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Tadich Grill, which claims to be the third oldest restaurant in the country, opened a location in D.C. yesterday, its first outside San Francisco.
Tadich Grill’s original location is 166 years old, but the California restaurant continues to attract hundreds of guests a day, according to Rick Powers, the managing partner of Tadich Grill. Powers says the restaurant’s timeless success motivated owner Michael Buich to open a second location in D.C.
Powers says the owners contemplated opening a second location in either D.C., Beverly Hills, or Seattle. Among the reasons they decided on the District: the available address of 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, prominently located between the Capitol and the White House. Plus, Tadich Grill specializes in seafood, which Powers believes will dovetail with D.C.’s abundance of steakhouses.
Tadich Grill will offer the same menu at both locations, but Executive Chef Wil Going, formerly of Chef Geoff’s, plans to add East Coast seafood options as well. Going trained in San Francisco for four months in preparation for his new gig. He’ll source 60 percent of the seafood from the West Coast and 40 percent from the East Coast.
“We’re going to have some dishes like the east-west crab cake, so you’ll have a crab cake from Maryland next to a Dungeness crab cake,” Powers says.
Mahogany walls and white tablecloths fill the 7,700-square-foot establishment, which can seat more than 300. That’s quite an upgrade from the original location’s 3,300-square-feet, but Powers says the feel of the District’s location is similar to the California outpost.
“We didn’t want to replicate the original,” says Powers, although the new locale has the same tile floors with the Tadich design and mahogany booths.
Even if it’s not a carbon copy, Powers thinks the D.C. location’s success will depend on how closely it can reproduce the original’s flavors. “And so far,” Powers says, “at the last five nights of practice parties, everybody that’s been to the San Francisco restaurant has called me over and said, ‘This is exactly like San Francisco.’”
Tadich Grill, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; (202) 638-1849; tadichgrill.com/location-dc.php
Photos by Freddy Rodriguez