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After a bit of a false start a few months ago, Forest City is now confirming that Capitol Hill restaurant magnate Xavier Cervera will be opening "Willie's Brew & Que" in the Boilermaker Shops at The Yards. On the Yards's just redesigned web site, Willie's is listed as opening in Fall 2012, along with the other Boilermaker Shops restaurants previously announced (Austin Grill Express, brb, Buzz Bakery, a craft brewery by the Churchkey folks, and Huey's 24-7 Diner).
In a Going Out Gurus post today about Cervera's purchase of the Hawk 'n' Dove, Willie's is described as a sports bar, with the "'Cue" in the name referring not to pool but to barbecue that will be smoked on site. Plus, "Cervera promises 'the audio and video system is going to be very cool in there' when the place opens in 2012, including custom-built 12-foot plasma screens." (Note that GoG says it's "Brew & 'Cue", while Forest City's web site says "Brew & Que.")
Look for some new signage on the fences around the Boilermaker within the next few weeks, trumpeting all of the announced restaurants. (And I'll also point out that the web site says "more to come.")
The Going Out Gurus post also says that Cervera will be opening a restaurant at Canal Park, which they say will be LEED-certified, serving Neopolitan pizzas and featuring a raw bar. I've got a request into the Canal Park folks for confirmation and/or details. The park is expected to open in spring 2012. (UPDATE: The leasing negotiations for the Canal Park site are apparently not yet finalized, so don't consider this a done deal just yet.)
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JD says: (8/31/11 11:38 PM)
{Tap, tap} Is this thing on?


David Garber says: (8/31/11 11:49 PM)
Well, I for one am very excited that these spots are now more or less confirmed. Further affirmation that this neighborhood is a great place to open new biz and that people are starting to notice the profitability of opening where there are thousands clamoring for more options.


Eric says: (9/1/11 1:55 AM)
More sports bar/beer places for the post-grad bros in cargo shorts and flip flops. Lovely. How about a classy Scotch or Hookah joint?


jacques says: (9/1/11 8:56 AM)
Sounds good to me. Of course, I'm in the camp of "the neighborhood needs more options overall, to give people reason to visit/stay in the neighborhood, to attract more options."

@Eirc I think that diners, sports bars, and the Neighborhood Restaurant Group folks' craft brew house appeal to a broad enough demographic that they can pioneer the restaurant/nightlife scene, and once that happens, more upscale/niche spots may see the neighborhood as a viable location.


MJM says: (9/1/11 11:54 AM)
One could open your own classy Scotch or Hookah joint - that option does exist. Not really sure what people are looking for. Its not like DC is unique or our little area is unique. Microbrew, cupcakes, subs, sushi, etc - sounds like the rest of DC to me. I just want something to finally get this place going again.

Also if you haven't been by the new Akridge fence posters along Half St (over the last few weeks) you can text them what kind of restaurant you want there - of course if the restaurant doesn't exist not sure how you could request something new so therefore we would have to get something that already exists elsewhere????? Text them that you want to see "Half St Scotch & Hookah Palace" for Half St development.


Eric says: (9/1/11 12:06 PM)
Didn't mean to come off so negatively, sorry. I still think this is great news!


JD says: (9/1/11 2:34 PM)
The Canal Park folks tell me that they are negotiating with Xavier, but the contract hasn't been finalized yet. So take that part of the post for what it is, an early report on something not yet hammered out.


BillP says: (9/2/11 9:42 AM)
Hopefully the city doesn't screw up the lease details with Xavier because it would be great to have the restaurant portion of Canal Park ready to open with the park itself, as opposed to having the pavilion plastered with all-too-familiar "coming soon" signs.


Sophia Monster says: (9/2/11 9:56 AM)
I'm very excited about all of this, but I have to say, it does appear that the middle class of this city is subsisting on cupcakes, pizza, barbecue, and high end beer. I guess that's ok?


JD says: (9/2/11 10:24 AM)
I think cupcakes are to Washington as tulips were to the Netherlands in the 1630s.


G Street says: (9/8/11 9:48 AM)
If they're smart (and I'm sure they are) they'll do like Justin's on game day and offer $3-4 brews before a Nats loss, I mean, game -- that place will be PACKED. (Live band maybe??)

@eric - LOL - they're always 'brown' flip flops! (for the "post-grad bros in cargo shorts")

@JD - LOL - two (2) cupcake shops on (used to be deserted) 8th Street! Can we please get a third in JD Land??

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1300 4TH ST SE 1001   
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