Peter Chang Plans To Open Flagship Restaurant in Downtown Bethesda

Chang's partner Gen Lee said it will serve as a home base for the renowned Chinese chef

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Chef Peter Chang inside Peter Chang Rockville

By Andrew Metcalf

One of the most respected Chinese chefs in the United States plans to open his flagship restaurant in Bethesda next year.

Peter Chang has leased an 8,000-square-foot restaurant space at 4500 East West Highway where he plans to open Q by Peter Chang next year, according to Gen Lee, Chang’s business partner. The restaurant space is on the ground floor of Carr Properties’ office building, which was completed in 2014.

Lee said Tuesday the chef hopes to open the restaurant in March or April after an extensive buildout. He said the restaurant will be wholly owned by Chang’s family and Chang plans to helm the kitchen.

“This is going to be a big, big project,” Lee said. The restaurant’s name is short for Qijiang, which means flagship in Mandarin Chinese.

The restaurant will focus on serving the spicy, traditional Sichuan cuisine that Chang has built his reputation cooking, Lee said. Chang was named one of the James Beard Award finalists for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic this year and in 2010 was profiled in The New Yorker after he gained a following while cooking in Virginia.

Since gaining fame, the chef has opened other Peter Chang restaurants in Virginia and Rockville.

Lydia Chang, the business development manager for the restaurants and Peter’s daughter, said Tuesday the new restaurant will focus more on fine dining and serve a number of unique dishes customers won’t find on menus at Chang’s other restaurants. She said the menu will offer fewer options than those at other locations, but favorites such as scallion bubble pancakes and dry fried eggplant will be included.

A previously reported plan to open a large flagship restaurant in the Navy Yard fell through, Lydia Chang said. “We found a perfect location in Bethesda,” she said. “So we thought: Why not make it our flagship?”

She also said her father will serve as the restaurant’s chef on a regular basis. “His major focus will be on the Bethesda restaurant,” Lydia Chang said.

Charlie Papadopoulos of Papadopoulos Properties in D.C. helped broker the deal, which he said was a 10-year lease with options for renewals. 

Image above: 4500 East West Highway office building

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