Caruso’s Grocery, an Italian restaurant in Washington, D.C., will take over a portion of Owen’s Ordinary in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development this fall. Meanwhile, Owen’s will rebrand as “Owen’s Tavern and Garden” and will undergo a food menu change.
Both Caruso’s and Owen’s are part of the Alexandria, Va.-based hospitality company Neighborhood Restaurant Group. Caruso’s partner Matthew Adler told Bethesda Beat on Tuesday that he and his partner Michael Babin have been looking for a way to increase business to the North Bethesda restaurant.
“Owen’s opened in 2016 and has had a lot of success with the bar area and the patio out front. But the back part of the actual restaurant itself was never quite as busy as we hoped it would be,” Adler said. “So as we were looking to expand Caruso’s, we thought it would be a good opportunity to repurpose that space and reimagine what we could do with that.”
Caruso’s opened in May 2021 on 14th Street in Southeast D.C. Adler said the North Bethesda location will have a similar menu to the D.C. location but will also feature items such as chicken scarpariello; veal saltimbocca; and prime steaks and chops served with marsala-braised mushrooms, balsamic onions and roasted garlic butter.
Caruso’s will occupy the back two-thirds of the current Owen’s space and will seat about 90, Adler said.
“A lot of our customer base at Caruso’s in D.C. makes their way into the city from Maryland, so we think having one closer to them is really gonna be advantageous for them,” he said.
The new food menu for Owen’s will include items such as garlic bread pizza as well as Calabrian chili and honey-glazed chicken wings, Adler said. It will also feature scoozi, or Italian nachos made from fresh pasta sheets cut into triangles that are fried and topped with cheese sauce, spinach, sausage, tomatoes and black olives.
Owen’s will continue to have a list of 50 beers on tap, and the cocktail and spirits options will expand, according to Adler.
Caruso’s and Owen’s will share a kitchen but will operate as two entities, Adler said.
“For all intents and purposes, we’ll be operating two separate businesses out of the same space,” he said.
Adler said as of now they are anticipating that the changes to Owen’s and addition of Caruso’s will take place in October.
Dan Schere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org