Connect with us

a&e features

Check out these holiday shows in D.C.

Renee Fleming, ‘Nutcracker’ and more coming to area stages

Published

on

holiday shows, gay news, Washington Blade

The National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale will perform ‘The Messiah’ at the Strathmore Dec. 17-18. (Photo by Don Lassell; courtesy National Philharmonic)

There will be lots of chances to get in the holiday spirit in the coming weeks. Here are some you may want to check out.

The National Philharmonic Singers under the direction of conductors Stan Engebretson and Victoria Gau will present a holiday concert on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church (107 S. Washington Street) in Rockville. Stanford’s “Magnificat in G Major” and famous Renaissance motets “In Dulci Jubilo” and “Resonent in Laudibus” will be performed along with popular carols and a sing-along. It’s free but donations will be accepted. Details at christchurchrockville.org.

The National Philharmonic will also perform the “Messiah” at the Strathmore Dec. 17-18 with a nearly 200-voice choir. Tickets start at $28. Details at nationalphilharmonic.org.

Olney Theatre Company presents “A Christmas Carol: a Ghost Story of Christmas Past” by Charles Dickens performed as a one-man-show by Paul Morella Nov. 25-Dec. 31 at its Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab (2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md.). Tickets range from $20-40. Details at olneytheatre.org.

Holiday shows, gay news, Washington Blade

Paul Morella as Scrooge in the one-man show ‘A Christmas Carol; a Ghost Story of Christmas Past’ at Olney Theatre Company. (Photo courtesy Olney)

The Washington Revels present “The Christmas Revels: a Nordic Celebration of the Winter Solstice in Music, Dance & Drama” Dec. 10-18 at the GW Lisner Auditorium (730 21st St., N.W.). The performance will include Nordic winter traditions from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden performed by a cast of more than 100 ages 8-85. Tickets range from $12-60. Visit revelsdc.org for details.

The Washington Chorus under the direction of Julian Wachner will perform “A Candlelight Christmas” Dec. 11-22 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (2700 F St., N.W.) and on Monday, Dec. 19 at the Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md.). The show features brass, organ, sing-alongs, major choral works such as “The Dream Isaiah Saw” and the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Tickets range from $18-72. Details at thewashingtonchorus.org.

Country diva Lorrie Morgan brings her “Enchanted Christmas” tour to the Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.) on Sunday, Dec. 18. Tickets are $45. Details at birchmere.com.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has several holiday-themed performances coming up including Handel’s “Messiah” Dec. 2-4, “Family Concert: the Snowman” on Dec. 3, “Swingin’ Nutcracker a la Ellington featuring Step Afrika!” Dec. 8-11, “Music Box: Snowflakes on Parade” Dec. 10, a screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” in which the score will be performed live on Dec. 15-16, “Holiday Pops with Storm Large” Dec. 17-18 and more. The BSO performs at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore) and at the Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md.). Ticket prices vary. Details at bsomusic.org.

holiday shows, gay news, Washington Blade

Members of the local dance company Step Afrika! perform ‘A Swingin’ Nutracker a la Ellington,’ which will be performed Dec. 8-11 at the Strathmore in North Bethesda, Md., and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore. (Photo courtesy Weinbergharris & Associates)

Drag outfit the Kinsey Sicks perform their show “Oy Vey in a Manger” at Theater J (1529 16th St., N.W.) Dec. 20-28. Tickets are $19-52. Details at theaterj.org.

Jewmongous,” a comedy-song concert featuring Jewish hipster comedy created and performed by Sean Altman, will be performed on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 8:30 p.m. at BlackRock Center for the Arts (12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown, Md.). Tickets are $17-25. Details at blackrockcenter.org.

Kwanzaa Celebration” will be held Dec. 17-18 at Dance Place (3225 8th St., N.E.) featuring the Coyaba Dance Theater under the direction of Sylvia Stoumah. Tickets are $15-30. Details at danceplace.org.

Kwanzaa celebrations for each day will be held at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum (1901 Fort P., S.E.) Dec. 27-Jan. 1 with Culture Queen (Jessica Smith) offering music, movement and storytelling for all ages. It’s free each day at 11 a.m. Details at anacostia.si.edu.

