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Posted at 6:20 PM ET, 12/22/2009

Robert Wiedmaier to unveil a Mussel Bar

By Tom Sietsema

Robert Wiedmaier is moving into virgin territory -- that would be Bethesda -- with what sounds like his simplest recipe yet: The Mussel Bar by RW, a "super-casual, fun and simple" place to knock back the obvious with Belgian beer and a side of rock-and-roll.

The site of what will be his fourth establishment ("a slam-dunk location") is Levante's, at 7262 Woodmont Ave., which will be open through the end of December according to manager Mehmet Ibis. "We're putting a sign up for our customers this week," he says.

Wiedmaier, who also owns Marcel's and Brasserie Beck in Washington and Brabo and a neighboring Tasting Room in Alexandria, has a lease for the Levante's space and will take possession on Jan. 1. Already, he's testing out someone at Beck who might head up the Mussel Bar's kitchen, which he hopes to have up and running in March.

There won't be tablecloths or reservations at the future restaurant, which Wiedmaier is modeling on a memory from his days as a young cook in Brussels. The joint served only mussels, fries and loud music, he recalls. His Mussel Bar will add a few more choices: "One fish, one steak, tarte flambe, crepes, two desserts and that's it," he rattles off.

Won't another business over-extend the guy? "I have great people working for me," says Wiedmaier. "And this is a very easy concept."

-- Tom Sietsema

By Tom Sietsema  | December 22, 2009; 6:20 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  | Tags:  Tom Sietsema  
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Awesome! And already a huge improvement on the waste of space that has been Levante's.

Posted by: ropespin | December 24, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

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