Stately elegance and contemporary polish merge in renovations recently completed at Occidental Grill & Seafood, the iconic Washington restaurant that has hosted presidents and diplomats for 111 years on Pennsylvania Ave.

Patrons will note Occidental’s new entrance directly facing Pennsylvania Avenue, a new expansive and buzzing power bar, a new dining space, and a refreshed color palette and textiles to modernize the stately interior.  The full renovations are slated to be completed in September 2017.

“We have been an active supporter of Pennsylvania Avenue development, bringing renewed energy to the most powerful street in the nation,” says Austin Flajser, president of Carr Hospitality, which manages Occidental Grill & Seafood. “It is with genuine affection that we re-launch the Occidental in all its glory, to the residents and business community that have made us so successful for 111 years.”

Design firm Parker Torres as well as construction firm Jonathan Nehmer + Associates worked closely with Carr Hospitality to execute a vision that would celebrate the history and lineage of the restaurant, while increasing the restaurant’s capacity to seat 140 guests in the dining room and bar. To rejuvenate the bar area, the historic bar was relocated to merge with a back bar, resulting in a distinct lounge that can seat 48 guests.

Occidental Grill & Seafood’s main entrance now welcomes guests at a more intuitive spot directly on Pennsylvania Avenue, leading guests through the restaurant’s charming patio and into a tiered dining room updated to seat 92 guests.

While historic features remain like Occidental’s ‘Scali table,’ named for a 1962 meeting between ABC correspondent John Scali and Soviet spy Alexander Fomin, easing tensions around the Cuban Missile Crisis, contemporary design upgrades bring new energy to the space.

The new design palette features solid, earthy leather and striking patterns, as well as contemporary exposed-bulb light fixtures. The addition of a curved booth perched above the main dining room may become the new power booth, epitomizing the restaurant’s characterization: “Where Statesmen Dine.”

A new dining space, just off the main dining room with etched glass partitions, takes the place of the original bar with a seating capacity of 30 guests. Portraits of United States presidents overlook the tables, for an atmosphere evoking Occidental’s 111-year history. A unique version of Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech” painting adorns the wall, reflecting a more DC-based demographic.

Occidental Grill & Seafood looks forward to welcoming guests into the freshly renovated, modern interior, while continuing to beautifully present traditional dishes and a sophisticated beverage program for guests to enjoy time and time again.

Industry News, Restaurant Design