Upshur upheaval goes on
Slim’s Diner will shut down this Sunday, the Petworth News reports, depriving the neighborhood of American breakfast standards served in a nostalgia-inducing setting full of red booths and stools. Washington City Paper confirmed the news late last night. In an email to the Petworth News, owner Paul Ruppert said Slim’s has been losing money since it opened on the corner of Georgia Avenue NW and Upshur Street in June 2016. Ruppert, who owns Room 11 and the Petworth Citizen, says he’ll take time to consider whether he wants to revamp the business or sublet the building to another restaurant. The shutter of Slim’s follows two other closures on the neighborhood’s main drag: Hank’s Cocktail Bar folded in December, a month after South American wine bar Ruta del Vino went bust. [Petworth News]
Sushi chef shortage
So many high-end sushi restaurants have opened in the District that there aren’t enough skilled chefs to supply them all, Washingtonian reports. Sushiko owner Daisuke Utagawa tells the publication that he’s had to temporarily close his well-reviewed omakase counter, Kōbō, because he’s down to three sushi chefs. He says “people poach them” after they’ve trained at Sushiko. A tendency for talented chefs to stay in one place and an ongoing skepticism of female and non-Japanese chefs also reportedly contributes to the issue. [Washingtonian]
Frederick Uku, a bartender at Bloomingdale favorite the Red Hen, became a naturalized U.S. citizen last month. WCP reports the harrowing story of how the service industry helped him survive during a decade as an undocumented immigrant from Nigeria. [WCP]
New spot for West African
Tom Sietsema’s weekly chat took an odd turn yesterday when a questioner looked to the Washington Post dining critic for some relationship advice.