The Historic Location Where José Andrés Is Opening A New Restaurant

Humanitarian José Andrés has big news for his East Coast fans. This week, the chef and World Central Kitchen founder took to Twitter to announce that he will soon open a restaurant in a historic Washington D.C. landmark. The tweet includes a video of Andrés standing in front of the Old Post Office Building, where bells ring from the clock tower above. "I'm coming back to the Old Post Office; I'm opening a restaurant," he tells the camera. Andrés adds that he first had this idea in 1993. "Almost 30 years later it's coming to fruition," he says. "And this is what the bells are tolling for." 

In his tweet, Andrés shares that D.C. will be the newest spot for The Bazaar, which according to his website focuses on vibrant, theatrical dining experiences with shared plates inspired by Andrés' Spanish heritage. Each Bazaar location has its own unique food offerings — some have menus tailored to the location, such as the Latin and Caribbean-influenced dishes found at The Bazaar in Miami. At Bazaar Meat in Las Vegas, which is getting a Los Angeles outpost sometime soon, customers can feast on wood fire-cooked meats, sumptuous seafood, and ceviche. There's no word yet what The Bazaar in D.C. will offer, but the chef promised in his tweet to share more soon. 

The chef's triumphant return to the landmark

Chef José Andrés almost achieved his dream of opening a restaurant in the Old Post Office Building in D.C. once before. The year was 2015, and the building was the newest Trump International Hotel, owned by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. According to DCist, as Andrés prepared to open, Trump began publicly railing against Mexican immigrants, referring to them as "criminals" and "rapists." Citing his own status as an immigrant to the U.S., as well as the Latino heritage of his employees, the Spanish-born Andrés responded by pulling the plug on his restaurant. In a statement to the Washington Post, Andrés said Trump's actions made it "impossible for my company and I to move forward." Per DCist, the situation resulted in Trump filing a lawsuit and Andrés filing a countersuit, which was settled out of court in 2017.

After CGI Merchant Group took over the lease earlier this year, the Old Post Office became a Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and is no longer affiliated with Trump. In his tweet announcing his opportunity to finally open his restaurant, Andrés wrote that he'd be "Building longer tables in the heart of our nation's capital." The reference is from Andres' Substack newsletter where he again pushed back against Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric. "When others wanted to build higher walls ... I started talking about longer tables," he wrote. "We need to talk to each other, to enjoy our differences, to celebrate our diversity."