Hot 99.5’s “Jingle Ball 2016” will be held Monday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Verizon Center (601 F St., N.W.) featuring Meghan Trainor, the Chainsmokers, G-Eazy, Fifth Harmony, Diplo, Ellie Goulding and more. It’s sold out but last-minute tickets may be available on Stubhub.

If you’re up for a New York visit, Cyndi Lauper and friends present their annual “Home for the Holidays” benefit concert on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. at the Beacon Theatre (2124 Broadway) in New York. Lauper’s guests include Aloe Blacc, Ballets with a Twist, Big Thief, Billy Corgan and more in a holiday-themed benefit concert for the True Colors Fund, an LGBT youth charity. Tickets range from $50-150. Details at ticketmaster.com.

Creative Cauldron presents “A Christmas Carol Memory,” a world premiere re-imagining of the Dickens classic featuring puppets, Dec. 1-20 at ArtSpace Falls Church (410 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church, Va.). Tickets are $15-30. Details at creativecauldron.org.

Saxophonist Dave Koz brings his Christmas Tour 2016 to the National Theatre (1301 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.) on Saturday, Dec. 3 with guests Jonathan Butler, Valerie Simpson and Kenny Lattimore. Tickets are $68-98. Details at davekoz.com.

holiday shows, gay news, Washington Blade

Out saxophonist Dave Koz returns to the region again this year with his annual Christmas tour. He plays the National on Saturday, Dec. 3. (Photo by Bryan Sheffield)

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington presents its annual Christmas show “Naughty and Nice” Dec. 10, 17 and 18 at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., NW.). This year’s show features songs such as “Sleigh Ride,” “Merry Christmas, I Win,” “Snow,” “Text Me Merry Christmas” and more. Tickets range from $25-65. Details at gmcw.org.

The New Wave Singers of Baltimore, an LGBT chorus under the direction of Adam P. Koch, will perform their annual holiday show “Holiday Memories” Dec. 10-11 at Immanuel Church of Christ (1905 Edmonson Ave., Catonsville, Md.). Admission is free. Details at newwavesingers.org.

Contemporary gospel legends Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith bring their show “Christmas” with a full symphony orchestra and guest star Jordan Smith of “The Voice” to Royal Farms Arena (201 W. Baltimore St.) in Baltimore on Sunday, Dec. 18. Tickets range from $36.50-147. Details at ticketmaster.com.

Pope of Trash John Waters brings his show “A John Waters Christmas” to the Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria) again this year on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Tickets are $49.50. Details at birchmere.com.

The Rockville Civic Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker” Dec. 3-11 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre (603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville, Md.). Tickets are $17. Details at fscottfitzgerald.showare.com.

The Hope Garden Children’s Ballet presents “A Christmas Carol” at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre (603 Edmonton Dr., Rockville, Md.) on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 1:30 and 6 p.m. Details at hgcbt.org.

The Swingles, a UK-based a cappella group, will perform their show “Yule Songs” at the Barnes at Wolf Trap (1635 Trap Road, Vienna, Va.) on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $38. Details at wolftrap.org.

Wolf Trap’s annual Holiday Sing-A-Long with the United States Marine Band and members of several local choirs, will be held at the Filene Center (1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Va.) on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. It’s free and gates for the lawn and in-house seating open at 3. New unwrapped toys will be accepted for Toys for Tots at the Filene Center entrance. Donations are optional. Bring a candle and a bell to participate in various parts of the show. Details at wolftrap.org.

holiday shows, gay news, Washington Blade

The Holiday Sing-A-Long is an annual tradition at Wolf Trap. Bundle up if you go — it’s held at the Filene Center (Wolf Trap’s massive shed) on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. (Photo courtesy Wolf Trap)

The Boston Brass will perform “Christmas Bells are Swingin’!” at the Barns at Wolf Trap (1635 Trap Road, Vienna, Va.) on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $38. Details at wolftrap.org.

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C.’s largest mostly LGBT church, has its annual Christmas concert on Friday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. at the church (474 Ridge St., N.W.). The MCC choir under the direction of Tyrone Stanley will perform along with guests. It’s free but reservations are encouraged. Reserve a free ticket by e-mailing the church office at [email protected].

A Christmas Carol” will be performed at Ford’s Theatre (511 10th St., N.W.) through Dec. 31 with Craig Wallace as Scrooge. Tickets are $22-92. Details at fords.org.

