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Kosher steakhouse Char Bar set to open next month in Foggy Bottom

The Winston House, where Char Bar will be located

Char Bar, a new kosher restaurant, is opening at 2142 L Street NW next month. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of The Winston House, an apartment building north of George Washington University.
Founder and principal partner Sina Soumekhian says the 3,000-square foot restaurant seats 75. It offers a variety of meat, from steak to ribs, cooked over an open grill. A small wine bar will feature a variety of Israeli wines. 
“There aren’t that many kosher restaurants in the District of Columbia,” said Soumekhian, whose opinion is that the ones that opened, and subsequently closed, were either “too fancy, too pricey and/or not serving the needs of the demographic.”
Soumekhian, whose co-partner in the venture is Marc Zweben, says he expects Char Bar to attract residents of The Winston House and nearby neighborhoods, visitors, and metro-area residents who come into the city for a night out--and not just those who keep kosher.
“You cannot have just kosher eaters” for a kosher restaurant to be successful, he says. “You have to offer a nice place to go and eat at reasonable prices.”
Soumekhian says Char Bar’s appetizers range from $7 to $11; salads, $10 to $19; sides, $5; and entrees, $20 to $34. The food is under the supervision of The Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington.
Besides the dining area, Char Bar has a take-out area where prepared food is sold by the pound and a food market with a separate entrance. The food market is called Char Bar Eli’s Market, named after Eli’s Restaurant at 1253 20th Street NW. Soumekhian owned Eli’s Restaurant for the past nine years but closed it recently because the building in which it was located is being redeveloped.
Last February, Soumekhian opened Blue Star House of Beef, Burgers and BBQ, a kosher barbeque restaurant at 11417 Woodglen Drive, North Bethesda. In the first week in June, he is opening Café Centro, a kosher dairy restaurant in the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville.
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