Opinion Your Views — 29 November 2012

By David Fritz, Alexandria

I am a homeowner of an Old Town house built in 1890. I recently dug out my basement for more living space and, in the excavation process, found a corked bottle with “Drews Restaurant Alex VA” etched on the side.

After a couple of trips to the Kate Waller Barrett Branch Library and trying to work with an unresponsive Alexandria archaeology staff, I have run into a dead end on obtaining any information on Drews Restaurant. I am calling on all longtime residents and folks who are skilled in local historical research: Does anyone know anything about Drews Restaurant?

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. Hi Mr. Fritz,
    My name is Garrett Fesler and I am one of the city archaeologists at Alexandria Archaeology. My apologies for allowing your inquires about the Drews Restaurant bottle you found in your basement to fall through the cracks here. Normally we are able to jump right on research requests from citizens, but evidently this one slipped by us.
    In any case, one of our researchers was able to find references to a man named Joseph B. Drew who operated a restaurant at 519 King Street in the first decade of the 20th century. I would be happy to email the information to you if you can provide me an email address. Or I am happy to speak with you over the phone. Please call my direct line at 703-746-4720. If I am not at my desk to receive your call, I will return your call ASAP.

    Looking forward to speaking with you, and maybe we can crack this case together.

    Take care,


    Garrett Fesler, Ph.D.
    Office of Historic Alexandria/Alexandria Archaeology
    Torpedo Factory Art Center #327
    105 N. Union Street
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Main Office: 703.746.4399
    Direct Line: 703.746.4720

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