Here a British Pub, There a British Pub
We're being invaded by our neighbors from the Great White North -- not one but two Canadian pub chains are bringing their own takes on the "traditional English pub" to the Washington area.
The Elephant & Castle will be the first, opening the week of April 11 at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, replacing a shuttered T.G.I. Friday's. The Vancouver company's press release claims "Elephant & Castle's appeal results from a blending of design elements reminiscent of Jolly Old England" with traditional foods to create an "authentic" atmosphere.
Not to be outdone, the Ontario-based Firkin Group, which runs 38 pubs in Canada, plans to open four "traditional" establishments in Northern Virginia, including one at Dulles International Airport. The Firkin & Hound is slated to open at South Riding's Market Square in September, with the others to follow. It's part of a huge expansion for the company, with 70 U.S. locations "in development"; the first opened near Albany, N.Y., last month.
But Canadians aren't the only ones with pub fever. Closer to home, Polly Esther's owner Gary Ouellette plans to open Union Jack's, a British-themed restaurant and bar, in Bethesda at the beginning of April. The unimaginatively titled nightspot is taking the subterranean St. Elmo Street space once home to the Shark Club and Pacific Grill. I'm told the focus will be more on the restaurant than on live entertainment or dancing.
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