His Chinese Cooking Was a Hit at the World Bank. Now Charlie Chen Delivers.

Fans discuss their favorite dishes, like whole steamed crab, on WeChat.

Standing in the street by his car, Charlie Chen stops to chat. He’s been up since 7 a.m. cooking, and now that it’s 4:30 p.m., he has to make sure everyone gets their meal in time for dinner. Chen still has around a dozen deliveries to go.  It’s a long day’s work and he takes […]

Bowser Reduces Restaurant Capacity Limits, Stops Alcohol Sales at 10 p.m.

“We’re going to nosedive," one bar manager says.

Mayor Muriel Bowser introduced new operating restrictions this morning to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in D.C. Starting Wednesday, Nov. 25, on-site alcohol consumption and sales must stop at 10 p.m., but restaurants can continue operating until midnight. On Dec. 14, Bowser will reduce indoor dining capacity from 50 percent to 25 percent. She says […]

Winterization Grantees Want Greater Spending Flexibility

They'll get some help, the Mayor's Office on Nightlife and Culture announced this morning.

Restaurants are grateful for any aid to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re calling for greater flexibility to make the city’s $4 million winterization grant program more impactful. As of yesterday, the terms of the $6,000 awards stipulated that business owners had to use the funds by Nov. 30 or return what they […]

Filipino Chef Paolo Dungca Prepares to Open His First Restaurant

In just a decade, the 29-year-old chef went from the dish pit at Disneyland to bringing D.C. inspired Filipino food.

Exactly one decade after Paolo Dungca’s culinary career started in a sweaty dish pit at Disneyland, the chef is readying to open his first restaurant. He’s partnering with longtime local cocktail legend and distiller Todd Thrasher to bring D.C. more Filipino food in 2021. As his star rises, Dungca is also headlining Capital Food Fight […]

Why Two Adams Morgan Restaurants Are Winging It

Jack Rose Dining Saloon and Smoke & Barrel get into the ghost restaurant game by selling wings.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon and Smoke & Barrel, two Adams Morgan restaurants, have launched ghost restaurants specializing in wings in recent weeks. Since the start of the pandemic, restaurants have experimented with selling crowd-pleasing dishes that stand apart from their standard menus to capture new customers. First it was cheesesteaks, and now it’s another game-day […]

D.C. Still Doesn’t Discern Between Indoor and Outdoor Dining in Contact-Tracing Calls

The D.C. Health Department says it has to balance shortening calls with requests to add more questions.

As the number of COVID-19 cases surpasses 11 million nationwide, District officials have countless consequential decisions to make that will impact local lives and livelihoods. One of them is determining whether community spread is extensive enough to reintroduce restrictions on on-premise consumption at restaurants. The District’s daily case rate is above 15 cases per 100,000 […]

Behold: The D.C. Region’s Bento Box BINGO Board

The tasty, colorful Japanese boxed meals are portable, making them popular during the pandemic.

The beauty of the bento box is its ability to travel, making it, like a sandwich, an ideal meal during the pandemic, when diners have prioritized takeout and outdoor hangs. If you board a train in Japan, you’ll see office workers and sightseers bent over impeccably assembled containers, with each compartment containing iconic components of […]

Will D.C. Dial Back Indoor Dining as COVID-19 Cases Climb?

As jurisdictions across the country act to slow the spread of COVID-19 in dining rooms, D.C. remains open.

Officials across the country are taking significant steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 transmission inside bars and restaurants. The rollbacks are unpopular within the hospitality sector, which continues to struggle to bring in revenue and pay staff eight months into the pandemic.  Despite the fact that coronavirus cases in this region are hitting new […]

Go-Go Drummer “Lil” James Ellis Taps Into Family History to Sell a Sweet Southern Tea

A little more than four months into business, M.A.S.O.N Tea & Co. has sold close to 5,000 jars.

For the past few years, drummer “Lil” James Ellis worked a day job with a security company and supplemented his income as a member of local go-go band Let It Flow. While he enjoyed his musical career, he says his daytime gig was miserable due to racism ingrained in his workplace’s culture. As COVID-19 began […]

Leftover Food From Closed Restaurants Can Address Hunger Needs

This morning, Food Rescue US – DC will deliver food from Sunrise Cafe to Casa Ruby.

Gus Balourdos has joined other restaurant owners who made the painful decision to close because of the pandemic. He ran Sunrise Cafe, a cafeteria-style eatery inside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission headquarters on First Street NE, for the past 30 years. The building and the cafe closed on March 15, and Balourdos isn’t optimistic federal […]


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