The windows at M Cafe Bar on 14th Street NW are covered up with paper, PoPville reports. But the restaurant is merely changing concepts, general manager Mehdi Zorgani tells Y&H. Owner and retail developer Iraklis Krabassis plans to replace the Italian restaurant with his other Italian restaurant, Sette Osteria, which also has a location in Dupont.

“The other concept was working,” claims Zorgani, but ultimately, they felt a more casual, neighborhood-y place would be a better fit for the corridor. M Cafe Bar opened at 14th and R streets NW in the summer of 2013, after relocating from a Chevy Chase location that closed in April 2011.

The second Sette Osteria will have much of the same menu as its counterpart, including “comfort dishes” with meats, seafood, homemade pastas, and pizza. The new place, however, will have a bigger bar menu with cicchetti, Italian snacks.

Krabassis is collaborating with an Italian designer and architect to completely redo the interior, as well. Gone will be the images of Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and Marcello Mastroianni splashed on the walls. Instead, the decor will be dominated by steel, wood, and brick. A communal table will be added to the bar area. And there will be no more white tablecloths.

The new restaurant is slated to open in March or early April.

UPDATE: Here’s a press release with more info:


WASHINGTON, DC – We are very proud to announce the expansion of our restaurant brand Sette Osteria. The anticipated opening date is slated for Early March 2015 and will occupy the space of former “Mcafe bar” the restaurant will be located at 1634 14th ST NW. Sette Osteria looks forward to providing the neighborhood with an exceptional casual dining experience that will consistently exceed their expectations.

“We are thrilled to be opening Sette Osteria on 14th Street” said restaurateur and founder of IK Retail group Iraklis Karabassis. Karabassis is the creator of such restaurant concepts as Café Milano restaurant, Famoso restaurant , Crepizza restaurant in Georgetown, and Dupont’s popular eatery Sette Osteria. “We decided to expand the brand to 14th street because of the highly dynamic and diverse neighborhood. This area is comprised of families and residents who desire simple and delicious food, in a warm and rustic set up paired with extraordinary service.

Sette Osteria will be showcasing Italian cuisine, specializing in signature house made pastas, and a fabulous pizza. The menu will be steeped in Italian tradition featuring a wide selection of seafood and meats along with a gluten free menu items presented in an approachable and informal setting. Italian born executive chef: Nicola Sanna’s simple, yet authentic cuisine will feature the natural beauty of local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients showcasing the traditional techniques of Italy, that will be the overwhelming inspiration behind Sette Osteria. Menu items range in price from $8 to $28.

The wine program will feature a considerable “by the glass” offering including an eclectic list of specialty wines focused solely on Italian wineries. The cocktail list will spotlight our interpretations of classic Italian inspired libations, while the beer menu will include a few classic Italian selection, Six beers on draft along with an exciting and highly specific craft beer offering. Wines and beers range in price from $6 to $12 by the glass and -$25 to $75 by the bottle)

Karabassis is collaborating with an Italian architect/interior designer to create a cozy cool meets classic row-house dining atmosphere. This will be achieved by incorporating a fresh palette of wood, steal, and warm glass that will envelop the intimate dining room with exposed beams and a polished dark floor. Iron and crystal mixed with distressed metals and a few historic artifacts will pepper the space, ascending a steel and wood staircase to the private dining room, diners can expect to find a warm glowing wall of windows, corrugated metal, and rich upholstery creating a charming industrial feel with cozy semi private booths. The dining experience will be sweet, small, and smart—perfect for a cozy date night or dinner with friends.

Sette Osteria will have a 72 seat dining room and 30 seat private dining room along with a 45 seat patio. The location at 1634 14th St in the Logan circle neighborhood. The restaurant will be open for lunch daily, from 11:30 AM to 4 PM and for dinner daily, from 5 PM to 11 PM. Brunch will be served Saturdays and Sundays, from 11 AM to 4 PM. Additionally, “Happy Hour” will be available nightly from 5PM to 8PM, Sunday and Monday all night.

Photo by Jessica Sidman