fresh. focused. inspired.
REAL ESTATE ISSUE Negotiating a better lease In search of hot real estate Design trends
CRAFT BEER SEASONALS Local , regional brewers are finding success with seasonals and IPAs Elevating the craft beer experience
RAMMYS 2017 Professional tennis players and restaurateurs co-locate partiesÂ
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WE'RE INSPIRED BY YOU. Welcome to our summer issue of Eatery Pulse News. There’s a lot to look forward to this summer with a more energized consumer base that is spending time taking in the sun and the good weather. There's also less unemployment, according to recent news reports. Restaurants in the area depend on diners, who are seeking a great experience. Now the bad: A recent report from L.E.K. Consulting identified the biggest challenges for restaurants from a survey: food cost, labor cost and the intensifying competition from food retailers. Much of my time in research, consulting, and trade news has been spent identifying consumer trends. Sometimes, it’s hard to correlate research with what’s happening inside the four walls of a restaurant. Although difficult, it's a reality that needs to be faced. What is happening on a major scale and with major consumer trends has everything to do with what happens inside the four walls. Restaurants need to become more aware of the offerings of grocery stores down the street. Some restaurateurs are wise to look at convenience, alcohol and design trends to pair their new openings with what diners are looking for. Amazon's push into the food business shows it’s willing to shake up the grocery industry. Its recent $13.4B offer to buy Whole Foods is a testament to how quickly things are changing. Restaurant owners used to have to worry about having websites. Now, they are understanding they need to embrace digital marketing, including mobile apps, online ordering, social selling, as well as delivery, and the need to constantly look over their shoulder. There’s a lot that’s changing, and for distributors, too. Competing on price doesn’t work anymore for distributors: the "Big 3" are embracing a holistic partnership approach with restaurants, and more regional distributors will be looking to be more invested in the success of restaurants, offering services. I am excited about this issue, but equally look forward to our August/September technology issue and our October/November fall flavors & holiday issue, and we’ll begin work soon on our 2018 restaurants product catalog for Metro-D.C.
BUSINESS EATERY PULSE NEWS Eatery Pulse News is a bi-monthly, digital publication for Metro-DC area restaurateurs. Formerly Eatery Pulse DC, the trade magazine is available online in flip-style format for the benefit of today and tomorrow's restaurateurs. Eatery Pulse News is part of Eatery Pulse News Media, a Crown Rio venture. Eatery Pulse TV is a web- and YouTubebased news show dedicated to news bytes, data-driven insights and hyper-local trends in the Metro-D.C. area.
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EXECUTIVE EDITOR Rick Zambrano
EDITORIAL DESIGNER Ashley McCarty
EATERY PULSE TV EDITOR Sean Cooper
When we launched Eatery Pulse News and Eatery Pulse TV, we were serious about connecting the dots between great ideas & news with practical application. As such, we have expanded our content on Eatery Pulse TV to provide quick, best practices on managing a restaurant business. On our road to 1,000 subscribers for Eatery Pulse News, we are doing (paper) collateral drops inside the city over the next 8 weeks, so that will take us away from an-all digital foot print. So our slogan has changed, too, removing the word "all-digital" from it: Fresh, focused, inspired news & insights for the restaurateur of today and tomorrow. Through our advisory services, we are consolidating Studio by Eatery Pulse, our business concierge and video production services all into one business to form Studio Advisory EP. Together with our Studio Partners, there's a lot here for restaurant businesses to draw from.
CONTACT Subscriptions firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising sales email@example.com 301.944.0889 Studio (Direct Services Platform) firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover: Barley Mac, Arlington, Va.
03 / EATERY PULSE NEWS
TABLE OF CONTENTS 05 CRAFT BEER LOCAL, REGIONAL BREWERS FIND SUCCESS WITH SEASONALS AND IPAS
09 BETTER LEASES HOW TO NEGOTIATE YOUR WAY TO A BETTER LEASE
19 HOT REAL ESTATE IN SEARCH OF HOT RESTAURANT REAL ESTATE LOCATIONS
25 BEST PRACTICES SIMPLE TIPS TO KEEP ELEVATING THE CRAFT BEER EXPERIENCE
31 RAMW 35TH RAMMY AWARDS CELEBRATION MIXES D.C.'S BEST CULINARY OFFERINGS WITH CELEBRITY TENNIS POWER
33 DESIGN EXPERTS TALK DESIGN TRENDS
IN SEARCH OF HOT REAL ESTATE PHOTO COURTESY E. FRANKLIN
19 04 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
SEASONALS AND IPAS LOCAL, REGIONAL BREWERS DO WELL WITH THE MOST POPULAR CATEGORIES OF CRAFT BEER
merica’s romance with craft beer is soaring, particularly in the Washington, D.C. area, as access to proven brands is easy with craft breweries at our doorstep. When measured by case volume, craft beer grew by 6.5 percent in 2016 over the prior year, according to research firm Beverage Marketing, Inc., and craft beer accounted for 12.3 percent of total beer sales, says the Brewers Association.
While total beer volume was shown to be flat in 2016, both craft beer and imports grew. IPAs and seasonal varieties are the top categories in craft beer, says Julia Herz, Craft Beer Director, Brewers Association. IPA accounts for 28 percent of all craft beer and seasonals account for about 16 percent. The pulse of craft beer beats to its own rhythm. D.C. just hosted the Savor Craft Beer & Food Experience held this June, with many pairings of food and beer on top, showing that beer and food mix well to court favor with consumers. “With a commitment to small and independent businesses, the Brewers Association collaborated with like-minded small and independent farms, ranches and fish mongers to incorporate local and seasonal ingredients in as many menu items as possible,” says the Brewers Association in a statement.
