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Looks like brothers Eric and Ian Hilton won’t be opening a restaurant on H Street NE after all.
The Hiltons’ restaurant group’s spokesman Sheldon Scott tells Y&H that the restaurateurs have sold their lease at 1337 H St. NE, but he wouldn’t say who bought it. They’ve had the lease for about a year and used the space for some one-off arts events. They had hoped to turn it into a tavern with live entertainment but have since decided to drop the project to focus on four other restaurants coming to the U Street area.
“With everything we have going on and the concentration of where things are, we figured it would be a little bit out of reach,” Scott says.
This is the second property the Hilton Brothers have let go of in recent months. They had a letter of intent (but not a finalized lease) for the former HR-57 jazz club space at 1610 14th St. NW. Initially, they planned to turn it into an Italian gastropub and “arts incubator,” but after receiving neighborhood opposition to the liquor license, they decided not to pursue the project further. (Scott says 67 people initially signed on to protest the license.) Acqua al 2 chef Ari Gejdenson, who planned to partner with the Hilton Brothers, has since signed a lease for an Italian restaurant of his own there.
“When we apply for a liquor license, that’s the first step in the process,” Scott says. “It could be a make or break.” He adds that the liquor license was not a reason for giving up the H Street property.
So what are those other projects they’ll be focusing on, all near U Street? The Hiltons plan to open a diner/burger joint called Satellite Kitchen in late June or early July and British pub The Brixton before July 4. Next up will be El Rey Taqueria and an unnamed space next to the Montserrat House.
Photo via Google Maps