Chef Will Artley Named Executive Chef at Hank & Mitzi’s
Chef Jamie Leeds’ JL Restaurant Group announced on October it has appointed chef Will Artley as executive chef of its newest concept, Hank & Mitzi’s Italian Kitchen. Set to debut in early 2020 in the former Hank’s Pasta Bar space in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia, the “come as you are” neighborhood restaurant and bar—named for Leeds’ beloved parents—will offer a seasonal take on regional Italian cuisine. Artley’s hire marks the first time the acclaimed Leeds will collaborate with chef talent from outside her namesake restaurant group, as well as her first foray into pizza-making.
Hankering for Something New
Leeds formally announced the newest addition to the JL team to attendees of last night’s annual Hank’s Fall Harvest dinner at Hank’s Oyster Bar Old Town, sharing that the stars had aligned for her and her longtime friend Artley to collaborate on her restaurant group’s next culinary venture.
“They say timing is everything and that couldn’t be truer in this case. In introducing pizza, I wanted to get it right and knew that Will, with his talent and experience, would help me do just that,” Leeds says.
Artley’s storied career has steered him from post-culinary school staging with chef Marcus Samuelsson in New York City, to Florida and Minneapolis, before he landed in the Washington, D.C. area, where he’s helmed some of the region’s most notable restaurants, including Evening Star Café and Pizzeria Orso.
Raising the Bar… and the Roof
Joining Leeds’ neighborhood-focused collection of concepts, including Hank’s Oyster Bar and Hank’s Cocktail Bar, Hank & Mitzi’s will feature some of the popular pasta dishes from Hank’s Pasta Bar, as well as a range of oven-fresh pizzas and an array of delectable shareable plates made using time-honored, traditional regional Italian recipes and techniques.
A beverage program described as “classic Italian with a local flair,” will accompany Hank & Mitzi’s unfussy menu. Along with the same easygoing atmosphere fans have come to expect from JL Restaurants, Hank & Mitzi’s will unveil an exciting new feature later next year: An expansive, seasonal rooftop offering al fresco dining at its best.
The team will make their first official appearance as Hank & Mitzi’s at the Art League’s Art On Tap event on Friday, November 1.
Founded in 2005 by celebrated chef and restaurateur Jamie Leeds, JL Restaurant Group is a vibrant and growing Washington, D.C.-based restaurant company. Anchored by the well-known and locally loved urban beach food spot, Hank’s Oyster Bar, with locations in Dupont Circle, Old Town Alexandria, Capitol Hill and The Wharf, the group also includes the award-winning Hank’s Cocktail Bar and the newly established JL Events.