Danny Lee, who owns the 11-year-old Dupont Circle site (1805 18th Street NW) with his mom Yesoon Lee, is roping in his partners at critically acclaimed Chinese-Korean fusion Chiko on Barracks Row (Fried Rice Collective’s Scott Drewno and Matchbox co-founder Drew Kim) to reopen as Anju.
The new restaurant pays homage to its late-night Anju pop-up series days back in 2014. The name means “food consumed with alcohol,” Lee tells Washingtonian, but it’s also about enjoying drinking food in an upbeat setting. Mandu maintains a second location on 453 K Street NW, which opened in 2011.
Anju’s bar will grow a bit as part of the renovation, serving rice wine-based cocktails, Korean beers, and soju concoctions, alongside an open kitchen with custom wood-fired grills designed for Korean barbecue. Cooked meats will be paired with kimchi and small seasonal sides, and few of Mandu’s greatest hits like bibimbap are expected to make a comeback.