Leesburg’s Döner On the Move

Leesburg’s Döner Bistro is about to get a new address but it isn’t going very far.

Döner Bistro’s Leesburg location has been in operation at 202-A Harrison Street, home of the Mighty Midget Kitchen, for the past 11 years. But this summer, patrons of the restaurant will have to get their döner fix at the Virginia Village shopping center, less than a mile down the road.

Owner Timo Winkel said they are excited about the new space, which will have a 3,000-square-foot of beer garden and a beer hall inside the building at 13-C Fairfax St. Most of the cooking will be done inside a food truck, and will include Döner’s signature items, like the popular Turkish hand food it is named for, as well as some new additions. Winkel said they are looking forward to collaborating with the farmer’s market that sets up at the center on Saturdays, and are planning to offer brunch items on weekends with produce from market vendors.

The beverage selection will include two dozen beers on tap—12 German brews and 12 local beers, Winkel said, with the potential to double that capacity in the future. Wines from the Leesburg area also will be offered.

The restaurant will also include a 50-person capacity room that can be rented for special events, Winkel said.

Winkel and his co-owner wife Nicole are referring to it as a “pop-up” beer garden space, acknowledging that eventually the shopping center will be redeveloped. But both Winkel and shopping center owner Brian Cullen envision Döner as a long-term tenant even after redevelopment begins.

Next weekend’s Mai Fest, on Saturday, May 11, will serve as the last big bash at the Döner’s location on Harrison Street. Winkel said plans are to wind down operations at there in June, with hopes to be open at the new location by the end of that month. He is hoping there is only a two-week lapse in operations with equipment being moved over and final inspections.

Since the Döner opened on Harrison Street in 2008, the Winkels added two other locations in Adams Morgan in Washington, DC, and Frederick, MD. The Adams Morgan location has since closed, but Winkel said the move in Leesburg will have no impact on the Frederick location.

It will be a full circle move of sorts for the Döner. Before setting up its first brick and mortar space on Harrison Street, the restaurant began as a food truck stationed in the Virginia Village shopping center for two years. Winkel said there is a “mixed bag of emotions” leaving Harrison Street and the Mighty Midget Kitchen, a recycled piece of a B29 bomber where all of the restaurant’s food was cooked. But he acknowledges they had outgrown the location and are brimming with positivity about what the future looks like for the Döner.

For more information about Döner Bistro, go to doener-usa.com.


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