Young and Hungry

Chef Rich Gunter Looking to Open Barbecue and Oyster Restaurant

Rich Gunter has worked in the kitchens of Restaurant Eve, Black's Bar & Kitchen, Charlie Palmer Steak, and, more recently, Quench in Rockville. Now, he's working on his first restaurant, The Pig and Pearl, a barbecue, oyster, and whiskey joint.

Gunter, who currently helps run "culinary think tank" Operation: Eatery with his wife Rebecca Layton Gunter, tells Y&H he doesn't have a space yet, but he's looking at either buying or leasing property in Northeast D.C., preferably in Ward 5, where he lives.

The barbecue side of the menu will focus primarily on pork. Gunter plans to pay homage to his Charleston, S.C., roots with whole hog barbecue and mustard- and vinegar-based sauces.  A raw bar will highlight East Coast oysters as well as clams and shrimp. Gunter also envisions fish fries on weekends. The whiskey bar will stick solely to domestic whiskeys.

Gunter says he is still seeking investors, but his goal is to lock down a space within the next six months.  In the meantime, Gunter is doing an oyster pop-up with Dragon Creek oysters from Virginia farmer Bruce Wood at The Pug every Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m for the next six weeks. He's also working on a barbecue pop-up somewhere on the H Street NE corridor, but you'll have to stay tuned for details.

Photo by Jessica Sidman

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