Laura Hayes

Update: At the time WCP reported and wrote this story, Diet Starts Monday had pulled a highly controversial item from its menu, a cocktail called “The Pill Cosby.” We were not aware that the drink existed because the most current menus we viewed are the ones at the bottom of the story.

Diet Starts Monday is the perfect name for a restaurant that cranks out crinkle-cut fries and bacon-wrapped, foot-long hot dogs. But before it was a 14th Street NW bar, restaurant, and retail store, Diet Starts Monday was a clothing brand founded by Davin Gentry and John Geiger.

“We named this on procrastination,” Gentry says. “How many people put things off? And diet is the thing people procrastinate the most on. Sometimes that Monday never comes.”

A self-proclaimed “foodie,” Gentry says the idea of opening a restaurant has always been a distant dream, but when Eric and Ian Hilton approached him about taking over the space that formerly held The BBQ Joint, he jumped at the opportunity. A third partner, Scooty Hallums signed on and they hired Chef Jourdan “Red Beard” Davis to run the kitchen.

The name Diet Starts Monday foreshadows that the menu is full of fat-boy finesse. There’s fried chicken served on a glazed donut bun ($13), a Chinatown cheesesteak that’s part Philly classic, part banh mi sandwich ($15), and “Potomac Poutine” with tater tots, half smoke gravy, cheese curds, and bacon ($13). The menu is concise, but Gentry says they’re still making changes. (Find the full food menu below.)

Cocktails include the “Marion Barry” with tequila, burnt maple syrup, and bitters ($14) and the “Dave Chapelle” with tequila, ginger beer, cucumber jalapeno syrup, lime, and triple sec ($14).

Diet Starts Monday is currently open Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 11 p.m.), Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 11 p.m.), and Sundays from 2-10 p.m. They don’t take reservations.

“Our seating is a little different than a traditional restaurant because we still have that boutique SoHo vibe to the layout of the space,” Gentry says. “It’s almost like an art gallery but with limited seating.” There are chairs for about 20 people, plus bleachers in the back.

“It’s an eat, drink, shop, dance kind of place,” Gentry says.

Diet Starts Monday, 2005 14th St. NW; dietstartsmonday.us

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