I’ve since found a WBJ article from October 2007 stating Little Buddha was pondering a move to Penn Quarter. The article suggests that the pricing will be aimed to lunches that average $20 and dinners for about $50.
The opening of Little Buddha, which could come as early as next year, hinges on finding the right location to create the well-tested experience: a building of least 8,000 square feet with ceilings a minimum of 15 feet high in an area that serves both daytime businesspeople and nighttime crawlers.
Biran and the Transwestern brokers say the restaurant will fill a void for people who have outgrown nightclubs and crowded dance floors and hunger for an energizing environment where they can dine, drink, listen to music and still have a conversation.
It’s a void that’s reflected nationwide, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Illinois-based Technomic Inc., a food industry research and consulting company.
“There are very limited places where you can go for a more sophisticated, adult-oriented occasion,” he said. “Most of what we see today is tending to focus on the 21- to 25-year-old crowd.”
While I think this choice pairs well with the future Me by Melia hotel crowd from The Arts at 5th and I, the pricing structure will keep me away. I’d occasionally pay that amount for a steakhouse or great latin food but overall I’m not much of a foodie or fan of Asian cuisine (I know I’m a genius buying next to Chinatown).
I do think Little Buddha can help bring identity to the neighborhood so it is a positive. I’m hoping, and I think many of my neighbors are as well, that the ‘hood ultimately gets a healthy balance of neighborhood serving and destination dining rather than high end destination and fast food with little in between.