Congressional Chorus will perform “Holiday Cheers: a Musical Champagne Evening for Grownups” on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8:30 p.m. at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St., N.E.). Tickets are $40. Details at congressionalchorus.org.

Congressional Chorus, the American Youth Chorus and the Capital City Symphony will perform “Holiday Sing-a-Long: an Annual H Street Tradition for the Whole Family” on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 4:30 and 7 p.m. at Atlas Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $12.50 but get them now — both shows invariably sell out. Details at congressionalchorus.org.

The Kennedy Center has several holiday-themed events planned.

The Cincinnati Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker” Nov. 23-27 at the Kennedy Center Opera House (2700 F St., N.W.). Renee Fleming will perform “Voices: a Merry Little Christmas” with Megan Hilty Dec. 8-9 in the Kennedy Center Family Theater. The National Symphony Orchestra will perform Handel’s “Messiah” Dec. 15-18 in the Concert Hall. The NSO Pops will perform “A Holiday Pops” featuring Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana Dec. 9-10 in the Concert Hall. NPR’s “A Jazz Piano Christmas” will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10 in the Family Theater.  The Second City will perform “Twist Your Dickens” Dec. 9-31 in the Theater Lab. Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra will perform “Ella Wishes You a Swingin’ Christmas” Dec. 16-17 in the KC Jazz Club. A “Messiah” sing-a-long will be held Dec. 23 in the Concert Hall at 6 p.m.

Ticket prices vary. Full details on this and all Kennedy Center shows at kennedy-center.org.

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

a&e features

Taste of Pride celebrates LGBTQ and allied restaurants

Weeklong event will feature local eateries and bars

Published

on

Kareem Queeman, known as Mr. Bake, will headline the opening event for Taste of Pride.

Get ready to celebrate LGBTQ-owned, managed, and allied restaurants at Taste of Pride from Oct. 2-8. 

The weeklong event is a new initiative by Capital Pride Alliance. In 2021, the organization put on a single-day brunch event in June at LGBTQ and allied restaurants, but this is the first weeklong iteration. 

About 15 local restaurants and bars are set to participate, including As You Are, Shaw’s Tavern, Jane Jane, and Code Red. There’s also an opening party on Monday, Oct. 2 featuring food and drink vendors without a traditional brick-and-mortar space, like Suga Chef and Vegan Junk Food. 

Taste of Pride will raise funds for the Pride365 fund, which supports local LGBTQ organizations. There will be a three-course prix fixe menu at several of the participating locations, with lunch and brunch menus offered at $30, and dinner menus offered at $40 or $55. 

Kareem Queeman, known as Mr. Bake, will be headlining the opening event on the evening of Oct. 2 at Lost Generation Brewery. Queeman, the founder and owner of the renowned bakery Mr. Bake Sweets and a James Beard Award semi-finalist, said he’s excited to spotlight LGBTQ chefs and mixologists. 

Queeman said he’s proud to be a part of bringing queer culinary experts together to celebrate the work they’ve all done and discuss what changes need to come to the industry — there will be a panel discussion on Oct. 2 covering those topics. LGBTQ chefs have long gone unnoticed, he said, despite the innovative work they’ve done. 

“Queers have been in the industry doing the work for a very long time and we just haven’t really gotten that acknowledgment,” Queeman said. 

Providing this space for LGBTQ people in the restaurant industry is paramount to giving a sense of power and ownership in the work they do, Queeman said. He wishes there was this kind of space for him when he was coming up as a chef when he was younger. 

Taste of Pride is also a great opportunity for LGBTQ people looking to get into the industry to find safe spaces to work that are run by queer people, Queeman said. 

Rob Heim, the general manager at Shaw’s Tavern, said he’s looking forward to being a part of the event. And new fall menu items at Shaw’s Tavern will be available during Taste of Pride, which he’s thrilled to showcase. 

“I was really excited to help out and participate,” he said. “It’s a great idea.” 

The smaller number of participating restaurants in Taste of Pride is intentional, said Brandon Bayton, a volunteer executive producer organizing Taste of Pride. It’s so each restaurant can be well-represented during the week, and different restaurants will be highlighted on social media on separate days. Capital Pride Alliance is also partnering with influencers to get the word out. 

