Chef Geoff Tracy is on the move.
The Washington, DC restaurateur is set to open his sixth restaurant—and fourth Chef Geoff’s—in Rockville on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Tracy is moving to New York City, where his wife, television journalist Norah O’Donnell, recently began a new gig as co-anchor of CBS This Morning.
Tracy still will be checking in on his DC restaurants. (He plans to stay in DC fulltime until January as the Rockville restaurant gets up to speed.)
Meanwhile, Chef Geoff’s Rockville is “staffed and ready to open,” said Meghan McCourt, human resources director for the restaurant group.
The restaurant will occupy the former longtime home of Houston’s steak house and the short-lived Againn Tavern, at 12256 Rockville Pike.
It will serve lunch and dinner every day and brunch on Sundays. (It will be closed for brunch this coming Sunday, when the restaurant will open at 4 p.m.)
Hours are as follows:
- Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
- Brunch: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sundays (except for Sept. 16).
- Dinner: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday-Saturday).
- Bar: Open until midnight daily.
“Our menu specializes in something for everyone,” McCourt said. “You can come to our restaurant and get a great burger and a beer at our bar or you can come to our restaurant and get a four-course meal in our dining room which has great attention to detail and everything made from scratch.”
The kids menu features “lots of options presented in a fun way,” she said.
Customers that are accustomed to the dark-wood paneling and steak house-turned-tavern ambiance of Houston’s and Againn, will notice a new look designed by Tracy.
“Geoff really made a very homey and welcoming space,” McCourt said. “He really lightened up the colors inside.”
The interior features changes to the ceiling and bar area and different floor levels, she said.
The restaurant was scheduled to hold a "soft opening" on Monday and Tuesday. Chef Geoff’s fans received email invitations to purchase tickets, which quickly sold out.
Tracy displayed a sense of humor as his Facebook status updates described the chaos of the restaurant's opening.
"Mock service training is going on lunch and dinner," he posted on Friday. "There are still contractors all over the place. Chairs arrived yesterday. Tables today. Booths tomorrow. Electrician inadvertently cut a beer line and a newly installed belt on a make up air vent created a plume of dust to cover everything in the kitchen. THIS is why I don't carry a gun."
Wednesday's soft opening showed some improvement, according to another Facebook update: "Practice service today. Lunch was a lot like a root canal. Pizza oven crashed. Dinner worked much better with better timing and flow. Still a ways to go. Thanks to all who helped out with feedback."
While the soft opening aimed at training the restaurant's staff, “We never stop hiring,” McCourt said. “If there was someone great out there, we want them on our team.”
Hospitality and culinary professionals who would like to apply can stop by Chef Geoff's Rockville from 2 to 5 p.m. daily or may send their resume to McCourt at email@example.com.
“We are hiring in all of our locations,” McCourt said. “Lia’s in Chevy Chase is just seven miles from Rockville.”
McCourt said she is confident Chef Geoff’s Rockville is ready for its first day. “We’re going to be rocking and rolling and I’m sure the atmosphere will be fun and lively,” she said.
Tracy’s other restaurants in the Washington metropolitan area: