An American small-plates restaurant will open officially today on the H Street corridor with a focus on local ingredients, but not tips.
Sally’s Middle Name at 1320 H St. NE won’t expect its customers to reward waitstaff for good service. Rather, an 18 percent service charge will be added to each bill and any tips received will go to a local charity.
Aphra Adkins, who owns the restaurant in the the former Pizza Parts & Service space with her husband, Sam, said her staff is making an hourly wage and the service charge will be shared with all the workers, except her and Sam.
“What we’re hoping to promote with that is a little bit more love between the front of the house and the back of the house, as well as a little bit of encouragement to the people who work here when it’s slow,” Aphra Adkins said.
Named after Sam’s sister, who doesn’t have a middle name, Sally’s Middle Name will have a rotating selection of food that could change daily.
The menu online today has brined chicken breast with shitake chicken jus for $13, disco fries with rabbit gravy and fontina cheese for $12 and 11 other dishes that are less than $14.
Sally’s Middle Name also makes ice cream in-house. The current flavors include maple walnut and mint for $4, each.
Alcohol isn’t available yet. But the eatery should start pouring beer and wine next week, Adkins said.
The restaurant will be open for dinner every day except Tuesday, when it’s closed. It also will have brunch Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Next Wednesday, Akae, a self-described “lifestyle and home goods boutique,” will open above Sally’s Middle Name. The shop is from Aphra Adkins and Seda Nak, the wife of Toki Underground and Maketto owner Erik Bruner-Yang.
Its hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Photo of Akae courtesy of Akae