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NoMa Lands New Restaurant More Than A Year After Its Last One Closes

The vacant retail space in NoMa's Flats 130 building where Carving Room Kitchen & Bar plans to open

A new bar and restaurant plans to open soon in NoMa, a neighborhood with a notable lack of full-service food and drink options. 

Carving Room Kitchen & Bar applied for an alcoholic beverage license to open in the vacant retail space on the M Street NE side of the Flats 130 building. 

It will be the second location for Carving Room Kitchen & Bar. Israeli-born Oded Weizmann opened the first in 2013 at 300 Massachusetts Ave. NW in Mount Vernon Triangle

Weizmann told Bisnow he hopes to open by April, depending on the permitting process. The NoMa space will be slightly larger than the original location, taking up roughly 3K SF. It will seat 80 people inside with a 15-seat sidewalk café. The bar at the first location has 15 seats, but Weizmann said the NoMa bar will have at least 20.

The hours and offerings will also be similar to the first location, Weizmann said. The bar and kitchen will stay open until midnight every night except Sunday, when it will close at 10 p.m. It will open at 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday for breakfast, and 11 a.m. on the weekends, when it will serve a brunch menu with bottomless mimosas. It will also offer happy hour specials from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. 

The menu at the first location includes a variety of Jewish deli-style sandwiches, burgers, wings and small bites. Its bar features 10 beers on tap, a cocktail menu and wine. Weizmann said he will keep some of the original staples, but plans to change about half of the menu. 

At 130 M St. NE, the space occupies the same building as NoMa's Harris Teeter grocery store. It sits just steps from the M Street entrance to the NoMa Metro station. The final piece of the Constitution Square complex, the Justice Department-leased 150 M St. NE office building, is under construction next door. 

"We looked at a lot of spaces," Weizmann said. "I know the city pretty well, and I just loved the growth that was coming to NoMa. It's a connector of neighborhoods between Mount Vernon Triangle, H Street and Union Market." 

The Femme Fatale pop-up in the former Union Social space in NoMa

Thousands of residents have moved into NoMa in recent years as several new apartment buildings opened, but those residents have not had a full-service food and drink option since Union Social closed more than a year ago. 

"We were checking the neighborhood out, and there were really no options for the neighborhood residents," Weizmann said. "It was either quick-casual during the day or you had to leave the neighborhood to get a casual kitchen and bar at night." 

MRP Realty has been trying to find another restaurant for the Union Social space in its Washington Gateway building, but has not had much luck. The landlord brought in a feminist-focused pop-up shop earlier this month for the remainder of 2017. 

Following Union Social's closing, its owner, Reese Gardner, attributed its struggles to the difficult location on the opposite side of Florida Avenue from most of NoMa's offices, apartment buildings and stores. 

Carving Room Kitchen & Bar will have a more advantageous location. Halfway between the neighborhood's central First and M Street NE intersection and the Metro entrance, the space will have plenty of foot traffic from commuters. The entrance to the Metropolitan Branch Trail is across the street, giving bikers easy access to the restaurant. It is also just across the Metro bridge from Uline Arena, where REI opened a flagship location, complete with a location of upscale coffee shop La Colombe, last year. 

Weizmann said the failure of Union Social does not worry him. He compared NoMa to how Mount Vernon Triangle looked when he first opened there in 2013. 

"There are a lot of people and it's a great neighborhood," Weizmann said. "It doesn't concern me. But if multiple places had opened and shut down, I'd probably be a little concerned."