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Nov. 29, 2005

CONTACT: Tracy Schario, 202-994-3566





GW Alumnus and Partners Bring TONIC Restaurant and Home-Style Comfort Food to GW and the Foggy Bottom/West End Neighborhood


WASHINGTON - After an extensive search for a bistro/cafe concept for the renovation of Quigley's Pharmacy, the University has selected a proposal by the co-founders of TONIC Restaurant, an American bistro in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The renovation of the 8,000 square foot building will begin in January 2006, with a planned opening of TONIC at Quigley's in January 2007.


Eric "Bernie" Bernstrom, Ilias Nathanail, and Jeremy Pollok, B.A. '94, opened TONIC Restaurant in 2003. The planned concept for TONIC at Quigley's is creating comfort food with a twist. The TONIC team takes classics and revives them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. The menu will feature favorites such as sloppy Joe's, hot dogs, mac & cheese, vegetarian dishes, lox and bagels, gourmet pizza, omelets, and pancakes. The menu will offer simple flavors with seasonal classics. The names of some menu items will reflect the character of GW and Foggy Bottom. For example, there could be an Ivory Tower Club or ANC Blue Plate Special.


            "The primary goal for the dining venue at Quigley's was a neighborhood cafe/bistro environment where there was affordable food; an inviting space to gather with friends for breakfast, meet with a professor, or have a study session; and a place welcoming to the GW community, as well as those who live and work in Foggy Bottom/West End," said Anne Dysart Vergiels, director of institutional real estate at GW. "TONIC has the potential to become the neighborhood gathering spot for GW and its neighbors."


            TONIC was selected with student input. The Student Association president and vice president of community affairs and presidential administrative fellows, along with GW staff, met to review the requirements for a restaurant at Quigley's. TONIC meets some of the key goals articulated by students for comfort food and building a sense of community and place. The restaurant also will accept Colonial Cash and offer employment opportunities for students.


            "GW is a natural fit for TONIC, not least of all because the restaurant ?cures what ails you? motto ties seamlessly with the history of Quigley's Pharmacy," said Pollok, who returned to D.C. in 2002 from the restaurant business in Brooklyn. "Bernie, Ilias, and I have the entrepreneurial spirit and a record of accomplishment in the industry to make TONIC at Quigley's a new GW tradition."


            The design concept for TONIC at Quigley's will utilize all levels of the building -- basement and three floors. There are plans for wireless access, a take-out counter, a private function room, and outdoor seating. Decor will capture the history of the building and GW through photos, period elixir and tonic advertisements, and other elements, along with several televisions for viewing Colonials basketball games or other programs. The physical environment will be designed to complement the American bistro, comfort food menu.


A lease agreement between the University and the owners of TONIC is expected to be signed in the coming weeks. In the interim, planning for the new restaurant will continue.


For more information about TONIC, please visit

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