Taylor Gourmet Opening – link bonanza

On Friday Kim previewed the grand opening of Taylor Gourmet. The links below highlight what others are saying.

  • Capital Spice: Be sure to try the arancini – you’ll thank us. Just don’t ask for mayo on your sandwich. They don’t have any, and they don’t make any apologies for what they see as an issue of authenticity.
  • Penn Quarter Living: The interior has an industrial feel to it featuring an ordering area, a pickup area around the corner and ample seating including a communal table.
  • ReadySetDC: The bread is not drenched in oil to overwhelm the flavors and ingredients. The Rocky risotto balls and spicy peppers on the side completes the meal as well. By far, the best damn sandwiches in the city!
  • Young & Hungry (WCP): If the original Taylor on H Street NE moved the traditionally cramped, craggy, and oily Philly hoagie shop into the modern era, complete with sleek industrial interiors designed as much for form as function, then the latest shop at CityVista raises the aesthetic bar even higher.
  • Prince of Petworth: I am happy to report that the sandwiches were as delicious as they are at their original H Street, NE location. I always get one of the prosciutto sandwiches.
  • Gradually Greener: One of the main reasons I don’t eat subs all that much is that I hate the big, pillowy, flavorless flour bombs that seem to be the standard bread for such sandwiches. Taylor’s bread had a fantastic crust: thin, almost oily-crisp, with a sprinkling of flavorful sesame seeds on top. The bread underneath the crust was soft and light, with just the right amount of chew.
  • Express Night Out (WaPo): A phenomenal roll is a vehicle to eat killer meats and cheese.
  • We Love DC: If you’re from Philly, I can imagine this is like heaven for you.

Tons of photos from the pre-opening party are available to view in a Flickr set from Docmonstereyes and a Yelp business entry has been created.

Also noteworthy was some of the discussion in the Prince of Petworth comments section. Between the pre-opening party and the grand opening Taylor has already addressed my feedback on the awkward placement of the menu signage by angling it downward. Co-owner David Mazza also chimed in to address the questions around how they were able to expand so quickly by explaining that Edens & Avant offered them a large TI allowance. Thanks E&A!!!

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Edens and Avant press release on Taylor Deli

Yesterday Edens and Avant widely distributed a press release announcing Taylor Gourmet Deli will become a new tenant at City Vista. While the cat had already been out of the bag for over 3 weeks it is still interesting to read quotes directly from the source.

Washington , D.C. July 21, 2009 – D.C.’s most distinctive Italian hoagie is about to get more accessible. Taylor Gourmet Deli, recently named in the Top 50 D.C. Restaurants by Washington City Paper, will open a second location at CityVista in Mount Vernon Triangle in early 2010. The restaurant will join recently announced Kushi, a Japanese-style restaurant opening at CityVista in the fall.

“If you live or work in Mount Vernon Triangle, you expect your retail and restaurants to be creative, where the experience is as well crafted as the product,” commented Steve Boyle, Edens & Avant Managing Director. “Taylor is a great example of our vision for CityVista, which is to deliver something different and innovative that showcases the local restaurant and retail expertise.”

From the hand-selected ingredients to the layout of the interior space, Taylor is not your typical sandwich shop. Rolls couriered daily from Philadelphia’s Sarcone’s Bakery, meats and cheeses from Italy, and house-roasted turkey are signatures of their hoagies. Paired with the deli is an extensive Italian market featuring imported and domestic cured meats, a variety of cheeses and pasta, as well as other delicacies.

The passion and forethought owners Casey Patten and Dave Mazza have poured into the restaurant are noticeable – from price points to the green-friendly business model. Perusing the Italian Market, shoppers will find wines representing all regions of Italy under $30. Taylor will be powered 100 percent by wind-generated energy,

“We are extremely excited to be opening our second store in CityVista. We love the area, and the surrounding businesses,” commented Patten. “Our CityVista location will have a 16-foot roll-up door, patio seating and a rustic feel geared toward this market.”

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Would signature Taylor facade fit in well at City Vista?

Yesterday the big news finally broke that Taylor Gourmet Deli will be coming to City Vista this fall. Today I put it out to all of you – would the signage and signature garage door from their H Street NE location fit in at City Vista?

Also, it’s worth noting Eden’s and Avant updated their City Vista site map last night:

Notice that while E&A doesn’t yet merge Bay 70 into Busboys they have consolidated Bays 120 and 130 together into one ~3550sf space. Also appears that Chevy Chase did not lease all of Bay 20 leaving another small unnumbered vacant bay beside it.

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Taylor Gourmet Deli coming to City Vista

The Prince of Petworth blog broke the news today that Taylor Gourmet Deli will be locating to City Vista. I had heard these negotiations were under way back in late February but was asked to keep it on the hush until the deal was executed.

The below modified image represents the City Vista retail updated plat map as I understand it. Kushi is consolidating what was once bays 90,100 and 110 into a revised bay 100 that just shy of 4000 sf. In the worst kept secret in the world, waitresses even openly talk about it when I’m there, Busboys will eventually expand to take much but not all of Bay 70. The remainder of Bay 70 plus all of Bay 80 will be the space Taylor is taking.

This leaves Bays 120 and 130 available for lease and it’s likely Eden’s and Avant has some active discussions on a restaurant for those spaces. Eventually Bay 50, which currently houses the City Vista Sales Center, will also be filled by a services oriented retail tenant.

To learn more about Taylor Deli visit the reviews on Yelp. I’m looking forward to being able to stroll over to Taylor for a chicken cutlet hoagie and fried risotto balls.

