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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chef RJ Cooper Opening Restaurant in Blagden Alley

DCist reports that famed chef R.J. Cooper -- a James Beard Award winner and former head chef of Vidalia -- will open a restaurant in Blagden Alley to be called Rogue 24.  Rogue 24 will exclusively offer 24-course tasting menus that will be paired with eight different beverages. 

I've heard rumblings of this for a while but have been holding my tongue (keyboard) not wanting to jinx it.  The space Cooper's enterprise will occupy is currently vacant and in rough shape.  It is owned by Douglas Development and is immediately behind Long View Gallery.  This is huge culinary news for the neighborhood and will nicely animate the historic alley.


Anonymous said...

Cool! Will it be visible from 9th? I hope it gets good visibility!

Shaw Rez said...

The press release about Rogue 24:

Chef RJ Cooper to Open First Independent Restaurant in Washington, DC: Rogue 24

Washington, DC (August 18, 2010) — Chef RJ Cooper will open his first independent project, Rogue 24, in the historic Blagden Alley, part of the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood in Washington, DC. Projecting a winter, 2011 opening, Rogue 24 will be located in Blagden Alley on 9th St., between M St. and N St. NW.

Executive chef/ owner RJ Cooper, a seasoned veteran chef and James Beard Award winner, is thrilled to bring his landmark restaurant to this developing neighborhood in Northwest Washington, DC. The 2,600 square- foot restaurant will be tucked away in one of the vacant buildings in Blagden Alley, currently a trendy alley that houses experimental art exhibits.

Blagden Alley, located directly west of the Washington, DC Convention Center, is an engaging new epicenter of revitalization. Conveniently located near Logan Circle, Chinatown and downtown DC, this bustling neighborhood is ripe for an innovative dining destination.

The project leadership of Norman Jamal of Douglas Development has lead a wave of recent development, from multi-million dollar condominiums to established art galleries, as well as a burgeoning social scene of coffee houses, bars and restaurants. This recent rehabilitation makes the neighborhood an excellent locale for the first fine dining restaurant in Blagden Alley. “The space is a perfect fit for the intimate, yet edgy experience of Rogue 24,” says Cooper of the location. “I look forward to joining the current and future independent retailers, artists and residents alike in developing this section of Mount Vernon Square as a distinct destination neighborhood.”

Celebrating Cooper’s stylized urban fine-dining cuisine, Rogue 24 will exclusively offer an interactive 24-course tasting menu. Guests will be served a progression of small dishes that excite the senses, tantalize the palate, and awaken curiosity. The multi-course meal will offer a place at the table where guests can dig deep into a culinary team’s philosophy: exploring their suppliers, cooking techniques and sources of inspiration.

Rogue 24 will provide an effortless space for the diner to enjoy the imagination of Cooper’s menu. The avant-garde beverage program will house a beverage director that will serve as both sommelier and mixologist and will prepare all beverages at a tableside cart, providing innovative pairings that will stimulate the entire experience. 8 beverage (a combination of wine, cocktails and beer) pairings will be offered throughout the 24- course meal.

“It is my vision that Rogue 24 will provide an emotional experience. That is what creates memorable meals—more than the food, the wine, and the service, the overall culture of the restaurant must evoke emotions in its guests.”

Working alongside Cooper, Harper McClure will serve as chef de cuisine. McClure hails from Atlanta’s renowned Bacchanalia restaurant and previously worked with Cooper at Vidalia as his sous chef for nearly five years. The two chefs look forward to reuniting for this groundbreaking new project.

Situated in the center of the 52-seat dining room, the state-of-the-art kitchen will showcase Cooper’s creativity and desire to interact with guests. This architectural design will allow every guest to have an individual chef’s table experience. Cooper has enlisted architects Brian Miller of edit and Lauren Winter of Winter Architecture, the famed duo behind Washington, DC’s most creative and functional spaces including The Gibson, U Street Music Hall and Dickson Wine Bar, to execute this vision.

Rogue 24 will be open for one dinner seating Tuesday-Thursday and two dinner seatings Friday and Saturday evenings. The fixed menu price is $130, $140 for non-alcoholic beverage pairings and $170 for alcoholic beverage pairings.

Shaw Rez said...

Anon--surely it will have some sort of 9th Street signage, but the structure itself is wholly in Blagden Alley and not visible from 9th.

Anonymous said...

Very nice. I am wondering when the hotel will finally break ground. Any word? Last I heard, Kwame Brown said a fence would be going up "in 30 days".... More than 30 days ago :(

Anonymous said...

Speaking of restaurants, has Mandalay construction started?

ML said...

Hmmm. Sounds awesome and exciting in concept: a super-hip exclusive eatery experience, in an off-beat, edgy and hip urban neighborhood...

Just hope it's a sustainable business and people have done their market research.

Corduroy kind of falls into this category and I seldom see many diners on my daily walks up 9th in the evening. Hope they're doing okay and can hold on until we see a convention center hotel.

With the average medium income rather low in Shaw when compared with other parts of the city, presumably these Rogue 24 guys believe they can draw convention go-ers and diners in from other parts. Sure hope so and they aren't depending on a large portion of revenue from Shaw residents.