Thursday, September 1, 2016

Fast casual sausage restaurant HalfSmoke coming to Florida and Georgia

This sounds pretty cool: HalfSmoke, a fast casual sausage restaurant, is opening soon at the northeast corner of Florida and Georgia. That space has been a lot of things but never for very long: I can remember it being a pharmacy, Popeye's, art shop, someone's campaign headquarters -- but mostly vacant.

The Washington Post has the pretty interesting story: Andre McClain, a 29-year old entrepreneur is opening it based on data he's gathered and time he spent working at various restaurants to learn the craft better. The building is owned Douglas Development, who the Post says was initially opposed to not having a chain in the space, as that is a lot easier and more of a sure thing (usually -- just ask Ruby Tuesday at 14th and Monroe.) However, McClain was able to convince them, as well as longtime DC restauranteur Bob Kinkead of Kinkead's restaurant and other spots.

The spot will have a laid back vibe, which the Post said is aimed at local college students and professionals in the area, and will also have beer, wine and cocktails, and a wide range of sausages cooked on a wood-fired grill:
He plans to offer a sausage for everyone, including duck, rabbit and vegan options from family-owned farms, that will come made-to-order atop a bun, salad, flatbread or rice bowl. Also on the menu: Fun, in the shape of tater tots, milkshakes, funnel cakes and cotton candy.
It will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the plan is that a sausage and beer will run about $15. Sounds pretty awesome to me. The article was published 10 days and said he's aiming at opening "sometime this month," so presumably pretty soon.

The Post article talks a lot about McClain's entrepreneurial streak, including running successful shoe and party photo businesses in high school and college. The Washingtonian has a bit more, including this rendering of the inside:

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