From left, food from 801 Restaurant and Bar and a drink from Code Red. (Code Red photo by Michael Emond; photos courtesy of Capital Pride Alliance)

Visibility — all year long 

It’s important to have events like Taste of Pride outside of June, Bayton said. 

“We exist 365 days,” Bayton said. “So we need to make sure that we continue the celebration and invite others to celebrate with us and just be authentically ourselves. We enjoy and do a lot of things other people do. There’s no reason why we should just be constrained to one month.”

Queeman agrees. His identity as a queer Black man doesn’t stop or start at any given month. 

“I’m not just a queer or gay man in June or I’m not just a Black man in February,” he said. 

And food is a major intersection that all people of all identities enjoy, Bayton said. It’s a simple way to bring people together. 

“We do the exact same things that everyone else does,” Bayton said. “We all eat. We all love to eat.” 

Taste of Pride will run from Oct. 2-8. For more information and to make reservations, visit capitalpride.org/event/taste-of-pride.

Continue Reading

a&e features

Hip-Hop’s complicated history with queer representation

At 50, experts say the genre still doesn’t fully welcome LGBTQ inclusion

Published

on

Rapper Lil Nas X faced backlash for his music video ‘Montero,’ but it debuted atop the Billboard 100.

I didn’t really start listening to rap until my college years. Like many queer Black children who grow up in the closet, shielded by puritanical Christianity from the beauty of a diverse world, I longed to be myself. But the affirming references I could pull from — in moments of solitude away from the wrath and disdain of family and friends — were in theater and pop music.

The soundtrack to my teenage years was an endless playlist of pop divas like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, whose lyrics encouraged me to sashay my hips anytime I strutted through a long stretch of corridor.

I was also obsessed with the consuming presence of powerful singers like Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, and the hypnosis that was Chaka Khan. My childhood, an extrapolation of Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays spent in church groups, choir practices, and worship services, necessitated that I be a fan of throaty, from-the-stomach singing. But something about the way these artists presented themselves warmed my queer little heart. LaBelle wore avant garde geometric hairdos paired with heavily shoulder-padded blazers. Houston loved an elegant slender gown. And Khan? It was the voluminous red mane that gently caressed her lower back for me. 

Listening to rap music in college was a political experience. My sociology classes politicized me and so it was only natural that I listened to rap music that expressed trauma, joy, and hope in the Black experience. However, I felt disconnected from the music because of a dearth of queer representation in the genre. 

Nevertheless, groups like Outkast felt nostalgic. While delivering hedonistic lyrics at lightning speed, André 3000 — one half of the rap duo — mesmerized with his sleek, shoulder-length silk pressed hair and colorful, flowing shirts and trousers — a style that could be translated as “gender-bending.” Despite the patriarchal presentation rampant in rap and Hip-Hop, Andr​​é 30000 represented to me, a kind of rebellious self-expression that I so badly wanted to emulate but couldn’t because of the psychological confines of my conservative upbringing. 

My discovery of Outkast was also sobering because it was a stark reminder of how queerness is also often used as an aesthetic in Hip-Hop while actual queer people are shunned, rebuked, and mocked. Queer people in Hip-Hop are like backstage wingmen, crucial to the development of the show but never important enough to make a curtain call. 

As Hip-Hop celebrates 50 years since its inception in New York City, I am filled with joy because it’s been half a century of Black people owning their narratives and driving the culture. But it’s fair to ask: At whose expense? 

A viral 2020 video shows rapper Boosie BadAzz, famed for hits like “Set It Off” and “Wipe Me Down,” rebuking NBA star Dwayne Wade and award-winning actress Gabrielle Union-Wade for publicly supporting their then-12-year-old daughter after she came out as transgender. 

“Don’t cut his dick off, bro,” said BadAzz with furrowed eyebrows and a gaze that kept turning away from the camera, revealing his tarnished diamond studs. “Don’t dress him as a woman dawg, he’s 12 years. He’s not up there yet.” 

The responses from both Wade and Union-Wade were a mixture of swift, sarcastically light-hearted, and hopeful.

