As GM has previously reported, one of the seven new liquor licenses is likely to be issued to Hu’s Wear LLC. This was a real headscratcher because Hu’s Wear is a clothing store, the sister to Hu’s Shoes.
GM got in touch with one of the co-owners of the Hu’s chain, Eric Eden, to clear up the confusion. Turns out the Eric and his co-owner Marlene Hu Aldaba are actually planning on opening a new restaurant. As described in the liquor license application it will be a “Mediterranean style restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner specialties to include homemade pastas, sauces, wood-grilled seafood and meats. No entertainment. Seating capacity is 120. Summer Garden seating capacity is 60. Total occupancy load is 180.”
Eden confirmed that that is indeed the style of restaurant that they are planning and that they’ve even lined up a chef. The location, however, is still up in the air. They have signed a letter of intent with their landlord to move next year into where Bartleby’s Books currently is. This would mean several things: Bartleby’s Books would either have to move or close, the new restaurant wouldn’t open for a year, and once opened the restaurant would hopefully utilize the interior patio space. Eden believes that the land lord would try to make another space available to the bookstore, if they in fact move into that space (which is not certain yet anyway).
It’s still a bit odd to see a clothing store branch out into the restaurant business, but the two Hu’s stores are some of the last remaining independent non-restaurant shops left on M St. Hopefully a little diversification will ensure their long-term success. GM just hopes it doesn’t come at the cost of losing a great store like Bartleby’s Books.
Another bit of Hu’s news: Celine de Paris will be closing soon and Hu’s Wear will expand into that space.