Fast-casual Asian restaurant Chiko to replace Prima in Bethesda Row

Fast-casual Asian restaurant Chiko to replace Prima in Bethesda Row

Opening possible by end of year

| Published:

The fast-casual Asian restaurant Chiko will expand from its two locations in Washington, D.C. to a Bethesda Row location, with the goal of opening by year's end.

Logo from Chiko Twitter page

Chiko, a fast-casual Chinese-Korean restaurant, will replace the Italian restaurant Prima in Bethesda Row.

The restaurant, which has locations in D.C.’s Capitol Hill and Dupont neighborhoods, will open at 7280 Woodmont Ave., according to a press release on Thursday.

Chiko’s menu offerings include rice bowls, sandwiches such as Sichuan hot fried chicken, and larger entrees such as wok-charred wheat flour noodles and “orange-ish chicken.”

The menus for the D.C. locations have most items priced at $10 to $20.

John Rorapaugh, a spokesman for the restaurant with the marketing firm Leading DC, said in an interview on Thursday that the restaurant will have the same menu as the D.C. locations. Dine-in customers will order at a counter and receive a number to place on their table, where their food will be served.

Normally, the space seats about 40, he said, but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will serve 20 when it opens. Montgomery County currently allows restaurants to serve customers at 50% capacity indoors.

Rorapaugh said he expects takeout to be a more popular choice when Chiko opens.

“People are familiar with getting Chinese to-go, so their to-go business has been doing really well,” he said of the D.C. locations.

Rorapaugh said discussions between landlord Federal Realty Investment Trust and Chiko started last month. He said there isn’t a firm timetable for opening, but expects that it will be by year’s end.

Prima, a fast-casual Italian concept that opened in May 2019, announced that it had temporarily closed on April 7 due to the pandemic. As of Thursday afternoon, its website still said it was closed temporarily.

Representatives from the Schlow Restaurant Group, the parent company of Prima, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Rorapaugh said he didn’t know the details behind Prima’s closure.

News of Chiko’s plans for Bethesda was first reported Thursday by Washingtonian.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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