Kitty’s Saloon Coming to H Street – “Come enjoy some southern inspired Contemporary Redneck Cuisine”

IMG_9088
1208 H Street, NE

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard about the Souk space which closed in Nov. 2012. Renovations starting were reported back in Sept. 2013 and now their facebook page says:

“The Atlas District welcomes Chef J. Scott Webster and his newest venture, Kitty’s Saloon! Come enjoy some southern inspired Contemporary Redneck Cuisine. Coming Summer 2014!!”

Their website says:

“The Atlas District welcomes Chef J. Scott Webster to the neighborhood! With 10 years experience as the executive Chef for Clyde’s Group and a history with Marcel Desaulniers at the Trellis Restaurant, he is finally ready to break the mold.

Scott’s southern upbringing and midwestern influences will pop off of your plate with his signature mouth-waterin’ good Contemporary Redneck Cuisine.

Come on in and cozy up with some Cornbread and Gator Tots while Scott cooks up your fixin’s in the kitchen.”

Kitty’s is located right between the Queen Vic and Vendetta. Updates when they get closer to opening.

IMG_9090

Formerly Souk:

souk

83 Comment

  • I am completely cringing that anyone has put together the phrase “Contemporary Redneck Cuisine.”

    • justinbc

      +1
      I wish them well for now, but if I have to pay $15-30 for something that pokes fun at PWT then they might as well not even open the doors.

      • Assuming PWT stands for Poor White Trash, then you’re as bad as they are.

        • justinbc

          I grew up with a bunch of rednecks in my family, and a lot of PWT. It is what it is, sorry you can’t handle the phrase. There’s a difference between calling things as they are and trying to capitalize off of them though, if you can’t see that then you’re the one with issues.

          • +1 nothing wrong with using PWT the way you did. It’s only when people use it to belittle others that it’s offensive m

          • I can handle the phrase, and your excuse is as stupid as black people saying it’s ok for them to call other black people the N word. And calling people “Trash” isn’t “calling things as they are.” It’s idiotic. If you can’t see that then you’re the one with issues.

          • touchy touchy, its just an effin restaurant

          • Ignore the troll J, he’s now blanket calling black people stupid. No need to apologize for condemning someone else’s bad taste.

          • “Ignore the troll J, he’s now blanket calling black people stupid.”
            .
            …???? Because “black people saying it’s ok for them to call other black people the N word” is obviously referring to all black people? Jesus Christ!
            .
            Calling people “trash” or racial slurs is bad (duh). Any excuse to justify it, at least the excuses presented so far, are stupid.

          • justinbc

            If it’s not clear that I was stating this business should not be trying to profit off of something that is generally seen as derogatory then I’m not sure what more I can do to turn down your Offend-O-Meter. Using a word / phrase / whatever to describe a situation in where that word should not be used shouldn’t get your panties in a knot, but we are in DC, so, no surprise there.

        • That’s common!

    • Me too. I walked by over the weekend and it looks cute on the outside, but that tagline needs some revision.

    • “Free set of Trucknutz with every check over $150!”

    • +1. Ugh.

  • jim_ed

    This is the definition of being too clever by half. Set aside the fact that this place is mixing its stupid concept metaphors of the old west (chuck wagon, saloon, pictures of a shootout) with its stupid concept metaphors of the south (redneck, gator tots), and this place still reeks of Epcot Center novelty. Maybe I’ll be totally wrong when this place opens, but on face value its a strong contender to replace the Charlie Chaplin dumpling house as dumbest restaurant of 2014.

    • justinbc

      Oh god, I hadn’t even seen the website. What the hell?

    • Don’t forget the name. Given the website I assume it’s a reference to Gunsmoke’s Miss Kitty.

      • Gunsmoke, which took place in Kansas. Which makes “Contemporary Redneck Cuisine” more confusing.

        • “Cowboy” or “Western” food isn’t Southern. It’s beef, beef and more beef ( ’cause it’s around), BBQ, chili, Mexican food (depending on what part of the West) and good, hearty portions (cowboying is hard work). Just goes to show how ill thought out this place is.

        • justinbc

          You mean Kansas isn’t famous for it’s gator tots?

