Young and Hungry

Doi Moi: The New Southeast Asian Spot From Estadio’s Team

The Southeast Asian street food-inspired restaurant coming to 14th and S streets NW from the Estadio and Proof team finally has a name: Doi Moi. The Vietnamese term means "new change," but is used to describe a series of "open door" economic and social policies introduced to Vietnam in 1986.

"It embodies many elements of this project—the progressing renewal and reconstruction of 14th Street, the renovation of this beautiful historic building, the open door nature of great hospitality, and the new change that captures my personal and continuing transition from corporate tax attorney to restaurateur," says owner Mark Kuller in a press release.

The 5,000 square foot space will have a ground level with a large open kitchen and a basement cocktail bar called 2 Birds 1 Stone, which will be overseen by Proof and Estadio bar manager Adam Bernbach.

Read more about the restaurant, opening this summer, below.


WASHINGTON, DC (February 19, 2013) – Chef Haidar Karoum and restaurateur Mark Kuller, the team behind Proof and Estadio, announce today that construction has begun on their forthcoming restaurant, Doi Moi, at 1800 14th Street NW. Doi Moi will offer regional cuisine of Vietnam and Thailand, inspired by the dishes found at street stands, stalls, and storefronts in the great cities of these food-obsessed nations.

The restaurant space, approximately 5,000 square feet, spans two buildings – one new, one historic. The ground level space in the new building will include a large open kitchen featuring a custom Jade cooking suite, a quartz kitchen counter, tumbled marble floors, and a dining room with oversized bay windows and custom crafted bench seating.

The remainder of the restaurant is housed on the ground and lower levels of the historic four-story building on the Northwest corner of 14th and S streets that will also be the entry point for the new 125-unit District apartment complex. This building, constructed in 1909, most recently served as the headquarters of the Whitman-Walker clinic, and has been beautifully restored to its original Classic Revival style.

The ground level space will feature a dining room with a full glass facade, a large rectangular bar, wide plank oak floors, oversized leather booths, and a large, bordered, adjoining patio. The lower-level space will include a curated cocktail bar — dubbed "2 Birds 1 Stone" — as well as additional booth and lounge seating where patrons will be able to enjoy a scaled down version of the menu offered in the main dining rooms.

Doi Moi, which literally means "new change,” is typically used to denote renovation, renewal or reconstruction. It also is the term used to describe a series of "open door" economic and social policies introduced in Vietnam in 1986. According to Mr. Kuller, "The name was chosen because it embodies many elements of this project — the progressing renewal and reconstruction of 14th Street, the renovation of this beautiful historic building, the open door nature of great hospitality, and the new change that captures my personal and continuing transition from corporate tax attorney to restaurateur."

Justin Guthrie, currently the General Manager at Estadio, will assume that position atDoi Moi while Adam Bernbach, Bar Manager for Proof and Estadio, will expand his role to include this new project, and will be based at 2 Birds 1 Stone.

Griz Dwight of Grizform Design, the DC-based architect responsible for Proof and Estadio, is designing the space. Potomac Construction Services of Bethesda, Maryland is serving as general contractor, as they did on Proof and Estadio. A summer 2013 opening is anticipated.

Photo of Mark Kuller by Darrow Montgomery

  • Ward 1

    Mr. Muller should refrain from too much self congratulatory back patting. He might also want to slow down a bit on the Kool-Ade. So far what he has evidenced is an ability to finesse big leases and apparently an ego which suggests to him that he somehow in command of world class grasp of cuisines. In his "transition" did he master boiling water?

    If your idea of a worthwhile dining experience is a $100.00 per head lunch eaten in a Moorish dungeon than by all means celebrate another Muller venue. Don't expect exotics like iced tea or espresso at Estadio, however, because they can't seem to pull that off. You might also want to phone Great Wall across the street to order something to pick up to take back to the office. I know I wouldn't go back there not with actual chefs opening great food places around the area.

    If Muller has the same crew on deck to design his new place I don't hold out much hope. If Estadio is any guide they have probably been consulting Senator McCain and other North Vietnamese POWs to get the feel "just right", in other words scary and ghastly.

  • Logan Circler

    Ah yes, destination dining, with a bit of history on the side and the vision to turn 14th Street into some netherworld Disney food court.

    Ever dreamed about what was served by The Inquisition, visit Estadio and let your imagination dive deep into a dim light dungeon. Now, its off to Hanoi for a bite at the Hilton. Policy, now that is a name that conjures up all the elan and je ne sais quoi of a lobbyist's (or reformed corporate tax attorney's) sagging butt cheeks.

    What's next, a late night spot, perhaps inspired by and named for Midnight Express!

    The Horrors of a Turkish prison brought to you by the team that filed your returns on time...I see it now! Mark Kuller, singularly the most compelling reason for a license moratorium and draconian parking restrictions in the Logan Circle neighborhood is planning an ....

    Please Mr. Muller, no more "great ideas" for our neighborhood. Yum's is more appealing.

  • Charlie Adler

    Just an FYI - "Mark Kuller" doesn't own Policy..he owns Proof!

  • M

    You people love to hate, I'm from the district, all the resturants I have eaten at only two stand out, proof and Estadio. Stop hating do you remember 14th and Church 15 years ago; you don't because you didn't live here. Haters

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