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The Neighborhood Restaurant Group restaurant that will be attached to Penn Quarter’s upcoming Red Apron Butcher will no longer be called Parts & Labor. It turns out that chef Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore will open his own butcher shop and restaurant with that name, The Baltimore Sun reports today.
There’s actually a funny coincidence behind the switcheroo: NRG owner Michael Babin was in Baltimore a few months ago checking out some antique shops with his wife when they ran in Gjerde. The Baltimore restaurateur had some extra time on his hands and offered to show Babin and his wife some shops they didn’t know about. They spent about an hour or so checking out shops and talking. “Just as we were getting read to get on the road to come back he said, ‘Oh, by the way, it looks like we picked the same name for our new restaurants.'” Gjerde apparently picked the name in part because his restaurant and butchery will be located in a former tire shop.
“I said, let me think about that for a minute. It didn’t make sense for both of us to do that,” Babin says. After a pow-wow with his team when he was back in D.C., Babin decided to give up the name. “It wasn’t a hard decision because we all like Spike a lot.”
Plus, NRG already had a runner-up name that it had been toying with from the beginning: The Partisan. “It has ‘part’ in it,” Babin points out. “It also just seemed to fit being in D.C. and feels like the right name for the kind of place that we’re doing.”
Other than the what it will be called, everything else about the concept, headed by chef Ed Witt, will remain the same. The restaurant is set to open in February.
UPDATE: The Baltimore City Paper reported on Gjerde’s Parts and Labor on Monday. And fun fact: Neighborhood Restaurant Group Beer Director Greg Engert is helping him build a beer tap system.
Photo of Michael Babin by Darrow Montgomery