The Race Bar

Jaguar XKSS at Clyde's of Chevy Chase

The gods of speed smiled on me this past weekend.

Midget racer at Clyde's of Chevy ChaseI was traveling to Washington DC and was invited to meet up with family for dinner at Clyde’s in Chevy Chase, MD.

As I approached the door I spotted a Bugatti 52 in the window acting as a simple table decoration, which is impressive enough on it’s own, and turned to my wife with a quick, “If that’s real they spent quite a bit on the interior of this place.”

Mural at Clyde's of Chevy ChaseThat wasn’t half of it. I walked in the front door to be immediately greeted with a 2-story mural of a 1920’s era road race with a battling Bentley and Bugatti leading the way. Peering down the spiral stairway revealed a Jaguar XKSS on display. Again, I said, “now if THAT is real, they spent QUITE a bit on the interior of this place”.

The entire lower floor of the place is bedecked with vintage posters from both international grand prix and local dirt track races. In addition to the XKSS, there’s a Morgan 3-wheeler and a midget racer perched above the bar. Wrapping around the entire lower floor bar is an enormous second mural featuring pre-war racers and various sportscar marques. Upstairs sharing space with the Bugatti 52 are more period kiddie carts: an MG and a Rolls. Amazing.

In short, it’s the Mid-Atlantic’s answer to the Siebken’s bar. It’s always depressing to find a great new hangout only to realize that you live hundreds of miles away from it.

My web searches since I’ve returned home seem to indicate that the Jaguar is indeed authentic. Can anyone confirm?

Mural at Clyde's of Chevy Chase