Tomorrow, September 1, the breakfast-centered eatery Butter Me Up is opening its first full-service D.C. restaurant right off of 14th Street.
As one of the notable culinary success stories from the pandemic, Butter Me Up quickly became a hotspot for indulgent to-go breakfast sandwiches. Within its first year as a ghost kitchen out of Half Smoke, it sold over 72,000 breakfast sandwiches and became a food critic darling. In 2021, they opened their first storefront in Bethesda. Now, the new space promises a more refined aesthetic with a twist.
“The main difference is that the Bethesda location was designed for family and kids,” says founder Andre McCain. “Whereas here, it’s designed to be a destination for millennial adults with their version of a kid, which in most cases is a pet.”
The Lego wall and bunk beds seen at the Bethesda location are swapped for a trendy millennial pink aesthetic with gold accents, wicker finishes, and plants aplenty. There is a bucket for dog toys, and the outside space is geared for dogs and owners to mingle. Dog food and treats will also be offered for purchase.
McCain’s purpose for such a dog-centric space is rooted in wanting to serve the surrounding community.
“We’ve been here for about a year as part of the opening process, and it’s been a lot of time getting to know the neighborhood, getting to know the neighbors, talking with them, seeing what their wants and needs are,” he says. “When you live in this hyper-dense urban neighborhood such as 14th Street, there are very limited places that you can go with your dog, so there’s a big need for this.”
As for menu updates, in addition to their breakfast sandwiches, toasts, smoothies and açaí bowls, they will also be adding salads and creating a drink menu focused on champagne-base cocktails. McCain named the warmed smoked salmon salad a must-try.
Even with all the changes, Butter Me Up is still focused on sourcing DMV businesses and distributors.
“The origin story of Butter Me Up was to create something that could support local vendors during Covid-19. I felt like they got overlooked in terms of the support that went towards restaurants.”
McCain and his team continuously work to find DMV products and ingredients they can incorporate in their dishes. Guests can expect fresh bread made daily by Panorama Bakery, meat from Landover Maryland’s MeatCrafters, pickles from Gordy’s Pickle Jar, coffee from women-owned Red Rooster, and eggs sourced from various nearby farms.
“It is more expensive to source local, but what we’ve also found — and I think it has contributed to how we were able to win best breakfast sandwich — is that it’s way higher quality than what you would normally see for a breakfast sandwich. It is more expensive, but it tastes better.”
Above all, McCain’s goal for the all-day breakfast spot is to offer a sense of home for the whole neighborhood.
“Breakfast historically has certainly been a meal consumed at home,” McCain says. “Our top seller is a fried chicken sandwich called Feels Like Home. What we’re trying to replicate in terms of the menu, design and service culture is the concept of eating breakfast at home without having to do the work and the cleanup.”
Butter Me Up opens September 1, and will be open every day from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Butter Me Up: 1409 T St. NW, DC; buttermeupdc.com
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