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‘Modern Comfort’ Restaurant Comes to Ballston

by Ethan Rothstein — March 25, 2014 at 10:00 am 5,101 0

Republic Kitchen and Bar, a “modern comfort food” concept, is open for dinner in the former Leek American Bistro space in Ballston.

Republic, at 801 N. Quincy Street, is open for dinner this week at 4:30 p.m. for a soft opening and will fully open for lunch business next week, according to General Manager Anthony Catselides.

Republic opens after Leek closed in November, after only a year in business. Before Leek, Thai Terrace occupied the space across the street from the Liberty Center development. Catselides said Republic hopes to be known for its from-scratch cooking: everything in the restaurant is made from scratch every day, with the exception of the french fries.

“We’re serving high-quality good at a medium price point.” Catselides told ARLnow.com yesterday. No entrée on the menu will cost more than $20, he said, and most will cost less than $15.

Executive Chef and operating owner Alan Newton — who comes from the Charleston, S.C., restaurant scene before working at McCormick and Schmick’s, among other restaurants — said there are going to be hints of international, Asian fusion and Southern cooking in the menu. He said he’s as serious as can be about the food’s freshness.

“We’re using our microwave as a bread box right now,” he said. “It’s not even plugged in.”

Catselides said he wants Republic to be looked at as a more mature spot — somewhere for an affordable date, a lunch meeting or drinks after work — and, when the night gets later, to become more of a lounge atmosphere. The restaurant will also have outdoor seating with heat lamps when the weather warms up.

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