Mere hours after posting a list of old restaurants — a sidebar to my gooey love letter to five vintage local eateries — I learned that one of the places was about to close. There was no time to mourn, let alone to get a reservation. As of July 28, the Montgomery County seafood house O’Donnell’s Sea Grill, which opened in downtown Washington in 1922, was no more.
Was this an omen of other closings? I hope not. I'm a big fan of antique eateries.
At the risk of jinxing other old restaurants by calling them out, I'm going to share a few more places I couldn't squeeze into my original story. Most of the names were sent in by readers who were horrified at my oversight. (Sorry, but if you opened a restaurant in the 1980s, that's just not old enough. Hang in there, La Ferme, Old Stein Inn, Phillips Flagship and Taberna del Alabardero!)
First up: the golden oldies. Each of these restaurants is at least 50 years old. Click on the names for addresses and phone numbers.
Apple House (1963) It's a bit of a hike, but this Linden, Va., eatery — not far from Front Royal — might be a good place to stop if you're on the way to the Warren County Fair next week.
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse (1948)
Blue and White Carryout The exact opening date is hazy, but Candy Cureton, who has operated this Old Town Alexandria carryout with her husband, Alex, for about 40 years, says it has been around for more than 80 years.
The Dairy (1924) More glorified ice cream shop than real restaurant, the Dairy is an extension of the University of Maryland's dairy science division of the school's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
JV’s Restaurant (1947)
Loeb’s Deli (1959)
Normandie Farm (1931)
The Occidental (1906)
Royal Restaurant (1904)
Westchester Restaurant One of the last vestiges of a bygone era in which many of the city's grand apartment buildings had their own in-house restaurants, the Westchester dining room is located in the Westchester cooperative apartment complex, built in 1931.
Woodside Deli (1947)
29 Diner (1947)
Then there are these, which are rapidly approaching middle age:
Amphora Restaurant (1977)
Café Italia (1976)
Chez Andree (1964)
Essy’s Carriage House (1975)
Henry’s Delicatessen and Carryout (1969) Ben's Chili Bowl, it should be noted, is not the only old restaurant on U Street.
JV’s Restaurant (1947)
Murry and Paul’s (1937)
Peking Gourmet Inn (1978)
Pines of Rome (1971)
Prime Rib (1976) The original Baltimore outpost of this steakhouse opened in 1965.
Sushiko (1976) Before anyone heard of sushi, this was the District's first sushi bar.
The Tombs (1962)
Finally, there's Osman and Joe’s Steak 'n Egg Kitchen. It's hard to pinpoint the exact vintage of this ageless Tenleytown institution, a favorite of late-night diners. The building, which housed a greasy spoon as far back as the 1930s, has been called the Steak 'n Egg Kitchen since the mid-1970s, when it became part of a national chain. Osman Barrie and Joe Vamboi, who met while working there, have owned the 24-hour restaurant — and had their names on the menu, if not on the sign outside — since the late 1990s.
If you know of more old restaurants, keep 'em coming.