British chain claiming healthier fast food brand Leon closes US stores

Leon, the health-conscious British fast food chain that expanded to the United States with its first DC store in 2018, has closed its US stores to focus on doing business in its country. The 9 to 5 destination for ‘friendly’ dishes like egg pots, avocado and feta toast, vegan meatballs and sweet potato falafel wraps has quietly closed its DMV locations (two downtown, one in the Mosaic district of Fairfax) in early February. The plan is to get back to the United States down the line, but probably not to the same places, according to general manager Glenn Edwards. “It’s been a tough 14 months as a new brand in a new country,” said Edwards. Before the pandemic, an aggressive expansion plan called for bringing 15 stores to the United States by the end of 2020. “The pandemic has had a devastating impact in both Washington and London. We need to focus on survival, ”CEO John Vincent told Eater.

In other news …

  • On Tuesday March 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., DC restaurateurs will be able to go to lot 8A of the RFK stadium and propane gas refill to warm up their cold “streatery” installations. Each restaurant will have two 20 pound tanks on the house.
  • The acclaimed Place Rooster & Owl tasting plates bring meals back to the venue for the first time in a year on Friday, March 19. Its four-course return menu celebrates the bounty of spring by serving Napa cabbage with camembert and pepitas breadcrumbs as well as a “beet quaillington” with prosciutto, oyster mushrooms and curry. Hang a seat indoors or outdoors. Take-out and delivery will continue on a limited basis.
  • Pop-up bar Clarendon, Mike Bramson’s club, rotating replacement for Clarendon Ballroom, just flipped the switch on a Fireball “Ice fire” theme and extended the party to its 5,000 square foot rooftop over the weekend.
  • Also at Clarendon, vegan lighting Galaxy Hut promises to stick to take out only until its staff are vaccinated, reports Arl now.
  • The recently reopened Dirty Habit at the Monaco Chinatown hotel has recruited a new chef from South Beach. Edgar Escalante, former chef de cuisine of the Katsuya-y scene at the SLS hotel, begins Thursday, April 1.
  • Foxtrot, the tech-savvy Chicago grocery chain that stocks stores with local manufacturers, will open its second DC store in Mount Vernon Triangle on Monday, March 22.
  • Chef Richard Sandoval’s new Mexican bar at the foot of Cloakroom strip club has a new name: dLeña (formerly Tequilaria), his team told Eater.

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