In October 2013 we wrote about the announcement of a new restaurant coming to Brookland here. Recently we have reached out to the proprietor Miles Gray of the soon to be open restaurant “Smith Public Trust” on 12th Street, to give us some more information about this new business and to give us a sneak peek.
Here are some photos starting with how the space looked like before the renovation. They also show some of the interesting features, like the bar made out of a cut up shipping container:
Miles was kind enough to answer some questions for us:
– Please introduce yourself (Restaurant Group) to our readers.
Howdy. I’m Miles Gray, I’ve been involved in food and beverage, in some capacity or another, for about eight years. Most recently as Managing Partner at Smith Commons on H St. NE. I’m also directing DC Beer Week for the 2nd consecutive year.
– What motivated you to choose Brookland as the location for your new restaurant?
Brookland is one of DC’s true hidden gems. With it’s abundance of history, religious and educational institutions as well it’s diversity, artistic support and strong sense of community, it was kind of a no brainer.
– What is the new place going to be called, and is there a specific reason why?
The new place is named Smith Public Trust. “The concept of the public trust relates back to the origins of democratic government and it’s seminal idea that within the public lies the true power and future of a society; therefore, whatever trust the public places in it’s officials must be respected.” We hope to be a space for great exchange of ideas, cultural learning and mixing of demographics.
– What is going to be the concept of the new place? Hours / Seats / Food / Targeted audience?
In relation to the food and beverage, I can’t say that we have a “concept” in it’s most common sense. More abstractly we hope to be a place for all people from all walks of life. We hope to operate from 11AM to 11PM during the week, offering approachable creative cuisine, cold pressed juices, locally roasted single origin coffee, smoothies, craft cocktails, craft beer and free high speed wi-fi. We have about 99 seats for dining, drinking, working and hanging out, an arcade/viewing room in the back with a set of bleachers and 100 inch projector, as well as an outdoor patio space. We also have a stage for live music. Our target audience is good people who want to spread that good vibe.
During construction, we’ve really been inspired by the tae kwon do facility next door and their students. We’ve been fortunate to see the parents of all ages and students from all walks of life come together several times a week to learn together. This sort of organic diversity is rare in DC, but seems intrinsic to the landscape of Brookland. We hope to create a similar environment, which complements the neighborhood – a space where people from different backgrounds can come and converse, share ideas and enjoy each other. There are thousands of places in the city that sell food and beverage, but very few with a sense of history and desire to celebrate all people for who they are. We firmly believe in the collective power of the people. If we are fortunate, we will create a progressive space that reflects the past and present of the neighborhood, The District, and the United States while projecting a bright sense of our collective future. That is our goal.
– Who can people contact, if there are interested in employment?
Our GM, Philip Peters at pj(dot)peters11(at)gmail(dot)com>
– When are you planning to open?
We hope to open within the next couple of weeks.
– Are you planning a soft opening phase or an immediate Grand Opening?
We will do a soft opening phase to test out our systems. We’ll put the word out via Twitter @PublicTrustDC .
– Is there anything else you would like to share with the Brookland community?
I’d like to let the Brookland community know that we are happy to be here and we are grateful for the warm welcome that we’ve been given thus farm. Please feel free to talk to us on twitter @PublicTrustDC. Cheers.