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New restaurant from acclaimed D.C. team announced for private park in Crystal City

A new restaurant called Surreal is coming to the private park space in front of a Crystal City office building.

“Surreal” will offer both indoor dining and outdoor dining in the park at 2121 Crystal Drive. It’s coming from “the renowned team behind DC’s critically acclaimed restaurants Seven Reasons and Imperfecto,” per a press release.

As reported last December, property owner JBG Smith has been seeking to bring a restaurant to the lightly-used outdoor space for the past few years, successfully seeking County Board permission to do so twice.

In 2018 the County Board approved a plan for two restaurants for the green space at 2121 Crystal Drive, which currently has walking paths, trees, a field, a lighted gazebo and seating. JBG Smith is returning to the County Board with a new plan that would combine the two eateries into one larger restaurant.

The current submission for a 5,640 square-foot space, dubbed “Dining in the Park,” reflects improvements made in response to feedback from potential restaurant operators, Taylor Lawch, Vice President of Development, said in a statement.

“We are excited about our proposal to further activate Crystal Drive and an adjacent public plaza with full service food and beverage,” Lawch said.

In a press release, JBG said the restaurant will be “a seamless indoor/outdoor culinary destination located in the newly transformed National Landing submarket.” The modified park will also host herb gardens and outdoor markets, the company said, and is expected to receive county permission for patrons to take their alcoholic beverages with them throughout the one acre green space.

Construction is expected to start next year and the restaurant is currently slated to open in 2023.

More from the press release, below.

JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS), a leading owner and developer of high-quality, mixed-use properties in the Washington, DC market, today unveiled Dining in the Park, a first-of-a-kind dining experience coming to National Landing, anchored by a new restaurant called Surreal. Conceptualized by Seven Restaurant Group – the renowned team behind DC’s critically acclaimed restaurants Seven Reasons and Imperfecto – Surreal will be a seamless indoor/outdoor culinary destination located in the newly transformed National Landing submarket just outside the nation’s capital.

Surreal at Dining in the Park, to be located at the existing park in front of 2121 Crystal Drive, further reinforces National Landing as a destination for groundbreaking and innovative experiences that blend the best of both city living and the urban outdoors. Surreal’s forward-looking design will be unlike any other in the region with unique hybrid spaces that can adapt to every season, making it an ideal addition to the neighborhood.

“We are thrilled to partner once again with the incredibly talented Seven Restaurant Group for Surreal after a successful launch of Imperfecto in the West End,” said Kai Reynolds, Chief Development Officer for JBG SMITH. “Surreal is truly a perfect fit for our Dining in the Park vision and the broader National Landing neighborhood. Their flavors and culinary philosophy integrated with nature will bring an approachable, yet diversified and sophisticated dining experience for any time of day.”

Anchored by a lush park and surrounded by mature trees, Dining in the Park will feature one acre of green space intended to accommodate a variety of uses customized by Seven Restaurant Group, such as herb gardens or outdoor markets. Through a new commercial lifestyle designation, patrons will be able to “sip and stroll” throughout the park – a first-of-its kind offering in the DC metro area.

With Surreal, the powerhouse Seven Restaurant Group aims to strengthen the relationship between humans and nature throughout the setting. The restaurant will offer indoor and outdoor seating year-round and will present Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menus that combine unique, yet comforting flavors. In addition to the main restaurant, Surreal plans to take advantage of the surrounding open area with food carts selling gourmet street food, coffee, ice cream, beer, wine and more.

Seven Restaurant Group consists of Managing Partner Ezequiel Vázquez-Ger, award-winning Chef Enrique Limardo, Creative Director Valentina Story and Chief Business Development Officer Alex Alevras.

“Dining in the Park is an exciting addition to an already groundbreaking neighborhood, and I’m excited to bring a unique culinary venue to National Landing,” said Chef Enrique. “Surreal’s dining atmosphere aims to excite the existing community and visitors alike to engage and interact with each other. This is a chance for people to slow down and enjoy a one-of-kind immersive, dining experience.”

Construction for Dining in the Park is expected to begin early 2022 and Surreal is anticipated to open in 2023.

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