Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Epicurean Opening Expected in March

After months of announced target opening dates for the Darnall Hall restaurant Epicurean and Co. slipping by with only a construction site to boast, the owner of the university’s newest eatery has set a new goal of two months for the eatery’s completion. According to PMCI President Kenny Park, the lead contractor for the project, the ongoing construction of Epicurean and Co. on the ground floor of Darnall has begun to pick up speed despite past delays. He added that the restaurant should be completed by the end of February. “We are pretty much on schedule. I have people working weekends and early morning to late nights trying to get things done,” he said. “We think it’s going to happen.” Epicurean and Co. owner C.W. Chon said that, before opening, there are certain permits and licenses that still need to be obtained. After construction is done, they will make final touches and obtain both an occupancy permit and a business license. Chon said that approval for a business license normally takes about a week. “I plan to wrap up all contracting by the end of February,” Chon said. “My goal is to open by early March or middle of March at the latest.” The project started when Darnall Hall Cafeteria was closed in 2005 and the university started to look for restaurants to occupy that location. The university chose Chon’s restaurant, Epicurean and Co., and in April 2006, Chon signed a memorandum of agreement with the university, but delays plagued the project for over a year. A demolition license was issued on March 27, 2007, paving the way for a massive overhaul of the former Darnall cafeteria, Park said. He added that blueprints for the restaurant could not be drawn until after demolition was completed. In October 2007, the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission filed an objection to the restaurant’s liquor license application that delayed the project further. However, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration confirmed that a liquor license has now been obtained. Chon said the ANC also raised concerns about parking and noise that would be associated with the restaurant. The restaurant, he said, would offer valet parking due to scarce off-street parking. On Oct. 27, Chon obtained a building license for the space, and construction began in November. Chon said the stalled construction developed due to concerns about operating a for-profit restaurant on the grounds of a non-profit organization. University spokesperson Julie Bataille also said in October that the university planned to have the restaurant open before the end of the calendar year. Park said that he considers completing a project of this magnitude in four months an impressive accomplishment. “If I can get construction done before six months, people [will be] surprised,” he said. Chon said the restaurant in Darnall will include a cocktail lounge at one end that can be separated by a folding wall, along with a sushi bar and eight hibachi tables that can seat up to 80 people. There will also be a buffet and salad bar with more than 100 items. Chon said that his restaurant will provide a wide variety of food. “We will change items daily but of course the standard items like rice will remain,” he said. “We will rotate the menu.” Chon expressed high hopes for the success of the new restaurant. “It will be like my other restaurants, but better,” he said. In addition, he said that customers will be able to eat for free on the day of its grand opening. Students will not be able to use meals from their meal plans at Epicurean and Co., which many students said is a deterrent. Epicurean and Co. will accept Flex Dollars, according to the Georgetown University Dining Services Web site. Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Margie Bryant declined to comment for this report.

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