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A boutique butchery is coming to Takoma Park. It’s a partnership between Chris Brown, who owns Takoma Beverage Co., and Chef Brad Feickert, an alum of Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt and the now-shuttered Oz Restaurant & Bar in Arlington.
The 1,000-square-foot project designed by Edit Lab at Streetsense takes over a space that previously housed a consignment shop, across the street from the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op. The partners estimate Soko will open early next year.
Their vision is straightforward. “We want it to be an old-school butcher shop where you know where your meat is coming from and you know your butcher,” Brown says. Expect hex-patterned tiling on the floors, light wood counters, tile walls, and a white tin ceiling.
Soko means “market” in Swahili and was inspired by Brown’s two-year stint working for the Peace Corps in Tanzania. “What drew me to that name is when you go to the market, there are these little butcher stalls that have the kill of the day hanging,” says Brown. “You point to the parts you want and they cut them off. And, the soko is a meeting place, where people from all the villages around gather.”
As a tip of the hat to his time in East Africa, Brown plans on hanging a few photos of his time in the region. “We’ll probably have some pictures of me butchering some chickens,” he says.
Another nod will be the fresh goat meat on offer alongside the usual suspects like beef, lamb, and chicken. The butchery plans on sourcing its proteins from a variety of purveyors, including Silcott Springs Farm in Purcellville, Va., Long Stone Farm in Lovettsville, Va., and Boonton, New Jersey’s Fossil Farms.
Soko will have a full kitchen, so there will be a robust selection of grab-and-go offerings, which can also be enjoyed at the six seats in the front of the shop. The menu will feature classic deli sandwiches, along with a few “creative recipes that don’t follow the usual formula,” according to Brown. Feickert will also be pickling vegetables, curing meats, and making cheeses and preserves.
The ultimate goal is to offer weekly tasting menu dinners for approximately 10 diners at a time. Brown also hopes to offer demonstrations that teach customers how to break down whole animals. “It’s kind of a risk for Takoma Park,” he says, since Takoma Park is a bit of a vegetarian and vegan enclave. “But I want people to see how beautiful and clean the process is and how little waste there is.”
Soko, 7306 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park