelly Pace Hayes, a marketing and social media consultant who also posted photos of Beyoncé’s entourage, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the crew was there for hours: “Jay-Z was laughing, clapping, being so kind to staff. Love to see it,” she wrote.
Spotted: @solangeknowles, @sc & crew at Opal in Chevy Chase, DC enjoying brunch for hours. Jay-Z was laughing, clapping, being so kind to staff. Love to see it. @OverheardWDC @WashProbs @Eater_DC @eat_dc @OverheardWDC #RenaissanceTour #OpalDC pic.twitter.com/HgrR9OodlD
— Kelly Pace Hayes 💪🍒 (@kellypacehayes) August 6, 2023