Michael Landrum to Open New Restaurant Tonight

The still unnamed restaurant to host a “very soft opening” at 5 PM tonight

Food lovers have always associated restaurateur Michael Landrum with meat. His retro restaurants—Ray’s the Steaks, Ray’s the Steaks at East River, Ray’s Hell Burger, and Ray’s Hell Burger Too—have emerged as standard-bearers for beef and burgers in this town.

But the meat is the medium, not the message. Landrum is more properly regarded as an iconoclast—he has no Web site, no publicist, no corporate office, and does business in ways that strike most of the restaurant community as unorthodox and even eccentric.

Case in point: His latest venture, due to open tonight at 5 in Arlington

“We don’t have a name, the menu is still to be decided, but there will be food and there will be drink, including wine and alcohol,” Landrum told me rather cryptically by phone this afternoon, as he was busily prepping for what he called a “very soft opening.”

He does, however, have an address: 1650 Wilson Boulevard.

The space was supposed to house an earlier Landrum project—Ray’s the Catch. Landrum declined to say where that restaurant would open, or even if it would open.

He also declined to discuss his motives in opening the new, as-yet-unnamed restaurant, except to say that tonight’s menu will be an abbreviated version of the eventual menu—he expects the number of dishes to double by next week—and that the new addition to the Ray’s empire “will not have a mixology program, now or ever.”

Intrepid diners should expect a beef-filled night. And plenty of the unexpected.