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New restaurant and bar openings show no sign of slowing down in 2016. Chefs behind some of the area’s top restaurants are expanding with new concepts, while other industry veterans are finally getting the chance to break out on their own. Fine dining will prove it’s not dead, while fast-casual offerings will continue to grow. There will be pizza. And pastrami. And plenty of reasons to get tipsy, whether it’s from D.C.’s first cidery, a Belgian beer wonderland, a tiki temple, or the return of a favorite cocktail bar. Start getting hungry (and thirsty) now, because here’s a look at 10 of the most promising openings in the year ahead.
2. ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar
300 Florida Ave. NW
Following D.C.’s boom in breweries, it was only a matter of time before the city got its first cidery—or rather, cideries. ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar will take inspiration from Spain’s Basque country in both its food and drink. Former Boundary Road chef Brad Walker is working on a menu of pintxos (small bites) as well as heartier dishes traditionally found in Spanish cider houses, like a steak for two. The team has already been collaborating with Maryland cider-maker Millstone Cellars, but they eventually plan to forage for local heirloom apples and crabapples to make their cider in-house. The bar will also carry a variety of ciders from other producers. In order to make their cider more widely available, the ANXO team has signed a lease for second production facility (plus another bar and restaurant) that is slated to open in Brightwood Park in September.