As always, I like to be on the lookout for news about new restaurants opening in the DMV. This could include a new concept from a relatively unknown chef or business, a new outpost from a well-known figure either locally or nationally, or a new location of an established restaurant. Today’s post covers all of these categories.
– Pizza Tempo: One day I was walking on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda and noticed a small sign in a vacant space where a Pizza Hut used to be.
I hadn’t been by there recently and forgot all about it, till I thought today to look at the image on my phone and saw a web address. Sure enough, Pizza Tempo’s website says that it is now open, so I did my research on this establishment.
It wasn’t clear if this was a standalone location or if there were others out there. Just from the website alone, it seems that the site is only for Bethesda, as the Map and Contact Us tabs only provide information for that location. However, when doing a Google search on them, I mostly got results for the same company name, but in Rockville as well as a mention of one in Kensington.
So, this is not a brand new establishment, but a relocation of one that has been in business since 2005. It was hard to tell if the other locations were closed, but that seemed to be the case when looking on Google Maps. However, any mention of it on either Chowhound or Yelp showed positive reviews, whether talking about the old or new venues.
From the outside, Pizza Tempo looks like it could be just another pizza joint, but that is not the case. First, their story, according to the website, is that they began in a small gas station in Rockville back in 2005, and then added a second location in Kensington. These were small establishments with only two or three tables, but they received a following from locals. Second, the menu includes not just pizza joint staples such as pizza and buffalo wings, but it is Turkish-owned so pides, hummus, falafel, lamb, and baba ganoushare also included. Looks like we’ll have to check this out soon.
– District of Pi: More pizza places are coming to DC, and this one is a transplant from St. Louis. An article from the St. Louis Magazine website reported yesterday that its hometown pizza establishment, Pi Pizzeria, will be adding a new location early next year, on March 14, 2011 to be exact.
This will be the first outpost outside of St. Louis, and the magazine suspects our most famous resident may have something to do with that. Though the new location on 9th and F St. will still be a few blocks from the White House, it may not be long before they start getting delivery calls from the President. The deep dish pizza establishment already has a website up, with more to come as they get closer to opening.
– The Pearl Dive Oyster Palace: Finally, there are some chefs and owners that are local favorites, and anything with their name and stamp on it is destined to be a success. This can be said for Jeff Black of Black Restaurant Group. We are definitely regulars at Black’s in Bethesda, particularly for their great happy hour that includes some great oyster specials.
So when I read Tom Siestema’s report that Mr. Black will be opening a new location in DC that features oysters, I could immediately tell that it would be a success. The plan is for the restaurant to open by February of next year, and the two-story space on 14th will include an upstairs bar and even a bocce ball court. We’ll be keeping on eye out for more news about this one, but this is one restaurant empire we’re excited to see expand.