Scheduled for late summer, the company-owned site will mark the fourth international city the 54-strong restaurant chain has launched in, following Oslo; Amsterdam; and Utrecht.
Founder John Vincent hopes to introduce the brand’s ‘Naturally Fast Food’ concept to the US market and will carry the chain’s environmentally friendly initiatives (such as using renewable energy sources; increasing the amount of plant-based dishes; and removing plastic straws) across to the Washington outpost.
“We chose D.C. as our entry point into the US market because of its culturally creative mindset, pedestrian-friendly landscape, and ‘foodie-lifestyle’,” said Vincent.
“Choosing the first American city is like trying to choose from your favorite box of chocolates. After D.C. we are looking forward to opening in other cities that have a similar culture of dynamism, positivity and possibility.”
Glenn Edwards, Leon UK’s former operations director, is taking the role of managing director at Leon US and has moved to Washington to direct the new opening.
The restaurant chain recently signed a deal with food travel specialist HMSHost International, which will result in 20 Leon sites opening across Europe over the next two years
This spring, Leon teamed up with Aylmer Aaharn, the Thai food group co-owned by chef David Thomson, to launch a Thai pop-up in its one of its existing West End restaurants. The first link up between Leon and the Bangkok-based company, Tuk Shop serves Thai curries, noodles, rice dishes and salads using Leon’s fast food model.
Leon was founded in 2004 by John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby, along with well-known chef Allegra McEvedy, with the aim to make it easy for everybody to eat and live well.