WASHINGTON -- Call us cynical, but news of Wagamama's renewed pledge to open a store in Penn Quarter doesn't instill much confidence.
Bisnow Media reports that the London-based noodle chain still plans to open a location at 418 7th St., NW:
JT O'Neill Company's James O'Neill, the real estate broker who's helping bring Wagamama to DC, tells us the latest projected opening is this fall. Wagamama cites the poor economy abroad and here as reason for the delay. James adds that when it does arrive, Penn Quarter likely won't be the only location. The chain is looking to invest in four or five more spots in and around the DC and Baltimore region. No word yet on possible locations—or when they might arrive.
That declaration might be more encouraging if Wagamama hadn't staked a claim on the Penn Quarter space some four years ago, the space remaining empty ever amid continually pushed-back opening dates ever since.
DCist, however, reminds us that the supposed opening comes at a time when the chain is retooling its U.S. concept.
According to Big Hospitality, the re-imagining includes an expanded color scheme, new lighting, booth seating and the installation of TV screens. Of course, that plan was reported two years ago; isn't it time to get on with it already?
HuffPost blogger Sean Carman recently voiced his frustration with Wagamama's lack of progress, comparing the long stretch of anticipation with playwright Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot."
But as Carman rightly asserts, "All we can do is wait."