A section of the closed Milan restaurant on Eastern Avenue in Little Italy is reopening as Affogato Café & Gelato within two weeks, its new owner Alain Kalantar said today. But that’s only part of the project.
Alain, a D.C. restaurateur who has been in the hospitality business for 20 years, is also renovating the rest of the multilevel building into a full-scale restaurant that he’s hoping will be open in August.
He didn’t want to share the details of the concept at this time, calling it a “surprise.” “A lot of money plus hearts and souls are going into this,” he said. “I’m looking forward to my new city.”
Milan opened to great fanfare in 2010 but closed due to zoning violations two years later. The building, at the corner of 1000 Eastern Avenue and Exeter Street, has been vacant since.
The new café, pictured, will carry several gelato flavors and spinoffs like gelato popsicles and sugar-free options. A variety of specialty coffees will also be offered. “I want to be a neighborhood hangout,” Alain said.