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Fat Shorty’s to Open on Thursday

(Updated at 11:55 p.m.) Fat Shorty’s, a new restaurant specializing in beer and sausages, will be opening in Clarendon tomorrow (Thursday).

The restaurant is located at 3035 Clarendon Boulevard, in the former Rabbit Salad and Grill space. Though it has changed names and formats, Fat Shorty’s is still owned by local restaurateur Aaron Gordon. Instead of gourmet salads and other “slow food,” Gordon has teamed up with chef Rahman ”Rock” Harper, a past winner of the the Fox TV show Hell’s Kitchen, to create a restaurant based around the humble and relatively speedy sausage.

Fat Shorty’s will offer nearly 20 different types of sausage, with prices ranging from $6.75 for “classic” sausages like bratwurst and chorizo; $7.50 for “gourmet” sausage like Andouille and Toulouse; and $8.25 for “exotic” sausage like alligator and rattlesnake (really). The sausages are sourced primarily from local D.C., Virginia and Maryland sausage makers, Gordon said.

The remainder of the food menu consists of two mussel dishes, German potato salad with bacon, baked beans, a side salad, fries and a Snickers pie for dessert. To drink, Fat Shorty’s offers primarily German and Belgian beers, with six varieties on tap and a dozen in bottles. Six wines are also on the drink list.

The food can be purchased to go, or consumed inside the restaurant on picnic bench-style seating.

Harper, who has been working at D.C. Central Kitchen following several post-reality-TV chef jobs didn’t pan out, says the sausage-themed restaurant is a good fit for the region.

“Everybody loves sausage,” he said. “This is half smoke city. We’re giving people what they love.”

Asked what will bring customers into Fat Shorty’s when boiling a grocery store sausage seems quicker and cheaper, Harper said the sausages themselves — selected after sampling dozens in a marathon taste test with Gordon — are the big draw.

“The product is much better… you’re not going to get this at home,” he said.”We tasted way more sausage that we care to comment about.”

“We tasted every sausage from here to Chicago,” Gordon added.

Gordon, who also owns TangySweet, Red Velvet Cupcakery and a couple of new restaurants in D.C., says the closure of Rabbit “saddened” him, but was a necessary decision since the concept never fully caught on with more than a loyal contingent of customers. Most restaurant-goers were used to the pricing of salads at places like Chop’t and SweetGreen, and were reluctant to pay more for Rabbit’s higher-end salads.

“We heard that people liked them, but they were $3 or so too expensive,” Gordon said. He also said he overestimated the market for healthy eating in Clarendon.

Fat Shorty’s is currently scheduled to open its doors Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

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