Iconic Sign at The Guards in Georgetown being Auctioned for Charity (Rialto Italian Rest. Opening Sept. 26th)

2915 M Street, NW

From a press release:

“If you’ve ever been down M street in Georgetown, chances are you’ve seen the iconic sign of the British Foot Guard hanging at The Guards restaurant, which recently closed its doors after 62 years in business. The historic building, located at 2915 M Street NW, will now be home to Rialto, a new authentic Italian restaurant opening on September 26th. After several offers to purchase the landmark sign, Rialto’s owners, Ben Kirane, and Moe and Joe Idrissi, have decided to auction it off on eBay so that locals will have the chance to own a piece of restaurant history.

“There’s a lot of history at The Guards, which from what I have heard was once the playground of celebrities and politicians alike, and we’ve quickly come to realize that the sign is sentimental to many locals,” says restaurant co-owner and entrepreneur, Ben Kirane, who along with co-owners Moe and Joe Idrissi, who also own Thunder Burger & Bar, and Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge.

DC locals aren’t the only ones who covet the treasures from The Guard. As the unconfirmed legend goes, Elton John once dined there, and fell so in love with the fireplace on the lower level that he offered to buy it for $100,000 on the spot. The owner graciously declined the offer. Rialto owners aren’t expecting quite as much for the sign, however they anticipate the sign will go for around $10,000 or more.

The closing of The Guards is emotional for many, but locals have a lot to look forward to with the opening of Rialto, whose menu and décor have been designed to transport diners to Venice with every dish. Featuring partially open kitchens, Rialto will serve up fresh-made pasta, imported specialty ingredients, and fresh seafood, and offers a cheese counter. The décor is unique, custom made, and most of the items have been imported from Europe. The menu features a variety of dishes that are meat- and seafood-based, as well as a variety of vegetarian-friendly dishes.

“It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that we bring Rialto to Georgetown, a place where the residents celebrate the history of their surroundings, and we look forward to becoming a part of that history,” adds Kirane.

About Rialto

Rialto is an authentic Italian restaurant located in the heart of Georgetown in Washington D.C. The menu features a variety of authentic Italian dishes with a contemporary touch. The restaurant’s Executive Chef is Ryan Fichter, who has years of experience in the industry. The restaurant was started by serial entrepreneurs Ben Kirane, and Moe and Joe Idrissi, who also own Thunder Burger & Bar, and Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge, both located in the heart of Georgetown.”

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