Liberty Barbecue to Unveil a New Name and Concept
The Falls Church restaurant is getting a makeover and will reopen its doors in August as 'The Falls.'
Liberty Barbecue will reopen its doors next month as The Falls with a refreshed menu, overseen by a new executive chef, and a fully renovated interior.
Still located at 370 West Broad Street in Falls Church, the Liberty Restaurant Group’s newest concept will feature mid-Atlantic and Southern cuisine, with more diverse offerings than its predecessor had. Diners can look forward to more poultry, seafood and bar options, though some fan favorites will remain.
“We have people who love our wings, we have who people love our brisket, we have people who love our fried chicken, we have people who love the full-service brunch,” says Steve Fedorchak, who along with his brother, Mark, and business partner Brian Normile, owns the Liberty Restaurant Group, which comprises The Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall and Northside Social’s Arlington and Falls Church locations. “We are going to preserve all of those elements of the restaurant while reserving the right to refine or improve them.”
“We’re expanding our offerings—not detracting so much—because there were some really awesome things that Liberty Barbecue was doing,” adds executive chef Harper McClure. “We’ve taken sort of the greatest hits, retooled them a little bit and given them a new showcase, as it were.”
McClure joined Liberty in November 2022 after a friend introduced him to Fedorchak to discuss ideas for The Falls. An alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America and a 2010 competitor on the Iron Chef TV series, he has 20 years of experience at some of the region’s best-known restaurants, including Le Diplomate and Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s Marcel’s and Brabo.
McClure is working with Liberty Barbecue chef de cuisine Wilson Giron, who will stay on through the transition. Executive pastry chef Bridie McCulla will oversee the restaurant’s house-made baked goods, including biscuits, sandwich rolls, burger buns and desserts.
Fedorchak says The Falls aims to partner with vendors from the Falls Church Farmers Market to source local and regional produce.
“Our entire team has always wanted to do more with regionally sourced ingredients, particularly seasonal vegetables,” he says, to expand the menu “beyond what is essentially traditional barbecue.”
Some of those items include corn, heirloom tomatoes, crab cakes, salads and roasted chicken.
In addition to the menu and name changes, the restaurant will look different, too. It will have booth seating and greater separation of the bar and dining areas. What had been an open kitchen will be closed off from the dining room. Patrons will also have the option to reserve a private dining area that seats up to 36.
“We wanted to make the space a little more refined,” Fedorchak says, “while still making it approachable—a neighborhood restaurant that feels comfortable if you’re going in there casually, but also feels nice enough for a special date or family celebration or whatever occasion may feel a little more special and a little more elevated.”
The thought, he says, is to bring the dining experience more in line with the ambience of Lyon Hall and The Liberty Tavern, while also meeting changing customer demand post-Covid.
“More and more people want to gather in restaurants,” Fedorchak says. “I think value right now is particularly important as we’re in such an inflationary environment. We’re committed to…making sure it’s affordable and accessible, while still maintaining really high-quality standards.”
Initially, The Falls will be open for lunch and dinner during the week, and brunch, lunch and dinner on weekends. The long-term plan is to add full-service breakfast Monday through Friday. “We’re already heavily into the breakfast business by virtue of Northside Social,” Fedorchak says. “We have a lot of fun with our breakfast business and we’re proud of it, so we’re excited to offer it there as well.”