“The startups are coming! The startups are coming!” is what those not busy stuffing their faces should be saying this coming Saturn’s Day, as a trio of intrepid hospitality players officially get into the game.
HOH has plotted a full slate (check back tomorrow and Friday) of dining/imbibing activities for you, beginning with a little something to get you going: sweet and savory kolaches.
(Courtesy Republic Kolache)
Republic Kolache wants everyone to wake up the Lone Star way.
All of which will be that much easier once the Czech-inspired baking outfit takes over American Ice Co. (917 V St. NW) Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the first of a so far open-ended run of Saturdays to kick off its pop-up residency.
“As we all know well, it's high time for DC to enjoy the ‘National Pastry of Texas.’ And we're super excited to open our doors and finally share a kolache & coffee with you (+ all your friends & neighbors who need to be introduced to the magic of the kolache)!” RK co-founders Brian Stanford and Chris Svetlik stoked followers in a celebratory email blast.
Per Svetlik, the duo intends to dish out a rotating batch of signature pastries each weekend (same location, same times).
The opening menu is expected to feature:
Half smoke with sharp cheddar and Shiner-brined jalapeño relish (sausage provided by Meats & Foods).
Chorizo with scrambled egg & sharp cheddar (ditto).
Vanilla bourbon peach with bacon crumble.
Blueberry with housemade ricotta.
Cream cheese and toasted pecan with cinnamon and lemon zest
A regular supply of Topo Chicho (“Austin’s favorite mineral water,” according to Team RK.) is also projected to flow like, well, water.
“We're probably most excited to folks to try the half smoke kolache, our ode to DC cuisine. There's a long tradition among the Czech-Texans of including 'country style' sausage (a beef-and-pork mix with a coarse grind) in kolaches, and we found that the iconic DC half smoke makes for an excellent substitute — particularly when combined with cheddar and a relish we make from jalapeños brined in Shiner beer,” Svetlik said of the regional mashup.
At least this Saturday, Svetlik plans to ask guests to limit purchases to a half dozen per person. (“Just to make sure the kolaches make it past noon before selling out!” he said via email.)
Once they get into the regular swing of things, the crew expects to roll out discounts per dozen and plans to institute an email trivia contest whereby those who can correctly answer arcane questions about Texas history, politics and culture will be eligible to win a free kolache and Topo Chicho.
They’ve also cooked up a two-tier loyalty program.
After nine punches on a level-one card, regulars can claim a free kolache and their level-two card. Nine punches later, they’ll have two free kolaches coming their way.
(Courtesy Republic Kolache)
Svetlik is psyched about growing the kolache carte, mapping out plans to sate carnivores with a brisket-filled creation — “Still locking down supplier for the BBQ. All I'll say now is that it will likely be the best in town,” he asserted. (Paging Rob Sonderman!) — as well as revisiting childhood favorites.
“We have a poppy seed flavor in the works as well, which is one of the more traditional flavors and probably my favorite from growing up making kolaches with my grandma,” he said. “Eventually we also want to start playing around with some of the super old-school flavors like sweet cabbage and farmers cheese. I'm guessing they may not be top sellers, but we're definitely interested in keeping some of the old Czech traditions alive in our own small way.”
No word on how long the crew intends to camp out at American Ice.
“We're curious to see what the market looks like for kolaches here in DC. So far people seem pretty excited but our little 'residency' at American Ice Co. will be a great way to demo different flavors, get to know our most loyal customers, etc. — before investing in the brick and mortar,” Svetlik opined.
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