PHOTO COURTESY BIG OYSTER BREWERY
05 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
BARLEY MAC TAP SYSTEM
as they tap into consumer interest for local beer. Restaurants that offer a variety of craft beer do well when they focus on sufficient availability and knowledge of seasonal beers. Denizens Brewing, a restaurant brewery and distributor of beer in Silver Spring, Md., released in April its German-style
BOCHO GOSE. PHOTO COURTESY DENIZENS BREWING.
Maibock, called Macadocious (7.1 percent ABV). The rotating seasonal
making an encore performance from last year. It will release its
has a solid rating above 4 stars by Beer
Solar Power (4.9 percent ABV), a Belgian Witbier brewed with
Advocate and is sure to draw attention
fresh orange zest, and Noire et Bleu (9 percent ABV), which
this spring. This summer, Denizens will
Harton says is a Belgian-style that is Tripel-brewed with
release Bocho Gose (4.1 percent ABV)
blueberries and also black tea. The Tripel type of brewing
and Georgia Avenue Peach Berliner
process is said to give it three times the hop with more balance.
Weiss (3.8 percent ABV). They are “perennial beer garden weather
DC Brau will also be offering seasonal beers, the American Pale
favorites,” says Julie Verratti, co-
Ale Space Reaper (9.2 percent ABV), which is brewed with
founder and director of Business
Canadian 2-Row, CaraPils, C60 and wheat malts. According to
Development at Denizens Brewing Co.
the brewery, Mosaic hop beers, which contain up to 10 percent Alpha acid content for flavoring beer (CraftedPours.com), are in
Big Oyster Brewery, based in Rehoboth
and quite popular at the moment. Space Reaper is brewed each
Beach, De., will offer up two new
time around mid-June, right before summer solstice, celebrating
seasonal brews this summer, according
the beginning of summer. “It hits all the notes that one would
to Head Brewer Andrew Harton. Big
expect from a huge DIPA with a complex aromatic array of
Oyster will play to and delight Belgian-
mango, citrus, berry and tropical fruit with an agreeable herbal
style-beer lovers, releasing its own
and light cedar note to round it out,” says a representative for
06 / EATERY PULSE NEWS
OUR FIRST TWO IPAS IN THIS SERIES, CALLED 'SLAM' AND 'POW,' LASTED LESS THAN A WEEK... -ANDREW HARTON, BIG OYSTER TOP BEERS AT DENIZENS PHOTO COURTESY DENIZENS BREWING
GEORGIA AVENUE PEACH PHOTO COURTESY DENIZENS BREWING
LEVERAGING IPAS AND LIGHTER TASTES “First sip communicates a large, refreshing dose of hop bitterness followed up by a light, malty, sticky, resinous, cedar-like finish with hints of stone fruit and Guava.” For novices, lighter bodies may seem to lean in certain flavor directions, but beer is a composition of many flavors, ingredients, and hops, perfected with certain proprietary brewing processes and a masterful craft. It resembles the harmonious sound of a symphony. Summer inclinations may lead imbibers to seek out lighter-bodied beer, and interest in citrus or fruity character that is not seasonallydependent is significant. Denizens' Verratti says, “We certainly release citrusy/fruity beers in the summer (see above with our Lime Gose and our Peach Berliner Weiss).The demand for two of our lighter-bodied year-round flagships tends to go up in the warmer weather as well (Born Bohemian Pilsner and Third Party Tripel).” From a brewer’s perspective Harton of Big Oyster Brewing, recommends a new-age hop such as citra or using fresh citrus zest. For DC Brau, ales have been a big part of their story and are very popular with consumers.
PHOTO COURTESY BIG OYSTER BREWERY
The Public Ale and the Corruption IPA are admittedly two of their top sellers. DC Brau aficionados are always on the lookout on The Wings of Armageddon DIPA, says the brewer. Big Oyster is launching its Onomatopoeia Series, which is a rotating calendar of fresh IPA selections. Each IPA is described by how it feels on the mouth, says Harton. “Our first two IPAs in this series called "SLAM!" and "POW!" lasted less than a week on tap here at the restaurant and the kegs we sell to other restaurants were all sold in less than a day!” The series is expected to last throughout the summer. He says that IPAs are the top category for Big Oyster Brewery and its West Coast IPA, Hammerhead, is the top seller all year. Denizens’ top IPA is the Southside Rye IPA. Most of the brewery’s IPAs tend to be limitedbatch and seasonal IPAs so they have a very short season, and Verratti says they have experimented with DIPAs and a Belgian IPA, also. The top non-IPA for Denizens, which is a fan favorite, is the Born Bohemian Pilsner.
08 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
REAL ESTATE LESSONS
NEGOTIATING A BETTER LEASE
PHOTO COURTESY S. WEBB
By Anthony Coppola
Commercial leases are usually the largest single expense that restaurant owners incur. So it is worth taking the time to think carefully about a lease before signing. In this article, we tackle some responses to common questions that restaurant owners encounter. What are some common misconceptions about what can and cannot go into a lease to protect the restaurant owner?