“Sorry Boosie,” Union-Wade said to an audience during a live podcast appearance at Live Talks Los Angeles. “He’s so preoccupied, it’s almost like, ‘thou doth protest too much, Little Boos.’ You’ve got a lot of dick on your mind.”

Wade also appeared on an episode of podcast, “I AM ATHLETE,” and looked directly into the camera.

“Boosie, all the people who got something to say, J-Boogie who just came out with [something] recently, all the people who got something to say about my kids,” he said. “I thank you because you’re allowing the conversation to keep going forward because you know what? You might not have the answers today, I might not have the answers, but we’re growing from all these conversations.” 

This exchange between the Wades and BadAzz highlights the complicated relationship between Black LGBTQ individuals and allies and the greater Hip-Hop and rap genres and communities. While Black queer aesthetics have long informed self-expression in Hip-Hop, rappers have disparaged queerness through song lyrics and in interviews, or online rants like BadAzz, outside the recording studio. 

And despite LGBTQ rappers like Queen Latifah, Da Brat, Lil Nas X, and Saucy Santana achieving mainstream success, much work lies ahead to heal the trauma that persists from Hip-Hop’s history of  patriarchy and homophobia. 

“‘Progression’ will always be relative and subjective based on one’s positionality,” said Dr. Melvin Williams said in an email. Williams is an associate professor of communication and media studies at Pace University. “Hip-hop has traditionally been in conversation with queer and non-normative sexualities and included LGBTQ+ people in the shaping of its cultural signifiers behind the scenes as choreographers, songwriters, make-up artists, set designers, and other roles stereotypically attributed to queer culture.”

“Although Hip-Hop incorporates queerness in their ethos, ideas, and trends, it does not privilege the prospect of an out LGBTQ+ rapper. Such reservations position LGBTQ+ people as mere labor in Hip-Hop’s behind-the-scenes cultivation, but not as rap performers in its mainstream distribution,” he added. 

This is especially true for Queen Latifah and DaBrat who existed in the genre for decades but didn’t publicly come out until 2021. Still, both faced backlash from the Black community for daring to challenge gender roles and expectations. 

Queen Latifah dodged questions about her sexuality for years before acknowledging her partner and their son in 2021. (Photo by DFree via Bigstock)

Lil Nas X also faced backlash for his music video “Montero” with satanic references, including one in which he slides down a pole and gives a character representing the devil a lap dance. Conservatives such as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem accused him of trying to scandalize children. 

“You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am,” Nas X said in a note that accompanied “Montero.” The agenda to make people stay the fuck out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be.”

Regardless, “Montero” debuted atop the Billboard 100. 

In an article published in “Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society,” scholar C. Riley Snorton posited that celebrating queer visibility in mainstream media could be a problem as this kind of praise relies on artists presenting in acceptable forms of gender and sexuality expression and encourages representation that is “read alongside…perceptions of Hip-Hop as a site of Black misogyny and homophobia.” 

In the case of Frank Ocean, who came out in 2012 prior to the release of his album “Channel Orange,” his reception was warmer than most queer Hip-Hop artists because his style of music is singing, as opposed to rapping. Because of this, his music was viewed more as R’n’B or pop. 

“Frank Ocean ain’t no rapper. He’s a singer. It’s acceptable in the singing world, but in the rap world I don’t know if it will ever be acceptable because rap is so masculine,” rapper Snoop Dogg told the Guardian in 2013. “It’s like a football team. You can’t be in a locker room full of motherfucking tough-ass dudes, then all of a sudden say, ‘Hey, man, I like you.’ You know, that’s going to be tough.”

So what’s the solution for queer people in Hip-Hop? Digital media.

Williams, the Pace University professor, says that being divorced from record labels allows queer artists to be independent and distribute their music globally on their own terms. 

“We witnessed this fact with artists such as Azealia Banks, Cakes Da Killa, Fly Young Red, Kevin Abstract, iLoveMakonnen, Lil Nas X, Mykki Blanco, and Saucy Santana, as well as legacy LGBTQ Hip-Hop acts like Big Freeda, DeepDickCollective, and Le1f,” he said. “The music industry has experienced an increasingly mobilized market due to the rise of digital media, social networking platforms, and streaming services.”

