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Sir Walter Raleigh Inn

For many years, Sir Walter Raleigh Inn was a local chain that provided good steaks at reasonable prices. They were located in Bethesda, Wheaton, Gaithersburg, and Greenbelt. Only the Greenbelt outlet survives.

Can anyone comment on the current quality of the last SWR?

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  1. The last one I knew of in this area was on Route 1 in Alexandria, near the Fairfax County line. It was great - the fireplace in winter was a nice touch. The food was always very good, the service excellent, and the prices reasonable. But, it's been gone for a long time. I wish they'd come back.

    1. I went there for dinner about 6-8 months ago. They still have the big salad bar. I don't remember what I had but the consensus was we wouldn't go back. Not as good as in the old days.

      1. The Greenbelt one is pretty terrible: service is slow, steaks no better than what you'd get at Safeway. You can find better meals for much less.

        1. I remember the Bethesda location from almost 40 years ago. I think it's been gone for more than a decade.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Pappy

            My family ate at The Bethesda one for years! We loved it. The Pumpernickel bread. The prime rib. They made you go in this crummy little bar and order a drink, and suddenly once your ordered, your table was ready! That's how they got their bar sales up. I am so sad it is gone.

            1. re: marshchow

              Oh...I think they had more than a few games going on to increase revenue. I can remember more than once arguing with the waiter who said we gave him $20s when we know we gave him $50s.

          2. The Merrifield location is still there, with the name on the building and all, apparently empty. I can see it when I pull into the McDonald's on Gallows Road.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dpan

              The last time I ate at the Greenbelt location, the prime rib was bland, the lobster tail was probably frozen and the green beans tasted like they came from a can. I think that was last summer.

            2. I ate at the Greenbelt one just a few weeks ago. It was excellent. My dinner companions and I were all very pleasantly surprised at the quality of our dinners. The wonderful salad bar is still there, and still fabulous. Near the end, the owners came by to introduce themselves and chat with everyone. Turns out, it used to be a partnership, and his partner allowed him and his wife to buy out the one restaurant, so the quality has gone way up since then. So try the Greenbelt location again. I loved it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LadyJane

                Wow, thats good news. My MIL still lives near by and I think we will have to take her there soon and report back.

              2. Gaithersburg location is now long gone.
                Our last visit there was beyond disappointing, fond memories of good meals at the Bethesda location when I was a kid.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Redsgirl

                  I only remember one meal at their Ellicott City/Normandy location (I had no idea it was a micro-chain). It closed at least 20 years ago and became an Acura dealership.

                  1. re: Redsgirl

                    I only ate at the Gaithersburg one the week they closed. $15 for prime rib was pretty awesome. Even if it was mediocre, I'd still rather have it than a CVS - which incidently is less than a mile away from the next CVS.

                  2. For what it's worth, they were also in the Hunt Valley and White Marsh Malls.