Vegan gurus Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby - wooed for years by developers in other cities - plan to plant their flag in Washington, D.C., later this year.
As first reported by the Washington Post, they'll open a branch of V Street - their casual Rittenhouse vegan street-food bar - in the Apollo development at 600 H St. NE, where it will join a new Whole Foods Market; by coincidence, the couple opened a branch of their quick-service joint Wiz Kid last fall inside the Whole Foods near the Parkway.
A second Wiz Kid is poised to open in late spring next to V Street, which is at 126 S. 19th St.
Landau and Jacoby's upscale Vedge in Washington Square West is high on many critics' national lists, and the restaurant-reservation service Reserve says it is by far the toughest table to snag in Philadelphia.
For the second consecutive year, Landau is a James Beard Award nominee for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region. The awards will be announced May 1.
From Vietnam, where the couple were on vacation this week, Landau emailed: "Kate and I had one of our first dates in D.C. over 15 years ago and the city is been a part of our lives ever since. We've kept a close watch on the pulse of the restaurant scene down there and feel that now the time is right for us to become a part of it. Ten years ago, you would have never considered H Street for anything, much less a dining destination, but now it is exploding and becoming the hottest strip in town.
"When we were in Willow Grove [with their first restaurant, Horizons], people from Center City would constantly be coming up to dine with us and pleading with us to come downtown," he said. "So we did. Now the same is happening with D.C. So many customers from D.C., as well as friends and family, are all telling us that now is the time and H Street is the place. And so it shall be."
V Street will become the latest in a line of Philadelphia restaurants picking up a 202 area code.
Besides La Colombe, which has five coffee shops in D.C., Stephen Starr has one of the District's busiest restaurants, the Parc-like Le Diplomate, which opened in 2013.
Jose Garces' Argentine-style steak house Rural Society opened in 2014 in the Loews Madison Hotel.
A branch of HipCityVeg, Nicole Marquis' vegan quick-serve, opened last June in D.C.'s Chinatown, around the same time a Pizzeria Vetri opened on the 14th Street Corridor.