Leases, at their core, are what lawyers like to call “creatures of contract.” No, it’s not some storybook monster made out of paper and intent on papercutting you. It simply means that the parties, the lessor and lessee in case of a lease, decide what goes into the agreement. The single biggest misconception that business owners have about leases is that they tend to believe it’s a “take it or leave it” deal. In good and bad markets, terms are always up for debate. 09 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
Commercial leases are regulated differently than residential leases. Many first time business owners are accustomed to leases on apartments or houses, where the other side may say take it or leave it, and often, the only term that can be negotiated is the price. When it comes to commercial real estate, negotiating detailed terms of a lease is common. Much of the negotiation centers around who takes what risk at what point in time. For instance, if the building is destroyed by an act of God, until what point in time are you comfortable still being obligated under the lease? Is it at the time of destruction? Sixty days after the event? 120? Being obligated under the lease well after the space is destroyed is an expensive proposition and may make very little sense. Nevertheless, we see it often in leases. The
PHOTO COURTESY D.POPOV
destruction of the property is just one of many scenarios youâ€™ll have to consider. Businesses can often do things to a space that residential tenants would not dream of doing, like installing high temperature ovens and seating, or they may be required to do things like add ventilation. Businesses may also be more responsible for the maintenance of the space and even the common area. Commercial leases are regulated differently than residential leases. Many first time business owners are used to
leases on apartments or houses where the other side may say take it or leave it, and often, the only term that can be negotiated is the price. Being obligated under the lease well after the space is destroyed is an expensive proposition and may make very little sense. How the common area is defined is important to limit a lesseeâ€™s responsibilities to the overall upkeep of the building. So making sure the lease matches exactly the amount of risk a business owner is willing to accept is essential, as is making sure that the lease allows the owner to do what they want to do. CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
10 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
NEGOTIATING A BETTER LEASE
PHOTO COURTESY S. WEBB
Routine pitfalls in restaurant leasing By no means is this an exhaustive list, but these are some problems that arise constantly and are often overlooked: Americans with Disabilities Act compliance Businesses must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. And both the landlord and tenant can be held responsible for compliance. To some degree, the responsibility can be assigned in the lease. It is important to be careful that a tenant does not end up taking on the cost of something like moving a large structural beam that blocks the front door. The tenant can ask the landlord to warrant that the space is compliant to begin with, but it can be a very costly mistake if a tenant accidentally accepts the costs of making those changes. Escape Clauses Commercial leases often last for five years. Some last for decades. But what happens if something goes wrong? It is important to have a way for a business owner to get out of a lease on a property that is damaged or destroyed. People often do not want to eat in a half-burned down shopping center, but if the section a restaurant is in remains unharmed, the owner may still have to pay for years whether the rest is rebuilt or not. Another common escape clause centers around anchor tenants leaving. If big stores are sitting empty, it may scare away business, so restaurant owners may want a clause allowing them to get out. With the prevalence of individual guarantees, language that limits the guarantee period or damages amount is central to limiting exposure; in this case, limiting personal liability. 12Â | EATERY PULSE NEW5
Improvements and renewal options Most restaurants have to improve the commercial space that they rent. They build kitchens, they decorate, they add booths and tables. These improvements increase the value of the space, so when the lease comes up for renewal, a landlord now has a more valuable space and can charge more. Two ways of dealing with this problem are rent abatements for improvements and renewal options up front that take the improvements into consideration. What are ways to protect oneself in the event of an unexpected closing? No one wants a business to fail, but the truth is sometimes they do. This is why business entities exist like corporations, LLPs, and LLCs. These entities can potentially offer limited liability, which separates out an owner’s personal finances from their business finances. Sometimes for new businesses, an owner may have to make personal assurances for a lease. But it is possible to negotiate out what is known as a “good boy lease.” The owner is personally liable for the first few years, but the liability shifts to the business after a certain period of time. Landing a good rate The best way to know if you are getting a good rate is to ask around. An attorney who deals in commercial real estate often will have a good idea. It is also important to consider that commercial leases may be flat rent or minimum rent where the restaurant pays a lower minimum rent, but if the restaurant earns over a certain amount, they pay a percentage of their profits. Minimum rent arrangements are generally disfavored in this area, but both options have their strengths and shortcomings..” Also, most commercial rent is “net” of expenses. This means that the rent may not be all that is owed. It may also include other expenses that may be passed through to the lessee. Typical pass-through expenses include insurance, taxes and common area maintenance—commonly referred to as “CAM." So it is important to consider all these expenses in total.
The leasing timeline The ideal timeline is as quickly as possible without rushing. This is somewhat of an amorphous guideline, but it is true. Lease negotiations can be hammered out in a few days or take months, but a restaurateur is going to be stuck with the space and the terms for a period of years. Moving quickly is great from a business point of view because so often time really is money, but it is not worth rushing into bad terms that will kill a business years down the line. If something seems fishy, it usually gets more pronounced, not less. There is always another space to be leased, just like there are “other fish in the sea.” Opening a new restaurant is really exciting. but it is worth taking the time to do it right. Making a small investment to have a competent lawyer review a lease before signing it can pay huge dividends down the line. 13 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
NEGOTIATING A BETTER LEASE
ABOUT ANTHONY COPPOLA Anthony Coppola is a member at the Alexandria, Va.-based law firm Coppola & Jabaly, which serves small businesses. He has practiced law as an appellate litigator at Greenberg Traurig. He also developed his professional skills working at the Legal Writing Pro, the D.C. Public Defender, and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Solicitor.
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Ready to Rumble? CULINARY ROUNDTABLE & RUMBLE GIVES RISING AND ACCLAIMED STARS A CHANCE TO BATTLE IT OUT FOR 'RUMBLE' BRAGGING RIGHTS
Doi Moi Pork Spare Ribs Marinated in Fish Sauce, emulsion of nuoc cham. Photo courtesy RAMW
“Spirited,” “meaty,” “Asianinfluenced,” “vegan,” “spicy,” and “flavorful”—What do you think of when you come across these descriptions? These are a few adjectives that were perfectly suited for the effort and outcome of the Culinary Stars Roundtable & Rumble that took place at the Uline Area in the NoMa neighborhood of Washington, D.C. June 19.
15 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
Several rising chefs and acclaimed restaurants that are in contention for a RAMMY Award this year highlighted their best bites for top D.C. Rumble recognition. Top local restaurants that participated in the event include: The Daily Dish (Jerry Hollinger), Indique (K.N. Vinod), Doi Moi (Sasha Felikson), Sally’s Middle Name (Miranda Rosenfelt) and Hazel (Rob Rubba).
The crown belonged to Chef Felikson of Doi Moi, who won with the top number of votes for the night. His Pork Ribs, marinated in fish sauce, glazed in fish caramel, and topped with an emulsion of nuoc cham, sent attendees back for seconds and thirds, and won over their palates and their hearts. A bite-sized delight of New England little neck clams in fermented tomato sauce with house cured
CONTINUED ON PAGE 17
READY TO RUMBLE?
