Shouk, a plant-based kosher eatery, is looking to open two Montgomery County locations over the next several months.
Shouk has two locations in the District, but owner and founder Ran Nussbacher said that staying small was never his plan. “The pandemic slowed these plans,” he said, adding, “No restaurant ever opens when you think it will. With or without a pandemic.”
The new Rockville location, in Montrose Shopping Center, is slated to open in late fall. The Bethesda location, in Westwood Shopping Center, is slated to open in the winter.
Nussbacher attributed delays to supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic. “Getting building materials, or kitchen supplies, or even wall tiles — it is all backordered and delayed,” he said.
Indeed, according to Fortune, more than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments shut their doors in 2020 over the course of the repeated lockdowns in response to the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though some of these bars and restaurants were able to reopen at varying points throughout the pandemic, many closed permanently. In March, District restaurants were hit particularly hard when Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a stay-at-home order for all non-essential travel.
Despite this, Shouk has persevered and carved out a niche for itself, offering dine-in, catering and carry-out services to consumers that find themselves at the intersection of health consciousness, environmental sustainability and kosher observance.
Shouk opened its first location in Washington’s Mount Vernon Triangle in 2016 and its second at Union Market District in 2018.