We’re in the Midst of a Diner Boom



October 21, 2016

A quick history of DC diners' evolution.

  • 1935

    Tastee Diner unveils its first location, in Bethesda. Outposts in Laurel and Silver Spring follow.


  • 1962

    Louis Cholakis and George Bilidas open Amphora in Vienna. But the area remains a diner desert: They import booths and walls from a New York diner manufacturer.

  • 1988

    The faux-’50s-retro American City Dineropens in Chevy Chase DC. Owner Jeffrey Gildenhorn’s billboard quotes get more attention than the food.

  • 1989

    The Silver Diner chain opens on Rockville Pike. It now has 14 locations—with plans for more over the next few years.

  • 1995

    The New York–style Metro 29 Diner debuts in Arlington with an on-site bakery.

  • 1998

    Tryst coffee shopowner Constantine Stavropoulos opens the Diner in Adams Morgan. Open until 2 am, it quickly be-comes a post-bar-crawl destination.

  • 2009

    Matt Ashburn transports a 1947 diner to DC’s Trinidad and runs Capital City Diner for nearly two years. In 2012, developer Edens buys it on eBay; it’s parked by Union Market and used for pop-ups.

  • 2013

    Silver Diner revamps its menu to include vegan and gluten-free options.

  • 2015

    Silver, an upscale Silver Diner spinoff, opens in Bethesda. All-day breakfast and apple pie are served alongside small plates and alcoholic milkshakes.

  • 2016

    Doron Petersan opens Fare Well, DC’s first vegan diner.


  • 2016

    The old-timey Slim’s Diner opens in Petworth with a simple, under-$12 menu of patty melts and pancakes.

  • 2016

    Restaurateur Mark Bucher will open Community. Featuring a cocktail consultant and a menu developed by a Michel Richard–trained chef, the new eatery sits across from the Bethesda Tastee Diner.