The District Wharf, a $2 billion development project, debuts tomorrow along the Potomac River.  
the wharf pier in washington dc
Credit: Courtesy of The Wharf

Just when you thought our nation's capital was done reinventing, Washington DC is besting even itself with the debut of the latest mega-development tomorrow, October 12. The District Wharf, a 24-acre project located along the city's Southwest waterfront, cost more than $2 billion to bring into existence; the Potomac River-facing development, mixed-use in the extreme, encompasses everything from offices to condomininiums, hotels, parkland and multiple major concert venues, not to mention a revamp of the city's historic, open-air fish market, a superb, old school DC thing that used to be the only reason you came down this way.

Of course, there will be restaurants. Lots and lots of restaurants. Bars, too—in all, there will be more than thirty places to choose from, the vast majority of them original, local concepts. The roll-out will begin this week, running into early 2018; it's safe to say that for the next few months, all eyes are going to be on the latest openings.

These aren't just your typical waterfront restaurants, not by a long shot—local celebrity chef/restaurateurs like Fabio Trabocchi (Fiola Mare) will open Del Mar, a thoroughly Spanish spot; Mike Isabella (Arroz) will open Requin, a high-end French Mediterranean dining room. Kwame Onwuachi's galvanizing, short-lived Shaw Bijou is ancient history—he'll start again at Kith and Kin, with a unique, Afro-Caribbean menu. And that's just what's coming right now; down the line, local stars Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong (Restaurant Eve) will hop the Potomac from their Alexandria, Va. turf to debut Kaliwa, a pan-Asian spot with a night market vibe, while the crowd-pleasing Rappohannock Oyster Co., already a regional fixture, will launch a rather massive oyster bar as part of the renovation of the fish market, up at the top of the development. And that's just for starters.

Even if it's going to take many of the new venues a while to get up and running, one familiar face is sure to be opening, right on time—Shake Shack will debut its newest location at 11 a.m. tomorrow, offering a one-day only burger collab with local purveyor, Gordy's Pickle Jar. Called the Super Fry Frickle Burger, it'll be a cheeseburger topped with crispy marinated shallots, Gordy's Thai Basil pickled jalapenos, and Shack Sauce. Be one of the first 100 guests in line, and you'll get it for free.