Clean Currents is happy to welcome Maple Restaurant and Bar as not only our newest wind powered business, but also as one of 48 Green Passport DC destinations!
Maple will be opening THIS SUNDAY at 3418 11th St, NW next to Columbia Heights Coffee. While its menu hasn't been released yet, talk of serving Italian paninis with fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers, mortadella and goat cheese, and butcher-style sandwiches has gotten our stomachs grumbling in anticipation!
Clean Currents staff member Eric Vermeiren had a chance to chat with Lori Robertson, co-owner of soon to open Maple:
Eric: What was your original inspiration for opening up Maple?
Lori: First, I should say that my husband, Eric Gronning, and I are the owners. Eric is an architect, and he has designed several restaurants in the city -- Jack Rose, Marvin, Cork, the Palena expansion, Pizzeria Paradiso, and Hank's Oyster Bar. So, that's how we got into this.
With Maple, our idea was to create a cozy, European-style cafe and bar -- a great neighborhood place where people would come for dinner, or just a bite to eat and a glass of wine. The menu is predominately Italian -- simple dishes with quality ingredients. We also have a relationship with a biodynamic farm in Culpepper -- Whipple Farms -- and we're very excited to feature their heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and other vegetables throughout the growing season.
Eric: Why did you choose the Columbia Heights neighborhood as Maple’s location?
Lori: We have lived in the neighborhood since 2005, and we've watched it grow and change. We jumped at the chance to open our own place here.
Eric: What made you decide that you wanted to power Maple with Clean Currents wind power; was it an easy decision?
Lori: It was very easy. Eric and I both wanted to do as much as we could to be environmentally responsible. There are countless decisions to be made when you're opening a new restaurant, and using Clean Currents wind power was by far the easiest decision we made. It was very simple to set up, and we're even saving money. This was a no-brainer.
Eric: Were there any strange headaches that you ran into during the course of refurbishing Maple’s space?
Lori: Nothing too strange. This was a complete gut job -- we ran new plumbing, electricity, everything. So it was a major renovation.
Eric: Anything else that you’d like our readers to know about Maple?
Lori: Yes -- the name comes from a beautiful piece of tiger maple that Eric used for the bar. There are also small pieces of the tiger maple throughout the restaurant. The tree was sustainably harvested -- it had fallen in a swamp. And now this beautiful tree is living on in our restaurant.
So starting this Sunday, be sure to visit Maple, sample its delicious sounding food, and get rewarded for checking in after registering for Green Passport DC!