(LEFT) PHOTO COURTESY GREEN HAT GIN. (RIGHT) PHOTO COURTESY NOMA BID FACEBOOK.
bacon and fried bread came from Chef Rosenfelt of Sally’s Middle Name. Hazel’s Chef Rubba prepared a vegan dish of barbecued carrots, hazelnut caramel and jalapeño. The event was sponsored by the NoMA BID and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. The first part of the event was dedicated to a robust discussion by the panelists, reflecting on the evolving dining scene and reminiscing the restaurants and restaurateurs that made D.C. the “Restaurant City of the Year (Bon Appetit.” The panelists included Ari Gejdenson, Mindful Restaurants, Jason Kuller and Max Kuller- Proof, Estadio, Doi Moi, Katsuya Fukushima and Yama Jewayni- Daikaya, Haikan, Bantam King, and Ted Xenohristos- CAVA Group. The latter-half of the event was dedicated to the Rumble, with several beverage companies keeping guests hydrated, including DC Brau, Atlas Brewing and Green Hat Gin. Green Hat’s Watermelon punch was a popular stop along the line of tasting tables. The punch was a refreshing medley of fresh watermelon juice, lime juice, Green Hat Spring Summer Gin and Capitoline Vermouth.
17 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
RECIPE FOR DOI MOI PORK RIBS MARINATED IN FISH SAUCE Fish/Lemongrass Marinade for Pork Ribs
Lemongrass, minced - 12 stalks Shallots - 8 Garlic - 20 cloves Sugar - 12 tablespoons Fish sauce - 1 ½ cups Lime juice - 12 tablespoons Black pepper - 4 teaspoons
Combine all ingredients in blender. Rub on ribs and leave overnight in refrigerator to marinade. The ribs are cooked in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, and then turn down to 350 degrees for another 2 1/2 hours. After that, they are ready to be glazed on the grill.
Fish Sauce Caramel Glaze
Nuoc Cham Emulsion
Fish Sauce - 1 cup Palm Syrup - 1 ½ cup
Hot water - 12 cups Sugar - 3 cups Fresh lime juice - 7 cups Fish sauce - 4 cups Garlic-Chili (Red & Green), Pounded - ⅔ cup Kewpie Mayonnaise - 8 cups
Caramelize in pan to 227 degrees celsius. Cool and reserve to glaze the ribs on the grill.
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PAGE | EATERY PULSEPULSE NEWS 18 | EATERY NEWS
IN SEARCH OF HOT REAL ESTATE IN THE D.C. AREA TO RESTAURATEURS, THE HOW MAY MATTER MORE THAN THE WHERE, ALTHOUGH THE WHERE IS QUITE HOT RIGHT NOW By Rick Zambrano
he art of finding hot real estate in Washington, D.C. might be more of a skill in knowing how to find good real estate space, rather than where to find good real estate. Nearly all neighborhoods have coveted spots, which are dispersed in the thriving area. Certainly, a hot list of up-andcoming neighborhoods would include the Capitol Riverfront, The Wharf D.C., NoMa, Petworth and Ivy City. Prior to the start of the year, BisNow, a trade publication in the commercial real estate sector, listed several of its own curated “hot” locations for restaurant build-outs that included retail space in the neighborhoods of U Street Corridor, NoMa, Capitol Riverfront, the
West End, the East End and Shaw. “Identify the target audience, then put restaurants in that area,” says Steve Starr, founder of design firm starrdesign. Finding good locations is not a one-size-fits-all endeavour, he notes. Communicating a specific message and making sure a location fits in with the branding of a restaurant is critical. Restaurants owners need to proceed in an informed manner, having done expensive research and networked with trusted advisors and experts in order to understand their target customers. They must locate them prior to signing on the dotted line. Starr notes that major customer considerations include the demographics of target customers. Baby boomers tend to migrate to suburban locations, where as Gen X and older millennials may be semi-urban focused, retreating to the suburbs after work but still focused on incorporating aspects of the city for entertainment and lifestyle needs. Millennials tend to be more urban-focused.
COURTYARD. PHOTO COURESTY GROSVENOR F1RST.
19 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
REAL ESTATE INSIDE THE CITY F1rst Residences is a recent addition to the Capitol Riverfront area. F1rst Residences and the Marriott Residence Inn will bring 325 tenant dwellings and 176 hotel rooms to the neighborhood. Restaurant spaces that are confirmed at the building, or adjacent to it, are Circa, Open Road, Roti Modern Mediterranean, Rasa Indian Grill, Taylor Gourmet, Chop’t and Chipotle, according to BisNow. The Riverfront location for Open Road, a Metropolitan Restaurant Group concept, of Falls Church, Va.-fame, will be its second.
Nationals Park view from F1RST Residences. Photo courtesy Grosvenor F1RST
Rasa Indian Grill will debut at F1rst and is slated for a fall opening. The Rasa Indian Grill fast-casual concept is a product of the family behind Indique in Cleveland Park and Bombay Bistro in Rockville, Md.. Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman are the sons of acclaimed chef K.N. Vinod and restaurateur Surfy Rahman, respectively. Even with such pedigree,the sons have conducted a search for the “perfect location” dates back to at least 2015, and has included available spaces in neighborhoods like the Shaw. Rasa Founders Vinod and Rahman, supporting their well-known restaurateur family, have become somewhat of a promotion specialist-team—recently helping with re-imaging of Indique in D.C. and a menu revamp, including a first-in-class cocktail program at the Cleveland park restaurant, which is in contention for a RAMMY award this year. At F1rst, they have been quick to engage the residents there with promotions and tasting in partnership with the Grosvenor leasing team, including a sampling event in May, ready to engage with their future customers well before the Rasa Grill opening on an ongoing basis.
