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. Al's Steak House suffered a three-alarm fire just hours after reopening on July 6.
Donations are still being accepted at https://www.gofundme.com/2dpzu24.
Photo by Wayne Hulehan Photography