The Matchbooks of Georgetown, Vol 2

In writing his article yesterday, GM discovered that there are a new set of old Georgetown matchbooks for sale on Ebay. He wrote about a similar collection last November. Here are the new ones available:

The first is seen above. It’s for Tom Ross’ Charcoal Hearth. It once stood where the Citibank is, just north of the Safeway. It appears to have been open as early as the early 1960s, as this menu from 1962 suggests:

Here’s a bit from a 1969 review in the Washington Post:

An obituary from 1987 suggests that the restaurant may have moved to Arlington at some point:


50, a bookkeeper who had been part owner and manager of the Charcoal Hearth Restaurant in Arlington from 1960 to 1980, died of cancer July 29 at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Fairfax.

Mrs. Wine, who lived in Alexandria, was born in Rock Hill, S.C., and moved to Washington when she was 16. She attended McKinley Technical High School. Since selling her interest in the Charcoal Hearth she had been a bookkeeper with the Woodbridge-based GBS Systems.

She was a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Springfield.

Next up, Jour et Nuit. The matchbook states that the restaurant was located near 30th and M St. “in and old home”. Specifically (according to this 1971 review) it was in 1204 30th St.:

A Post review from 1990 sheds a little more light on where exactly Jour et Nuit was:

If you have been in Washington long enough to remember the French restaurant heyday, you might recall Garrett’s predecessor, Jour et Nuit, whose second-floor terrace was always crowded despite the competition from the far better Rive Gauche and the far cheaper Chez Odette. Now Rive Gauche has become the Banana Republic, Chez Odette is the Georgetown Seafood Grill, and that beloved Jour et Nuit terrace recently has been restored by Garrett’s for more attractive dining. Its two old-brick walls are intact, and the rest of the walls and cathedral ceiling are glass with sparkling white frames. A little color is provided by bright paper napkins, and candles offer a bit more romance. But sunshine or moonlight, plus glimpses of Georgetown streets and architecture, are all the decoration the restaurant needs.

Next up, Charleys at 3235 M St. That’s now the Aerie (soon to be Nike Store). Charley’s was open as early as the 1960s. An article from 1969 lists various restaurants with late closing hours, including Charley’s:

GM couldn’t find any mentions of the restaurant after the 60s, so it probably didn’t last that long.

Next up, Chez Grand-mere. It operated at 3057 M St. (which is now the Amigo Mio restaurant)

Another obituary (they’re alway great sources of summary info) suggests the restaurant made it into the mid 90s:

Mario Garcia, 80, who emigrated from Cuba in the 1940s and became a local restaurateur, died May 25 at Capital Hospice in Arlington County of cancer. He was an Annandale resident.

In 1986, Mr. Garcia became owner of the French restaurant Chez Grand Mere in Georgetown, which he managed for 10 years before selling it and retiring. The restaurant played host, as noted in its guestbook, to former first lady Barbara Bush, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and actor Gene Hackman.

This one was a little tougher, since it doesn’t list anything beyond a name, and a somewhat generic one at that. But luckily the answers came quickly. It was the name of one of the restaurants in the Four Seasons:

This one was for the Latham Hotel, which many still remember. It what once stood where that giant pit at 30th and M now stands. It was closed and demolished over nebulous water issues and has remained an eyesore ever since.

The Chesapeake Inn restaurant once stood at 3040 M St. (those few blocks were quite the restaurant hub once!). It was opened in 1972.

The restaurant it was imitating itself was burned down just a few years later in 1977:

The last entry is a bit of an odd one. It’s not for a restaurant, but rather a play. Specifically it’s for GU’s Mask and Bauble production of “Come Back Little Phoenix”. It was from 1967.

Interestingly, in GM’s last batch of matchbooks, there was one for a student government campaign. Must have been a much more common promotional item back when everyone was giving themselves lung cancer!


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