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As the spring weather starts to blossom so does Washington DC, from memorials awash in cherry blossoms, to new restaurants and bars emerging. DC is buzzing with more than USD$9.3 billion in development and investment across the city continuing to surge. The city has a huge 19 new hotels with more than 3,500 additional rooms in the pipeline alone. It’s an exciting time in DC and here’s just a snapshot of what’s currently cooking…


Chef Matt Conroy and Pastry Chef Isabel Coss of Lutèce opened the highly anticipated Pascual in Capitol Hill mid-February. The Mexican restaurant serves up health-focused plates, highlighting seasonal produce.

Translating to “the good cow”, La Bonne Vache is a new gem nestled in Georgetown. The brasserie features burgers as the entrée, inspired by classic French dishes.

The popular Moon Rabbit reopened in January in Penn Quarter. RAMW Chef of the Year, Kevin Tien, has evolved his classic French-Vietnamese menu in collaboration with Pastry Chef Susan Bae and spirits expert Thi Nguyen.

Sandwich enthusiasts Paul Taylor and Sherra Kurtz have opened Your Only Friend, the ultimate sandwich shop with a bar on 9th Street.

Iconic speakeasy The Dabney Cellar has reopened with a menu that features regional oysters, charcuterie and small bites.

The Dabney Cellar

The Dabney Cellar

Originating in New York in 1999, Pastis opened in mid-January near Union Market and pays homage to French classics.

The Maryland based 2Fifty Texas BBQ opened a new location in Mount Vernon Triangle in late January.

The Arcade is a recent addition to the DC nightlife scene, debuting in late January. With drink names like Sonic and Pikachu, the menu and décor pay an ode to Nintendo and Sega.

Taco Bamba opened a new location in City Ridge. The taqueria offers a full bar with happy hour featuring micheladas, draft beers, and margaritas.

U Street’s newest cocktail lounge, Enigma, adds a mysterious element to DC nightlife.

From the team behind Enigma comes bar10. With an innovative vision, the bar aims to offer top-tier nightlife without breaking the bank. The European flair bar is to open this summer on 14th Street.

After suffering an unexpected fire in August 2022, Reverie is on track to reopen in spring 2024. Head Chef Johnny Spero’s recipes incorporate elements of the old menu into new dishes, with an emphasis on sustainability.

Reverie (©Rey Lopez)

Reverie (©Rey Lopez)

DC restaurateur Hakan Ilhan (from Brasserie Liberté, Il Piatto and Ottoman Taverna) will open Alara, a Mediterranean restaurant in Georgetown in early 2024.

Bar Japonais, a French-Japanese Izakaya, will open in Logan Circle in early 2024.

The Wharf – Phase 2 continues to add new retail and restaurants. The renowned Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão announced plans to open a new location in the area. Other recent openings include Philippe Chow DC, a Beijing-style restaurant, Limani and Wharf Morning DC.

Union Market District and NoMa have added a wave of new offerings across the 45-acre area with three new restaurants from New York including recently opened Starr Restaurant Group’s Pastis, a storied Manhattan restaurant, Minetta Tavern and Maman, a French bakery chain.

Middleburg, Virginia-based Salamander Collection will complete renovations of Salamander Washington, DC in spring 2024. Revitalising the former Mandarin Oriental, the new hotel includes striking gathering spaces, an expanded two-story spa and modernly refreshed guest suites designed by Washington’s own Thomas Pheasant. Acclaimed chef Kwame Onwuachi also makes his return to the nation’s capital with Dōgon.

Salamander Washington, DC

Salamander Washington, DC

Located directly across from the Foggy Bottom Metro station, steps from The George Washington University campus, the former One Washington Circle Hotel will reopen as AKA Washington Circle in April 2024. Features will include a welcoming lobby lounge, Technogym fitness center, private cinema, and a new restaurant from James Beard award-winning restauranteur Ellen Yin.

The independent lifestyle brand, Arlo is expected to debut its seventh property and first in Washington, DC in October 2024. The 12-story, 445-room property will incorporate and preserve the city’s oldest conventional apartment building, The Harrison, which has stood since 1882.

The renovation of Capital Hilton, which reopened in February 2024, celebrates grandeur, glam, geometric form and repetitive patterns, bringing elements of the property’s interiors to the guestrooms and corridors. Layering art deco design with the hotel’s brutalist architecture, each new guest room weaves original design with the modern elements needed for today’s travellers.

A 106-room boutique hotel in the heart of the bustling Union Market District has relaunched with a new name and new spaces. The property which once housed the historic Bolgiano Seed Company in the 1930s and provided lawn seeds for the White House and National Mall, reopened as the Union Market Hotel in January 2024. It is a design-centric hotel showcasing a foliage-rich industrial charm.