85 new restaurants opened in DC this summer

WASHINGTON — Eater DC did the math: About 85 new restaurants opened in the Washington area this summer, and that is a very strong summer for restaurant openings.

“We’ve seen during busy springs or falls maybe 70 or 80 restaurants opening, so that in itself is not unusual, but usually summer is slow in D.C. when people leave town and not as many restaurants open, so it was pretty exciting to see that much growth,” said Eater DC’s Missy Frederick.

There were trends. Eater DC says beer gardens, including The Brig, Neal Place and Canteen, came online. And despite the warm weather, several ramen joints opened up. They include Jinya Boru, Reren Lamen and Haikan.

Haikan staked out its ramen restaurant in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, which is the District’s biggest neighborhood in terms of new restaurant activity right now. But, Eater DC says D.C.’s Ivy City ranks as an up-and-comer on the city’s restaurant scene.

National fast-casual chains have been struggling with falling sales and restaurant closings nationwide. That hasn’t necessarily been the case in the Washington region, but Frederick said Washington foodies favor home grown restaurants.

“In general, D.C. has always been a town that likes supporting local restaurants more than it likes supporting national chains. They tend to be very excited when local chefs open things up and they support that by spending money.”

That support extends to chains, when they’re locally based. Matchbox, Cava Grill and Taco Bamba all opened additional locations this summer.

Opening a restaurant does not guarantee success. Eater DC also counted about 40 Washington area restaurants that closed down this summer.

See Eater DC’s list of new restaurants.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up