The stretch of University Avenue that connects Hillcrest and North Park will soon be home to a fresh spot for food and cocktails that takes inspiration from the uniquely delicious culinary scene of New Orleans. Developed by Pete Cich (Park 101, Miss B’s Coconut Club) and Robert McShea of the newly-formed group Grind and Prosper Hospitality, Louisiana Purchase is aiming for a September/October opening.
It will anchor the ground floor of The Louisiana, a recently renovated residential building from architect Jeff Svitak. Comprised of various indoor and outdoor seating areas and courtyards, the restaurant will have a large central bar and an exhibition kitchen behind glass. The menu will be Southern-focused, with dishes that include chorizo-stuffed beignets, Cheasapeake blue crab mac and cheese, and braised lamb shank with dirty rice, braised greens, and candied figs.
Beverage director McShea is heading up a cocktail program of interpretations on Big Easy classics, ranging from a Vieux Carre and Ramos Gin Fizz to a Sazerac made with duck fat-washed rye, as well as Bourbon Street party drinks, including a Hurricane served in a vintage 80s thermos with Pop Rocks.
Grind and Prosper Hospitality is also working on a project for the East Village. Due this fall, Whip Hands will replace Italian restaurant Salvucci’s at 935 J Street with a playful and casual eatery offering beer-based cocktails and other lighthearted drinks. The late night spot will serve a menu of sandwiches stuffed with everything from roast beef to slow-cooked porchetta.