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Restaurateur Jeff Black learned his lesson at Pearl Dive Oyster Palace: It doesn’t make sense to have a women’s and a men’s restroom. The ladies line up down the hall, while the men’s room remains mostly empty. So at his new Takoma Park restaurant Republic, opening Sunday in partnership with his longtime chef Danny Wells, one door is marked “women,” and the other is marked “anyone.”
And because these days what you see at the toilet is just as important as what you see at the table, Republic’s restrooms include some unique design touches. The “anyone” bathroom features a mugshot of Johnny Cash blown up on the walls. (Black and Wells are big Cash fans.)
The women’s room is painted bright red with antique hand mirrors arranged like flower pedals. The mirrors range from cheesy (one has a picture of Marie Osmond) to beautiful and expensive (antiques made with sterling silver). “I’m ashamed to say how much I spent on some of these,” Black admits. “But I fall in love with them and I’m like, ‘I’ve gotta have it, gotta have it, gotta have it.'”
Photos by Jessica Sidman