PoP Pre-Preview: New Tryst/Diner Spot Opening in Columbia Heights Mid/Late Sept.

by Prince Of Petworth August 23, 2012 at 10:30 am 61 Comments

11th and Monroe St, NW

It’s been almost a year since we talked about the new Tryst/Diner spot coming to 11th Street, NW (between Park and Monroe) in Columbia Heights. I am very excited to share some good news – they are opening in mid/late September!

I was also lucky enough to get a tour of the 7000 square foot space.

As you can see there was still some work going on but you can get an idea of how the space will flow. The main entrance will be through the middle of the building on the 11th Street side and you’ll enter into the Tryst-like part of the space.

Here you’ll be able to get coffee/pastries etc. and you’ll also be able to make to go orders.

If you turn to the left (north) you’ll enter the Diner-like space which features more seating and a wrap-around bar. Remember the space will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – which means breakfast all day!

As those who have walked by know – the entire length of the building is set with big bay windows that will open up.

You’ll also notice incredible tin ceilings throughout the space.

So enter in the center to the Tryst-like area, turn left to the Diner-like space – and if your turn right from the main entrance you will enter another large bar space.

This bar area features exposed brick:

And more great tin ceilings:

While there will be three distinct features, coffee, dining and bar – I’m told that each space will flow into the other and you can order whatever you’d like anywhere you are seated. There are many more details coming soon – but hopefully this will give you a taste of what’s to come. Oh yeah – the name is coming soon. Can’t wait for September!

  • ErinC

    Wow! This looks so amazing! I can’t wait to check it out!

  • Michael

    Yay! Have been waiting for this ever since it was announced. Will be going very frequently. Also glad to hear that the four busybodies who don’t even live nearby failed to block the 24-hour service, and that the final name is not going to be Margot’s Chair.

    • Lana

      I live at 11th and Park and I’m not thrilled that it will be 24 hours (even though I’m excited about the new place)

      It just seems unnecessary for it to be 24/7 in such a small, neighborhoody area. I’m mostly worried about late night noise on weekdays.

  • Wow, can’t believe it is FINALLY here. Been waiting for years (since the Rob Hall days …) for this space to finally be a viable commercial enterprise. I am sure it will do well. Excited to see how it looks when completed, and I’m sure I will be a regular. I hope it doesn’t kill Columbia Heights Coffee, but I am worried it will … I hope they find some way to distinguish themselves. Could also hurt Meridian Pint’s brunch business a bit. My biggest concern is the noise / 24 hour aspect. Hope this does not attract many late-night drunk people causing a commotion after other bars close. I guess time will tell.

    • Agree on all fronts! And traffic/parking in this area isn’t great as it is, so can’t imagine what it is going to be like now. I’m one-third-excited, two-thirds-nervous about living 1/2 a block away.

  • Logan Res

    And to think that a few NIMBYs tried unsuccessfully to block this from evening happening. How shocking this must be to them that this empty blighted building will actually be vibrant and in use again. The horror they must be experiencing….omg…gasp…shock….PEOPLE will be in it!!!

  • Once this place opens, I’m likely going to stop in for a coffee, beer or omelet.

    • RD

      Why not all 3? my kind of breakfast!

  • rovyates

    Does anyone know if they’ll have WiFi?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Yes they will and I forgot to add there are outlets strategically placed throughout the entire space.

      • Phew!

      • This is truly a wifi-leeching hobo game changer. After the first hour, they’ll need to charge rent on the couches to discourage the riffraff.

  • Anonymous

    For the first time ever I am envious of the people that live in Columbia Heights.

  • Anonymous

    I wish they would open in the old masonic lodge, next to the Sunoco Gas station on U street.

  • Anonymous

    How long till we get a branch in Petworth? The neighborhood is as ready for one of these as Columbia Heights is.

    • Kimberly Flowers

      Looking forward to this and hope they consider Petworth for a future site.

      • lk

        Ditto! The Donatelli Building, Park Place, is still empty on both corners. I’d like to nominate them for a Horse’s Ass Award. I just can fathom how such a heavily travelled metro station can keep such prime commercial real estate empty for so long. Tynan’s Coffee bailed out of the corner space at Quincy and Georgia and there is no new news about the other corner spot at New Hampshire and GEorgia. WTH!? What’s happening Donatelli?

  • This is a great addition. And it says there are separate areas for coffee and dining and bar so it sounds like they are trying to avoid the problem at Tryst in Adams Morgan where one person occupies a table with a laptop for over an hour with just a cup of coffee.

    Table space at peak times is going to valuable here, it’d be interesting to see how they can make everyone happy.

  • Anon3

    This is so exciting!! I never thought it’d get to the point when I’d have so many good options to choose from on that strip. I lead a tough life. :) Thanks for the sneak peek, PoP!

  • Anonymous

    Looks great. Luckily, I won’t be living upstairs from a 24 hour bistro that has big bay windows that open up.

    • JS

      I’m pretty sure they’re not going to keep the windows open at 3AM.

  • I think that, once this opens and Room 11 finishes its expansion (both around late September), the three block stretch of 11th from Monroe through Irving will top any similarly-sized area in D.C. for food and drinking options. Can anyone compete with the Diner / KBC / Maple / Meridian Pint / Redrocks / Room 11 / Wonderland / Rinconsito / CH Coffee / El Chucho group when you consider atmsophere, variety and caliber of food and drinks, and value for the quality? Pretty amazing considering that, even a year ago, the strip offered not even half as many good options.

    • WalbridgeGuy

      You’re right – it will be the best mini-strip in DC for the foreseeable future. Can’t really think of one that will even be close to as good.

