One of the D.C. area’s most-loved hanger steaks will soon be hung out to dry. Ray’s the Steaks, the Arlington institution that gained a loyal following over the past two decades by cultivating a reputation as the workingman’s steakhouse, will shut down on June 15, Washingtonian reports.
Owner Michael Landrum confirmed the closure to the local publication with the following statement:
“We thank everyone for opportunity to serve you throughout these many years, and truly regret no longer being able to continue to do so.”
According to Washingtonian, the restaurant’s run lasted 17 years.
Over that time, Landrum courted customers who wanted straightforward steakhouse food free of mark-ups and sycophantic servers. Ray’s gained popularity for “butcher cuts” — like a $22 hanger steak — that promised to deliver flavor but sacrifice tenderness. Jumbo lump crab bisque full of sherry and a wedge salad with horseradish running amok in the blue cheese dressing were two other popular orders at the original Ray’s near Court House.
In an introductory note on the restaurant’s website, Landrum told patrons what kind of experience to expect. “We are in no way anything like a Ruth’s Chris or a Morton’s,” the note begins. “In fact, we do everything possible to be the opposite of a fancy DC fine-dining restaurant.”
At various times, the Ray’s the Steaks brand encompassed a branch in Silver Spring — Landrum sold it to two former employees, who kept it going for five years before closing in February 2018 — and a short-lived location across the Anacostia River in Southeast.
Ray’s Hell Burger, which notably hosted former President Barack Obama and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev for lunch in 2010, closed its Rosslyn location in 2017 but continues to live on with a bare bones burger counter in Mount Vernon Triangle.
- Ray’s the Steaks Is Closing in Arlington After 17 Years [Washingtonian]
- Landrum hands over the keys to Ray’s the Classics to two employees [WaPo]
- Ray’s: The Steaks at East River closes for renovations [WaPo]