Macon Bistro & Larder has taken over additional space in the Chevy Chase Arcade building and is planning to transform it into a new dining area plus bar called The Magnolia Room.
The restaurant and the new space are not contiguous, but they will share the same French-Southern menu. (Macon Bistro gets its name from both Macon, France and Macon, Ga., the latter of which is chef/owner Tony Brown's hometown.)
The new space can be divided in two by a velvet curtain. On one side will be a private dining area and overflow seating for Macon; the other side will be devoted to The Magnolia Room, which will have total seating for 20 including six at the bar. Brown says he expects the expanded area to be a little quieter with more "acoustically minded" upholstered furniture.
The Magnolia Room will have a "pub-y" feel and play sports and political events on its TVs. Bartenders will serve classic cocktails using small-batch spirits as well as craft beers. And whereas Macon's wine list is exclusively French, The Magnolia Room's list will be "more wordly" with eight to ten reds and eight to ten whites by the glass and bottle. A bar menu will also be available with snacks like deviled eggs and spiced nuts.
"We wanted to create more of a hangout place where folks could feel comfortable sitting and having cocktails and where they had their own space," Brown says. He adds that there have been a lot of requests for private events since Macon opened last year.
Brown is hoping to open The Magnolia Room by the beginning of February.