Arlington, VA

With the announcement that Ray’s the Steaks would be closing Saturday (June 15) after 17 years, finding seating at the iconic restaurant has become a herculean challenge in its final days .

Last night (Thursday), owner Michael Landrum stood outside the restaurant with a clipboard, taking orders from dozens of locals hoping for a spot at the restaurant in its closing weekend.

Ray’s the Steaks is a no-frills steakhouse tucked away in the Courthouse neighborhood. In its final two weeks, the restaurant has stopped taking reservations and is working on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The system left hopeful carnivores herding to the entrance, leaving their names and table-sizes with Landrum. Either he would eventually find a spot for them or, if not, tell them to try again the next night.

A paper sign taped to the front door informed the gaggle of stranded steak-hungry locals when the next tables would be open. However, a new sign eventually replaced it, announcing the closure of the waitlists, with the hopefuls left to try again Friday.

Outside the restaurant, Landrum was too busy to talk, but noted curtly that “any interview questions you might have should be answered by the crowd outside.”

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