11.14.2007

Sayonara Asia Nora, Welcome 1 Hotel and Fabio?

Updated 9 p.m.

Asia Nora is planning to close Dec. 21, according to a report from The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema. But what's taking over the building is what will really have people buzzing. And which big name chef could be involved.

The building at 2213 M St. NW where Asia Nora is located is set to become a luxury, eco-conscious hotel, Sietsema reports.

Rumors have been swirling for some time about W Hotels coming to the District (Hotel Washington is slated to start its transformation to a W at year's end), and Sietsema's story mentions that the hotel will be called One (1), backed by an investment group that includes Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Capital's chairman and CEO and the creator of W.

A little digging turns up the following information on the new hotel brand from Starwood Capital's web site: "The 1 Hotel brand is the latest innovation from Starwood Capital Chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht. Mr. Sternlicht’s previous trend-setting hospitality creations included the W Hotel chain, the first hotel brand to combine a unique, hip and useful urban style with superior service and facilities for business travelers... .

"Consistent with Mr. Sternlicht’s desire to create the world’s first five-star, eco-friendly global hotel brand, the National Resources and Defense Council (NRDC) will serve as an environmental advisor on each 1 Hotel project... ."

Ground broke this summer in Seattle on the first 1 Hotel project. (Despite all the W connections, it should be noted that Starwood Capital is not part of Starwood Hotels, which manages the W Hotels.)

But back to the big name chef. Starwood Capital recently partnered with Stephen Hanson of B.R. Guest. You may recall that chef Fabio Trabocchi left Maestro in August for Hanson's Fiamma, but indicated he might return to the DC area in a few years.

From a Sietsema report in July: "Trabocchi hinted that he might be back in Washington in two years, which is when B.R. Guest Restaurants and Starwood Capital Group, Fiamma's owners, plan to install an Italian restaurant in a yet-to-be-built, eco-friendly hotel in the city's West End."

Hmm. You can connect the dots yourself, but sounds like Fabio could end up at 1 Hotel. Here's hoping.

Meanwhile, Asia Nora's older sibling Restaurant Nora will keep on truckin. And you can taste the cooking of Asia Nora's longtime chef de cuisine, Haidar Karoum, at his new roost Proof.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank god Asia Nora is getting the boot - it and regular Nora are horrible! I have never been in a more frumpy and poorly run restaurant!

Anonymous said...

Whatever, you probably do not know the difference between quality food and fast food. Those restaurants are all about the best ingredients, and proper service. And, Asia Nora didn't get "the boot," it decided to close after 13 years of excellent service. Get your facts straight before you post a pointless blog!