Veteran restaurateurs sign on to bring a new concept to Gateway Arts District 

Rendering of The Singer Building and Singer Flats in Mount Rainier, Maryland. A new restaurant/bar tenant has been signed for space once occupied by the First National Bank of Mount Rainier.  (foreground).

Today The Menkiti Group announces that a group of veteran restaurateurs with ties to award-winning restaurants, including Bar Pilar, Café Saint-Ex, and several Passion Food Group locations, has signed on to open a new bar and restaurant at The Singer Building in the heart of Mount Rainier, Maryland, later this fall. One of the latest Menkiti Group redevelopment projects, The Singer Building is anticipated to deliver in September of this year.

Members of the pioneering Pilar/Saint-Ex group Erin Edwards and Executive Chef Jesse Miller have teamed up with Garrick Lumsden, formerly with Passion Food Group, to launch the new concept. The three were attracted to the historic charm and location of the 3,000-square foot site at 3310 Rhode Island Ave., situated on the Mount Rainier circle, just two blocks northeast of the District line.

“We love the close-knit, artistic community that already is thriving in Mount Rainier,” say co-owners Edwards, Miller, and Lumsden. “We hope to create a welcoming spot where neighbors can eat, drink and gather throughout the day, and look forward to working side-by-side with other businesses, artists, and residents to create new opportunities in the heart of the neighborhood.”

Bar Pilar and Café Saint-Ex have been iconic neighborhood gathering places in the popular 14th Street Corridor of NW Washington, DC, since the 2003 opening of Café Saint-Ex. The trio hopes to bring a similar spirit and community attraction from their collective experience to the burgeoning market of Mount Rainier.

“We’re thrilled to have such talented and experienced operators joining The Singer Building project,” said Rob Foa, Managing Director of MG Commercial. “This is further affirmation that the authentic small-town charm and proximity of Mount Rainier is being discovered by both residents and businesses from the District. The word is out and we expect this new restaurant and bar to be a big draw for the community.”

The Singer Building project includes approximately 10,000-square feet of retail and restaurant space, as well as 11 rental apartment units, and applications are now being accepted at Additional retail spaces are available for lease; for more information or to visit the project, contact Rob Foa, Managing Director of MG Commercial,, 202-808-8245.