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New Juice Bar-Restaurant Concept To Open First Location Near Nationals Park

A rendering of the Llamabar juice bar and restaurant at 1 M St. SE.

A newly developed office building near Nationals Park has filled the remainder of its retail space with a new concept from a group that owns D.C. nightclubs.

Wayne Johnson, Tony Perry and Kyle Eubanks have signed a 2,059 SF lease for a new juice bar and restaurant concept, Llamabar, in the 1 M St. SE building, the trio told Bisnow Friday.

Johnson and Perry own nightclubs Saint Yves and Abigail, and Eubanks partnered with them in 2019 to open Kitsuen, an H Street Ramen bar also backed by hip-hop artist Pusha T and NBA players Jerian and Jerami Grant.

The team is trying out a new concept with Llamabar, featuring cold-pressed juices and a smoothie bar alongside a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. The menu offerings will include açai bowls, salads, wraps, rice bowls and avocado toast. 

The space will have indoor seating for around 60 people, with about six more tables on an outdoor patio. It will also include free WiFi, and Johnson said they will encourage remote workers to spend hours there on their laptops. 

"Remote work is the thing of the future, so we wanted to make it a comfortable space you could do that in, have tea, coffee, juice, a smoothie, lunch wrap or dinner in that space, you can get work done and its an encouraging coworking environment," Johnson said. 

Llamabar is expected to open in September, Johnson said. It is occupying ground-floor space in the new office building where the National Association of Broadcasters is headquartered, at the intersection of M and Van streets SE. The association acquired the building in 2019 and moved in last year.  

Cresa Vice President LaMean Koroma represented the tenant in the lease. Koroma also worked on a separate deal last year for the other retail space in the NAB building, representing barbershop-bar concept Scissors & Scotch signing on for 2,381 SF.  

"It's a really cool concept," Koroma said of Llamabar. "I think it's going to make it one of the focal-point buildings considering its proximity to the ballpark."

Johnson said the team had started off looking for smaller spaces and had planned to open only a juice bar, but after they saw the space in the NAB building, they expanded the concept to include a full restaurant menu. 

"When we saw that space, we honestly grew the concept to the space," Johnson said. "The concept was already growing, but not enough to fill the space, so we expanded and added a full menu, full kitchen, and really started to think about how we can have savory food, digestible quick items to-go, but also a sit-down-and-enjoy-a-dish-type menu."

He said the team liked the location, one block from Nationals Park, because of all the development that has occurred in the surrounding area. 

"Navy Yard is the premier neighborhood, and the most developing neighborhood in D.C. right now," Johnson said. "That brings millennials, and those people that fit into that concept of that WeWork coworking startup mentality, it's health-centric with a VIDA Fitness there, and there's trails for biking and running, so that neighborhood lends itself to all the pillars we've established."

The team plans to quickly expand the Llamabar concept beyond its first location, Johnson said. 

"The plan is within a year of opening the first one to secure a lease for a second location, and our aim is Northern Virginia or Montgomery County," he said. "On top of that, another goal is an e-commerce arm for the pressed juices, to establish ourselves as a brand in that arena."