Copperwood Tavern to Loudoun, Mighty Pint changes and other new restaurant news

Restaurateur Reese Gardner is at it again, this time with a lease to open a second location of his Shirlington restaurant Copperwood Tavern in Loudoun County.

Gardner has signed a lease for a 6,500-square-foot restaurant space in One Loudoun, the mixed-use development in Ashburn that’s already home to a Fresh Market, indie movie venue Alamo Drafthouse and handful of other restaurants.

Copperwood Tavern in Loudoun is aiming to open about a year from now, in September 2015. The restaurant’s design and menu will be similar to the Shirlington location, highlighting Virginia heritage and products.

“It’s a little closer to some of the farmers we already have relationships with,” Gardner said this week. “I think the people in Loudoun will really appreciate our scratch kitchen and farm-to-table menu.”

The One Loudoun spot will make for a busy year for Gardner, who has two new restaurants under construction and also owns Irish Whiskey Public House and the Mighty Pint in Dupont.

Gardner’s spot on the Georgetown waterfront, Orange Anchor, is aiming to open in October, and Union Social will open at 100 Florida Ave. NE in NoMa later this year or early in 2015.

Mighty Pint: New builds aren’t all the nightclub-promoter-turned-restaurateur has up his sleeve, however. Gardner also dished on plans to retool Dupont Circle bar The Mighty Pint into something a little more grown up.

He plans to turn Mighty Pint into a restaurant called Second State, an homage to his home state of Pennsylvania. The menu and vibe will be similar to Copperwood Tavern, but pull from more Pennsylvania traditions than Virginia.

The style of restaurant he’s pursuing is one he refers to as “conceptual casual dining” — think upscale casual but with a theme — following the model of Copperwood Tavern, which has taken off in Shirlington since opening in October.

“As I mature as a restaurant owner, I thought that as a college bar, the Mighty Pint doesn’t really fit into the future of what I have for my company,” Gardner said.

Penn Commons: In other new restaurant news, the latest from Passion Food Hospitality group opens Monday, bringing Penn Commons to the Penn Quarter/Chinatown neighborhood of Northwest D.C.

The restaurant at the corner of 6th and H streets NW is similar to District Commons, which opened two years ago in Foggy Bottom featuring American cuisine, local beers and craft cocktails. The spot has a sizable bar and lounge area, with 40 percent of the space inside devoted to bar seating, as we reported in June.

ShopHouse: The next D.C. area location for Chipotle’s Southeast Asian concept, ShopHouse, will be in Union Station. The restaurant’s website was updated to include a Union Station location as “coming soon” last week. The Union Station spot will join locations in Dupont Circle, Chinatown and Georgetown in D.C.; others in Rockville and Bethesda are also listed as “coming soon.”


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