José Andrés will open a restaurant in the building of the old post office
After years of legal and social media battles with former President Donald Trump, José Andrés announced on Instagram on Monday that he would finally open a restaurant in the historic Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C.
“Today, after a long held dream of 30 years, I am announcing that we will be opening in the Old Post Office, bringing my beloved @bazaarbyjose to DC!” he wrote. “Building longer tables directly on Pennsylvania Avenue, in the heart of our nation’s capital, welcoming people from across the city and around the world.”
Andrés said details would come later, but the news comes six years after he pulled out of a plan to open a restaurant in the historic building, which had undergone a $200million renovation that included a 270-room Trump International hotel. Andrés’ restaurant, which was originally to be called Topo Atrio, was to anchor the hotel lobby and the chef’s ThinkFoodGroup was to handle food and beverage for the Trump property.
That changed after then-presidential candidate Trump in a 2015 speech called Mexican immigrants criminals, drug dealers and rapists, sparking a “Dump Trump” movement, with a number brands cutting ties with the candidate and his companies.
Andrés said at the time that it would be impossible to go ahead with the project. “More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests,” he said in 2015. “And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen, I believe that every human being deserves the respect, regardless of immigration status.”
Lawsuits by both parties followed and ultimately resulted in a settlement, although terms were not disclosed. Meanwhile, BLT Prime chef and restaurateur David Burke operated a restaurant in space.
Earlier this year, the Trump Hotel’s lease in DC was sold to Miami investment fund CGI Merchant Group, which plans to turn the hotel into a Waldorf Astoria, according to the Washington Post.
ThinkFoodGroup operates Bazaar concept locations in Las Vegas, Miami and Chicago, and one will soon be in New York, according to the company’s website. In Los Angeles, the bazaar’s original location in Beverly Hills has closed and will reopen this year as Bazaar Meat downtown as part of The Grand LA project.
In addition to his work with World Central Kitchen feeding Ukrainians during the Russian invasion, Andrés is the subject of a documentary released last month on Disney Plus, and produced by Ron Howard.
In his Instagram post on Monday, Andrés referenced his oft-repeated belief in inclusivity, saying the world needs “longer tables” not “higher walls.”
“God bless America,” he said to end his message. “Longer tables.”
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