Budding restaurateur Brianna Keefe is expanding her footprint at The Wharf, giving the neighborhood another healthy choice just in time for the crush of diners with diet-related New Year’s resolutions. The founder of fancy toast and smoothie spot Toastique will open a fast-casual salad restaurant in January. Chopsmith replaces a couple of boutiques, which rotated through the space, at 11 District Square SW.
“Smith is a craft you’re really good at, you’re like an expert at,” Keefe says, explaining how she chose the name. “How we’re defining ourselves is made-to-order salads with fresh grilled meat and protein cooked-to-order. Everything we want to do is elevated to the next level.”
If you order a salad with steak on it, for example, an employee will ask how you like it cooked before grilling it in an area that will be visible to customers. Keefe tapped Linda Price-Bacci to serve as a chef and partner of Chopsmith. She’s been the chef at Toastique since it opened in summer 2018. A second Toastique location opened in Alexandria in April.
Diners will have the option to build their own salads and warm grain bowls or choose from a handful of suggestions like one that is Bacci-Price’s Spanish take on classic niçoise salad with chorizo, smoked paprika potatoes, fresh green beans, and olives. Keefe is still hammering out pricing, but she says she expects salads to cost a couple dollars more than sweetgreen.
Bacci-Price is also putting together a handful of soups and sandwiches. The latter will likely include a shrimp bánh mì and a carved beef sandwich with brie cheese, caramelized onions, and arugula. Chopsmith will also have a small market area where customers can pick up meals to bring home such as pasta salads by the pound or ready-to-cook lasagna.
“That’s something The Wharf really needs down here,” Keefe says. “There’s not really a grocery store or market.” The closest full-service grocer is the Safeway at 1100 4th St. SW. Keefe says that developer Monty Hoffman approached her with the idea of taking over the space with another healthy food concept.
The space seats about 30 people, but there will also be outdoor seating available. Chopsmith plans to serve beer and wine.
When it opens, Chopsmith’s hours will be daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Chopsmith, 11 District Square SW