Washingtonian – Asian Food Hall The Block Is Opening a Second, Bigger Location in North Bethesda
At Annandale’s The Block, you can get Thai noodle soups alongside doughnut ice cream sandwiches, poke bowls, and chicken nuggets. But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming from a second, larger location of the food hall in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development, set to debut in late 2019.
The Block’s Maryland outpost will span 8,500 square feet with 250-to-300 seats, eight food stalls, and a bar. (The Annandale location has five vendors and a bar.) Although the exact lineup isn’t finalized, co-owner Arturo Mei says potential stalls will serve Asian street foods and Nashville hot chicken. They’re also looking to create a breakfast concept similar to Eggslut, an LA-based chain known for its brioche bun egg sandwiches (here with an Asian twist).
An American-Asian bakery serving baked goods influenced by Korea, China, Japan, and elsewhere is also in the works. One likely find: a matcha croissant. “We’re doing a lot of mashups,” Mei says.
Pokeworks, which serves poke burritos and bowls, and Snocream, specializing in Taiwanese-style shaved ice, will carryover from the Annandale location. The latter will double its menu size with Japanese and Hawaiian shaved ice, matcha drinks, more soft-served ice cream, and other “cool Instagram desserts,” Mei says.
The space itself will incorporate shipping containers with mezzanine seating on top, and communal tables throughout the hall. String lights and lots of greenery are designed to give the place an outdoor feel like night markets in Asia. It’s not official yet, but the layout may possibly include a couple karaoke rooms.
Although the opening is more than a year and a half away, the Block will be testing out some of its new food options at the Annandale location and through other pop-ups in the area. (They served Nashville hot chicken doughnut sandwiches over the weekend.)