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The royal baby isn’t the only good news for anglophiles in D.C. An East London-inspired cafe and market called Duke’s Grocery is in the works for the east Dupont spot formerly occupied by Cafe Green. It’s set to open in a month or so.
The eatery comes from former Rugby Cafe and Kitchen 2404 chef Alex McCoy, who spent some of his childhood in London, and Daniel Kramer, who organizes tasting tours like the DC Beerathon, Margarita March, and DC Whiskey Walk.
While the cafe may offer fish and chips, its focus will be on international flavors found in East London. The menu is still in the works, but Kramer says it will consist mostly of sandwiches, soups, and salads as well as all-day English breakfast. (The spot will be open morning through evening with free wifi.) Kramer says everything will be made from scratch—from the soup stocks to the jams and jellies to sauerkraut and pickles. The team plans to eventually bottle and sell the products in a market section of Duke’s Grocery, along with fresh produce from local farms.
“Customers who don’t want to wait for the farmers markets on the weekends can come and get whatever’s fresh from the local farmers,” Kramer says, who says they’ll offer the same produce that McCoy uses in the kitchen.
Duke’s Grocery has applied for a liquor license and plans to have a bar on the first floor of the restaurant. Kramer says there will be spins on classic cocktails like Gin Fizzes and Dark and Stormies as well as local craft beers and international wines.
The name Duke’s is a nod to British royalty—”somewhat regal but not pretentious,” Kramer says. (The facade of the building has already been painted royal blue.) “We’re not going to be charging $16 for cocktails. We’re not going to be charging $16 for sandwiches… If we had called it the King’s Grocery maybe people would have thought that.”
Photo by Jessica Sidman