By Stefanie Gans
Two of Vienna’s power players in the food-and-drink world will combine to launch a sandwich shop and butchery, set to open early next fall. Chase the Submarine, from Michael Amouri of Caffe Amouri and Tim Ma of Maple Ave Restaurant, will be what Ma calls a modern deli, plus a small butchery operation.
“I think we just started talking because we opened [businesses] around the same time,” Ma says of his partnership with Amouri. Ma began selling Amouri’s coffee at his restaurants and then the two became friends. “He’s a big idea man,” Ma says of Amouri, describing their friendly rap sessions centered around restaurant premises, finishing sentences of “wouldn’t this be cool?”
At the same time, Ma and his wife and partner Joey Hernandez we’re looking to open a fast, casual spot. “I’m not good at tacos,” jokes Ma, and so with sandwiches there’s room for creativity.
>>Draft menu after the jump
Sandwiches will include classics, like corned beef on rye and Italian cold cuts, plus more experimental sandwiches that Ma originally debuted at his now-defunct food truck, MAX. Those sandwiches will include pork belly banh mi and a bulgogi sub with kimchi.
Adam Musselman, from Ma’s Arlington restaurant Water & Wall (and previously from D.C.’s The Partisan and Red Apron Butchery), will lead the butchery and charcuterie program at Chase. There will be whole animal butchery, as well as pates and what Ma dubs “semi-long cured stuff,” like coppa. At this time, there isn’t a plan for a proper curing room, though Ma would eventually like to get into, what he calls “more serious stuff” like hams and prosciutto.
The creation of the 1,600-square foot shop with indoor and outdoor communal seating for 30—right near both Amouri and Ma’s businesses—has been a year-long process; Ma hops to get the signed lease back from the landlord today.
Chase the Submarine, named after Ma’s 2-year-old son, isn’t expected to open for another year. As for his 4-year-old daughter Charlotte’s namesake, “she can have something later,” says Ma. “We have other projects that we’re working on. We’ll see what actually comes to fruition. 2015 will be an interesting year. ” / Opening early fall 2015; Chase the Submarine, 132 Church St. NW, Vienna