TenPenh -- the Asian-inspired restaurant that served the likes of President Barack Obama, John Travolta and U2 -- will be shutting its doors for good on June 30.
The restaurant, located a few blocks from the White House at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., was “unable to finalize a mutually beneficial agreement between the partners of Passion Food Hospitality and the lessor,” according to a press release.
In other words, the rent “got too expensive,” said Gus DiMillo, who owns the restaurant with Jeff Tunks and David Wizenberg. He said negotiations with the landlord over the lease started three years ago.
“We have many loyal customers," he said. “It’s an unfortunate situation with our lease, but we can move on and a get a fresh start.”
DiMillo said finding a new location for TenPenh is “not a real priority,” and that he is focused on his two new restaurants -- District Commons and Burger, Tap and Shakes -- that are set to open at Washington Circle in August. The former will be an American Tavern with 21 microbrews on draft; the latter will serve burgers made from grass-fed beef, ice cream and milkshakes.
The restaurateurs are also still focused on their existing properties, which include D.C. Coast, Ceiba, PassionFish and Acadiana.
TenPenh’s chefs will personally oversee the execution of the food during the final three days and serve up classic signature dishes.
“We want people to remember the restaurant not just for great food, but also for the decors and warmth and the wonderful staff,” DiMillo said.
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