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With the debut of ThinkFoodLab, Chef José Andrés is further diversifying and will officially dabble in the world of pop-ups. Why not? Everyone else is doing it.

It rounds out the restaurateur’s local resume of having a two-star Michelin restaurant (minibar), a handful of upscale restaurants (Zaytinya, Jaleo, China Chilcano, Oyamel, etc.), a fast-casual eatery (Beefsteak), a casino restaurant (Fish), and a food truck (Pepe).

ThinkFoodLab will be housed in a temporary storefront in Penn Quarter and its purpose will be to give Andrés’ company, ThinkFoodGroup, a place to conduct research and development. They’re essentially pulling back the curtain, enabling diners to taste test fast-casual concepts before they launch.

In the coming weeks they’ll start simple by serving food from Pepe. Expect fried chicken with aioli and “brava sauce,” and Spanish-style grilled cheese sandwiches.

In a statement, Andrés explains that he always has a host of ideas swirling around in his head and is eager to have a place where the public can get involved by trying them. 

Find ThinkFoodLab at 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW near the Navy Memorial. It will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.