In a city with a large population, hoards of tourists and politicos, plus a bevy of restaurants, it’s not easy for a restaurant to stand out. But Duke’s Grocery is doing just that. A week doesn’t go by without a stellar review or press mention of Duke’s Grocery.
Best Bites describes Duke’s Grocery as the best restaurant for brunch in Dupont Circle. “This brick-walled, Brit-inspired East Dupont destination for oversized sandwiches and strong cocktails draws daytime diners with a chalkboard brunch menu. Our favorite hangover cure: the English brekkie, a strapping plate that includes bacon, braised mushrooms, runny eggs, toast, and roasted tomato.”
What is Duke’s Grocery doing to garner rabid fans and earned media? The Iceologist sat down with owner Daniel Kramer to learn how this casual neighborhood joint has positioned itself as one of DC’s go-to restaurants.
The Iceologist: Congratulations on your success, Daniel! I read you take your inspiration from East London “greasy spoons”. How did you come up with the concept for Duke’s Grocery?
Daniel: Duke’s Grocery is inspired by a very unique part of London, historically an affordable (by London standards) working-class part of town with tons of creatives and immigrants. The community is an eclectic mix of artists, immigrants and blue collar folks. You’ll find a curry shop next door to a gritty pub, an Asian restaurant with a diner down the street. There’s an edgy, avant-garde feel that I wanted to bring back to DC. We love this juxtaposition of cuisines, food and ingredients from around the world.
The Iceologist: Tell me more about your unique brunch offerings.