The Heights Food Hall offers eight different stands with an international mix of cuisines. Renderings courtesy of Common Plate Hospitality.
The trend in food halls does not seem to be slowing down in the foreseeable future. Now Common Plate Hospitality – the group behind Tex-Mex eatery Urbano 116, Mason Social, and Augie’s Mussel House and Beer Garden in Virginia – are bringing their own version to Chevy Chase. The Heights Food Hall on Wisconsin Place, right next to the Friendship Heights Metro, will feature eight stands with an international mix of kitchens and a communal bar, as well as an adjoining speakeasy-style cocktail spot and a full-service Urbano location. It is scheduled to open in spring 2022.
Common Plate Hospitality will operate three of the booths, the rest will be rented to up-and-coming chefs with new and existing concepts. Details on most of the offerings are still in the works, but two new projects are confirmed: This Deli of Ours serves homemade sandwiches and an assortment of homemade pickles, and Spoons & Sticks offers a global selection of soups such as ramen and pho plus dumplings and bao. Managing partner Chad Sparrow says the idea is to use the venue as a food incubator where the company can test concepts that could eventually grow into restaurants in their own right.
Common Plate Hospitality plans to use the Food Hall as an incubator for new standalone restaurants. Rendered courtesy of Common Plate Hospitality.
Replacing a former PF Chang’s and Anthropologie, the 10,000-square-foot space aims to have a uniform, chic white look with mosaic tiles, millennial pink accents, and lots of green. “We want it to feel almost like a big restaurant, but you have the freedom to walk around and choose what you want,” says Sparrow. The restaurateur says the team got their name from a food hall in New Orleans. get inspiration for the “more elegant ambience” Auction house market. The windows open onto an outside deck that may have its own bar. DJs play at the weekend.
In the meantime, the neighboring so-called “Speakeasy” will have its own (hidden) entrance, which is not accessible from the main dining hall. Sparrow says the designers are trying to incorporate Chevy Chase Prohibition-era history (apparently railroad cars were hauling liquor around the neighborhood).
“We really believe there is such a food void at Chevy Chase right now. The restaurants are just old or chains, ”says Sparrow. “We’re really trying to focus on places that we think need something … We believe we can create a unique space that doesn’t really exist.”
The Heights Food Hall will have an outdoor deck and DJs over the weekend. Rendered courtesy of Common Plate Hospitality.
Jessica Sidman shares the people and trends behind the DC food and drink scene. Prior to joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was the Food Editor and Young & Hungry Columnist at Washington City Paper. She is from Colorado and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.