The management at Zinnia — Chris Brown, owner and general manager, and Justin Kaplan-Markley, operations and logistics manager — have been making some changes to the former Mrs. K’s garden area as they prep for a planned early September opening.
While they have kept Mrs. K’s gardener on the job for continuity, many of the beds will see some modifications around the traditional roses and hydrangeas customers are used to seeing.
“The beds over the years have become kind of monocultures,” Brown said, “so we’re going to try to bring in a lot of native perennials and some succession planning so different things will bloom throughout the year.”
It won’t happen all at once, though.
“We’ll focus on each bed and bring it up to what level we can,” Brown said.
The new operators of the space at 950 Dale Dr. have added a fence to close off the garden area along Kingsbury Drive to restrict access to the garden.
They’ve also added a new walkway from the front entrance to connect to the garden’s existing walkway. At the head of the new path, there will be an outdoor host stand to seat customers (both those who have reserved a table and those who walk in).
Mrs. K’s familiar black outdoor furniture will remain for service in the hardscape portion of the garden. Out on the grassy areas, Brown said they plan to provide a variety of seating, including vintage tables and chairs, Adirondack chairs, coffee tables, side tables and booths.
“[We want] a bunch of different types of furniture that will have a more relaxing, kind of garden feel,” he said.
While the menu isn’t finalized, Brown said it will be elevated pub fare, and some will be based on recipes from Mrs. K’s.
“We’re actually going to bring in some of those ingredients and recipes into the food,” Brown said.
“I think we’re going to be able to take the traditional kind of food that would go great with a beer or a glass of wine and kind of elevate to a level back when Mrs. K’s was high-end dining for the D.C. area,” he continued, “[and] have that kind of balance where you can come in, have that kind of that cool vintage feel, elevated fare, but have that relaxed garden experience.”
The opening menu also will include specialty cocktails from bar manager Dylan Greet and hot weather items like alcoholic popsicles for adults, and nonalcoholic ones for children.
New raised beds will be planted with tomatoes, berries, microgreens and edible flowers that will be used by both the kitchen and the bar as garnishes and supplements for the food and drink.
Tentative plans call for the garden area to be open during the week around 2 or 3 p.m. (“depending on when people show up”) until 8 p.m. and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, open from 11 a.m. or noon until about 9 p.m.
Photos by Mike Diegel