Name: Papermoon Diner
Interviewee: David Briskie, Designer of Papermoon
Address: 227 west 29th Street / Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Type of food: American fusion
According to the website, “The Papermoon Diner offers an eccentric, eclectic, technicolor dining experience that might be best described as ‘comfort food meets Baltimore with a twist.’ We’re vegetarian and raging-carnivore friendly, with a jam-packed menu featuring everything from meat loaf to crab quesadillas, from vegan nachos to peanut butter and jelly French toast, from homemade chili to shrimp and grits—and so much more. (Seriously—we didn’t even get started on our dessert menu.)”
Although the menu is good, the eye candy that covers the interior and exterior of the restaurant is over the top. You probably didn’t know that the Papermoon’s unique look is the product of twenty years of accumulation and visualization by designer David Briskie.
Lauren Van Slyke for BmoreArt: How do the arts , and locally owned restaurants, enhance life and culture in Baltimore?
David Briskie: The arts play an important role in the city of Baltimore. Having the oldest accredited fine arts school in the country (MICA) in the city is a major plus for the people of Baltimore. Locally owned restaurants are able to either collect new and up and coming artists’ work and use in the overall design of their dining rooms. Or, they can have artists show on their walls for their patrons to view while they are eating and purchase the works.
LVS: How did Papermoon Diner become the grand collection of art and funk we see today?
DB: Simply put: time. We just celebrated the 20th year anniversary of the diner. The design of the Papermoon has been a twenty year evolving project of mine. I am constantly adding new works of my own (the sculptures you see throughout) as well as other artists paintings, and found and donated items.
LVS: What, in your opinion, is the economic impact of the arts on the local economy?
DB: Not being an economist, I would still say the arts have had a long history in Baltimore, especially having MICA, Peabody Conservatory, and Artscape. The arts play a large role in the economy of Baltimore.
LVS: How does your restaurant engage with local artists in the community?
DB: Un Kim , the owner of the Papermoon Diner has been a longtime collector of local artists’ works, some of which are hanging in the diner. Also the diner Tshirts over the last 20 years have all been designed by different Baltimore artists.
If you want to visit Papermoon, you should know that it keeps traditional diner hours – for “early risers and the late-night crowd and everyone in between” – meaning they open at 7 am and close at midnight Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday and are open 7 am to two am on Friday and Saturday (closed on Tuesdays).
* This interview was conducted by Lauren Van Slyke, the Marketing Director at BmoreArt