      • And…

        Don’t forget about Grand China – buy 4 wings, get 1 free.

    • Defeinitely agree that this area has become a top spot. I guess H Street fans would argue theirs competes, although I think I would rank it second. It obviously leans a bit more towards the drinking/nightlife than eating these days, although there are certainly great food options over there (e.g., Granville Moore’s, Atlas Room, Toki Underground).

      • Anonymous

        Well, according to the most recent City Paper poll H Street was #3 for nightlife and 11th Street didn’t make the list at all…. but time will tell how it does next year.

  • Betty

    I just wish they would get cooks who know how to cook breakfast all day long. The eggs at The Diner in AM are horrendous — greasy, greasy, greasy no matter if over easy or scrambled.

    • you say that like it’s a bad thing . . .

  • bb

    Looking real nice. A boon for that area for sure.

  • wreckfish

    11th St. is on fire! I went out Tuesday night and there were waits everywhere but Meridian Pint so we (happily) went there. I would imagine that this place will only boost other businesses on 11th. 14th is full of chains (I’m cool with that) and 11th is an awesome alternative for locally-owned businesses. What a great combo!

  • Anonymous

    Nice, love tryst, but didn’t like how crowded the Adam’s Morgan shop was, they were long overdue for an expansion… Our little area has blown up lately with activity. Hopefully they find someone good for the big retail space at GA & New Hampshire Ave, it’s been sitting there for way too long. If we could just get a Petco and a Dunkin Donuts in Col. Hts. I’d never need to leave my hood!

    • JS

      Columbia Heights already has a Dunkin Donuts – it’s at 14th & Girard.

      • Anonymous

        Not close enough to the GA Ave&New Hampshire Ave corridor (just at the edge of col. hts).. A Drive-Thru would be even better, so i could grab coffee on my morning rush.

    • Jamie

      There’s a Petco less than a 5 minute drive away, and also right in front of a Metro station, and Target sells a lot of pet stuff too. I think we can live without another one in Cohi.

      • 11thStE

        Mr Larry’s Pet Store is already open at 3303 11th St (@ Lamont, next to El Chucho). They carry a surprisingly good variety of pet stuff despite the small size of the shop, and they will special order if they don’t have what you need.

        • Jamie

          I haven’t stopped in lately but seemed to have trouble finding them open a few months ago. Will try again.

          Special ordering things from a pet shop doesn’t make a lot of sense though, when I can “special order” anything I want from Amazon.com or whatever and have it in two days.

          • Anonymous

            My dog doesn’t like when I tell him he has to wait to eat because his food is on special order. That pet shop is also always closed when I drive by…

      • Anonymous

        5 minutes away? Where, in Woodley Park?! There’s no parking there, and that’s hardly 5 minutes away from my house. Also they don’t do pet boarding.

  • I was really excited about this until my husband and I both got sick the last few times we went over to The Diner for breakfast. Like driving the 10 minutes home, not sure if you can wait that long to get to a bathroom sick. Our son, who’ll only eat pancakes and bacon, has always been fine. So it’s either the eggs or the oil they use to fry the potatoes. Love the idea of having this place so close by, but I am super wary of eating their food…

    • Anonymous

      10 minutes? Clearly you don’t know anything about food poisoning.

  • Lamonty

    It is wonderful to have another 24-hour food option, esp this close to home. Thanks for the sneak peek.

  • Disgusted in DC

    Wasn’t Florence King raised in this building?

  • Anonymous

    Looks great! But brick + tin ceiling = LOUD.

    • Anonymous



  • jl

    I have to say my wife and I often are looking for a place to eat from getting home from work late all the time. It is very hard to find a nice sit down place to eat that serves food after 11pm around here during the week. I guess most of the office crowd with disposable incomes eat earlier plus the zoning laws limit things…. A lot of times we end up at the Tastee Diner in Silver Spring. I will definitely be rolling down to this place though when they open!

  • anonymous

    Hooray! The Diner is amazing, and it’s very cool to have their new place in our neighborhood. And VERY nice to have a locally owned business instead of another chain that sucks the profits out of the city.

    • Anonymous

      Damn foreigners!

  • Anonymous

    Thank God it’s coming!

    I just wish it didn’t put Columbia Heights Coffee out of business (past tense, because it will).

    If only the Adams Morgan spot and this new one would rid us of Tynan.

    • Anonymous

      Unlike you, I’m thrilled that it will be putting Co Heights Coffee under. The owners are slow and incredibly rude. Good riddance!

      • Not

        Rude? I don’t think so. They are very friendly. Perhaps you are the one giving them attitude… you should think about that for a sec

        • Anonymous

          Uh, no, they aren’t. The lady yelled at me and called me a liar when I very politely told her that I’d ordered an iced latte, not the hot latte she gave me (after a 20 minute wait). It was the most unreal thing I’ve ever witnessed.

  • Kyle B

    I’m shocked –shocked!– that no one has made a “quarter of a thousand people!!” reference joke yet!

    So excited for this place to open, will definitely breathe even more life into the Hip Strip!

    • Anonymous

      no one wanted to ruin the mystique of the thread.

  • Anonymous

    this is definately a game changer for 11th St! Can’t wait.

  • I live directly over their kitchen. The owner has gone to great lengths to make sure we are taken care of and treated well. Looking forward to walking down a flight of stairs for a bite.

  • Love this neighborhood and am a frequent visitor. This will bring me down from NY a lot more often!

  • Cannot WAIT! Great addition for 11th Street! (-:


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