Reese Gardner had planned to open The Pinemoor in March but… well, you know. After months of pandemic-related delay, Gardner said today (Thursday) is finally the day to throw open the new Clarendon restaurant’s doors.
For a little over a year, signs have announced that The Pinemoor would be inhabiting the space that was once Clarendon Grill at 1101 N. Highland Street. Gardner said the restaurant is launching today with its full menu after months of consideration for when the right time would be to reopen.
Eventually, Gardner said he had to reckon with the fact that there likely wasn’t going to be a better time to open in the near future.
Opening with the current restrictions aimed at curbing the likelihood of spreading coronavirus means an expectation of lower-than-hoped-for revenue.
“The Pinemoor has two bars, an outside bar and an inside bar,” Gardner said. “The set up for restaurants is [for customers] to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine while the table is getting ready. When you remove that from the restaurant experience they end up sitting at their table longer and it takes away 25-30% of your numbers off the top.”
At least at first, Gardner said the focus will be on the in-person restaurant experience with appropriate social distancing and utilization of the restaurant’s patio, as opposed to trying to subsist on takeout and delivery, as others are doing.
“We’re going to focus on in-restaurant experience for the first couple months,” Gardner said. “It’s a scratch kitchen with a protein-heavy menu — all à la carte — and family-style sides like truffle mac and cheese… We’re focusing on the in-dining experience over the next sixty days and then probably roll out to-go and cocktails.”
Gardner said he’s also hopeful that the brunch menu will be a draw early on.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. during the week and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekends.
Today’s opening will be very different from those of Gardner’s other restaurants, like Copperwood Tavern and Dudley’s in Shirlington. There’s a lingering concern that an uptick in local cases could trigger rapid changes in how restaurants are required to operate. Gardner said he still has to order perishable food items every day assuming that the restaurant will be open the next.
“It’s all nervousness,” Gardner said. “The nerves are there. With COVID, you want to make sure your staff is safe and your customers are safe. It’s very unpredictable. It’s going to be an interesting next three weeks.”
Photos courtesy The Pinemoor
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
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Rep. Don Beyer is taking a leading role in Congress to address what he says is one of the most pressing issues this century: the regulation of artificial intelligence. This…
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🎉 Tonight, we invite you to the French Riviera, one of the most exciting places on earth – without ever boarding a plane! And celebrate Mardi Gras and the Carnival of Nice on French soil as we welcome you to a special evening at the Embassy of France!
From the elegance of classical French culture to the most celebrated Rivera nightlife of the 21st Century, experience a special evening of fantastic French food, wine, music, and ambiance.
Enjoy the flavors of Nice, Monaco, and St. Tropez in the beautiful and festive Maison Francaise at the French Embassy.
🍽️ On the Menu: Delicious French food
Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting a free workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” at their office on Cherry Hill Rd. (formerly Lee Highway) in Arlington on Thursday, February 29 from 5:30PM-7:00PM.
Every great endeavor