A downtown restaurant opening July 1 will feature not only sit-down and takeout service, but a market with Mediterranean-style food that will take up about 30 percent of the space, adding unique grocery items to an area devoid of grocery stores.
Gönül Blum is putting the final touches on Trio Restaurant, Bakery and Market – a garden-to-table Mediterranean establishment that will take over the 3,600-square-foot space at 826 J St. that formerly housed Table 260.
“The concept is healthy, organic, locally grown food – a garden-to-table concept that is fresh and healthy,” Blum said. “It’s going to be a lot like Dean and Deluca.”
Blum also own’s Vanilla Bean Bistro, which switched spaces with Formoli’s Bistro farther up J Street about a year ago.
Trio, however, won’t be a second location for Vanilla Bean Bistro.
“It will be a much bigger space, and we’ll have huge display cases when you walk in,” Blum said. “My menu is very unique, and I create my own sauces and everything. And the market is something we don’t have at Vanilla Bean Bistro.”
Open for lunch and dinner, Trio will serve sandwiches, soups, full meals and salads.
An open-faced chicken sandwich will be served on focaccia bread with sautéed seasonal vegetables. Blum said it will come with salad or soup.
Another sandwich is the open-faced lamb burger.
“It’s served over bread with organic rice and free-range lamb topped with salad, and we have our own house-made yogurt sauce,” Blum said.
Dinner options will include a chicken dish served with fresh seasonal fruits, mascarpone and cream cheese as well as moussaka, made with an eggplant and three cheeses.
Inspiration for the dishes comes from around the Mediterranean, including France, Jordan and Blum’s homeland, the southern portion of Turkey.
Lunches will run about $10 and higher, with dinner starting at about $20 per person. Takeout sandwiches will likely start at about $7, she said.
Blum is taking a cance on Sunday brunch, which she said she is not sure will be successful in the heart of downtown with the nearby businesses largely closed, but she is going to give it a shot.
The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. seven days per week.
Sean Kohmescher is the owner of Temple Coffee, which has a coffee bar located around the corner from the new restaurant, and he said he’s happy to see another nearby business come in – and stay open seven days per week.
“It’s wonderful,” he said. “We had kind of a surge of a lot of restaurants going out, and now I’m glad to see new businesses opening up downtown.”
He added that few businesses in the area, adjacent to K Street, which is undergoing a sort of Renaissance, are staying open all week, but he hopes the trend continues.
“I hope that people consciously go and support the businesses and know how important it is to support the vibrancy of downtown,” he said.