The photo on the left is of Tops Drive Inn at 40 N. Glebe Road, circa 1955. In 1953, James J. Mathews opened this restaurant, the first of what would become an 18 restaurant chain in the D.C. metro area. Tops touted itself as “Home of the Sir Loiner,” which was a double decker hamburger similar to today’s Big Mac.
The original Tops was a 15 seat facility, but really became popular for its “Teletrays” — the drive-in restaurant feature that allowed visitors to order food without leaving the car.
Mathews was friends with Col. Harlan Sanders, who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. Mathews secured the exclusive franchise rights for serving the Colonel’s recipe chicken in the metro area, and served on KFC’s board after Col. Sanders retired.
In 1967, Mathews merged Tops with Gino’s Hamburgers, a Maryland chain. The Marriott Corporation bought Gino’s in 1972.
The photo on the right is how that location at Glebe Road and Route 50 looks today. It’s still home to a burger joint, but now it’s a McDonald’s.
After the jump: A vintage Tops commercial that ran on WTTG-TV in 1957.
Historic photo courtesy Arlington Public Library’s Virginia Room
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St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.
Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.
We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.
For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join us for a series of vignettes that revolve around the theme of love. Taking place in an almost-town called Almost, Maine, we will show you different, but important, facet of love in each