Happy New Year! 2023 is set to be a milestone year for Washington DC, with a long list of new developments including: state-of-the-art museums and recreational public spaces, major hotel brands investing in neighborhoods across the city, and an upcoming culinary selection as diverse as the city’s population itself. Now more than ever this capital city is a must for any travel bucket list, here’s why:
Operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, The Silver Line service from Dulles to DC is operational. The 11-mile extension, which includes 11 new stations, connects Washington Dulles International Airport to downtown DC allowing easier accessibility. The completed Dulles Corridor Metrorail project by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) coincides with the 60th anniversary of Dulles International Airport (DIA). Dulles offers flights to more than 130 nonstop destinations in the US and globally.
The shuttered Georgetown Market will get a new life in 2023 with Stephen Starr’s (of Le Diplomate and St. Anselm’s) new 312-seat eatery slated for 2023. Like Eataly in New York City, the market will have a variety of dining options including a pizza grill, granita and juice bar, mozzarella bar, salumi bar, cocktail bar as well as a produce and grocery area. Seating will be available throughout the space at tables, bars and in the solarium lounges.
A new proposal by the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District is designed to improve culture and increase high-quality and useable public space in the community by reconnecting the neighborhoods between Capitol Riverfront and Capitol Hill. The new design Capital Riverfront will bring active uses under and next to the freeway that divides the area. The plan includes adding pickleball and basketball courts and space for skateboarders to the underpass. Art installations will beautify the spaces. Events and permanent installations will support local artists, performers and chefs. The project is anticipated by spring 2023.
The Smithsonian National Zoo’s historic 1928 Bird House will transform into a first-of-its-kind attraction in 2023, immersing visitors in the annual journeys of western hemisphere birds. With almost 100 species of birds, the Bird House and the surrounding bird plateau will be the first zoo exhibition of this size that focuses on the cyclical journeys of migratory songbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds integral to North, Central and South American ecosystems. Through themed walk-through aviaries, interactive experiences and dynamic educational programming, the Bird House will inspire and connect visitors to birds in entirely new ways.
The stunning Tudor-style US Park Police Horse Mounted Patrol Stables, located across from the MLK Memorial and within walking distance of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, are due to be completed in Spring 2023. The sustainable stables will include a public learning and education center, self-guided tours, and paddocks for viewing the horses. Integrating the stables into the space on the National Mall will further enrich the story of the mounted park police who service the national park.
The re-opening of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Fall 2023, will see the building’s first full renovation since 1987. The project honors the structure’s history while improving its interior spaces, mechanical systems and exterior envelope. Key improvements include enlarged gallery space, a new destination for researchers and education programs, enhanced amenities and accessibility for visitors as well as infrastructure and storage upgrades to improve the long-term conservation and security of the museum’s collection of more than 5,500 works.
The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission finished construction on a dedicated U.S. WWI Memorial. The memorial commemorates the 100th anniversary of the war’s end and honors its 4.7 million servicemen and women. Located across The Willard InterContinental Hotel, the memorial’s 58.5-foot (about 17.8 meters) bronze sculpture will be the highest free-standing bronze sculpture in the Western hemisphere and will open in early 2023.
The Folger Shakespeare Library Renovation will see the historic 1927 E. Capitol Street building undergo a USD$72 million major renovation to expand public space including a new Shakespeare exhibition hall, an elegant wood-paneled Great Hall, library and outdoor gardens and seating. The building renovation project will add a 12,000-square-foot public pavilion under the Folger’s front lawn with large plazas for all visitors on both the east and west facing sides of the building. It is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
National Museum of American Diplomacy will be the first museum to give visitors access to the untold stories of how diplomacy has been instrumental to United States’ success as a nation and its role today, when it opens in late 2023. The new museum will highlight the power of peaceful negotiations and diplomatic ventures for Americans at home and explore the paths to becoming a diplomat. The Discover Diplomacy Hall introduces visitors to the principles of diplomacy, while the Art of Diplomacy Hall invites visitors to develop their diplomatic skills through exhibits and interactive experiences. The Founding Ambassadors Concourse Hall is a dynamic space for students, special programs, exhibits and other visitor amenities.
The new Capital Jewish Museum will juxtapose the story of Jewish Washington with exhibits on the American Jewish community’s history of activism and the struggle for civil rights and racial justice for all Americans. The building itself will merge old and new, incorporating the original brick building of one of the DC’s oldest synagogues, Adas Israel, into a more modern structure of metal, glass and concrete. A glass sky bridge will connect the new construction and new museum galleries across to the historic building. It is designed by the Smith Group, the same architecture firm that designed Washington, DC’s Museum of the Bible and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will occupy 31,000 square feet on the corner of 3rd and F streets, a few blocks from the Judiciary Square metro and will opening in Spring 2023.
