In a New York Times story this weekend, restaurateur and Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton let slip that he’s planning to open a Korean barbecue restaurant with Toki Underground and Maketto chef Erik Bruner-Yang at 2014 9th St. NW.
Hilton’s brother and business partner, Ian Hilton, says it’s not “100 percent but that is definitely the plan.” The goal would be to create a traditional Korean barbecue restaurant where diners would cook meat on a grill at their tables. Hilton says they’ve started to draw inspiration from Koreatown in New York, but they’re really just in the beginning stages of figuring things out.
“It’s months away before we are even permitted to get moving. A lot can happen in a few months,” he says.
Meanwhile, Bruner-Yang tells Eater, “The 9th and U projects are a big undertaking and there are still a lot of moving parts. My main focus right now is Maketto and I look forward to other projects later.”
The two groups previously partnered together for a Maketto “residency” in what is now Den of Thieves at 14th and U Streets NW. Assuming their next collaboration comes to fruition, the restaurant would be the first Korean barbecue spot in the District.
“It’s my favorite food. My wife’s Korean. I go to Korean barbecue as often as I possibly can, so I hope we’re able to get this all put together,” Ian Hilton says.
In other news, Hilton says they’ve also signed a lease near Union Market in the same building that houses the Dolcezza factory and the Angelika theater pop-up. He says it’s too early to share details.
In the meantime, the Hiltons are also working to open a wine bar called Bar a Vin next to their Georgetown French restaurant Chez Billy Sud. It’s slated to open at the end of January.