Liberty Barbecue and Northside Social Coming to Falls Church City
The Liberty Tavern Group is aiming for two new restaurant openings in November.
The Little City is soon to welcome two new eateries, and the names behind both concepts may sound familiar. Restaurateurs Steve and Mark Fedorchak, executive chef Matt Hill and local builder Brian Normile are also co-owners of the ever-popular Arlington trifecta made up of The Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall and Northside Social.
Now the partners are gearing up to launch Northside Social Falls Church, a spinoff of the homey coffee and wine bar by the same name in Clarendon, and a new barbecue joint, Liberty Barbecue.
Continuing the team’s penchant for reinventing cool, old buildings, Northside Social Falls Church will transform the historic “Blue and Gray” building at 205 Park Avenue into a comfy hangout with counter service, a wine bar and both indoor and outdoor seating. (Dating back to 1797, the building is one of the oldest surviving homes in Falls Church and most recently served as an American Legion post.)
Like its sister property in Arlington, Northside Social Falls Church will open early and close late, serving Counter Culture espresso and coffee drinks, breakfast sandwiches and baked goods by executive pastry chef Bridie McCulla, plus shareable plates and a wine and beer selection curated by bar manager Annika Collins.
The Falls Church café will also expand on the original model, says co-owner Steve Fedorchak, offering full entrées at lunch and dinner, as well as wood-fired pizzas (the new kitchen has a wood-burning oven). And the pies won’t just be for the afternoon and evening hours. Morning fare will include breakfast pizzas with toppings like housemade bacon and sausage.
The forthcoming Liberty Barbecue, slated to take over the former Famous Dave’s space at 370 West Broad Street, promises to be a haven for carnivores, emphasizing—you guessed it—smoked meats such as brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken wings, turkeys and the occasional special (think lamb). “We’ll be using mainly hickory, which gives a more robust smoke, with a little bit of white oak,” says chef Hill, who earlier in his career was chef de cuisine at Bryan Voltaggio’s Range in the District. (If you happened to taste chef Hill’s brisket sandwich at this year’s Taste of Arlington festival, you know he’s not messing around.)
He’s joined by pitmaster Dan Till, a veteran of Pork Barrel BBQ and Evening Star Café in Del Ray. Both are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
But the menu won’t be limited to barbecue. A Carolina native, Hill aims to further prove his Southern bonafides with dishes such as pickle-brined fried chicken (already a time-tested favorite at The Liberty Tavern), shrimp and grits, barbecued oysters, fried-green tomatoes and collard greens.
Liberty Barbecue will offer both counter service (for carryout or casual eat-in dining) and full table service, a large outdoor seating area and live music. Beer-lovers will find 20 brews on tap, plus a broad selection of bottles and cans. The bar program will also include affordably-priced wines and Southern-influenced cocktails with an emphasis on bourbon and tequila.
The kitchen will also house a catering operation that can feed parties ranging from 10 to 1,000 guests.
Fedorchak believes both restaurant concepts are a natural fit for the close-knit town, where people tend to know each other and the vibe is friendly. “Falls Church is very community oriented. We place a lot of value on that,” he says, “especially since we are are a locally owned and operated business. Just like in Clarendon, a member of the ownership team will be in the restaurants on a daily basis.”
The food is also a match, he adds. “Barbecue is a communal type of food that’s casual and often enjoyed in large groups. We hope to offer both value and variety in our menus, and are equally hopeful that we can earn a reputation for warm, friendly service in a comfortable environment.”