Exclusive to the online Glover Park Gazette:
Blue Ridge (2340 Wisconsin Ave.) has new ownership—and Town Hall (2218 Wisconsin Ave.) will soon have a new home. Last night, owners of the two restaurants closed on a deal that will allow Town Hall to move one long block north into the Blue Ridge space, which has been closed since early this year. Town Hall will assume Blue Ridge’s liquor license—a transfer the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board OK’d in early August—and may offer its own space and license to a new restaurateur.
Blue Ridge owners Eli Hengst and Jared Rager had been planning to renovate and reopen Blue Ridge as a neighborhood coffeehouse and diner, but this spring, troubles at a restaurant to which they’d sublet space, Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar (2917 M St.), diverted their attention and funds. Hengst says that Town Hall’s five-man ownership team will be a good one for the Blue Ridge space, which features an upstairs bar area as well as a back patio. “Given their long history in the neighborhood and their stated intention of wanting to create a more neighborhood-friendly restaurant, Jared and I felt the Town Hall owners were a good fit,” he says. “We are sincerely disappointed we do not currently have the resources to see our vision of a community coffeehouse and diner through to completion.” Town Hall opened in its current location in 2005.
Town Hall managing partner Paul Holder says the restaurant’s owners will be renovating their new space “in the coming weeks” and hope to move there by Thanksgiving, with as little downtime as possible—”a few days at most.” Though they have begun marketing the current Town Hall license, “there’s still a chance we may keep it and put a different concept in,” he says. Either way, Holder adds, the ownership team is committed to making the new restaurant “a valuable addition to the neighborhood.”