By Missy Schrott | [email protected]
Avanti Holdings Group’s latest venture, a healthy, fast-casual restaurant called Toastique, is opening at 1605 King St. on Monday.
The gourmet toast, smoothie and juice bar will feature everything from radish-garnished avocado toast to charcoal black acai bowls, with a wide variety of locally sourced and made-in-house menu items.
Avanti Holdings Group, the Parker-Gray developer behind Madison Collective and Pendleton Carryout Co., bought 1605 King St., the former headquarters of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association about two years ago. While they turned the upper floors into refurbished office space, including a new Avanti Holdings headquarters, they chose to keep the first floor as a retail space.
“We’ve always wanted some type of user that would bring some activity here because we think this is such a valuable part of town,” Avanti Principal Teddy Kim said. “You have a lot of the hotels up here, you have the highest office rents, kind of, in the area. … We do think a lot of people start and end their journey over on this part of town.”
While looking for a tenant for the space in the summer of 2018, Kim said the Avanti group caught wind of a restaurant called Toastique opening on The Wharf in D.C.
“Toastique, when we first walked in at The Wharf, we were like, ‘This is incredible,’” Kim said. “It looked elegant, the food was really clean and colorful. … it was just a great fit. We look at ourselves as a young company, an emerging company, and Toastique we see in the same light. We were really excited to bring them in here and we were willing to do whatever it took to get them in here.”
Avanti team member Anna Perault took the lead on the project, working with Toastique founder Brianna Keefe to bring the concept to Old Town.
“They were very new,” Perault said. “Obviously they’d only been open for a couple of months, so they weren’t really ready to take on a new location as a manager. They would need someone to come in and help with that. … It was kind of just an offer of, ‘If you want to come in as a partner in this venture and be an owner/operator, then we would be willing.’”
Once Perault agreed to be the restaurant’s owner and operator, the project moved quickly. The city approved the restaurant’s special use permit in February, and just a couple months later, Toastique will hold its grand opening on Monday.
Perault said she’s passionate about healthy food and eager to bring the new concept to Old Town.
“It’s just really fresh, good, healthy, clean food,” Perault said. “And that’s what I really think that Old Town needs in general, because … it seems to me that going to these places is a destination kind of thing and I’d really like to make that the norm.”
The featured menu items at Toastique, as expected, are its gourmet toasts. Customers can choose from eight hearty toasts, stacked high with different fresh ingredients on multigrain, sourdough, rustico or gluten free bread.
Contrary to popular belief, only one of the toasts, the Avocado Smash, is avocado-based – although it is their best seller. Other toasts feature variations of meat, seafood, hummus, cheese, vegetables and more.
“It is a healthy food, juice bar kind of spot, but I think it’s also a very hearty meal,” Perault said. “You could come after a workout, you could come have lunch with a friend, you could have a business meeting there, and you’ll feel satisfied.”
In addition, the menu features fresh, made-in-house juices; colorful, 16- and 24-ounce smoothies and fruit topped, Instagram-worthy acai bowls.
“The food is all just vibrant colors,” Perault said. “The avocado toast is very green, the smoothies are pink and blue, and all naturally done. So that’s what I think really brings that excited atmosphere. I’ve watched people, and everyone comes in [at The Wharf] like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so beautiful.’ And I think that healthy eating should be like that. I think eating in general, it should be an exciting thing. You want to take a picture of it because it’s so pretty.”
The dining area will feature 15 indoor and 10 outdoor seats. The fast-casual structure will allow customers to place both eat-in and to-go orders at a counter. Perault said average prices for toasts, smoothies and bowls will range from $8 to $14.
Toastique will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.