Duke’s Grocery plans Korean barbecue in Shaw

WASHINGTON — The restaurateurs behind the popular Dupont Circle pub and eatery Duke’s Grocery are opening what they call the first genuine Korean barbecue restaurant in the District.

The name of the restaurant is pending, with design and planning underway for the spot in the Shaw neighborhood at 1924 8th St. Northwest, at 8th Street and Florida Avenue. The mixed-use building The Shay is also home to a Glen’s Garden Market, Bonobos, Warby Parker and other retailers.

At a Korean barbecue restaurant, food is cooked on open-air grills embedded in each dining table.

“The experience is interactive; it’s exciting, and the guests are involved in all aspects of their own meal. It’s ‘Here we go; let’s make this together.’ It’s communal and it’s fun,” Duke’s Grocery co-founder Daniel Kramer told WTOP.

Kramer and his partners came up with the Korean barbecue concept out of their own frustration.

“This city has unbelievable diversity and quality of food and beverage options from all over the world, but KBBQ was missing,” said Kramer. “Washingtonians should not have to drive 45 minutes out to Virginia to get it,” he said.

Kramer, who started Duke’s Grocery in 2013, grew up near Koreatown in Los Angeles, where he said tabletop grilling is ubiquitous.

The Shaw restaurant’s menu will focus on grilled meats and seafood, he said, with special attention to banchan, the assortment of Korean appetizers served with the meal. The bar will also feature Asian beers and spirits, emphasizing those produced in Korea.

In addition to the original Duke’s Grocery, at 1513 17th St. Northwest, there is also Duke’s Counter in Woodley Park, which opened in 2016. A new Duke’s Grocery will open later this year in Foggy Bottom.

The Shaw neighborhood Korean barbecue restaurant will open in early 2019, Kramer said.

What if you’re a horrible cook?

“We’ll be there to help,” Kramer said.

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.

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