Thursday, January 29, 2009

Could It Be?

I was driving down the 1700 block of Connecticut Avenue on Tuesday evening, when I looked across the street and noticed that Anna Maria's, an Italian restaurant — and I'm being very charitable when I use the word "restaurant" — was shrouded in darkness.

Could it be? Has Ann Maria's closed?

I hope so. This would free up a very nice parcel of commercial real estate — a spot where someone could open a good restaurant.

For Washington, D.C. residents, Anna Maria's has been a visual icon, not a dining destination. (Everyone knows it as the restaurant north of Dupont Circle with the kitschy sign that features a woman with a bouffant hair style.) Anna Maria's has given Italian food a very bad name. I ate there once, way back in the late 1980s. And, trust me, once was all you needed to decide never to return to the Temple of Chef Boyardee.

Anna Maria's would have closed years ago if it weren't for all the tourists who stay in the nearby hotels. I don't know any locals who have ever dined there more than once.

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