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More from Our Restaurant Summit

You see more restaurant concepts playing to their audience, said Roofers Union and Ripple's David Delaplaine (middle, black sweater) at our 4th annual DC Restaurant Development Summit Monday night at The Hamilton Live. Roofers' Union takes on a grittier design and "chef-driven pub grub" to weave into the fabric of Adams Morgan, while Ripple features a more neighborhood bistro vibe in Cleveland Park. He was joined by Vucuverich Simons Advisory's Dan Simons, DC Brau's Brandon Skall, Tarara Winery's Jordan Harris, Green Hat Gin's Saul Mitchnick, Gadsby Bar American's Robert Gadsby, Boss Shepherd's John Miller, and Cava Mezze Grill's Brett Schulman.

But sometimes, an ownership group can be so infatuated with a space that they don't take the time to investigate possible problem areas, says CORE principal Dale Stewart. Making sure tenants have the proper ventilation or exhaust systems should be shored up before digging too deep into the design process, he adds.

Those ownership groups are a new phenomenon, too, says EagleBank's Bob Pincus (right, with Granville Moore's Teddy Folkman). Thirty years ago, owners used to be mom and pop, "and there was someone in the kitchen and someone at the door," while today's restaurant owners are professional operators in the food-service business. Bob says many restaurant groups are as sophisticated business-wise as a law firm or other major professional services organization.

A big thanks to one of our moderators, Adam Williamowsky of Streetsense, as well as our other sponsors: Sports Club/LA, Doyle, Barlow & Mazard, 24Tech Construction, Capital Business, Acme Paper, and Brotman Winter Fried.