Popular D.C. Burger Joint Forced to Shut Down


Popular D.C. Burger Joint Forced to Shut Down
February 15, 2013 12:57 PM

ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC) — One of the D.C. area’s iconic burger joints is no more.

Ray’s Hell-Burger, where the likes of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the Russian president have gone for a juicy burger, has been shut down after failing to pay its rent.

Another Landrum-owned restaurant, Ray’s Hell-Burger Too — which doubles as Nice ‘n’ Greasy Steak ‘n’ Cheesy — also has been shut down and large ‘For Rent’ signs currently hang in the windows of both restaurants. The chef’s third restaurant, Ray’s to the Third, still is open across the street from the original burger joint.

I’m tempted to say that this burger joint lost business because of customers not wanting the hassles of finding the place temporarily closed (or customers subjected to searches) at unpredictable times (this would be true regardless of whether the President had a “D” or “R” after his name). But that two of three locations have had to close? Either business is falling off for other reasons or they were badly managed (chefs and restaurant managers have very different talents).


Living within walking distance of the place, I can tell you that visits from the President certainly didn’t discourage their business. In the first place because this isn’t Mississippi - DC went to Obama by 95% three years ago and whenever someone around here happens to see the President at a restaurant or a book store, they excitedly tell everyone they know and it becomes a whole thing. If anything, the official business have given the restaurants a ton of business. And in the second place, because all three restaurants are within a few blocks of each other, and if one of them happens to be closed, you can easily just go to the one across the other one a short distance away.

They’re saying it’s because of a dispute between the restaurant owner and the landlord, and neither party has disclosed any more information than that.


I don’t really care what happens up there. They don’t have one in the Gulf South, so not my problem.


Caudi, 2 of the 3 locations have closed, not just 1. If it wasn’t clear in my post, what I thought might discourage ordinary customers would be the Secret Service closing down the restaurants or requiring customers to be screened, not the politics of the POTUS or VPOTUS visiting the restaurant. Ronald Reagan didn’t attend church during his Presidency for this very reason, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Obamas seldom attend a local church (when they are in DC) for the same reason (Clinton, OTOH, might have been afraid of lightning bolts, :wave: ). I have a half-hour lunch break (other people have a full hour). If I know the Chipotle location I visit occasionally is going to be closed down or have significant delays on an unpredictable but somewhat frequent basis, I’m going to give up and go elsewhere. If enough customers are discouraged from visiting (and tell their friends of the inconveniences) it would impact the restaurants’ business very quickly.

“… a dispute between the restaurant owner and the landlord,” covers a lot of possibilities. Maybe the landlord wouldn’t fix a leaky roof. Maybe the lease was up and the landlord wanted a rent increase wile the tenant wanted a rent decrease. Maybe the landlord wanted the rent to be paid while the tenant didn’t feel like doing so. Or maybe they couldn’t agree what the phase of the moon is.


JS, maybe Obama is getting extra attention about such matters due to the current dismal state of the economy, but he does seem to have a Reverse Midas Touch - he touches gold and it turns … ummmm … brown … and odoriferous.

It might be interesting to learn what happened with businesses Bush, Bush and Reagan patronized regularly and in person (if any) during their Presidencies.


Yeah I know, and just across the street from first one (closed) is the third one (still open). I’m saying that if people were discouraged from going to one because of an official visit, they could very easily go to the other. The place is a landmark and I’m pretty sure they’ve never suffered a lack of patronage.