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Petworth restaurant incubator inches closer to opening--sneak preview with one of the first pop-ups

Work is continuing at EatsPlace, the "pop-uppery" that will serve Petworth (and the rest of D.C.) a continually rotating menu of delights from select guest chefs.

Owner Katy Chang, who manages the space and also will cook as the "house band" when there's no chef-in-residence, says the end of July as an opening date is not out of the question.

One of the first guest chefs in EatsPlace--if not the first--will be Charles T. Lyons,  who has previously toqued at Hill Country, Paolo’s Ristorante, Legal Sea Foods, Georgia Brown’s and Odyssey, and who is currently at Mari Vanna in Dupont Circle. "It's a big difference," Lyons says of cooking Russian food versus the elevated soul food planned for the pop-up, "but as far as the culture and care for the food, it's the same."

Called DC Born & Raised, the pop-up will include upscale, farm-to-table twists on comfort food, from chicken and biscuits to spaghetti to a stuffed pork dish that will be braised for six hours.

"I'm excited about what's going to come to D.C.," he adds. "It's long overdue."

Meanwhile, construction is still continuing at the venue, 3607 Georgia Ave NW. "Now I can see it," Chang says. "It's emerging in front of my eyes." The former row house is being transformed with new windows, a new porch, and, Chang says, murals.

She is also tweaking the menu of her own food offerings, which will sell alongside popups or to fill gaps in programming. Previously dumplings were on the menu, but Chang has now added congee, or rice porrige, to the list of offerings. "It's the opposite of fast food, because it takes hours to make the broth. It's a lot of concentrated love in every bowl," she says.

Chang says that the response from guest chefs wanting to open a pop-up is "overwhelming....People are ready to open restaurants. They have menus, business plans, all ready to go," she says. 

Read more articles by Rachel Kaufman.

Rachel is the managing editor of Elevation D.C. She also covers tech, business and science for publications nationwide. She lives in Brookland.
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