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Kushi coming to City Vista

Amanda from Metrocurean is reporting that a new Japanese Izakaya-style restaurant called Kushi will lease 4,000 sf at City Vista. I too have heard that Edens and Avant had been in talks with Kushi for months.

City Peek includes the press release:

Darren Lee Norris and Ari Kushimoto Norris have signed a deal for a 4000 sq. ft. space at 645 465 K St NW in the City Vista building for a Japanese Izakaya style pub. Chef Norris was most recently Executive Chef of Ridgewells Caterers of Bethesda MD.

Kushi Restaurant” will feature Kushiyaki and sushi as well as other regional Japanese specialties with an emphasis on local, organic and sustainable products.

Center piece of the open kitchen design will be the Kushi grills, where simply seasoned skewers of meats, seafood, poultry, and vegetables are grilled over open flames, and a robata fire pit for grilling whole fish and larger cuts of meats.

At the KUSHI Sushi Bar, Sushi Chef Yoshihisa Ota, chef/owner of the highly acclaimed Tokyo restaurant Ginza Gakyu. Chef Ota is well known as a rising star in the Tokyo sushi circles and is expected to bring a fresh new direction in sushi to the Washington dining scene. The Kushi/Ginza Gakyu partnership is the first and only outpost of a Tokyo sushi restaurant in the Washington, DC area.

At the bar look for exclusive small batch sakes, shochus, and Japanese micro brew beers on tap. The restaurant will also feature several private kotatsu dining rooms and a refrigerated glass enclosed fish prep room.

I believe Kushi will occupy Bays 90, 100 & 110.

Hat Tip: Steven

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T-Mobile signs lease at City Vista

Commercial real estate firm Edens and Avant (E&A) recently executed a lease with T-Mobile to be a future tenant at City Vista. When E&A purchased the portfolio of City Vista retail space from Lowe Enterprises last December this negotiations with the celluar provider were already well under way. The lease is for Bay 30 which is ~1500sf situated on Fifth Street between Chevy Chase Bank and Ace Hardware. No permits have been posted and I do not yet have any idea on ETA.

The City Vista retail along Fifth Street will remain services oriented. I believe contractual obligations with Safeway do not permit competing food uses at City Vista within a certain radius from the Safeway main entrance.

The plans continue for City Vista’s K Street frontage to be a restaurant row. The retail bays along K, with their large windows, 22 foot ceilings and plaza sidewalks are well suited for restaurants. Negotiations with restaurant tenants for K Street are ongoing and this blog will report the news when deals are executed. In this economic climate deals move slowly but, as I’ve previously written, down the road we could expect 3 or 4 additional restaurants in the K Street space.

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Followup with Edens and Avant on City Vista retail

Earlier this month I highlighted the news that commercial real estate firm Edens and Avant (E&A) purchased all the retail at City Vista. Reviewing their portfolio of work did not inspire confidence as all their completed projects were suburban strip malls.

Development Associate Brady Pate reached out to me to discuss E&A’s plans to round out the remaining City Vista space with tenants. Pate lives in the community, regularly shops at the Safeway and uses his Results Gym membership. He is also expected to join the MVT CID Board of directors this June.

E&A plans to keep with the restaurant row vision along K Street. The retail frontage along K, with it’s large windows, 22 foot ceilings and plaza sidewalks is suited well for restaurants. Due to the shallower than ideal depth (65 ft) and numerous concrete columns that inhabit the space the probable outcome is several establishments with wide frontage rather than a series of narrow businesses. Pate suggested 2 to 3 restaurants of sizes ranging from 2500 to 4000 s.f. could fill the available space on K Street.

While well capitalized tenants are sought out there is a pool of local restaurants interested in expanding to the Triangle much the way current City Vista anchors Busboys & Poets and Fifth Street Hardware have done. Negotiations are underway with several prospects. A lease could be signed this spring with an opening targeted in Q4. By the summer of 2010 several new tenants could arrive creating the truly engaging streetscape along K street we all hope to see. The available space on Fifth Street will continue to focus on service oriented retail.

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City Vista retail purchased by Edens and Avant

Commercial real estate firm Edens & Avant purchased 116,585 s.f. of retail at City Vista from Lowe Enterprises in mid December. Their project page outlines an overview and links to a site plan that displays the tenants and vacancies (note: adjacent vacant bays can be merged).

In the past we’ve discussed this available retail at City Vista and pondered strategy and potential restaurants.

The portfolio of projects on the Edens & Avant website is overwhelmingly strip malls with unambitious retail like Cleaners, Banks, Hair and Nail Salons, Drug Stores, Dial-a-Mattress, and Dollar Stores. I looked browsed over 20 100 properties and didn’t see one comparable and existing mixed use walkable site. That track record is concerning.

Bisnow recently visited E&A’s Bethesda office to talk about their acquisition and reported:

There’s still 8500K SF for lease on the K St. side, and (we are) eyeing local restaurants that want to be part of “one of the new great emerging neighborhoods in the District.” They wouldn’t mind someone in the mold of current tenant Busboys and Poets: locally-owned, community focused, and politically engaged.

Let’s hope E&A understands the biggest priorities for our area. City Vista needs the mix of tenants to include some businesses that will be open later into the evening and keep eyes on the streets. Banks and nail salons close early and leave the streets dead after 7pm. Atleast one restaurant that complements Busboys and makes use of the wide plaza sidewalks with outdoor seating is also key. Other thoughts?

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