GW will house an American-style bistro in the vacant Quigley’s building at 21st and G streets after concluding an extensive search for a vendor, University officials announced Tuesday night.
The bistro, called TONIC Restaurant, will be based off another TONIC located in Mount Pleasant in Northwest D.C. GW alumnus Jeremy Pollok, a co-founder of the restaurant, said that like the TONIC in Mount Pleasant, GW’s new restaurant will aim to have a community feel, and its d?cor and menu will reflect Foggy Bottom’s character as well as the history of Quigley’s, which used to be a pharmacy.
“The main thing that we like about TONIC is the atmosphere,” he said. “It has a neighborhood feel that you just develop over time and that’s what I’d like to bring to GW.”
TONIC plans to offer comfort foods such as sloppy joe’s, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, vegetarian dishes, lox and bagels, gourmet pizza, omelets and pancakes, according to the release. It will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. While Pollok said the restaurant will not be open 24 hours, the hours of operation could be from as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 4 a.m.
Pollok also said that he will be applying for a liquor license and hopes to serve wine, beer and limited hard alcohol at GW’s TONIC. The restaurant at Mount Pleasant offers a full bar open until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, but Pollok said he does not intend to open a full bar on campus. Tracy Schario, GW director of Media Relations, said “GW is supportive of them getting a liquor license.”
The renovation of Quigley’s, an 8,000 square-foot building, will begin in January 2006, and the restaurant is scheduled to open in January 2007. Pollok said that Quigley’s extensive space – all three floors will be used for the restaurant – give TONIC a lot of room to create a cozy environment for students and neighbors.
“We want it to be more than an eating place,” he said. “We want it to be a meeting place.”
The bistro also plans to show Colonials basketball games and is set to have wireless Internet access, a take-out counter, a private function room, a delivery service and outdoor seating, Pollok said. While many menu items will be similar to the TONIC at Mount Pleasant, some menu items may also be named after landmarks on campus. TONIC will accept Colonial Cash and provide jobs for students.
TONIC was chosen after hearing student input, particularly from Student Association representatives and graduate students with presidential administrative fellowships. The restaurant meets some of the goals University officials had pushed for in bringing a new establishment to Quigley’s, such as creating a sense of community and offering students comfort food that is affordable, Schario said.
The proposal by co-founders of the TONIC in Mount Pleasant – Eric Bernstron, Ilias Nathanail and Pollok – was one of 10 the University was considering for Quigley’s. While University officials refused to release names of the other vendors being considered, Chipotle Mexican Grill confirmed that it was one of the contenders last month.
The lease agreement between the University and the TONIC co-founders is expected to be signed in the next few weeks. Schario said the University is still waiting for a few building permits but expects construction to remain on schedule and begin in early January.