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Duplex Diner in Adams Morgan is reopening to the public on Wednesday night after being closed for renovations for the past 27 days. New owner Kevin Lee describes it more as an extended soft opening.

“It’s kinda frantic around here,” says the former bartender turned proprietor, explaining that the ongoing construction at the corner of U and 18th Streets NW caused the restaurant’s gas to be cut-off for two hours earlier in the day.

The grand opening is planned for a few weeks from now, so there won’t be any specials tonight. But the menu has already changed, and Lee says “we’re still kind of evolving.” The meatloaf and mac and cheese will remain, as Lee instills an even “more of a Southern twist” to Duplex’s options, including shrimp ‘n’ grits and fried green tomatoes.

Opening time? “You can write 7 p.m.,” he told me, “just to make sure we’re ready.”

Photo by Chris Shott