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Clarendon Restaurant Set to Open With New Take on Traditional Hot Pots

Riverside Hot Pot is planning to open tomorrow (Friday) at 1028 N. Garfield Street in Clarendon.

The new restaurant features the traditional Chinese hot pot, but don’t expect traditional decor. Co-owner Vivi — who preferred not to use her last name — said she’s planning a restaurant that celebrates modern Chinese cuisine as much as it does the traditional.

This is the second location for Riverside Hot Pot, which also operates a buffet-style location in Gaithersburg, Maryland under different ownership.

To move into Arlington, Vivi said the restaurant would have to shift from something that catered almost exclusively to families to a restaurant that could reach Arlington’s young professionals.

“We didn’t want this to look like a traditional Chinese restaurant,” Vivi said, “It’s something new.”

Vivi says traditional hot pot meals are cooked in a collective pot, but the new restaurant will feature individual bowls with items ordered from a tablet at each table.

A conveyor belt system runs through the restaurant, sending dishes around on small platters, allowing customers to spot new items they might want to add to their meal.

Vivi said the restaurant had a taste testing a week earlier and the feedback was very positive.

“This is the first [restaurant] for me, so I was very nervous at first,” said Vivi, “but everything has been fine and I’m confident about the opening.”

The restaurant is set to have its soft opening Friday evening and to be open for dinners only for at least a week after its opening.