2011 | Dine

Former Againn Tavern Tentatively Turning into a Chef Geoff’s

Geoff Tracy expands to Rockville.

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It’s not a 100 percent done deal, but Geoff Tracy says he has signed a letter of intent with the landlord to open a Chef Geoff’s restaurant in the former Againn Tavern space in Rockville.

“We have agreed to all the major stuff—rent, term, guaranty, etc.,” said Tracy. “The opening [date] depends on if and when we finalize the lease, although I am confident it will get done.”

For years, the space in the Towne Plaza at 12256 Rockville Pike had housed Houston’s, an immensely popular restaurant with a loyal following. After it closed, Againn Tavern, a British gastro-pub with a downtown sibling called Againn, opened in June 2010, but shuttered this May. The restaurant didn’t click with suburban crowds from the get-go, and general manager Romeo Santos said the owners were regrouping and planned to open with a different name, concept and décor sometime in September. That apparently didn’t work out.

Geoff Tracy, who owns three Chef Geoff restaurants (downtown, Northwest D.C. and Tysons Corner) and Lia’s in Chevy Chase, said he had been eyeing the Rockville space for quite some time. “It will undergo a million-dollar plus renovation including an entirely new bar,” he said, adding that if all goes as planned, the new Chef Geoff’s will open sometime in early 2012.