Chef and global humanitarian José Andrés will finally have a restaurant inside the historic Old Post Office Pavilion, which was just stripped of its controversial Trump International Hotel flag this spring.
ThinkFoodGroup announced today it will open an outpost of the luxe Bazaar by José Andrés later this year inside the newly minted Waldorf Astoria (1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW).
Bazaar will slide into the lobby-level perch formerly occupied by steakhouse BLT Prime by David Burke, which closed in April after a nearly six-year run. The 263-room, clocktower-topped hotel was originally slated to house restaurants from Andrés and fellow celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who both pulled out following inflammatory remarks about immigrants from then-presidential candidate Trump. Bazaar will join Michelin-rated omakase gem Sushi Nakazawa at the opulent hotel.
Though the federal government still owns the coveted property, Miami-based investment fund CGI Merchant Group took over the hotel’s lease for a reported $375 million this year. Andrés is also an investor in the fund, says TFG. The Washington Post first reported the deal on Monday, and TFG confirmed the details to Eater.
Born in California in 2008, Spanish-styled Bazaar by José Andrés maintains an oceanfront location in Miami’s SLS hotel, where it sends out “Jose” tacos topped with Iberico ham and caviar, tortilla de papatas “new way” served with potato espuma, and Andrés’s iconic salt air margaritas. Another is en route to the Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad. Bazaar Meat offshoots sit in Las Vegas, Chicago, and the forthcoming Grand LA complex downtown.
Famed Barcelona design firm Lázaro Rosa-Violán whips up a distinct, avant-garde look for each one. The glitzy Bazaar in D.C. will be in walking distance to the lion’s share of Andrés’ local portfolio, which includes Penn Quarter’s Michelin-rated Minibar, China Chilcano, Oyamel, and his first D.C. restaurant, Jaleo.
“I first dreamed of opening a restaurant at the Old Post Office back in 1993 when I first came to D.C.,” says Andrés, in a statement. “Nearly three decades later, I am building that dream into a reality, and couldn’t be more excited to bring my beloved Bazaar restaurant right here to D.C. in this beautiful historic location.”
The landmark building, open in 1899, served as D.C.’s General Post Office until 1914.
The lease dispute seven years ago between the World Central Kitchen founder and his would-be landlord, presidential candidate Trump, sparked a well-documented legal fight which eventually settled out of court. Had it opened at the Trump hotel, Andrés’s restaurant would have been a fancy spot for cuttlefish pasta and Iberico ham called Topo Atrio.