One of the most charming things about Ellē is the ambitious cafe and bakery’s vibe as a true neighborhood restaurant, a place that serves sleepy Mount Pleasant’s needs for rustic baguettes, pastrami breakfast sandwiches, guava turnovers, and dimly lit dinners full of innovative uses for charcuterie and fermented vegetables. Soon, some of the bites that made the place Eater D.C.’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year will be available in a much more bustling area full of bankers and college students.
Ellē owners Nick Pimentel and Lizzy Evelyn plan to expand with a second, to-be-named cafe that will go inside a food hall dubbed Western Market at the 2000 Penn property in Foggy Bottom. A trio of developers (Westbrook Partners, MRP Realty, CANA Development) announced the news today in a release. The food hall, expected to open later this year, is owned and leased out by George Washington University.
The new cafe from the Ellē team promises to include standard menu items from Mount Pleasant — perhaps the famous kimchi labneh toast — and some new additions spanning across breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Another big-name addition to the incoming food hall is a third location of Shouk, the vegan fast-casual counter that serves modern Israeli pitas and hummus bowls at shops in Mt. Vernon Triangle and the area bordering Union Market. Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, a self-explanatory restaurant with a flagship in Annapolis, Maryland, and locations throughout the East Coast, is also joining the development.
Funky, East London-style pub Duke’s Grocery planted its third D.C. location inside one of the historic row houses that make up the North side of the development last year. The mixed-use building already held an offshoot of Indian street food spot Bindaas and locations of Paul, Chipotle, and Captain Cookie & the Milkman.
According to the developers, the Western Market name dates back to 1802, when the same location served as a marketplace that was part of Pierre L’Enfant’s original city plans for D.C. Eventually, Western Market could host farmers markets and pop-up retail events like holiday markets.