A Gastropub on D.C.'s Horizon: Againn
Move over, Eamonn's. Watch out, CommonWealth. To hear Mark Weiss describe it, fish and chips and bangers and mash have never had a home in Washington as fashionable as what the entrepreneur is prepared to unveil to the public Oct. 27 at 1099 New York Ave. NW. Among other details, his gastropub, Againn, will be outfitted with 130 individually lighted and personalized lockers for Scotch, which patrons can reserve for $500 a year.
Decorated with faux fox heads, dark paneling and a zinc-topped bar, the 5,600-square foot restaurant will be the first for Weiss, the CEO of the newly formed Whisk Group based in Rockville. But with 17 years of experience at the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons, among other brands, he's no stranger to the hospitality business.
The name of the establishment (pronounced "again") is loosely translated from Gaelic into English as "with us," says Weiss, who was born in the Netherlands, grew up in New Zealand and has lived in England. He and his partner in Whisk Group, Bahar Makinaci, hope to sign a chef this week, pending negotiations. The aim, says Weiss: "Top-end comfort food." Entrees are expected to run between $17-$25.
Againn will also feature a raw bar and three private dining areas, including one equipped with a flat-screen TV (you know, to watch soccer games).
Weiss is nothing if not ambitious for Whisk Group and future restaurant concepts, both here in the U.S. and abroad. "I'd love to [reimagine] a French brasserie for Paris and a pub for London," he told me.
-- Tom Sietsema
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