2015 | Dine

New Bethesda Restaurant Aiming for March Opening

Barrel & Crow will fill the Cordell Avenue space formerly occupied by Freddy's Lobster + Clams

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Barrel & Crow is planning to open in March at the former location of Freddy's Lobster + Clams

Andrew Metcalf

The two former Grapeseed managers working to open a new restaurant in the former Freddy’s Lobster + Clams space on Cordell Avenue are hoping to open in March.

Patrick Forest, who is opening the restaurant with Grapeseed colleague Laura Houlihan, said Wednesday they’ve completed demolition inside the restaurant and are now beginning to renovate the space.

They were originally planning to open before the December holidays, but ran into issues with the lease, which Forest said have been straightened out.

“It’s full throttle from here on out,” Forest said.

Forest served as the general manager of Grapeseed in Bethesda for two years, while Houlihan worked as the bar manager at the restaurant for 12 years. Together, they have more than 40 years of restaurant experience.

The new restaurant will be called Barrel & Crow. Forest said the name comes from an old English expression that refers to jubilation and letting taps flow.

He spoke on the phone from a farm in northern Montgomery County where he was looking at purchasing reclaimed wood that he plans to incorporate into the restaurant’s design. He’s already purchased chairs that were used in the 1950s in a dining hall at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Forest and Houlihan plan to offer Mid-Atlantic regional cuisine and use locally sourced ingredients. Forest said they don’t have a chef yet, but have been speaking with a few people who they are interested in.

“We definitely want to be known as a neighborhood place,” Forest said. “And we plan to offer something for everybody.”