The famed restaurateur is finally opening up shop in the former president’s former D.C. hotel.
It’s said that “good things come to those who wait.” Well, after almost a decade of waiting (and litigating), famed humanitarian chef José Andrés is finally opening up that Washington, D.C., restaurant he’s always wanted, where he always wanted it — bringing his feud with former president Donald Trump to a deliciously satisfying end.
Andrés and his ThinkFoodGroup restaurant company announced Monday that the long-promised Bazaar eatery will open in the Old Post Office Pavilion, formerly Trump Hotel, just blocks from the United States Capitol and White House in Washington, D.C.
After initially signing a contract to open what was initially to be called Topo Atrio in Donald Trump’s then-planned D.C. hotel, Andrés, the James Beard award-winning chef whose humanitarian efforts have earned him both a National Humanities Medal and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, famously walked away from his contract over the Trump’s racist remarks about Mexicans during the early days of his 2016 presidential campaign. Andrés’ decision launched a years-long legal battle between himself and Trump (whom he dubbed a “a racist, a divider,” and “somebody who doesn’t love U.S.A., but himself”) featuring dueling lawsuits over breached contracts on Andrés’ part and damaged business interests on Trump’s. The case was eventually settled out of court in 2017 for an undisclosed sum.
During his presidency, Trump’s D.C. hotel became a (legally suspicious) hotbed of conservative nightlife, prompting multiple calls for investigations into the money flowing through the establishment. Trump eventually sold the property in 2021 for $375 million to be managed by the Hilton hotel group, who quickly, and ignominiously, dropped his name from the building.
Now, with Trump out of the picture, Andrés is back at the property, telling The Washington Post, “To me, it’s very symbolic, to open this restaurant in the heart of the city, to bring Bazaar to the city that gave me so much of who I am.”
As for his feud with Trump, Andrés took the high road, offering a more philosophical assessment: “It was just business. Business people conducting business.”