A Rasa promotion with F1RST Residences. Photo courtesy Grosvenor F1RST
Vinod says they plan an October opening if all goes well. Too many restaurateurs stop promoting sufficiently once restaurants open, but marketing & promotion activities that are well-funded and executed on a consistent and long-term basis can reap great rewards in customer acquisition and retention. It’s a strategy the Rasa founders know well.
OUTSIDE THE CITY Mixed-use lifestyle centers where work and play converge are near-ubiquitous in the Metro-D.C. area, particularly in the suburbs, where distances between shopping & dining districts and the residential neighborhoods may be far and wide. Two prominent centers in Suburban Maryland are Downtown Crown in Gaithersburg, Md. and the PIke & Rose Development in North Bethesda (Rockville), Md. Currently, Downtown Crown, managed by RPAI, is adding 128 condominium units by Michael Harris at the Copley at Crown, adjacent to Harris Teeter. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 Rasa founders Sahil and Rahul (left to right) Photo courtesy Grosvenor F1RST
20 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
HOT REAL ESTATE The residential base at Crown has a total planned build-out of over 500 townhomes and split-level (2-on-2) condominiums, and the development has a second phase of development, known as Crown East, also in the planning. Cadence at Crown, a luxury apartment development, has nearly 500 apartment units in two large mid-rise buildings, many of which reside above coveted restaurant space that is mostly occupied. Pike & Rose is continuing its build-out of Phase II development, and has added The Henri luxury apartments with 272 residential dwellings to a residential mix that already includes a high-end high-rise building and mid-rise building totaling nearly 500 residences. This expansion will bring numerous additional tenants to patronize its growing collection of restaurants, which includes City Perch, Summer House Santa Monica, Owen’s Ordinary, Roti, and others. Leasing in lifestyle centers can be both challenging and rewarding. Whereas in years past these centers were supported by retailers like Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, and more recently by movie theaters and grocery stores, these centers are now clustering restaurants to create a dining destination. The cluster can actually be helpful to restaurants there, particularly when it is strategically developed and developers are mindful of having different concepts and tastes all in one neighborhood. “There is more of a thoughtful mix of complementary concepts that can feed off of each other,” says Starr. The cost of build-outs can be higher, and there may not be as much coveted end-cap or street corner space, especially for independent restaurateurs. Downtown Crown is anchored by a Harris Teeter, but it relies on this clustering and has several restaurants in close proximity, including 22 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
Ted’s Montana Grill, La Madeleine, Ted’s Bulletin, Asian Nine, Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar and Coastal Flats. There are additional fast-casual and entertainment concepts in the Crown development, adding even more dining muscle to the portfolio. When one popular restaurant is full, notes Starr, the other concepts, can benefit with overflow traffic. Planning for that perfect restaurant space Nationally, there is a shortage of restaurant space, and construction costs are also on the rise, says Starr, experiencing the largest increase in the past 12 months. A review of the type of audience desired, along with a good understanding of a pre-opening and opening budgeting are essentials. He says negotiating a lease with all aspects of the process can make a difference and pre-lease consulting, which is a growing part of the Starr Design business, will go a long way for any restaurateur. There may be aspects of maintenance and the condition of buildings, particularly in older, urban locations that need to be carefully considered, as well. Much of the restaurants in D.C.’s neighborhoods have outdoor seating. Outdoor spaces can add a lot of energy and seating capacity to a restaurant. They can also be used as a marketing tool to show off the restaurant’s food, ambiance and even its clientele. There’s a big social aspect to dining and restaurants can play up that factor with outdoor seating. With D.C.’s spring-summer season being longer than in other parts of the country, like New England or the Northeast, this facet of accommodation is significant. “Outdoor seating is a great benefit,” says Adam Williamowsky, director of restaurants at design & strategy firm Streetsense in Bethesda, Md. He cautions that it needs to be properly planned and strategized. The kitchen should be able to accommodate and handle the additional volume of restaurant goers that are using the outdoor
OUTDOOR SEATING IS KEY
resources, and they havenâ€™t been drained in the lead-up to the first day of the business.
space when it is at peak capacity, insists
Restaurateurs should be well-capitalized
and leave enough budget for opening and post-opening marketing. Allocate sufficiently
Properly budgeting for the space, incorporating
to market the restaurant and to pay good
intelligent design in food prep and its delivery to
the outdoor are key elements to make it succeed. He notes that often restaurateurs treat outdoor
Consumers are looking for an experience,
space as an afterthought, which can be an unwise
not just to be fed, remarks Starr. Due to
labor shortages, being able to pay more to get the staff needed to provide customers a
Another big consideration is the strategic planning
best-in-class experience will contribute
for the opening, making sure there are sufficient
greatly to the longevity of the restaurant.
TV SPOTLIGHT BARLEY MAC, Arlington, Va. Barley Mac is a popular and top-reviewed restaurant and bourbon bar in Arlington, Va., a county that has most recently drawn top restaurateurs across the region. Itâ€™s just across the river from D.C. and a magnet for top restaurants. But the same county is a challenge for many restaurateurs, notes a recent article in Arlington Magazine. Restaurant spaces in the county are not all the same and vacancies hit an all-time high of 20 percent recently. Restaurant owners find both success and failure here. Itâ€™s a careful dance. Barley Mac and other top restaurants in Arlington and Metro-D.C. perform this waltz daily. Eatery Pulse TV recently spoke to management at the restaurant to discover how the restaurant continues to engage customers and what it is doing to keep the beer experience at its best for its cosmopolitan, but fairly affluent clientele, which it draws from the nearby residential neighborhoods and work offices. Watch our upcoming Episode Three to learn more.
23 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
Barley Mac is a top-reviewed restaurant in Arlington, Va.
