Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Is Belgian the new Tapas?

with 2 comments

I have a friend who has a theory that the surest sign of a neighborhood’s yuppification is a tapas restaurant moving in. Ever since I heard this, I’ve been noticing that it holds up pretty well in D.C. (ahem, Gallery Place/Chinatown).

Last weekend, a friend and I were looking for apartments in Columbia Heights, sitting at Red Rocks Pizzeria on Park Road with an area landlord very excitedly telling us about the “up and coming” nature of the area. He pointed to an abandoned storefront across the street with great pride and said, “See that? That whole building is being gutted, and a Belgian restaurant and bar is moving in!” This reminded me of all the buzz around Dr. Granville’s Moore’s, the Belgian place that opened not long ago on H Street NE, and a co-worker bolstered my theory by telling me that about three years ago, two Belgian restaurants opened in the Eastern Market area of Capitol Hill.

This is the way a neighborhood ends; not with a bang but with mussels and Hoegaarden …


Written by Elizabeth

June 3, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Posted in Culture, Food, Food

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. I like Belgian food, but it’s kind of weird that there are so many of these places sprouting up. They definitely seem to parallel an area’s gentrification… good call.


    June 5, 2008 at 2:43 am

  2. Another perspective…
    Belgian restaurants generally have lower food costs, and easier to prepare menus. This provides a greater potential for profit in an industry with some rather thin margins. The three largest costs in a restaurant are rent, salaries, and food. The simplicity of the menu enables an organization to hire kitchen staff with less experience (less costly) and the effects of turn over are mitigated as well.


    June 7, 2008 at 11:23 pm

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