      • jim_ed

        which adds just a little extra dash of eyeroll, considering Miss Kitty was always implied to be a prostitute. On a totally unrelated note, I LOVE listening to old episodes of Gunsmoke on NPR on Sunday nights, which may be the most pretentious, cliche urban liberal thing I’ve ever said, but I don’t care because oldtime radio dramas are awesome.

        • Not that Wikipedia is the most reliable source out there, but:
          “Kitty’s profession was hinted at, but never explicit; in a 1953 interview with TIME, [creator Norman] MacDonnell declared, ‘Kitty is just someone Matt has to visit every once in a while. We never say it, but Kitty is a prostitute, plain and simple.'”

        • Hipster. ;-)

        • epric002

          i highly recommend listening to the big broadcast on a vintage micromatic :)

        • Gunsmoke the radio show is the BEST! It’s so well written—complex, dramatic, and adult storylines. And William Conrad is dynamite as Matt Dillon.

    • “Too clever by half” is exactly right. This could be an awesome, unpretentious little saloon but no, they have to go and gimmick the hell out of it. I love living on H Street but what do I have to do to get a normal non-novelty bar around here? Just give me a shot and a beer and a great juke box. There is no place on H Street doing the basics anymore.

        • Ah, right. Thanks for reminding me. Argonaut, Little Miss Whiskey’s and Jimmy V’s also fit this description I suppose. Although I was thinking more of a no-concept corner bar like you find all over Baltimore. Even the Pug has a theme (boxing).

          • justinbc

            Yeah, certainly not many that could just be considered “a bar”, similar to Raven or Dan’s Cafe, if that’s what you mean. I think the theme at The Pug is at least minimal, if at all even noticeable to the average patron.

        • That’s just about the only bar on H Street that hasn’t become a parody of itself.

  • Well, shucks. That is embarrassing.

  • Good Lord. I’m a born and bred Northeasterner and even I find this embarrassing and more than a little exploitative.

  • Redneckspoilation comes to mind….

  • This seems to be a trend in DC. Newly opened, less common “ethnic” restaurants in DC replaced by more traditional American fair. Moroccan > Southern, (Little Ricky’s) Cuban > Southern, (TANN) Japanese Noodles > Jersey/Gulf shore Seafood.

    Funny for all the changes in DC, it remains at heart a mid-sized Mid-Atlantic government town.

    • I don’t know, you think? You don’t think you could also come up with a few examples of the opposite?
      You can certainly make plenty of critiques of people in DC, but I don’t think that “lack of worldliness” would be one of them.

    • I never even realized Souk closed! When did that happen? :(

  • Cultural appropriation!!

    Haha. Well, maybe they’ll tone down the themy-ness as they evolve.

  • A. Clyde’s has TERRIBLE food. It’s like a big city Olive Garden. I”m not real excited to go somewhere a “chef” from there is running.
    B. I HATE how it’s okay to make fun of people from more rural areas. We’re not all dumb, inbred hillbilies. Country does not equal redneck.

    • Yeah, “country” can also mean wealthy, blueblood who still own the family plantation!

  • When I picture redneck cuisine this is what comes to mind:
    Fried catfish w/ cornbread and brown beans
    Chili cheese hamburger w/ fries
    Beer can Chicken w/ mashed potatoes & peas or green beans

    If it don’t have at least these it’s bogus

  • Ugh. If they meant “Southern and Midwestern food,” they should’ve just said “Southern and Midwestern food.”

    • Let’s not conflate Midwestern and Southern food. Midwesterners only eat fried food at the state fair. Supper is hot dish and jello salad.

  • lovefifteen

    It’s tacky and foolish to label Southern food as “redneck” food. They clearly didn’t test this out with focus groups. LMAO

  • I don’t think this guy has been to the south. Or places with saloons. I think he paid someone to design a “brand identity” or some crap. I do not like it.

  • This comment from Frozen Tropics captures my feelings entirely.

    Good grief. I am from the South. The only people who find the term “redneck” offensive are urban ultra-libs who love to seek out reasons to be offended…well, and Southerners who are called “rednecks” by some idiot urban ultra-lib who thinks it’s an insult.

    If you are offended by the term redneck and you’re not from the South, STFU. If you are from the South and you’re offended, get out of the DMV for a few days and clear your head of all this self-proclaimed moral superiority.

    • I’m not offended by the term; I just think the phrase is ridiculous. “Contemporary cuisine” generally equates to expensive, small plates. Making a “redneck” version of that is ironic, and not in a good way.

