The Watch List is a seasonal feature previewing the most highly-anticipated sandwich joints slated to open in Washington, D.C. This season’s list includes two boozy delicatessens, a sophomore project for the well-pedigreed brothers Olivera and a rumored cocktail-deli from one of the most renowned mixologists in the District.


TakeEatEasy  |  Dupont Circle

Not much is known about TakeEatEasy, but everything we’ve heard suggests it’s going to be the snacks. The sophomore effort of brothers Manuel and Nacho Olivera, the guys behind the fantastic Fast Gourmet, will be located in Metro-friendly Dupont Circle. A liquor license application reveals TakeEatEasy will serve gourmet sandwiches and, obviously, alcohol, which is a winning combination if we’ve ever heard one and a recurring theme of this season’s Watch List. (Sidenote: We couldn’t help but notice the shop will be located in the heart of a stretch of M Street NW hilariously dubbed the “Herpes Triangle“: by daylight, another anonymous section of downtown D.C. office space; after sundown, the sleaziest meat market in the District.) The pair recently departed Fast Gourmet to concentrate on the new project, and with the liquor license hearing set for early September, expect TakeEatEasy to open its doors by early fall.

DGS Delicatessen  |  Dupont Circle

If the classic Jewish deli is in danger of extinction, its legacy lives on through a new breed of homage delis popping up in cities across the country. DGS Delicatessen, the highly-anticipated venture of cousins Nick and David Wiseman and Chef Barry Koslow, formerly of Mendocino Grille and Tallula, aims to introduce the concept to D.C. There’s not much to say about DGS that hasn’t already been written elsewhere—Todd Kliman in Washingtonian and especially Sam Hiersteiner in DC Modern Luxury have the story—but expect “elevated” reinterpretations of staple deli fare, plus craft beers, cocktails and wine. We’ve been hearing of DGS since late 2011, but as for an opening date? Definitely not 40 years, and maybe as early as September, on Connecticut Avenue NW just north of the circle.

The Carving Room  |  Mount Vernon Square

The Washingtonian‘s Anna Spiegel is sick of reclaimed barn wood, and we’re right there with her. So—and this something like an embarrassment of riches—we’re going to continue our sudsy neo-delis theme with the forthcoming The Carving Room from partners Oded Weizmann and Rachel Steiman. While the location, at 300 Massachusetts Avenue NW, is in a peculiar gray area between Chinatown, NoMa and Mount Vernon Square, there’s nothing inexact about the concept: quick casual at lunch, full service at dinner and house-made products like corned beef, pastrami and pickled vegetables. A patio and a bunch of craft beer taps will also be involved, but we’re most excited about the opportunity to finally experience the famous Buffalo, N.Y., staple “beef on ‘weck.” As best we can tell (from poaching others’ reportage), there’s a September opening in the cards. Stay tuned.

Also: The rumor that won’t die

Gina Chersevani is deservedly recognized as one of the top mixologists in D.C. Her departure from longtime haunt PS 7’s was followed closely by talk of a “cocktail deli” that you’d think would have died when she dismissed it in an interview with Drink DC in May. But then it popped up again in the aforementioned late June Washingtonian article on The Carving Room. This still seems like a long shot, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

August 2, 2012

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