In the next week or so, I’ll be compiling a comprehensive list of all of the Coming Soon! restaurants and bars in the Hill neighborhoods. From H St. to Barracks Row; from pies to Italian classics – there’s a lot to cover!
One of the new places on the Hill we’re most excited about is Ted’s Bulletin, opening in the old District Lock space, brought to you by the folks at Matchbox. This will be the first non-Matchbox addition to their group, and they are very excited about it. I was lucky enough to chat with Drew Kim, who along with Perry Smith and Mark and Ty Neal are responsible for the best coffee and doughnuts on 8th St. (sorry Dunkin!) and will now be gracing us with another fantastic place to grab a drink or a plate of “rib-sticking food.”
The Bulletin is so named partly as an homage to Mark and Ty’s dad, Ted, who was always offering folks in the neighborhood a cup of soup or a sandwich, and partly in a nod to the decor – which the guys scored from the old Philadelphia Convention Center (via Second Chance up in Baltimore), where the panels above the ticket booths were emblazoned with “BULLETIN.” We will get to see those panels – along with light fixtures and marble floors – first hand when they open. The Bulletin’s look will be a little art deco, but still keep to a minimalist style. Expect old black & white movies to be shown on the walls while you dine or sip. For the low down on the food and libations (my favorite part), stay tuned after the jump…
Drew said that the place will be evocative of the 1920s-1930s Lower East Side of Manhattan, with Prohibition (and pre-Prohibition) era drinks, a “shaketender” whipping up gourmet and adult milkshakes, and a menu comprised of classics like meatloaf, lasagna and burgers – all made in-house from meat they’ll grind themselves.
One of the more interesting things Drew told me was that there will be very few chairs. Guests in the dining room will be mostly accommodated in 2-, 4- and 6- top booths, which will create a cozy, almost conspiratorial atmosphere. (In my head at least – I love piling into a booth with a group of friends on a chilly night for drinks and comfort food. It’s like a big, boozy hug.) The bar area will be small, seating perhaps only 8 at the bar, with a couple of booths in the window and a few high tops for good measure. There will also be a large communal table in the dining room to seat larger parties of between 8 and 10.
Keeping with the “everything will be made in-house” idea, there will be a display case featuring pies and cakes and other desserts. (Meatloaf is possibly my favorite food on earth – my recipe even once won a competition when I was 8 – but between the grown-up milkshakes, the pies and the cakes, I may be skipping right from aperitifs to dessert!)
Another fun twist will be what Drew called “theme nights,” (which, in concept, sound just a bit like The Majestic’s Sunday dinners in Old Town). Each night will feature a different special with things like pot roast night and pasta night. Simple classics done well in a neighborhood joint? Throw in cocktails that are being researched in Brooklyn as I type this, and I’m already signing up to be a regular!
I asked why they chose the Hill for this undertaking and he said that in their hearts, they’re neighborhood guys. Drew and another of the partners live on the Hill and they wanted to create something in the community for the neighbors. They’re truly humbled by the warm welcome Matchbox has received, and want to do right by the Hill once again at Ted’s Bulletin.
Oh, and they’ll be having 4 to 6 soups a day (made in house as well, in their open kitchen) to go with a selection of sandwiches. Sounds like Ted will be proud!
Ted’s Bulletin will be open in early 2010 at 505 Eighth St. SE.