A new Marriott property, Marriott Washington DC NE, is part of the mixed-use project NoMa CNTR. Features of the 235-room hotel include a glass-enclosed two-story lobby, a large ballroom, an outdoor terrace, an onsite restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining, a rooftop bar and event space, fitness facilities and Marriott’s M club. The hotel opens in January 2023.
A stylish Paris-based chain anchored by design team lead Philippe Starck is expected to open its first of five planned North American hotels in DC, in 2023. MOB Hotel will embrace the local cultures and programs, with art talks and regular concerts in its lobbies. The hotel, which opens in 2023, will feature 144 rooms and rooftop views of the U.S. Capitol along with live music, a restaurant, bar and cinema.
The second Royal Sonesta in Washington, DC will open near Union Station kin Spring 2023. Part of a mixed-use complex that will include retail and office space, the 274-room hotel is slated to debut in the spring. The building will offer additional rooftop and conference space with views of iconic landmarks.
The extensive list of vendors at Western Market is set to expand further in 2023, with the following culinary openings: Alitiko, offering Greek street food, Lucky Danger, which will bring popular Chinese-American options to patrons, and The Bussdown, a Pan-African kitchen.
The popular Dabney team will open Petite Cerise (“little cherry”), an all-day, French-inspired restaurant in Shaw in early 2023. The restaurant will serve a selection of authentic French imports and wine.
Tokyo is the inspiration for a Japanese food hall on Massachusetts Avenue from internationally acclaimed chef Makoto Okuwa and Unconventional Diner co-owner Eric Eden. Love Makoto, located at DC’s Capitol Crossing development and opening in early 2023, it will feature a ramen shop, a Japanese bakery, sushi and a robata grill.
The ground-breaking Bronze, set to open in early 2023, aims to reimagine the history of the African diaspora through the fictional story of Alonzo Bronze, a spice and culinary technique trader of the 1300s. The H Street corridor location will offer a globalised menu representative of his travels.
Over-the-top Southern comfort food will reign at Uncaged Mimosas, an all-day brunch spot in Truxton Circle by innovative chef and DC-native Damian Brown. Visitors can get excited for boozy slushy machines and mimosas showcasing Black-owned alcohol brands. The menu includes salmon cake benedict on a tater tot waffle.
A New York City art-nouveau-styled brasserie, La Grande Boucherie, is opening an outpost in the historic Federal-American National Bank building near the White House. The New York City location was featured recently on the Sex and the City reboot and exhibits authentic French dishes with an emphasis on seafood. Restauranteur Emil Stefkov, of TheGroup NYC, will also open a Japanese restaurant called Washoku Room and an indoor/outdoor Italian trattoria called Olio é Piu at the same location.
An ambitious 25,000-square-foot culinary marketplace is on the way to downtown DC I. 2023. The Square (1875 I Street, NW) is inside International Square, the complex above the Farragut West Metro station. Unlike a traditional food hall with individual vendors, it will be collaborative, with the in-house butcher and bakery furnishing several stalls and shops.
Opening a new location at The Wharf, Milk & Honey Café is a New Orleans-style eatery serving a Southern brunch that features award-winning shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, Rum Chata French toast, and other slow-cooked, mouth-watering favourites.
Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay is bringing Hell’s Kitchen to The Wharf. Drawing inspiration from the global hit reality television show starring world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, guests will feel like they are on the studio set. Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, a staple in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, is known for its steak and seafood offerings including its Beef Wellington showpiece and lobster risotto. The waterfront restaurant will be located in a two-story over-water building located at 652 Wharf Street SW and is scheduled to open in early 2023.
Shouk is projected to open its fifth location in Georgetown in early 2023, bringing an Israeli menu of plant-based, certified kosher street foods that are sustainably delivered.
Pop is a new DC wine bar by the mind behind Maxwell Park devoted to all manner of bubbles. From champs to crémant, cava, lambrusco, beer, cider, spritzes & more, Pop will gleefully celebrate all things effervescent. Pop is located on Vermont Avenue NW.
HOT OFF THE PRESS
The Capital Pride Alliance Selected to Host WorldPride 2025 in Washington, DC.
InterPride, an international association of over 400 Pride organisations from more than 70 countries, announced that the Capital Pride Alliance (CPA) has been selected to host WorldPride in 2025.
History was quietly made in early December when the first U.S. bank notes with the signature of two women were unveiled. The signers are Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, a member of the president’s cabinet and the first woman in that seat and Mohegan Chief Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba who was appointed in June 2022 to be the nation’s first Native American U.S. Treasurer. She oversees the department’s currency functions. The signatures of the two women will be on new bills that go into circulation next year.