Seller Story: Clyde's Restaurant, Tysons Corner, VA

“I’ve spent my whole career building fun places to eat. We always say Clyde’s restaurants are like dining saloons: bars with great dining rooms. Though the food isn’t an afterthought for us! It’s very good, and has been kind of revolutionary, especially in the 80s. We were doing farm-to-table in 1984, sourcing from local farms in the summer, and we’ve been changing our menus daily since then, too.

I started out as a chef—I knew the owners and founders, Stuart Davidson and John Laytham, and they enjoyed some food of mine they’d eaten at Nantucket in 1982. They asked me to come down and show the chefs how to prepare certain dishes. I loved the city of Washington so much I’ve been here ever since. We had three restaurants then, and now we have 14 in what I call the DMV area—D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

When you have a company that’s been around for as long as we have—since the early 60s—you collect a lot of amazing pieces. There are just so many beautiful smaller things in the sale: like a miniature race car and a handmade airplane model that we bought that we didn’t have space for.

Our spaces are unique, and so is our clientele. Being in Washington, we’ve always had politicians in and out. George Bush Sr. came in fairly often. It doesn’t matter your politics; it’s always thrilling to meet the president." -Tom Meyer, President of Clyde’s

Seller Story: Clyde's Restaurant, Tysons Corner, VA
Seller Story: Clyde's Restaurant, Tysons Corner, VA
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Seller Story: Clyde's Restaurant, Tysons Corner, VA

What was the collecting philosophy behind these pieces?

One of the greatest things I’ve ever done was go on antiques scouting with John and Stuart. They were real patrons of the arts; they have great taste, and they were willing to spend money to get the good stuff. They bought beautiful art wherever they could find it, but also, a lot of the art and the woodwork is stuff they commissioned. They had a real vision.

What other D.C. heavy hitters have come by Clyde’s restaurants?

I remember when Bill Clinton first became president. It was before they built a track at the White House, so he would just run around D.C. in the mornings, followed by the Secret Service, generally pretty early, around 8:00 am. And one morning I’m working at Old Ebbitt Grill and Bill Clinton runs in! It was pretty funny—he was wearing shorts and bad running shoes. He wanted a glass of orange juice. He very graciously walked up one aisle, shook everyone’s hand, walked up the other aisle, shook their hands, and then he was out the door again.

What’s the story behind the Mucha prints?

Stuart acquired those, I believe. They’re strike prints, almost museum quality, of these art nouveau images from one of the top guys working at the time. It’s a Four Seasons set—they’re so incredible. Such a rare, special set of pieces. Very iconic!

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