Remembering a D.C. German Restaurant and a Posh Shoe Store

By The Metropolist
Friday, March 20, 2009

As we pass along the streets of Washington and its surroundings these days, we find ourselves wondering which places will outlive their existence in the memory of those who have enjoyed them. We continue our alphabetical presentation of things long gone but still remembered.

Restaurant 823

My favorite eatery during the 1950s and 1960s was the Restaurant 823, a German rathskeller at 823 15th St. NW. The owners, Fritz Miller, his brother Andy and their boyhood friend Bobby Seibold, were from Nuremberg and made the restaurant a wonderful center for good German cooking.

I especially loved the juicy weisswurst, which they got from a Maryland farmer. And there was Lowenbrau on tap!

Fritz hired a Bavarian artist to paint trompe l'oeil landscapes in the inglenooks, and one could almost believe he was in the Bavarian Alps. The place was always packed, and the Gemuetlichkeit flowed.

-- Don Pruitt, Alexandria

Rich's Shoe Store

While a student at Georgetown in the early 1960s, I worked after classes and on Saturdays in Rich's shoe store at 1516 Wisconsin Ave. NW. We sold women's shoes exclusively, and it was a two-person operation with just the manager, Al Adams, and me handling things.

Congressional wives and the wives of newsmen were regular customers and Al knew them all. I recall delivering shoes to Mrs. Herman Wouk and waiting on customers such as Janet Auchincloss, who was Jackie Kennedy's half-sister. Shortly after arriving in D.C., Margo Jurgensen dropped by with her husband, Sonny.

Once a year, the Rich family patriarch, Herbert Rich, would come by to 'count the till.' We always got a heads-up call from the F Street store that the old man was on his way, so we made sure the store was tidy and the cash drawer was correct.

Selling women's shoes in the heart of Georgetown was the best job a college guy could have.

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