Restaurant/Framing Store Combo Opens in Ballston

by Katie Pyzyk January 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm 6,030 30 Comments

When is a restaurant not just a restaurant? When it’s connected to a framing store, like the new Rus Uz in Ballston.

The restaurant is connected to Ballston Art and Framing (1000 N. Randolph Street), which is owned by the family behind the KH Art and Framing store on Lee Highway. Jamil Hakimi runs the framing business and said he originally had planned on just running his store until he was approached by the Rakhmatullaev family about sharing the space, which previously had been occupied by Daily Deli.

“I’ve been in the framing shop business for a long time. I was going to turn this into a whole frame shop. We actually put up walls around the kitchen,” Hakimi said. “Then these guys came in one day, we introduced each other, and from there we just went half-half, basically.”

Prior to moving to the Ballston location, Rus Uz had been a catering business in Alexandria specializing in cuisine from Russia and Uzbekistan. Bek Rakhmatullaev said his father has been a cook for more than three decades and served several different presidents and embassy officials as a caterer. He had been toying with opening a restaurant for years, though, and finally saw the perfect opportunity.

“He saw a demand and he always wanted to open a place. Everyone was always asking for a tasting room,” Rakhmatullaev said. “With catering, you have to have big orders.”

The family believes the combination of Russian and Uzbek foods will make their restaurant stand out from others.

“There isn’t anything around like us that combines the two,” Rakhmatullaev said.

As far as the framing portion, it’s connected to the restaurant via an open doorway. Hakimi is still working out a schedule and how closely it will coincide with the restaurant hours. He notes that for food safety reasons, no framing work will be performed at the new shop; all of the framing orders from the Ballston location will be worked on at the Lee Highway location.

Rus Uz is currently in the process of obtaining its license to serve alcohol. The owners plan to have grand opening sometime in the near future after the business has more time to get everything running smoothly.

  • Paul

    Framing stores are evil, and fairly indistinguishable from panhandling.

    • Charles

      If the restaurant served beans, they could have named it Fart and Framing.

  • Arl4ist

    You can get a good square meal there.

    • Buckingham Beauty

      Somehow, I just can’t picture this combination.

  • Alison

    Mis-read that and thought it said “restaurant/farming store.” Which somehow made just a tiny bit more sense.

  • Dan

    Tried it last week (the restaurant). Friendly service and a nice change from usual Ballston places. Still working the kinks out but will definitely go back.

    • margie

      you don’t work there, do you

  • Set the Controls

    Russian food is delicious. I’m definitely trying it.

    • Capt. Ramius

      This is Red October, standing by.

  • westcoastgirl

    don’t know anything about the restaurant, but K&H framing does amazing work. i’ve had multiple things framed there. they beat competitor prices, have fast turn around, and I’ve loved the work they’ve done for us. prob will still go to the original store. there are so many cuisines I’d try before Russian, but if it lasts, i imagine I’ll give it a shot.

  • Deadite

    In mother Russia, frame eat you!

    • BallstonNOTBoston

      This ^ = comment of the day.

  • DLC

    I’m at the Russian place/ I’m at the framing store/ I’m at the combination Russian place and framing store.

  • awesomepossum

    According to their website’s menu, this place is incredibly expensive.

    • Uh

      Are you sure you’re not looking at their catering menu?

    • DarkHeart

      Is this supposed to be a family style place, where all items require a minimum of 8-10 servings? Weird.

      For those NYT xworders, we need an Estonian restaurant that serves the national specialty, marinated bear.

  • PearDPea

    I didn’t see a menu for the restaurant on the website. Just saw the catering menu. But would love to see it

  • Vladimir

    According to the pictures, the menu features unfried crepe taquitos, potstickers, and a chipped beef spanikopita/hot pocket with radish flowers. I can’t wait to try it!

  • TJLinBallston

    It’s delicious;Everything we tried. That chipped beef thing induces cartwheels. I get so bored with the same old stuff. This odd little place rocks with tasty new food (for me) and actual originality. Ballston needs 25 more joints like this.

    • BallstonResident


      Will try the place based on your recommendation. Up for more original places here in Ballston with different types of food. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • novasteve

    Despite me hating russian food, beats having another burger or froyo place.

  • Cpt. Ramius

    The restaurant should offer a very long submarine sandwich named the “Typhoon” or “Red Oktober”

    • WeiQiang

      … Akula

  • ballstoncmyk

    don’t diss on Russian food until you’ve tried it — a lot of the high cuisine borrows from the French, and a lot of the traditional fare is winter comfort food at its finest. i’m pumped to give this place — and the Uzbek fare — a shot very soon.

  • Ricardo

    Will try it… I thought I didn’t like Russian food until I tried Cafe Assorti in Courthouse, and was amazed at how good it was.

  • Billy

    Be careful clicking the link to the restaurant. Symantec and Norton aren’t flagging it, but Avast is telling me the rum.js file is malicious. This has just cropped up today on several sites, probably using the same publishing software. Just a warning.

    • We’ve removed the link just in case.

  • ardeth

    Ate there; delicious! The kitchen makes allowances for gluten free diets as well. . . .and their modified borscht is good eating. . . .

  • Atabek

    Best of luck!

  • Herman Zeiphnik

    On March 4, I noticed a sign in the window of RusUz indicating they are temporarily closed due to a “minor emergency” and expressing that they are “sorry for the inconvenience.” Looking in the window I saw a great deal of clutter, disarray and several empty pizza boxes. The restaurant was dark at 3:45pm and no people were present.


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