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Wagamama in Clarendon does not look like it will be opening this year

(Updated at 10:20 p.m.) It does not appear that the Asian-inspired restaurant Wagamama will be opening in Clarendon this year.

Back in March, the London-based chain with more than 200 locations in 27 countries announced it was set to move into Oz’s former home at 2950 Clarendon Blvd by the summer. It was a move that elicited excitement from many, considering Wagamama’s popularity overseas.

Eight months later, though, brown paper remains on the windows of the 5,100-square-foot space and the Oz signage is still up above the doors, as it has been for years.

County records show a number of permit applications submitted by Wagamama for improvements to the space were rejected in June, following the approval of interior demolition permits earlier in the year. No other permit applications have been filed since June.

ARLnow reached out to several contacts for an update on the new Wagamama location but was unable to reach anyone who was able to comment prior to publication. A spokesperson told us later Wednesday evening that “the restaurant will be opening in early 2023.”

Within the last several weeks, a number of jobs were posted for the restaurant. While that likely means the project is still on, it could still be months before staff is hired and trained.

Meanwhile, a prominent space in the middle of Clarendon will continue to remain vacant. Oz closed back in the summer of 2019, meaning no restaurant has operated there for more than three years.

Prior to that, the Italian restaurant La Tagliatella occupied the building. Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema once wrote a scathing review about it saying La Tagliatella “makes a strong case for hazard pay for restaurant critics.”

Wagamama is known for its noodle dishes, ramen, and dishes inspired by Japanese, Chinese, and Korean foods.

This isn’t the first time that Wagamama has attempted to enter the D.C. area market.

Back in 2009, the chain announced it was moving into a large space in D.C.’s Penn Quarter neighborhood. Three years later, Wagamama canceled its plans for that location and still has yet to open a restaurant in the region.

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