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Midcity denizens breathed a heavy sigh when the Whisk Group gave up on the Shirt Laundry space at 14th and Q Street NW, bogged down with the cost of renovation and environmental remediation. But it didn’t take long for another top-tier operator to jump on the opportunity: According to a reliable source, Starr Restaurant Group out of Philadelphia is close to signing a lease there for its super-French Parc concept.
If you’re going to do one restaurant in D.C., why not do two? This is probably much further down the road, but Starr will also be bringing its Asian-themed Buddakan restaurant to the Adams Morgan Marriott hotel project. Developer Brian Friedman had previously declined to name the tenant, saying that they “don’t want to be brought down in all these local politics.” A rep for the Starr Group declined to comment until the lease was signed, but says that owner Stephen Starr is “anxious and eager” to get into the D.C. market.
But wait, back to 14th Street! I’m also hearing that JBG’s District Condos project has two restaurant tenants: Another project by Estadio’s Mark Kuller*, and a sister to Ted’s Bulletin on Barracks Row. For good measure, the Ted’s Bulletin owners are also putting a Matchbox in the old Arena Stage warehouse at 14th and T.
There are the usual caveats about nothing happening until it happens, of course. But the odds are good that those spaces won’t stay empty for long.
* Kuller’s rep denies that this is the case. JBG Vice President James Nozar says that he can’t confirm leases until they’ve been signed, but will be able to share more information in the next few weeks.