The Metropolist

The Zephyr Lounge

By The Metropolist
Friday, October 30, 2009

The Zephyr Lounge is at the end of the alphabet in our A-to-Z adventure of remembering places we once loved that have disappeared from the Washington area landscape. Your memories that were published -- and we apologize to those who sent in something that we were unable to print -- amounted to almost 48,000 words. If the total column inches were pasted together, they would stretch more than three football fields. If these places were still open, we all would have gained weight, lured by your mouth-watering descriptions of restaurants, bakeries and ice cream shops.

In the 1960s and early '70s, I used to frequent the Zephyr Lounge on upper Wisconsin Avenue. It was patronized by a younger crowd, many of whom were from nearby Montgomery County.

The Zephyr was an unpretentious place but had two great things going for it: the frosted beer mugs that oozed slush all over your table and the sizzling steaks that filled the place with an aroma that had everyone salivating like Pavlov's famous dog.

The Zephyr is long gone, alas, and Tenleytown is the worse for its demise. It was an interesting place.

-- Al Baird,


Since you have not yet gotten to Z, I will give my recollection of the Washington Zoo, which is what it was called in the late 1940s. As a toddler, I was strolled there by my mother. Some of my earliest steps were taken on Lion and Tiger Hill, where the summer concert series is held today. The enclosure with the artificial hill, now occupied by Mongolian wild horses, held Barbary sheep, a kind of mountain goat. The distinctive mosaic brickwork that still exists on some of the buildings is original to the park. I remember the path with the bear enclosures -- now vacant for upgrade -- that included a polar bear and the original "Smokey the Bear," the prototype for the firefighting public service announcements on TV.

-- Marcia Kass,

The District

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