Punk's Backyard Grill To Replace Yin Yankee

Ever wonder what it takes to open a restaurant? Or what goes on behind the scenes from cocktail napkin conception to reality?

The team behind Bethesda's forthcoming Punk's Backyard Grill is blogging all about the process of getting their new restaurant off the ground. They're chronicling it all, from signing a purchase agreement at 4936 Fairmont Ave. — a space ever so briefly occupied by Yin Yankee — to sizing up which bottled sodas to offer.

The idea for Punk's was hatched by three students in a restaurant entrepreneurship class at Cornell. The trio hope to create a chain of restaurants that channel the classic American backyard cookout in a casual and contemporary setting.

The planned menu offers a range of, well, stuff you might throw on your backyard grill, like skewers, ribs and chicken marinated in mojito sauce. A "leftover" sandwich will offer pulled pork and slow-smoked beef brisket topped with a choice of two sides; "Nothin Fancy" grilled hot links and sausages are paired with grilled onions and peppers; and sides include the usual cookout suspects: baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad and skillet cornbread. Desserts are given down-home names like "State Fair Award-Winning Pies" (banana cream, key lime, pecan and so on) and "Mama's Bake-Sale Brownies."

The Bethesda location, scheduled to open in spring 2008, will be the first.


Michael said...

I interviewed restaurant broker Tom Papadopoulos in 1997 at this location. Then it was Uncle George's Greek Tavern. They had closed on a Saturday night and never came back. Closed. Gone. The tables were still set when I met Tom (weeks or maybe months after the closing) and the bar still stocked just as they left it.

Since then it has been Fairmont Bar & Dining, El Tortito Mexican Grill & Bar, Bistro Asiatique, Yin Yankee. The order may not be exact and who knows, maybe more. Good luck.

Sheila said...

Thanks for your comment, Michael. As one of the founders of Punk's Backyard Grill, I'd like to respond to the issue you raise:

Yes, the site has changed hands quite a bit. Just next door, however, is Positano -- the landmark Italian restaurant that has been in the same location on Fairmont Ave. for over 20 years. There are a number of other restaurants on that block and throughout the Woodmont Triangle area that have operated successfully for many years in the neighborhood.

Bethesda is one of the best restaurant markets in the country -- not to mention a wonderful community -- and in order to get a site in this neighborhood, Punk's will have to deal with the lingering skepticism that comes with this site.

We hope that we can reverse this site's reputation and deliver a unique concept, quality food that people like, and a strong management team. (And while we don't necessarily believe in superstition, we're all walking around burning sage and wearing rabbits' feet.)

Please do come by and introduce yourself when we open -- we'd love to buy you lunch.

Michael said...

Fairmont Bar & Dining was a real favorite of mine ... and I only wish you the best ... the guys at Restaurant Brokers are solid ... I was just taken aback when I saw the address ... but the food sounds yummy ... and I'll save room for some pie. My "good luck" was sincere.

Amanda said...

Love the idea of the smudge sticks. =)

Sheila said...

Thanks, Michael. I look forward to meeting you over some pie!