Twelve years after it first opened, The Village Wharf Restaurant is undergoing a transformation. Gone are the pool tables. Replacing them will be cocktail tables and a stage for live musicians. Instead of coming to play pool, diners will soon be able to enjoy live entertainment.
Wali and Akbar Zadran, who took over the Village Wharf Restaurant last September, are renovating the room with new tiles, lights and decorations. There will be a new seafood bar as well. A grand re-opening is scheduled at the end of April.
In the meantime, the brothers have been busy. Wali Zadran said that they've already purchased new dishes and new wine glasses. They have also been redesigning the front room, which will be called The George Washington Room. It will be open for dining when it is not booked for private parties.
There is a new wine list, new desserts and new menu items. Chef Vicente, who has worked for The Wharf and Chart House Restaurants in Old Town, and Chef Elmer, are working on the quality of the menu.
"We've taken care of the inconsistency," said Zadran, noting that food revenue has already increased 30 percent, proof that customers are taking notice. Every weekend, there will be 12 to 14 specials.
Maynard Smith, better known as "Smitty," in Mount Vernon, said that he's been coming to the Wharf for lunch since it first opened. He's tried almost everything, but he especially likes the pork chops.
Zadran is giving the servers more training, to improve the level of service.
"We want to serve the local people," said Zadran. "For some reason we like this area."
Both brothers live in the Mount Vernon area. Zadran said that he was born in Afghanistan, but grew up in Germany. He came to the states three years ago, and already owns two restaurants; they also own Il Porto in Old Town.
"I work very hard; I'm the kind of person who doesn't give myself much time," he said.
"We want to make this place as convenient as possible — food-wise and jazz-wise."
Where & When
Village Wharf Restaurant is located at 7966 Fort Hunt Road. Hours for lunch are: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; dinner: 5-10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday and 5-11 p.m., Friday & Sunday.