Two restaurant industry veterans are opening a new restaurant in South Arlington with smokers, a wood-burning hearth and what sounds like a lot of meat — all in a former historic chocolate factory.
Ruthie’s All-Day will open this fall at 3411 Fifth St. S. in the Arlington Heights neighborhood. Dinner service will be what the owners call a modern, full-service take on “meat and three.” Meat and three is a Southern restaurant staple — typically a choice of one meat selection and three sides to go with it.
The restaurant will also serve breakfast and lunch.
Chef Matt Hill and business partner Todd Salvadore previously worked together at Charlie Palmer Steak in D.C., and each have 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries. This will be the first solo restaurant for the pair.
Hill’s restaurant background includes Craft, Theo and Liberty Tavern Group. Salvadore was most recently general manager at Robert Wiedmaier’s former Logan Circle seafood restaurant Siren by RW.
There’s no Ruthie’s All-Day menu available yet. But, per their announcement, it will include 100% wood-smoked barbecue and grilled meats, steaks, brisket, pulled pork and spare ribs, as well as seafood from the Chesapeake Bay, including Rockfish, crabs, clams and tautog.
For larger parties, it includes suckling pig and whole rib roasts.
Sides will include braised greens, stewed chickpeas and southern-style mac and cheese.
Breakfast from the takeout counter will include biscuits and bowls, grits, house-made sausage, fried chicken, and egg and cheese biscuits. Lunch will include burgers, sandwiches and salads.
The restaurant will also offer catering.
The building, at the corner of Glebe Road and Fifth Street South, was Mr. W’s chocolate factory and ice cream shop in the 1950s, which later became a Sherwin Williams paint store. The restaurant will seat 110 inside with two private dining rooms, and 70 on its outdoor patio.
Ruthie’s All-Day is named after Hill’s grandmother, who he says inspired him with homestyle cooking while growing up in North Carolina.
It is not an ideal time to be opening a restaurant, but Hill and Salvadore are pushing ahead anyway.
“When we set out to open Ruthie’s All-Day, we had no idea the world would change as much as it has over the past four months,” Hill said. “Although this may not be the most opportune time to open, we decided to move forward while following CDC guidelines, because our ultimate goal has always been to serve the greater local community.”