Hello Betty, a California coast transplant, opens this summer at Pike & Rose. Photograph courtesy of Hello Betty
Hello Betty fish shop has been perched on the beach in Oceanside, Calif., for eight years, offering fish tacos, fried seafood baskets and cold beers to surfers and sand lovers. Now, the restaurant is expanding for the first time with a giant indoor/outdoor location in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development — it’s slated to open this spring.
The new Hello Betty won’t have a view of the water, but Sage Restaurant Concepts, a Denver-based company that operates bicoastal spots as well as King & Rye in Alexandria, is thinking of creative ways to bring the beach to Bethesda. . Chief Derek Simcik, which got its start cooking in the DC area at restaurants such as Cafe Milano in Georgetown and Jackson 20 in Alexandria, plans a seafood-focused menu that blends Californian classics with downtown traditions. Atlantic. Hello Betty’s tacos, fish ‘n’ chips and peel-and-eat shrimp will be joined by Chesapeake inspirations like a crab-stuffed “Maryland roll.” Simcik also plans to use an open fire oven in the 138-seat dining room to create a bonfire game on the beach at a Maryland crab feast, where Chesapeake blue crabs are roasted, tossed with vinegar and Old Bay, and served by the bucket to crack.
Another nod to the shores of Maryland: a huge boat bar on the equally huge 167-seat patio. The team refitted an old 40-foot Deltaville Deadrise – a classic Chesapeake workboat – and transformed it into a 23-seat bar for sipping orange crushes and local beers. Groups can also order “buckets” of drinks served in vintage Igloo coolers.
The restaurant will offer lunch and dinner daily, happy hour and weekend brunch.
Hello Betty. 940 Rose Avenue, North Bethesda.