Housing Complex

Big-Time Philly Restaurant Group Gets Into D.C. Market; Other 14th Street News!


Midcity denizens breathed a heavy sigh when the Whisk Group gave up on the Shirt Laundry space at 14th and Q Street NW, bogged down with the cost of renovation and environmental remediation. But it didn't take long for another top-tier operator to jump on the opportunity: According to a reliable source, Starr Restaurant Group out of Philadelphia is close to signing a lease there for its super-French Parc concept.

If you're going to do one restaurant in D.C., why not do two? This is probably much further down the road, but Starr will also be bringing its Asian-themed Buddakan restaurant to the Adams Morgan Marriott hotel project. Developer Brian Friedman had previously declined to name the tenant, saying that they "don't want to be brought down in all these local politics." A rep for the Starr Group declined to comment until the lease was signed, but says that owner Stephen Starr is "anxious and eager" to get into the D.C. market.

But wait, back to 14th Street! I'm also hearing that JBG's District Condos project has two restaurant tenants: Another project by Estadio's Mark Kuller*, and a sister to Ted's Bulletin on Barracks Row. For good measure, the Ted's Bulletin owners are also putting a Matchbox in the old Arena Stage warehouse at 14th and T.

There are the usual caveats about nothing happening until it happens, of course. But the odds are good that those spaces won't stay empty for long.


* Kuller's rep denies that this is the case. JBG Vice President James Nozar says that he can't confirm leases until they've been signed, but will be able to share more information in the next few weeks.


  • K

    This is mostly speculation. No leases have been signed on any of these restaurants, so I wouldn't report it as fact.

  • U Street resident

    Now you've jinxed it.

  • Anon

    While I like Matchbox, I am dissappointed in the loss of the Arena Stage Warehouse arts space to a restaurant.

    Arena Stage got millions of dollars of tax payer dollars from the city to develop their theatre in SW and then they turn around and sell off, or lease their space on 14th, contributing to the further decline in the number or true arts related spaces.

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  • snob

    I live down the block from the Arena Stage warehouse and am happy to see it leased. They don't take care of the place; it's always full of trash and weeds. They're not good neighbors, so I say good riddance.

  • Renee

    How will Mr. Starr overcome the environmental remediation that supposedly stumped the previous owners/ tennants?

    @Anon - This Arena Stage location was not a performance space. It was a storage and practice space in a key location. The city would be better served to have a retail store/ restaurant in this location and collect sales tax and have Arena Stage use lesser utilized areas.

  • LongTimeRez

    FYI: From a very dear friend of mine who also happens to be a gourmet cook and a Philly native.

    He's got restaurants ALL OVER the city of Philadelphia, most of which are the most popular in the city. He's really quite a genius and MOST prolific. I don't know how he manages to operate so many restaurants and maintain the level of excellence he does.

    Right on Rittenhouse Square alone, he's got 3-4 restaurants, all of which are successful, unique and have a most discerning finger on the pulse of what the market needs and enjoys. I really have to give him credit, and I'm sure you'll find the same to be true when he opens businesses in DC.


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    One of the central hub for the social commerce experience, where people learn and share their deal with friends and family through dailydealtime.com

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  • Kristofferson

    CJR - You are a tool