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Georgetown’s Il Canale will soon have double the space to serve its authentic Neapolitan pizza, certified by the Italian Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. The Italian restaurant is opening an expanded dining room on Monday in the former space of next-door to Cannon’s Fish Market, which closed last fall after nearly 50 years.
Because Il Canale is in the historic C&O Canal area—hence the name—owner Giuseppe “Joe” Farruggio says he cannot install new signage without approval from the Old Georgetown Board. So the old sign, modified to read “Il Canale at Cannon’s Fish Market” will stay up until approval is granted.
“It’s really something temporarily to pay respect to Cannon’s because they were here [since 1966],” Farruggio says.
The expanded area, which will be connected through a large archway, will add about 200 seats indoors. Farruggio also hopes to increase sidewalk seating to 30. The new dining room will put an “updated twist” on the old dining room with modern artwork, including a colorful, underwater-inspired hanging sculpture in a nod to Cannon’s.
“It’s not completely different from the other one—it’s the ‘new old’ in a way,” Farruggio says. Il Canale also plans to eventually remodel the original space to make it look like the addition.
The menu will remain the same with pastas, meatballs, and pizzas. Farruggio says chef Antonio Biglietto will add about 20 rotating specials to simplify serving the larger restaurant, although these have not yet been created. For National Pizza Month this month, Il Canale will offer a free Peroni or cannoli with the purchase of any pizza.
“We’re not changing anything. We’re just creating more space for our guests,” Farruggio says. “We are Il Canale all the way.”
Il Canale, 1063 31st St. NW; (202) 337-4444; ilcanale.com
Photos by Jamie Slater