06 Oct 2010

A Family Affair Replaces the Locanda Ghost

Photo by María Helena Carey

This afternoon, as the kids and I made our some-Tuesdays stop at Mr. Henry’s for macaroni and cheese with a side of adult conversation, we made a point of checking out the former Locanda storefront.

Ah, Locanda: I still mourn you.  Where else within a short walk of my house will I go to be impressed, surprised and delighted by five different varieties of cold cuts that all look puzzlingly like salami, but which taste like Michelangelo himself took up the fine art of charcuterie?  You have spoiled me forever in that respect.  But it seems that you’ve been replaced by a worthy substitute, and so I rejoice.

Posted on the window, prominently, was the alcohol license application to the District (listen closely– I hear the cheers; can you?). Within the premises, a friendly couple of people were working, moving boxes around and checking a clipboard.  Ever so intrepid, we waved hello riotously, but all we got were a pair of friendly smiles back, directed at me and my brood, before they went back to work (I would say that’s pretty promising– smiles are a good thing).

Within the space, gone are the very minimalist tables and orange chairs that gave the place that kind of ‘70s cool aura; and gone are the dust-ridden place settings that made it look haunted ever since it closed in May of 2008.  All has been replaced by heaps and heaps of tables and brown wrapping paper– no doubt bearing new linens, glass and silverware for what will become Ba Bay, a new Vietnamese restaurant that promises a more family-centric approach to Vietnamese food, as opposed to, say, either the Pho or the sandwich approach: according to Capital Spice, the inspiration for the name (which translates to “Madame Seven”) and the menu come from the grandmother of the Nguyen cousins, whose venture this is.

The restaurant is slated to open sometime around November, but we’ll keep you posted as the date nears. Ba Bay will be located at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, and not a minute too soon.

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2 responses to “A Family Affair Replaces the Locanda Ghost”

  1. RSB says:

    Does anyone have a clue about the circumstances surrounding the closure of Locanda? It was so weird to walk by and see the place look like it was ready to open up in the afternoon…

  2. Maria Helena Carey Maria Helena Carey says:

    As it turns out, it was an ugly affair, complete with lawsuits and firings. You can read more about it through this link:


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