Chaia, the rapidly-relaxed counter that sells its all-veggie tacos at two D.C. areas, will see how well its enterprise functions in Bethesda. The business declared options these days to open its first Maryland store at a pop-up space in downtown Bethesda this drop.
Co-proprietor Bettina Stern tells Eater the model has obtained a 1-12 months lease inside of a former Häagen-Dazs store (7237 Woodmont Avenue) up coming to Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema. If the lengthy-time period pop-up goes well, there’s a probability Chaia will park there for a longer length. As of July 20, Landmark had not reopened the three D.C.-place film theaters that have been briefly shut in the course of the pandemic.
Co-house owners Suzanne Simon and Stern started serving their meat-free of charge tacos at community farmers’ marketplaces just before location up store in Georgetown in 2015. A second, more substantial area followed in Chinatown in 2019, including draft cocktails to the menu.
Chaia strategies to provide its tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, sweet potato nachos, and sides like black beans and herby green rice in Bethesda. The enterprise will also introduce a kids’ food.
“There’s a younger generation of intelligent, sustainability-minded and eco-acutely aware youngsters and teenagers on the lookout to take in much more crops and get their vegetables,” Stern suggests.
Chaia staffers make salsa and tortillas on-site. All the things other than for creamy kale and potato tacos can be created vegan.
Stern claims the enterprise “always had its sightline on Bethesda,” an affluent community that is flush with health buffs. The city is dwelling to SolidCore, Soul Cycle, and rather much each individual other boutique brand underneath the sun. The close by Capital Crescent Trail, which Stern commonly runs together herself, should also generate business enterprise.
Ideal sellers contain sweet potato nachos — slathered with black beans, pepperjack cheese, arugula pepita salsa, cilantro, pickled red onions, and cilantro-lime jalapenos. Mushroom enchiladas with roasted tomato salsa, pepper jack, and inexperienced rice are a different well known get. A sweet corn taco is a “massive summer months favorite,” Stern states, and could be at the Bethesda retail outlet if it opens in early fall as planned. The co-proprietor states Chaia will blanch, sautee, or roast greens to extract the most flavor, and has customized spices to unique crops. “Bringing all these sophisticated layers alongside one another tends to make a Chaia taco,” she says.
All through the pandemic, Chaia’s takeout-pleasant menu, pivot to wander-up company outdoors, and shift to on the internet purchasing all helped continue to keep the manufacturer afloat. Simply because substantially of its produce comes from nearby distributors, offer chain snags weren’t a huge dilemma.
“We’ve built it by means of, robust, focused and completely ready to rock and roll,” she claims.
The new space can seat all-around 20 folks, with about 12 far more throughout its patio. There will be a takeout taco window, way too. Specified the limited duration of the lease, renovations will be gentle.
Chaia’s arrival adds to a rising restaurant scene in downtown Bethesda. That incorporates the new arrivals from relaxed Korean-Chinese hit Chiko and the spot of Spanish Diner that José Andrés just mounted in position of Jaleo. A site of NYC’s beloved huge cookie store Levain just arrived. The team driving the Crimson Hen is making a Roman cafe with an adjoining All-Objective pizza store on Bethesda Avenue.