Soon to grace Broad Avenue, Three Angels Diner will stay open late and serve classic diner food. The diner is the newest project from Bari Ristorante owners Jason and Rebecca Severs and is named for their three boys, Julian, Lucian, and Matteo.
"We've been thinking about this for several years," Jason says. "We've owned Bari for a while and had three or four different ideas for other things. We always looked for things to be at the right place at the right time. This just happened to be at the right place at the right time and at the right price."
The space was once intended for a coffee shop, which never opened. "The [owner] started and then just kind of disappeared," Jason says. "It was supposed to open about four or five months ago. He did some work but never completed it."
With the space more or less primed for a restaurant and the landlord looking for a new tenant, the couple seized an opportunity they'd been waiting for. They still have to build the vent-a-hood in the kitchen and are waiting for city approval and permits, but Jason hopes to be open within the next couple of months.
Three Angels comes just in time to join the Broad Avenue revival. The area has become an arts district with a line of galleries and studios filling its storefronts. The success of Broadway Pizza and the Cove provides something of an anchor for new restaurants.
"We saw that there was something going on here," Jason says. "They were making everything angled parking. They wanted to promote walking. It's an arts district, and [my wife and I] both got our degrees in art. This is a really cool area."
The menu is still in question, and that's just the way Jason and Rebecca want it. "We're using the term 'diner' because when you say 'diner' it can kind of be whatever," Jason explains. "Our plan is to get open and start serving things, and if people say, 'Hey, where's this?' we'll put it on the menu. It's not like Bari. We aren't doing any regional Italian cuisine. We're saying it's a diner, because we want to be flexible."
Of course, you can expect to see some of your favorite diner foods: burgers, fried chicken, meat-and-three plates. And, because Rebecca is a vegetarian, they'll also serve vegetarian options: tofu, tempeh, grains, and beans. "By no means will it be a natural-foods place," Jason says, "but it will be good and healthy. We don't use butter for anything at Bari, so we aren't going to use butter here. We're going to take the same process of letting the food speak for itself with quality ingredients and doing as little as possible to bring them to the plate."
Add kid-friendly to the twin goals of diner food and late hours. Jason and Rebecca wanted a spot where families can feel comfortable and parents don't worry about bringing their children. "People don't bring their kids to Bari; it's too quiet," Jason points out. "You can be loud at Three Angels."
You will also be able to drink liquor and beer (once they get their licenses), get an entrée and a drink for around $10, and sample some small-plate options. The final diner touch? Jason hopes to have an old-school arcade with a pinball machine. Three Angels just might be heaven.
Three Angels Diner, 2617 Broad