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Y&H recently explored how restaurants decide to open up for lunch, especially in neighborhoods like the H Street NE and 14th Street NW that have lots of evening bustle but aren’t part of the downtown office core.
Restaurants on 14th Street, in particular, have struggled to make the mid-day meal profitable. Estadio was open for weekday lunch for nearly a year before it scaled back to Fridays-only over the summer. Pearl Dive Oyster Palace offers lunch on Fridays, and owner Jeff Black says he typically just breaks even. Meanwhile, Taylor Gourmet’s 14th Street location does half its business at lunch, and other new restaurants coming to the corridor, like Matchbox and Ted’s Bulletin,plan to stay open for lunch with the belief that if they offer it, people will come.
Now, The Pig in Logan Circle is getting in on the lunch action beginning this Friday. Co-owner David Winer says lunch was never part of his original business plan given the restaurant’s involved dinner menu and prep work. But he’s changed his mind, at least for Fridays: “We sit there many days having meetings, doing work, and it’s amazing the number of people who come in the door looking for lunch.”
Winer says The Pig already had extra cooks on Friday to prep for the weekend, so having them come in a little earlier to work on lunch wasn’t too much of an extra expense. Winer says it isn’t necessarily his goal to expand lunch to the rest of the week, but he’s not ruling it out completely.
As far as what you’ll find on the new lunch menu? Expect more sandwiches, soups, and salads rather than small plates. One of Winer’s favorites is a play on the Big Mac called the Pig Mac. Other dishes will include a grilled pork and Thai noodle salad, a Cuban pulled pork sandwich, and a pork belly BLT.