EATERY PULSE TV EPISODE THREE
more beer more best practices consumer trends delivery
DEVYN JONES AND LARISSA AGUIRRE, NEWS ANCHORS
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RESTAURATEURS, YOU COMPLETE US. SEND YOUR RESTAURANT STORIES OF SUCCESS, EVENTS, PERSONNEL CHANGES AND NEW OPENINGS TO NEWSTIPS@EATERYPULSE.NET. Â PAGE | EATERY PULSE NEWS
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EASY TIPS WILL TAKE THE PROGRAM UP A NOTCH
ELEVATING THE CRAFT BEER EXPERIENCE C
RAFT BEERâ€™S POPULARITY PUTS THE IMPETUS ON RESTAURANT AND BAR OWNERS TO DELIVER A BESTIN-CLASS EXPERIENCE FOR ON-PREMISE DRINKING,
25 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
paying attention to the draft quality of beer, beer pouring systems and maintenance. According to the Brewers Association, 10 percent of big beer is sold on draft, and nearly a third of craft beer is sold this way. At the moment, full-flavored beer is having its moment, but these beers are more perishable. A big part of elevating the craft beer experience might be in the marketing of it, but attention to details in keeping beer fresh, enjoyable and taking the energy up a notch form part of a strategy to make the program the best it can be. Energizing the program DC Brau collaborates with several restaurants and restaurant breweries for special events. Recently, it supported the three-year anniversary of Brooklandâ€™s Finest when the restaurant held a BBQ event to commemorate the special day. Beer events and festivals can also draw a lot of attention and energize beer-loving fans. Denizens Brewery, a restaurant brewery and brewery distributor keeps things fresh by releasng a new beer approximately once per month. Julie Verratti, co-founder and director of business development says the restaurant also focuses on large events, including an event held during the winter, called the Winter Cask Classic. The festival featured a hockey shoot-out in the Denizens beer garden and included
sampling of Denizens and guest-cask selections.
Beer kegs should be properly handled and cold-
Every year, Denizens Brewery invites 30 breweries
stored. With the exception of barrel-aged beer,
and offers up 100 different styles of wild and sour
when craft beer is stored warm, it will definitely
beers for sampling in an event known as Make it
perish more quickly and lead to a very bad
experience when poured for customers.
“This summer in conjunction with our third
Herz also recommends proper rotation as another
anniversary we are holding an adult carnival that
key best practice. “First-in, first-out” method is the
we are calling Cirque du Denizens,” adds Verratti.
rule. “Definitely sell the oldest beer first,” she
“It should be a bunch of fun with acrobats, games,
suggests. To emphasize the issue of spoilage, a
a charitable dunk tank, and certainly not an event
beer like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, she notes, will
that I have ever seen at a brewery before.”
only have 150 days of shelf life once it is tapped and stored under proper conditions. Imagine what
Cleaning and storage
improper warm storage will do to the beer. A process for proper rotation will also ensure a better
Cleaning beer lines is critical. Typically, there
drinking experience for seasonals, which are
isn't enough attention being paid to this but they
available for a limited time, but make up the
should be cleaned every two weeks, at most, says
number two beer category in craft beer.
Julia Herz, craft beer director, Brewers Association. Cold storage is also an important part of delivering
Training and knowledge
a better beer experience. Craft beer can have a shorter shelf life than bread or milk. The types of
Training of all of these best practices mentioned
craft beer that are found in the craft milieu contain
are critical to the process. Servers and bartenders
oxygen and that will advance the fermentation
need to be well-educated and informed in this
process, change the flavor and lead to spoilage.
Denizens Macadocious, a "spring" maibock. Photo courtesy Denizens Brewing
26 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
regard because they can guide customers to the appropriate recommendations. Communication is a part of training. A few common questions that need to be addressed: What new brews are going to be featured? How will the selection of beers pair with the food on the menu? What is the current offering of beers? And when will limited-beer selections be rotated out? Everything is in the details. It is also essential to understand the proper cleaning procedures for both tap lines and the glassware. Dirty glasses can be a turnoff to customers and they can signal to customers just how dirty they are. Dirty glasses actually will show bubbles on the side of glasses with dirt due to the oxidation in beer, so itâ€™s important to clean the glasses thoroughly and properly, otherwise, the spotted defects would likely cost the business an unpleasant customer experience and, more importantly, loss of revenue. The Brewers Association offers resources on training and maintenance of beer systems at craftbeer.com/food/beerand-food-course.
EATERY PULSE TV
PAGE | EATERY PULSE NEWS
HEALTHY FOOD TRENDS LOYALTY MARKETING. WATCH EPISODE TWO ON YOUTUBE OR TWO.EATERYPULSE.TV
AXIS PURCHASING DELIVERS REBATES, SAVINGS, TO LOCAL RESTAURANT OWNERS Axis Purchasing is a group purchasing organization (GPO) that helps multi-unit restaurant operators save money through the current distributors. Unlike other GPOs that can direct restaurateurs to purchase from one distributor or another based on the savings programs the organizations have previously negotiated, Axis Purchasing lets restaurants continue using existing distributors, noted John Krebs, president of Axis, in a recent interview with Eatery Pulse TV. Meanwhile, when clients are onboarded and they have signed an authorization, most of the
28 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
transition process is rather invisible and does not impact the operation of the restaurants. Axis impacts savings through rebates from manufacturers, contract pricing for food and supply items, and also from being able to make alternative recommendations to restaurant owners to switch to like-quality, lower-priced items. Deliveries continue as planned, the ordering process is the same and the availability of product remains unchanged. It’s a “seamless implementation,” says Krebs. “Operations won’t even know (until they start seeing the savings).” The authorization provided from a restaurant to Axis Purchasing is actually a release for data collection. In this way, the distributor can start releasing information to Axis so that the company can collect rebates from manufacturers, which restaurants usually leave on the table. The rebates can then be used to offset the cost of product received by the restaurant, thus significantly lowering the total cost
of food and supplies and improving margins. Another way data is used by his company to benefit restaurant owners, Krebs says, is in the way it can improve the recommendations he can make to restaurant groups on how they might save by purchasing the same products from different manufacturers that have different buying practices. When restaurant operations are able to standardize some of their most common purchases, they can save money without impacting the quality that their customers deserve. Bidding around or looking for the cheapest price is not necessarily the way to go, he notes. Distributors gain efficiencies by making less stops. By using multiple distributors, restaurants increase the number of truck stops and create inefficiencies, rather than creating efficiencies. When the supply chain has efficiencies, restaurants can
eligible for contract pricing, depending on the types of food
tap into it to get a lower price.
