Months after its targeted opening, a D.C.-based seafood restaurant prepares to open its third location in Bethesda Tuesday.
The Salt Line, which has two other locations in Virginia and in Washington, D.C., will open at 7284 Woodmont Ave., in downtown Bethesda. The seafood-focused eatery was originally slated to open in fall 2022, but experienced what chef and partner Kyle Bailey described as regular delays.
“Normally, there’s always something,” he said. “There’s so many moving pieces to opening a restaurant, so many finishing touches.”
Bailey said he’s excited to finally be ready to open.
“We had friends and family last night and the night before, and one of the things I heard most from people who are living out here, they’re like super excited saying ‘I’m so happy to have a Salt Line in my backyard. This is amazing,’” he said. “Another really cool thing that I heard was it feels ‘neighborhoody.’”
Bailey, who lives in Washington, D.C., is originally from Pennsylvania and has a long resume cooking in restaurants including Birch & Barley, ChurchKey and luxury resorts in the Caribbean before joining Long Shot Hospitality in 2016 and later becoming a partner, which includes The Salt Line and Dauphine’s, in the Washington, D.C. area.
The Salt Line executive chef Eric McKamey said there’s plenty that separates the Bethesda location from the other two. The Bethesda location will have one bar with a focus on restaurant dining and a small patio section compared with the other two, which offer separate outdoor bars with larger outdoor seating, he said.
McKamey, who has lived in the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. area his whole life, has cooked in the area for over two decades working at restaurants including Palena, Citizen and Momofuku before working with The Salt Line.
The menu for the Bethesda location will also exclusively offer a Maine-style crab roll, similar to the eatery’s Maine-style lobster roll but with a slightly different sauce that’s more citrus forward with finely sliced celery and chives to finish.
McKamey said the raw bar is really the star of the show for a dining experience at The Salt Line.
“The Salt Line experience is very heavily centered [on the] raw bar,” he said. “As you walk into the host stand through the front door, it’s one of the first things you’ll see off to the right, right at the bar. So, I really think that the raw bar is kind of like the focal point for it and then it’s kind of building your adventure from there.”
There will not be any specials for the grand opening Tuesday and the restaurant will be open from 4 p.m. with the last reservations at 9 p.m. and walk-ins until 9:30 p.m. McKamey said managers plan to add brunch to the location later.