The team behind Mission, the massive Mexican restaurant in Navy Yard that expects to open Friday in time for the christening of Audi Field and, a few days later, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, is very close to having pulled off the impossible: They’re going to open on time.
Actually, they’re going to meet what they said in January was their “stretch goal,” to be open at 1221 Van St. SE in time for baseball’s Midsummer Classic, being held at Nationals Park for the first time July 17.
Restaurants so notoriously run behind schedule that many restaurateurs decline to even project an opening date. When Mission Group’s Fritz Brogan and Reed Landry said Jan. 24 that they were aiming to open in roughly six months, I’ll admit I was skeptical.
So how did they pull off a $5 million buildout of a 10,000-square-foot bar and restaurant in record time? Call it The Wharf effect: If enough people want it to happen, it can be made to happen.
In this case, the office of Mayor Muriel Bowser was personally checking in on the project to help shepherd it along, said Brogan.
“It’s just a unique situation with everyone wanting it to be open by this deadline, not just us,” said Landry. With much of the neighboring development under construction, Mission will be the first restaurant to open on N Street SE, the road directly in front of Nationals Park’s main entrance.