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Ray’s the Steaks at East River (ranked No. 39 on City Paper‘s list of D.C.’s 44 Most Powerful Restaurants) had raised hopes that a nice sit-down restaurant could actually survive in the culinary dead zone known as Ward 7. Is this trailblazing effort now in jeopardy? Pirate-flag-waving restaurateur Michael Landrum‘s no-frills steakhouse on Dix Street NE has abruptly closed its doors. WaPo food scribe and Y&H alum Tim Carman has the scoop. A sign on the door attributes the closure to forthcoming renovations and notes: “We eagerly look forward to seeing you soon after re-opening in January 2012.” But Carman reports that no work permit has been filed with the city. Landrum declined to comment.

Logo courtesy of Ray’s the Steaks East River