Eclectic art meets a scrumptious menu at the Papermoon Diner
As the Baltimore food scene continues to evolve, the Remington neighborhood puts that evolution on full display with its gentrified restaurants, coffee shops, and diners such as the Papermoon Diner.
Once known as one of the roughest areas in Baltimore, Remington is experiencing a period of growth and revitalization that has energized its residents and businesses.
The Papermoon Diner is one of the most famous of the Remington businesses, attracting adventurous patrons who want to step outside of the traditional Baltimore culinary scene for something unforgettable.
Papermoon Diner infuses new life into Baltimore neighborhood
Un Kim, the founder of the Papermoon Diner, remembers the Remington of days gone by in a recent interview with the Baltimore Sun. “Drugs and needles everywhere. I was the only one who turned the lights on in this neighborhood,” Kim says.
David Briskie, Kim’s longtime friend and the designer behind the Papermoon Diner aesthetic, adds, “You have to remember, Remington back then was tough.”
But Kim and Briskie have done much more than just turn on the lights. They’ve taken a diner that has been through several iterations of burger-joint style and turned it into a Baltimore landmark.
This isn’t your momma’s diner
When visitors first visit the Papermoon Diner, they are met with a cacophony of art that, at first glance, feels disjointed and a bit overwhelming. Just outside, mannequins intermingle with a blue and purple bull on the flower-filled lawn. A shopping cart of disembodied mannequin limbs sits purposefully nearby, silently asserting itself as part of the Papermoon vibe.
Inside the diner, patrons are greeted by a perplexing display of Pez dispensers, cartoon memorabilia, pop art, toy trains, hanging sculptures, and more. It’s a jarring contrast to the plain yards and understated interiors of Papermoon’s residential neighbors.
While the abstract nature of the Papermoon Diner aesthetic might appear disorganized at first glance, Briskie explains in a recent interview the intention behind each piece of decor that lives in the diner. “She (Kim) wanted a place that would be fun and very eclectic and very colorful, where people could hang out.”
Deciding that the original building’s drab, old-school diner feel wouldn’t serve Kim’s mission, Briskie threw it all out. “Everything left, and the colors came first. Then, it was just a matter of layering stuff. I’ve been doing this as long as we’ve been open, so I kind of notice when something’s missing,” he says.
Over the years, he has added thousands of items to the Papermoon collection. Each item contributes to the cohesiveness of decor that shouldn’t make sense, but does.
But is the menu at Papermoon Diner in contrast to its infamous style? Not at all. There are a surprising range of menu options. From vegan nachos to traditional comfort food, the menu offers something for everyone and little chance to get bored.
Lastly, visitors can experience the Papermoon Diner any day except Tuesday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.