Howdy, y’all, I’m Down, your friendly new contributor, with some sad news to report. The original Ledo Restaurant closed its doors on July 25th so that those doors might be reopened in a new location next week. Many may consider this to be an improvement. The old place was in a strip mall on University Boulevard, navigating the parking lot took skilled hands and a watchful eye, and the décor hadn’t been in style since Little Richard was trying to outsmart Pat Boone. Maybe no one else will miss the dim lighting or the Charybdian parking lot, but the original Ledo Restaurant has been in the same spot for more than 50 years, and I’ve been eating pizza there since I could chew solid food.
When you walked into the old restaurant in Adelphi, MD, you were steeped in history and tradition. And it was beautiful. The lighting, the excessive wood paneling, the weird secondary dining room behind the bar…not to mention the fact that they rep Maryland pretty hard. Ledo Restaurant glows in my memory, and the fact that the place has looked the same for the twenty-five years I’ve been going there gave me a false sense of stability. Unfortunately, in the cruel year 2010, the old Ledo Restaurant was too weird to live and too rare to die. But die it has, only to rise from its own ashes on the ground floor of the new parking garage next to Cornerstone Grill and Loft, the epicenter of unreported battery charges in College Park. We Prince George’s County residents with a taste for old-school establishments can still avail ourselves of the Town Hall Lounge in College Park or the S & J Restaurant in Riverdale, but we’ll have to take our square pizza with a side of gentrification.
Sometimes a totemic culinary establishment from your childhood throws a changeup at you. Sometimes you think “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates is the Best Song. Res ipsa loquitur. I’ll be at the new Ledo Restaurant next week to assess the damage.