The name Slider Inn may be a cheeky double entendre, but the menu isn't sending any mixed messages. The newest project from Aldo DeMartino of Bardog Tavern downtown is a simple neighborhood restaurant and bar, what DeMartino likens to "a California roadside burger shack."
"We're going to bring the fresh, fantastic bar food that we do at Bardog to Midtown," he says.
Riding on the success of his sliders at Bardog, DeMartino will expand the selection of miniature sandwiches to include a few burger varieties and some other bite-sized favorites. The signature Bardog burger slider with cheese, ketchup, and mayonnaise is on the menu, as well as a mushroom Swiss burger and a blue cheese and caramelized onion burger. A chicken-finger slider, Sloppy Joe slider, and a house-made veggie burger slider offer more alternatives, and since they have a smoker in the kitchen, DeMartino hopes to add smoked pork sliders to the mix.
A true change of pace comes in the lobster roll, a New England favorite and what DeMartino calls "good patio food." And there will be lobster bisque. (With all the fresh lobster coming in for the sandwiches, plenty of shells and meat will be on hand to make stock.) Wings and other bar food standards are also in the offing.
Slider Inn will have six beers on tap, a few bottled beers, a red and white house wine, and select liquors (about half of Bardog's offerings). DeMartino is bringing in a machine to make freshly squeezed lemonade, so patrons will be able to watch as the drinks are made. Their signature summer beverage? Vodka and lemonade, of course.
The space inside is only big enough to serve 45 to 50 people, so DeMartino is looking beyond the walls to a built-out patio decked with picnic tables and large enough to seat 50. The building itself, which formerly housed Bluff City Bayou, has been heavily renovated. But it was worth the investment, DeMartino says, as the restaurant is situated at the prime retail-residential intersection of Peabody and Cooper. When Slider Inn opens in four to five weeks, DeMartino anticipates heavy bike and foot traffic from Midtown residents.
"We're looking forward to being a nice little neighborhood spot there on the corner," DeMartino says. "I always liked that property."
And because he welcomes bikers and cyclists, there was a rumor that Slider Inn would be a biker bar.
"I don't know about that," DeMartino says. "We're going to be motorcycle-friendly, and we have a logo that incorporates a motorcycle in it. People are looking forward to bringing their motorcycles over there."
Slider Inn will be 21 and over and will permit smoking, though only after a certain time. The restaurant will be open every day at 11 a.m. and close at 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and at 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. The kitchen will stay open until an hour before the bar closes.
DeMartino says he also plans on hosting deck parties, perhaps even with live music, on Saturdays and Sundays as long as the weather is nice. And because Slider Inn is about being neighborhood-friendly and wallet-friendly, everything on the menu, except the special lobster roll, will be under $10.
Slider Inn, 2117 Peabody