A Takoma-inspired eatery is headed for Takoma Park this Spring. Credit: Akira Kyles

A local motorcycle-riding cat inspired Chris Brown, owner of Zinnia in Silver Spring, and Danny Wells, executive chef of Zinnia and a Takoma Park native, to create Motorkat, a restaurant set to open this spring.

Brown said they wanted to do something different than the typical concepts that follow New York or San Francisco trends, which led them to find inspiration for their new venture close to home, in a news release from the restaurant.

Just as the concept of the restaurant was inspired by Takoma Park, the name was inspired by one of the local legends.

“The city is well known for its affinity to symbolize animal inspired heroes like city mascot Roscoe the Rooster, but Motorkat was first,” Wells said in the release. “Motorkat is a legend, who cruised the streets of Takoma Park on a motorcycle, inspiring the community around her to live fast. We centered our concept around this symbolism and the progressive roots of Takoma Park.”

According to a 1993 Washington Post article, Motor Cat was a slightly pudgy cat who rode around with her riding partner J. Catman on a Suzuki 500, with both riders wearing helmets. Roscoe the Rooster was a rooster that wandered Takoma Park in the 1990s, defied authorities and found sanctuary with business owners and residents, according to Main Street Takoma’s website.

Motorkat, which will be located at 6939 Laurel Ave., will have a rotating menu based on what’s in season. Some menu items include small plates ranging from specialty breads like sourdough toast topped with lemon ricotta, roasted beets, grapefruit, and honey-roasted almonds, to vegetable and grain preparations like Sunchokes with guanciale and buttermilk-miso ranch.


The restaurant will begin service with a raw bar featuring Gulf shrimp with citrus and avocado in addition to a variety of Chesapeake Bay, New England, and Pacific oysters on the half-shell.