The Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) arranged a small forum to bring together the ownership of Buddha Bar and residents of condo buildings adjacent to the 455 Mass location. Over 30 residents from 400 Mass, 555 Mass, The Sonata, and Madrigal gathered to listen and ask questions.
Below are my notes from the forum:
Ownership / Concept
- Maryland based ownership group is licensing concept from original creator George V Eatertainment.
- This will be the ownership group’s second Buddha Bar with Kiev being the other location
- Ownership group has a 15 year presence in the DC Market and has been seeking a Buddha Bar site for 2+ years
- Ownership group will invest $4-5 million in build out from cash flow (not financing)
- Focus is to be a high quality Pan Asian restaurant rather than a bar. Specifically mentioned their goal to score 26 or 27 Zagat food rating and rank tops for Asian-Fusion/Pan-Asian in the downtown DC market (ed note: FWIW, Buddha Bar NYC & Paris scored <20 on food with Zagat).
- Creator George V was involved in the selection process for the new DC location
- Restaurant will be one of 12 Buddha Bars worldwide and stay true to theme
- Will play the George V branded Buddha Bar ambient music.
- Site is larger (9455sf) than Las Vegas’ Little Buddha (7000sf) but smaller than NYC’s Buddha Bar (15000sf)
- Estimated to have seating for between 180 and 220 patrons
- Bar will have 20 stools, no dance floor on premise
- Will have outdoor patio seating during warm months – no outdoor music
- Will create over 100+ jobs
- Will have all services on Eye Street (parking, valet parking, loading)
- Class CR ABC license application has been submitted
- ANC 6C ABC licensing committee should discuss application in April
- Currently working on permits and design – could begin buildout in 4-6 weeks
- Too early to really say, but November ’09 soft opening may be possible