This article originally appeared on September 13, 2021, published by Hillrag.
With The Point, Gregory Casten is banking on both consistency and change.
From the outdoor patio of The Point (2100 Second St. SW), Casten’s new restaurant, diners have a gorgeous view of boats sailing down the Anacostia River at James Creek Marina, near where the Anacostia meets the Potomac. Casten says he expects that view to remain pristine, framed as it is by Fort McNair to the east and the Anacostia Park across the river.
“You’ve got this beautiful view at the confluence of the two rivers –there’s really nothing else like it in the District,” Casten mused, looking out from the bar.
But behind the converted former headquarters of the U.S. Coast Guard, where The Point now occupies the main floor, Casten expects everything to change. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if there’s 25 acres of untouched property in the District, it is not going to stay that way for long,” Casten observed.
Right now, it might look like The Point is a giant white elephant dropped in the middle of nowhere. The $7 million, 400-seat seafood restaurant from the co-founder of eateries such as Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place (3000 K St. NW) and Ivy City Smokehouse (1356 Okie St. NE) is set at the furthest possible end of the Buzzard Point peninsula. Sitting on the main floor of the Riverpoint Apartments, the brand-new restaurant is framed by empty lots and Audi Field looming directly to the north.
It might look like a huge risk to the untrained observer. But to Casten, who has signed a 30-year lease, The Point is a harbinger –a destination in a neighborhood that he says will shortly become the District’s playground of choice.