Moving Forward with Annie's Way

D.C. Council will consider Mayor Gray's legislation honoring Dupont-area venue and, indirectly, its namesake

A bill to designate a section of Church Street NW as ”Annie’s Way,” in honor of the legacy of Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse, a popular LGBT-friendly restaurant that has been a staple of Dupont Circle’s 17th Street neighborhood, will move forward to be considered and voted upon by the full D.C. Council.

The legislation, proposed by the office of Mayor Vincent Gray, would designate the part of the 1600 block of Church Street NW stretching from Stead Park to 17th Street NW as ”Annie’s Way.” In the proposal submitted to Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), Gray noted that Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse has been operating since the 1950s as a locally and privately owned business.

”Thanks to its namesake, Ms. Annie Kaylor, Annie’s became a business that embraced all District residents, and fostered an atmosphere of openness and acceptance in the GLBT community,” Gray said in a letter to Mendelson.

Originally, the proposal had considered naming the stretch of street ”Annie Kaylor Way,” after the longtime manager and bartender at Annie’s who died in July at age 85. But under District law, a street may not be named for someone until two years after the person’s death. Notably, longtime LGBT civil-rights leader Frank Kameny was alive when the D.C. Council voted to designate a strip of 17th Street NW between R to Q Streets as ”Frank Kameny Way.”

Gray’s proposal, as posted on the D.C. Council website, circumvents that problem by naming the street after the venue, as there is no law prohibiting streets being named for a business. On behalf of Gray, Mendelson has since introduced the bill, which will be voted upon by the Committee of the Whole. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Committee of the Whole is Nov. 19.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com