Remembering Sir Walter Raleigh Inn

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Remembering Sir Walter Raleigh Inn

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Sir Walter Raleigh Inn is fondly remembered for being a not-so-expensive steak house with a great salad bar that was included with your meal. Suitable for a homecoming dinner or birthday celebration, the Montgomery Village location (now the site of CVS), closed back in 2005.  What many people might not know, is that Sir Walter Raleigh had multiple locations throughout the DC Metro area.

In fact, the last surviving Sir Walter Raleigh was located near College Park and was open for business all the way up until last year! During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, the company had additional locations in Baltimore, Bethesda, Wheaton, and Alexandria, VA.


Photo of the College Park/Greenbelt location courtesy of their Facebook page.

A copy of the menu, which included prime rib, French onion soup, and lobster tails, can be found here.

Of the décor at the Wheaton location, a 1983 Washington Post review said  “The decor at the inns was stamped out of the same colonial cookie cutter: the white frame “house” exterior with the electric candles in the imitation upstairs windows. The dark wood tables and the wainscotting. The pale stucco walls adorned with the collection of old farm implements, or pieces thereof. Stamped out or not, this is a comfortable place. The candlelight gives a soft glow and the carpeting yields relatively soft acoustics.”

A 1991 Baltimore Sun review said of the White Marsh location, “As enticing as the aroma was, the taste was even better. Seldom does beef served in Eastern restaurants reach this Midwestern level of tenderness and taste. “Mouth-watering” comes to mind. It was served with an equally good whipped horseradish sauce.”

While there are no more locations in the DMV, we were able to locate a Sir Walter Raleigh Inn at 22 High Street EX9 7ED East Budleigh in the United Kingdom! We spoke to someone from the UK Pub and he told us that they are a “small pub in the village where Sir Walter Raleigh was born and spent his childhood!”


Sir Walter Raleigh in England

What are some your memories of Sir Walter Raleigh Inn?

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4 Comments on "Remembering Sir Walter Raleigh Inn"

  1. When I was a child we would visit the Sir Walter Raleigh Inn in Georgetown. . The salad bar was an experience with so many yummy choices. I think it was the first salad bar in the area. I would always get their prime rib which was so tender. I have not been able to find a decent prime rib since then. I really miss this place. The interior reminded me of Williamsburg. Truly wonderful family dining.

  2. So comforting to know that someone can recall, with detail and class, just 20 years ago. There is hope for our country and community! Thank you

  3. One of my family’s favorite places. We celebrated many special occasions with family and friends at the Montgomery Village location. After it closed, we discovered the College Park location. The owner would often come out and greet you at your table. We always had a wonderful meal.It was a family business and the last location closed after the owner passed away. We haven’t found another place like it.

  4. Thank you for this article. My father-in-law, Carl Sturges, was one of the founders of Sir Walter Raleigh Inn. The original restaurant in Bethesda held one of the earliest liquor licenses in Montgomery County. At their peak they had over twelve restaurants. As a family, we have many fond memories of dinners and celebrations at the restaurants. Yet, what we often reminisce on the most is how Carl always checked to make sure the bathrooms were clean!

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