and supply products purchased; and Axis can begin making
Conversely, each additional stop a
recommendations on comparable products that the
distributor or supplier truck needs to
restaurant can switch to in order to benefit from a lower cost
make can cost that distributor $100 to
"Ninety percent of the time, the restaurant will do so to save
$150 extra, adds Kreb.
money," says Krebs.
Axis Purchasing leverages one of the
To obtain more information on Axis, navigate to the Axis
largest buying groups available that has
Purchasing website at axispurchasing.com, or contact
325 manufacturers on its roster. This
means that potential restaurant clients are already buying these same products, but for more money, without rebates or savings. Three things happen when restaurant groups join the program: Restaurant company becomes eligible for manufacturer rebates; restaurant client may become
29 / EATERY PULSE NEWS
Eatery Pulse News is more than news. It's a marketplace for ideas, solutions and product knowledge. Subscribe to stay updated with new products and solutions from D.C.'s cutabove vendors: subscribe.eaterypulse.tv SPONSORED CONTENT
EATERY PULSE NEWS + EATERY PULSE TV WE DRAW FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES AND EXPERTS AND COMPREHENSIVELY COVER THE TOWN FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE INDUSTRY. AND WE'RE JUST GETTING STARTED. Bad Saint, La Puerta Verde, Roti, The Little Beet, Protein Bar, Himitsu, CPK, The Dabney, Brookland's Finest, DC Brau, Denizens Brewing Co., Big Oyster Brewery, Astro Donuts & Fried Chicken, South Block, Himitsu, Beefsteak, Chop't, sweetgreen, Rasa Indian Grill, Hazel, Gringos & Mariachis, Bindaas, IcyCode, and more
NPD Group, Technomic, Inc., L.E.K Consulting, American Express Surveys, Studio, AlixPartners, Baum & Whiteman, Packaged Facts, Marketresearch.com, Culinary Tides, Brewers Association, Beverage Marketing, Restaurant Association of Metropolictan Washington, GiftRocker, Revel Systems, National PAGE / EATERY PULSE NEWS Restaurant Association, and more
RAMW & MAJOR TENNIS TOURNAMENT PUMP UP EXCITEMENT AT 2017 RAMMY AWARDS The 2017 RAMMY Awards Gala, the annual
which are not included in the passport program,
celebration of the best in the D.C. restaurant
said RAMW in a June email to its members.
scene by the Restaurant Association of
RAMW has also selected some restaurants to
Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), will be held
participate in a Citi Open Official Kick-Off Party.
July 30 at the Walter E Washington D.C.
Top tennis players from this year’s draw, which
Convention Center. This year’s event will see
include well-known names like Nick Kyrgios,
further collaboration between the Citi Open, held
Gael Monfils, Dominic Thiem, Genie Bouchard,
at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, and the 35th
Lauren Davis and Samantha Stosur, will be
annual RAMMY Awards celebration. The Citi
sampling some of the best cuisine D.C., the
Open Tennis Tournament will be hosting a
“Restaurant City of the Year (Bon Appetit),” has
player’s party at the RAMMYs.
The Citi Open Player Party at the RAMMYs is
This ticketed Kick-Off Party is being held at the
held for tournament players and event VIPs. The
Ronald Reagan International Trade Building in
players will be able to benefit from one of the
D.C. July 27 and includes live music and hosts
most exciting events in D.C.’s food scene, and
the Official Draw Ceremony for the Citi Open.
build additional goodwill between the tournament and the D.C. restaurant community.
“The RAMMYs honor the exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals
Furthermore, RAMW will again be offering Citi
and organizations of the capital region’s
Open Dining Passports to players for
restaurants and foodservice community,” said
participating restaurants that accept the
Kathy E. Hollinger, CEO and president, in a
passport. The passports are intended for players,
recent Eatery Pulse interview. More information
and restaurants may benefit through additional
about the RAMMY Awards can be found at
player dining party revenue and alcohol sales,
31 / EATERY PULSE NEWS
EATERY PULSE TV JULY EPISODE | EATERYPULSE.TV
Barley Mac Arlington, Va. MINA'S CORNER News: Openings, Closings Ripple in Cleveland Park closed June 24 Nam-Viet in Cleveland Park closed June 25 Sugar Shack in the Shaw opening in the summer Continental Beer Garden eyes June opening in Arlington Takohachi Japanese restaurant to replace Sports House Grill in Arlington MORE NEWS
Rotuda Brick Oven Pizzeria coming to K St this fall
RAMMY Awards to be held July 30
Fast-casual Gorsha opened in Union Market
Summer restaurant week starts August 14
Jinya Ramen to open this summer in Logan Circle
Cleveland Park neighborhood to review commercial revitalization
New York steakhouse St. Anselm coming to Union Market
Tico held three-year anniversary June 8 Brookland's Finest held three-year anniversary June 9 32 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
Sources: ArlNow, DCist, Popville, RAMW, Washington Post, and Washington City Paper 32Â | EATERY PULSE NEWS
EXPERTS UNVEIL SOME OF THE THINKING BEHIND WHAT WE SEE W ith the competitive landscape so challenging for restaurants, and diners having so many choices in the Metro-D.C. area, the design and comfort of restaurants is more crucial than ever. An inviting, comfortable interior can call out to passerbys. A layout that is warm, well-lit and cozy can be part of a great
dining experience when it is paired with amazing service. Think Rose’s Luxury in the city, or Barley Mac just across the river in Arlington, Va., or Summer House Santa Monica at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Md.— all of these are transports to another world—a place where design meets the needs of diners looking for a unique, and memorable culinary excursion. With mid-tier casual dining restaurants finding incremental business elusive, fast-casual and polishedcasual eateries have come into their own. D.C. has been a churning factory for concepts in these segments and entrepreneurs in the space have done well when carefully establishing these brands and giving them unique design, appeal and identities. Cava, Sweetgreen, &Pizza, and Beefsteak epitomize this philosophy. All are brands with a unique and very memorable look in the fast-casual space. In the presence of “so many barn wood and subway-tile clad restaurants, brands are looking for ways to stand out and make their mark in the fast-casual & upscale casual space,” says Sarah Pike, art director for starrdesign, a Charlotte, N.C.-based design and branding firm.“ In restaurant design, customizing the space and making it stand out are some of the imperatives of experienced design firms. For starrdesign, it’s important to make spaces feel signature.