      • Wait, how do you know “contemporary cuisine” means small and expensive? That’s not what I got from it. I think contemporary means exactly what the definition says, making the food exist in the present. I’m cool with it and I’m excited for something new.

    • epric002

      what/where is the comment from frozen tropics? i don’t think anyone is legitimately offended by the term. that being said, if you’re trying to encourage me to patronize your new business/restaurant- redneck is just about the last descriptor i’d choose.

    • I didn’t realize people were offended by redneck? I thought people wanted to be called that….like it’s a pride thing? Similar to say, diva. Either way, who really cares. I wish I could just go out to eat and get food that’s cheap and not horrible. I feel like everywhere, especially H Street NE has a “theme.” It’s like every place is aiming to be the place you take your out of town relatives who you need to impress. Why can’t I just eat drink and go home.

    • Emilie504

      Huh. I’ve always been offended by redneck. I’m not a redneck, I’m a hillbilly damnit!

    • “ultra-lib” … really? The term redneck = republican, Bible-hugging, monster truck enthusiast. Be proud of it all you want.

  • Side note, the best/most awful restaurant tagline I’ve ever seen is Wilson’s BBQ “you don’t need a fork to eat our pork and you don’t need teeth to eat our beef”. Genius

  • There is also the flip side of this…a person of color (which there are still a large number of in the H Street community) may feel decidedly unwelcome in a place that proclaims to (even tongue in cheek) cater to Rednecks. I would think that someone responsible for marketing would have realized that…then again maybe that’s the point :/

    • Ok so maybe I’m so blinded by my white privilege that I can’t empathize with this point, but…

      a) The restaurant isn’t really seeming to “cater” to rednecks and I don’t think anyone who eats there is going to self-identify as a redneck
      and
      b) Is this somehow very different from a white person eating at a soul food restaurant?
      and
      c) I don’t know how to say this in a PC way, but, if we’re going to talk about words being “code” for a certain race, then, the restaurant also claims to serve “Southern” food, which is often used as “code” for food from African American culture.

      • I guess the point for B is that traditionally most rednecks do not take to kindly to people of color.You know that whole ” the South will rise again thing”. If you still don’t understand why, just freshen up on some American History. And soul food was ubiquitous in the South. Not just for blacks. Remember the slaves cooked soul food for their masters. It was simply just Southern cuisine. The word soul only got attached to it in the 60’s, yet, the cuisine is and was enjoyed by all in the South regardless of race. This should help you with point C as well.

        • “It’s not a symbol of hate, it’s a symbol of pride!”

  • To me (and many), redneck = racism/homophobia. This reataurant’s marketing team is doing more harm than help in pre-opening PR.

    • I agree – after living in Alabama and Southern Virginia for a few years, I learned there’s a huge difference between “southern” and “redneck.” While I love southern food and see a true need for it in the city, as a person of color no way am I going to go into a place that’s been labeled “redneck.” What a bad choice of words for a restaurant located in a historic African American neighborhood which was the home of some of the nation’s worst race riots back in the 1960s.

    • bc only and all rednecks are homophobic racists? these stereotypes are what’s wrong with the world. Every demographic has it’s set of assholes.

    • I grew up in Georgia and I’m white, and no way in hell would I set foot in a place that says it caters to rednecks, period, even if it’s “ironic.”

      That’s all aside from the fact that “contemporary redneck cuisine” cooked by someone who came from Clyde’s is just awful on every single level. All of the levels.

  • I am from the South (SC) and while not personally offended, the restaurant does seem conceptually confusing. In this context, a saloon (and the cowboy motif) is evocative from the Old West, not the South. And please, for the love of all things holy, could we please stop making old-looking signs that say “Est. 2014″ on them? It just looks tacky.

  • The term “redneck” makes me think of Republicans, the NRA, racism, homophobia, and all other bad things. Hopefully this place turns my opinions around!

  • TempleCt

    Should’ve called it “Trailer Park”

  • I love it ! Happy to have business invest in our community. Toodles :)

  • Wow. The snark is strong here.

  • Jeez, all if this rhetoric over a place not even open? Don’t yall have laundry to do. Good thing Jeff Foxworthy did not draw such controversy for using term redneck. Oh, yall forgot that? Number one Comedy records for years…in the north and south. Look it up.

Comments are closed.