“More importantly, Black queer Hip-Hop artists are historicizing LGBTQ+ contributions and perspectives in documentaries, films, news specials, public forums, and podcasts. Ultimately, queer people engaging in Hip-Hop is a revolutionary act, and it remains vital for LGBTQ+ Hip-Hoppers to highlight their cultural contributions and share their histories,” he added. 

(Hip-Hop pioneers Public Enemy and Ice-T will headline The National Celebration of Hip-Hop, free concerts at the West Potomac Park on the National Mall in D.C. on Oct. 6 and 7.)

Continue Reading

a&e features

Cuisine and culture come together at The Square

D.C.’s newest food hall highlights Spanish flavors

Published

on

(Photo by Scott Suchman)

Downtown got a bit tastier when “the next generation of food halls” opened its doors on Tuesday near the Farragut West Metro stop. Dubbed The Square, its half-dozen debut stalls are a Spanish-flecked mix of D.C. favorites, new concepts, and vendor-collaborative spirit.

After two years of planning – and teasing some big-name chefs – the market is, according to the owners, “where cuisine, culture, and community are woven together.”

Behind this ambitious project with lofty aims are Richie Brandenburg, who had a hand in creating Union Market and Rubén García, a creative director of the José Andrés Group who also was part of the team of Mercado Little Spain, the fairly new Spanish-themed Andres food hall in Hudson Yards.

Food halls have come a long way since the new Union Market awakened the concept a decade ago. Instead of simply rows of vendors in parallel lines, The Square has a new business model and perspective. This food hall shares revenue between the owners and its chef partners. Vendors are encouraged to collaborate, using one software system, and purchasing raw materials and liquor at scale together.

“Our goal was two-fold: to create a best-in-class hospitality offering with delicious foods for our guests; and behind the scenes, create the strong, complex infrastructure needed to nurture both young chefs and seasoned professionals, startups, and innovation within our industry,” says Brandenburg.

The Square has embraced a more chef-forward methodology, given that the founders/owners themselves are chefs. They’re bringing together a diverse mix of new talent and longtime favorites to connect, offer guidance to each other, and make the market into a destination. 

(Photos by Scott Suchman)

The first phase of The Square premiered this week. This phase encapsulates a selection of original concepts from well-known local chefs and business owners, and includes:

• Cashion’s Rendezvous – Oysters, crab cakes, and cocktails, from the owners of D.C. institutions and now-closed Cashion’s Eat Place and Johnny’s Half-Shell (Ann Cashion and John Fulchino).

• Jamón Jamón – Flamenco-forward food with hand-cut jamón Iberico, queso, and croquetas, sourced by García himself.

• Brasa – Grilled sausages and veggies are the stars here. Chef García oversees this Spanish street-food stall as well.

 Taqueria Xochi – Birria, guisado, and other street tacos, plus margs. Named after the ruins of Xochitecatl in Central Mexico, and from a Jose Andres alum.

• Yaocho – Fried chicken, juices, sweets, and libations.

• Junge’s – Churros and soft serve ice cream. Brandenburg and García both have a hand in this stall.

• Atrium Bar – The central watering hole for drinks. Atrium Bar serves cocktails, wine, and beer curated by The Square’s Beverage Director Owen Thompson.

“Having been part of Jose Andres’s restaurant group and getting to know Ruben and Richie, it’s amazing to see how their values align with ours at Taqueria Xochi. Seeing all these incredible chefs heading into Square feels like a full-circle moment,” said Geraldine Mendoza of Taqueria Xochi.

Slated for fall 2023, the next round of openings includes Flora Pizzeria, Cebicheria Chalaca, KIYOMI Sushi by Uchi, Shoals Market (a retail hub), and more. Additionally, chef Rubén García’s Spanish restaurant, Casa Teresa, will soon open next door to The Square.

The Square is just one of a handful of new food halls blossoming in and around D.C. Up in Brentwood, Md., miXt Food Hall is an art-adjacent space with tacos, a year-round fresh market, coffee, and beer. Across from Union Market is La Cosecha, a Latin marketplace with everything from street food to a Michelin starred restaurant and a festive vibe. Closer to The Square is Western Market by GW University, which opened in late 2021 with a buzzy, relaxed style.

For now, the Square is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Square plans to open on weekends and extend hours to offer dinner service in the coming months. A few alfresco seats will accompany the hall.

(Photo by Scott Suchman)
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular