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“We tell people we have over 35,000 daytime employees and nearly 4,000 full-time residents. We have brilliant new parks. Great Metro accessibility. Capitol Hill is part of our trade area. We like to say we had an initial wave of development, and then 2008 happened. But the next wave is going to come.”

By Opening Day of the 2013 baseball season, Mr. Stevens said, he expects as many as 10 new restaurants to be opened in the area, including an Asian restaurant, a 3,500-square-foot tavern and a 24-hour diner.

New York City chef Michael White is expected to open an Italian restaurant in the Lumbershed, a building that is being renovated and overlooks the park and river walk that extends from just behind Nationals Park to the Navy Yard.

Similarly, the Navy Yard’s old Boilermaker building soon will host upscale shops and restaurants, including Buzz Bakery and Bluejacket brew pub — both operated by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which currently runs Churchkey restaurant in Northwest and Rustico restaurants in Virginia.

“You can’t ask for a better spot for a brewery than right outside Nationals Park,” said Megan Bailey, public relations director for the restaurant group. “We think we’ll be well-received. On any given night, we’ll be serving the home team fans, the neighborhood and hopefully fans of the visiting team as well.”

For Nationals fans such as Mr. Frederick and the team’s front-office staff alike, a future where Justin’s Cafe isn’t the only bustling neighborhood spot can’t come soon enough.

“Right now, we have to get in a car and drive eight to 10 blocks to the waterfront to go out as a group on a nongame day,” Mr. Feffer said. “Soon, you’ll be able to walk. So it becomes part of the social experience.

“It’s like Chinatown. Fifteen years ago, you wouldn’t go out there. You’d go to Georgetown and Adams Morgan. Now the clubs and restaurants are there. Some of our players live there. It’s not unrealistic to think that the next great area in Washington will be by the ballpark.”

And in the meantime?

“We’re big patrons of Subway and Potbelly around here,” Mr. Feffer said with a laugh.