I think it's safe to say that Petworth area residents have been waiting in anticipation for the opening of Slim's Diner (4201 Georgia Avenue NW) for quite some time. There were hopes of a Fall opening, then maybe Winter... and now, according to owner Paul Ruppert, if everything goes well with the electrician finishing his work, the diner should open next month, mid-April.
I met up with Paul to talk about the diner and what's new with the building. Paul leased the Murrell Building along 9th, Upshur and Georgia Avenue last year with the intent of opening a restaurant in the first floor and putting his company offices on the 2nd floor. The building has yet one more level, so Paul has created a new gathering place called "3rd Floor." That space is now available to book for parties, fundraisers, community meetings, music and more.
The 3rd Floor space has already been used by Upshur Street Books for author readings, a non-profit fundraiser, a birthday party and several other functions. The Molotov Theater Group will be using the space on upcoming Monday nights for their "Wickedly Good Reading Series" where they will read through one new play each week, for free (donations requested).
You can get free tickets on their reservation website.
Paul said public/community meetings can reserve 3rd Floor at no cost, while for other groups the charge will depend upon the event being held.
"We hope to use the 3rd Floor to help bring people to Petworth and make it useful for people inside and out of the area to use the space to do their things," Paul said. "We see it as a community-serving spot, which is why we're offering the space for free for community meetings."
As for Slim's, Paul said they are hoping that mid-April will see the opening of the diner. He plans to start with a week preview so they can work on the menu and get any kinks out. Contracting delays were the main obstacle to getting Slim's open sooner, Paul said. Now they're moving pretty quickly and are waiting for the electrician to finalize some work.
As I wrote about in the Fall, Slim's Diner is going to be, as Paul describes it, "A traditional diner, not a nostalgic one," so plan on traditional diner fare like pancakes, eggs and bacon, burgers and sandwiches. They'll even have a baker on-site making their own pies, brownies and other baked goods.
As you can see in the photos below (Paul made me promise to label them "construction" photos), they're close to being done. Some drywall around the front door, some final electrical work and then the ceiling drywall has to go up, along with wallpaper and a jukebox.
Paul said they are close to choosing both the baker and the chef for Slims, and on locking down on the menu. "We'll have traditional food and we'll have a small bar, so expect to see spiked milkshakes as well," Paul said with a smile.
When it opens, Slim's will be open 7 days a week, 7am to midnight weeknights, 2am closing on weekends.
- The opposite of a Slim chance: an interview with Paul Ruppert (Sept 13, 2015)
- Slim's Diner getting closer to opening (Oct 06, 2015)
- Petworth Citizen & DC Reynolds on the Great American Cooking Story (Jan 14, 2016)
- Crane & Turtle to close in April, Ruppert thinking of what's to come (Feb 29, 2016)