The Raven needs no introduction.
Ah, The Raven. For many, that phrase elicits little more than memories of High School English class, and that creepy bird taunting a young man over his lost lover, Lenore. For a few (perhaps a few more these days) The Raven has become symbolic of another love lost; the home away from home, the dark corner all your own, the dumpy little dive bar untainted by the masses. The Raven has seen it’s way through more than a few changes since 1935, most recently the building has been under construction to create some new affordable housing. But it’s still here, and it doesn’t look to be going away any time soon, as the management company (www.mannadc.org) doesn’t have any plans to get rid of the place.
Some friends and I stopped in for a couple drinks last night and I spent some time chatting with the bartender, Sam, who was just about as nice as could be. Like the dutiful “reporter” I am, I asked Sam what he likes best about The Raven and he told me it was the old school pictures behind the bar. Forgive me if I’m getting it wrong, but I believe the story goes something like this: A few years back a young woman moved to DC and came looking for The Raven at the insistence of her Grandfather (or maybe her Dad?) She stopped in for a chat with the bartenders and they got to talking about the place, and it’s history. When she reported back that The Raven was indeed still alive and well, Gramps sent some pictures of himself and his buddies hanging out at the Raven back in the 40s. And there it is, a little slice of history right on the wall!