So far, no one has bid on the wood-carved sign from The Guards, the historic Georgetown restaurant that closed last year after more than 60 years of business.
That might be because the starting bid on eBay is $10,000. The owners of Rialto, the Italian restaurant taking over the former Guards’ space, placed the item up for auction. But according to Rialto co-owner Ben Kirane, the $10,000 starting bid was an error resulting from a miscommunication with the person who placed the item on eBay on the restaurant’s behalf. Kirane claims that he intended for the bidding to start at $5,000, but he expected the sign to fetch $10,000. “I’m going to call them and change it to $5,000,” he told Y&H. “I wasn’t aware of it.”
A portion of the proceeds will go to D.C. Central Kitchen, but Kirane says they haven’t determined exactly what percentage—”maybe 20 or 25 percent.”
Either way, Kirane says that the hand-chiseled, solid-wood sign is worth the big bucks because of its craftsmanship and historical significance.
The Rialto team decided to put the sign up for auction after receiving a number of phone calls from old Guards customers who wanted to buy it. One person, he says, initially offered $2,500.