The location has sat empty for some time with papered up windows to keep onlookers away at 2129 Rhode Island Ave NE, several doors down from the US Post Office. It has been owned by the Gilchrist family for a while, and now, it is going to be a restaurant run by Nina Gilchrist, the daughter of the building’s owner, Irvin Gilchrist. The restaurant is going to be called Provost, in recognition and tribute to the nearby universities (Catholic, U of MD, Howard, etc), and that Nina’s background was as an educator. The theme of the restaurant will be “Food for Thought” and will feature American style cuisine, using local and fresh ingredients, that Nina describes as “healthy dining” with made from scratch foods.
The restaurant recently hired an executive chef with private industry experience and they are currently working on the menu, which will contain several signature dishes including gluten-free and vegetarian options. The average ticket for one person will be about $28 (obviously, this is without alcohol). Provost will also come with a fully stocked bar (draft/bottled beer, wine, and spirits). The restaurant is also planning to build a roof-top deck on the building and have table-service there with a partial cover. In all, the restaurant is planning to be able to host from 70-90 people and have opportunities for neighborhood groups to host meetings at the location. In addition to paying tribute by its name to education, Nina is commissioning a local artist to design and develop an original piece of art display/partition that is related to higher education. Inside, the main granite counter-top will contain an ice trough in the center of it, where fresh fruits, drinks and other items will be displayed. Nina was clear that there will not be any music, live or otherwise, at Provost, but instead wants the mood to be relaxed and conversational.
The hours of operation planned for Provost will be Monday through Friday, 5:00 PM to midnight for dinner service only, and Saturday/Sunday from 9:00 AM to Midnight for brunch and dinner. Nina is planning for a March 15, 2014 opening but with DCRA and other authority hoops to jump through, it may not be until June/July.
Provost will be a welcome addition to the fast revitalizing Rhode Island Avenue family!