33 | Eatery Pulse News
“We use non-commercial photography and text in our environmental graphic program and incorporate curated installations in the space, adds Pike. “We create signature patterns with branded colors, and we often design custom wall coverings, tile, hand rails, and even planters.” Having curated pieces as part of the design of a restaurant and eloquent details that form a space that is memorable, and leads to easy recall, is smart. Not only can it elevate the experience, but also form a seamless thread of the brand and identity for the restaurant. Customizing light
SOME HEALTHY CHANGE features and having tailored touches add to the
branding and make the restaurant a destination,
SIGNATURE FEATURES FORM PART OF RESTAURANT BRANDING: BARLEY MAC, ARLINGTON, VA.
Tailored lighting features, like the ones found at Barley Mac, in Arlington, Va., have become part of the brand identity and allow customers to take away the signature aspects of those fixtures as part of their stored memory. The restaurant disperses additional touches that are ubiquitous, including a column designed with cork around it, and a wall of top-shelf spirits and whiskey. complementing its bourbon bar identity “We have seen a mixture of patterns and textures to make big brands feel more boutique in nature,” Pike says.“ Artifacts and repurposed treasures are thoughtfully incorporated into the interior design. Being eclectic is another design trend”, she adds.
COWFISH SUSHI BURGER BAR, INTEGRATED LIGHTING. PHOTO COURTESY STARRDESIGN
Customers are looking for design that is open and
comfortable enough with adequate distance
feels like it has more space for a better dining
between tables. Bars as a centerpiece of the
experience, notes Adam Williamowsky, director of
restaurant are still in vogue. Restaurateurs do well
restaurants at Streetsense, a design and strategy
when they accommodate single diners and small
firm based in Bethesda, Md. Diners don’t want to
groups with bar seating and high top tables.
feel like they are being sandwiched together with
Communal tables are not as popular as they once
tables nearly on top of each The challenge for
were, notes Williamowsky, but large tables can be
restaurateurs is to find a balance between
effective in creating last-minute and non-
maximizing the profit of a dining space (seats per
reservation seating for singles and couples.
square foot) and making a dining room
34 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
When lighting and seating can come together in a very personlized fashion, this can add to the allure of the space and give it energy. This is evident at the Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar in Atlanta, Ga. (above photo), a starrdesign client. The firm also sees the use of a lot of white and yellow to create bright spaces in health-oriented brands. The way lighting is integrated into a restaurant space can help make it functional for all dayparts.
ELEMENTS OF OPENNESS, TRANSPARENCY Consumers are putting a lot more emphasis into the quality, functionality and origins of the food they are eating. With the concept of transparency being central to the food industry, and to cater to customers’ preferences, open kitchens are still in demand. These spaces need to look appetizing and design firms like Street Sense and starrdesign can find ways to create the right environment of these open kitchens, paying particular attention to the viewpoints and angles from the dining areas. The functionality of kitchens are important as well, notes Williamowsky. Now that much of a restaurant’s business, particularly for fast casuals, is take-out, the kitchen needs to have sufficient prep and staging areas to accommodate this type of business, as well as catering, and the prep of meals of large outdoor spaces. Mobile ordering and pick-up can tax a business if it is not carefully design. Mobile ordering is a big trend that filters down to how spaces are created.
35 | EATERY PULSE NEWS
The ChopShop's Instagrammable feature. Photo courtesy starrdesign.
Revving up the energy at a restaurant can be accomplished through various means, one of which is outside patio spaces. “Outdoor dining spaces have never been so exciting, with festoon lights, fire features, communal tables and a breeze,” says Pike. “This is an older trend that seems to have some staying power.” Williamowsky says that restaurants can be designed with their surrounding environment around them. This forms a holistic integration with their neighborhoods and environments. The Dabney is one such example. Its design and structure hark to a colonial time and make the space feel homely and unpretentious. The Dabney’s design also fits well with its surrounding Logan Circle and Shaw neighborhoods, and the stone rowhouse where it was built. This integrated design philosophy is in play and very much a part of D.C. restaurant design. With so many pictures of food and dining experiences being shared on social media and Instagram, some restaurants are creating design aspects that welcome this trend. A tile mat at one of its restaurant client’s entryway (see photo above) has made its way to many customer’s social media accounts. Restaurants are part of the Instagram trend, and the many digital apps that will follow in the future. Some restaurateurs may do well with abandoning their vexations related to foodie photos, camera pictures of their restaurants and selfie moments, and instead, embracing the trendy activity. “Demand for these elements is amazing,” notes PIke.
Eatery Pulse News is a bi-monthly, digital publication for Metro-D.C. area restaurant owners and professionals, reporting restaurant news, i...
Published on Jun 28, 2017
Eatery Pulse News is a bi-monthly, digital publication for Metro-D.C. area restaurant owners and professionals, reporting restaurant news, i...