Ellsworth Place Updates Opening Plans for Commas Food Hall, Outback Steakhouse

Ellsworth Place management has announced new opening dates for the Commas food hall and Outback Steakhouse.

Trey Culpepper, Senior Vice President of GBT Realty, the owners of Ellsworth Place, stated during a recent virtual meeting about the mall’s residential development plans that Commas is set to open in Q1 2024, and Outback is scheduled to open at the beginning of the year.

An Ellsworth Place representative confirmed these opening dates to the Source by email this week, noting that Commas is anticipated to open in late March.

Construction is currently in progress for the 13,000-square-foot Commas food hall on the third floor of Ellsworth Place. There will be 12 food and beverage vendors, focusing on international foods from local producers, suppliers, chefs, and restaurant owners.

Last year, the first four vendors to sign leases at Commas were announced:

DMV Empanadas was founded by Bolivian siblings Marco and Nacho Almaraz. The company has been selling hand-held snacks at farmers’ markets in the Washington/Baltimore area for almost a decade. Starting from their shop in Gaithersburg, the Almaraz brothers have gone from their original chicken filling to offering nearly 20 other options such as arroz, spicy pork, shrimp Old Bay, and cheeseburger.

Natalia Kalloo launched Trini Vybez as a food truck in 2020. The truck has been spotted at local food markets and festivals, and it also offers catering for private events. Trini Vybez specializes in Trinidadian street food, featuring traditional cook-ups, curries, and roti with options for vegetarians, vegans, and those who are gluten-free.

Tokoa came to life when Evelyn Cruz and Delmy Hernandez, longtime friends and restaurant workers, decided to merge their expertise and passion to craft their own takes on beloved dishes. The menu highlights a variety of cheesesteaks and burgers, ranging from timeless classics like the Philly Cheesesteak to more inventive options, such as spicy cheesesteak and cheese-filled burgers.

J&J Mex-Taqueria, a family-owned and operated establishment, has been catering to the DC community since 2015. José and José Tovar, a father-son team, are dedicated to sharing genuine Mexican recipes, flavors, and sauces that have been handed down through generations, as well as fostering connections with their customers.

Commas is the second food hall planned for downtown Silver Spring; construction of the 11-vendor Solaire Social started earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Outback Steakhouse is expected to open in early 2024, as signage was installed last month, hiring is currently in progress, and the exterior was recently repainted.

We reported in September that Outback started hiring for various positions such as managers, servers, line cooks, and bartenders. Individuals interested in applying can do so by texting HIREME to 30437 or by visiting Outback’s website.

The new restaurant in downtown Silver Spring will be the chain’s third location in Montgomery County, along with the existing restaurants in Aspen Hill and Germantown.

While Outback Steakhouse is an international chain, the company has a founder with strong local connections, according to The MoCo Show.

Chris T. Sullivan, one of Outback’s founders, attended Takoma Park Middle School and Montgomery Blair High School in the 1960s before moving on to the University of Kentucky to study business and economics.

After graduating college in 1972, he worked as a restaurant manager at Steak and Ale before opening the first Outback with his partners in 1988. Together with the other co-founders, the chain expanded to over 900 restaurants worldwide and included Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and various other hospitality-related businesses. Sullivan previously served as CEO and president of OSI Restaurant Partners, the restaurant group he founded, and is now a board member at Bloomin’ Brands.

Photo: “87a.SilverSpringMD.16August2020” by Elvert Barnes is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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