The newest addition to the Ballston restaurant scene is set to open Monday, August 7.
Stageplate Bistro at 900 N. Glebe Road will begin a limited lunch service that week from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with a view to ramping up to full dinner service soon after.
The eatery had been planning to open as early as May, but after needing some additional permits and some finishing touches to the design, it is almost ready to go.
General manager Mary Marchetti said that she anticipates dinner service starting soon thereafter, once any kinks have been worked out.
“I didn’t want to put a box around it and have people be disappointed,” she said.
Marchetti operates the restaurant with her husband and executive chef Nelson Gonzalez. The pair have been involved in providing catering to bands and artists and their traveling road crews for years, and are bringing that experience to Stageplate Bistro.
The eatery on the first floor of the Virginia Tech Research Center is the successor to Backstage Bistro Cafe near Dulles International Airport, which closed last October. Backstage also hosted a catering company that specialized in events and providing food for touring entertainment acts.
“On the road, it doesn’t matter if you’re a bus driver or the talent, everyone is a VIP,” Marchetti said.
That VIP treatment at Stageplate includes the service, which is intended to be as personal as possible, and various small details, according to Marchetti. For instance, filtered still water will be offered free of charge and at various temperatures. Marchetti said that variation in temperatures leans on their experience working with singers and dancers: while the former generally want room temperature water, the latter usually want chilled.
The food at Stageplate will be American and Mediterranean-inspired with some subtle tweaks. Instead of serving pizza, Stageplate will serve Turkish pide, a street food version of pizza that can be filled with various different ingredients.
Guests can also expect pasta, sandwiches, soups and salads, all made from scratch, while the bistro’s signature cocktail is a sangria wine slush. In the evenings, the menu will have various rotating entrees depending on which in-season ingredients come in fresh that day.
On Sundays, Stageplate will host a “live-action” buffet brunch where chefs prepare food in front of customers. They also plan to have live music on those days, featuring a rotation of gospel, jazz, Motown and the hits of Frank Sinatra.
The restaurant will have around 125 seats indoors, 28 outside on the patio and nine at the bar, while the back area can be hired out for small events and functions of no more than about 50.
And after work on the restaurant that began late last year, those involved with Stageplate are excited to get open and share their food creations with the world.
“We’re going to feed the soul,” said Gonzalez.