In the week since the three-alarm fire that occurred at Al’s Steak House on their grand reopening day, the Del Ray community has raised over $20,000 for the Breeding family during the rebuilding process, including $12,608.62 during a fundraiser organized by the Del Ray restaurant community.
On July 14, Holy Cow Del Ray transformed into Al’s Steak House Pop-up, featuring the chefs and owners from seven of Alexandria’s top restaurants preparing and serving 420 of Al’s signature steak-and-cheese sandwiches, which sold out within 90 minutes. “It’s just incredible,” said Del Ray Business Association President Bill Blackburn, of Holy Cow. “It really shows how special Alexandria and Del Ray is. Real community spirit here, real heartwarming.”
The pop-up fundraiser raised $12,608.62; another $7,400 was raised through GoFundMe. All proceeds from the fundraisers will go to the Breeding family, who remain committed to reopening Al’s Steak House. “We’re in awe of all the community support, all the people who came out,” said Al’s Steak House owner Dorothy Breeding, who grew up in Del Ray. “I’m amazed.”
A Del Ray institution, Al’s Steak House closed in December 2015 after the death of John Severson, who took over the shop from its namesake in 1965. The Breeding family, longtime customers of Al’s Steak House, purchased the restaurant, and worked with the Severson family to preserve the neighborhood landmark and its signature steak-and-cheese sandwiches.
Donations are still being accepted online.
I know some of you must wonder if I talk about anything else but what a wonderful community Del Ray is and that we have the absolute best businesses ever, but tonight I am so overwhelmed with pride and love for our businesses and our caring and generous community. In less than a week Bill Blackburn & Michael Anderson organized an amazing fundraiser to benefit Al’s Steak House after their tragic fire. With the chefs/owners of 7 of Del Ray’s favorite restaurants working behind the counter, they served 420 famous Al’s cheesesteaks in about 1 1/2 hours, selling out much quicker than anticipated. Even though we sold out, with the tremendous generosity of neighbors and friends, the new owners of Al’s definitely feel the love. Thanks to Bill, Mike, Holy Cow, Cheesestique, Del Ray Pizzeria, Market to Market/St Elmo’s, Stomping Ground & Taqueria Poblano for making tonight happen. “It’s a Wonderful Life”