Yes, there will be a ribbon cutting tomorrow afternoon with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to officially welcome Ray’s the Steaks at East River into Ward 7. But, no, the ceremony will not signal the highly anticipated opening of Michael Landrum‘s steak emporium.

The opening won’t come until next week, Landrum tells Y&H this evening. The exact date is still pending.

“We’re fully licensed and ready to go,” Landrum adds. “I’m just making sure I’m getting it done right.”

Besides, Landrum says, the Ray’s the Steaks in Arlington has a busier than usual weekend coming up; the owner doesn’t want to open East River right before the rush in NoVa.

Landrum says that former Rustico/Jackie’s chef Frank Morales will be executing the menu at the new steakhouse, which was originally branded as Ray’s the Heat until the owner decided he wanted Ward 7 residents to know they were getting his “A property.” Morales will oversee a more wide-ranging and child-friendly menu than the ones found at the other Ray’s steakhouses. It will include a “meat and three,” hamburgers, sandwiches, a $20 T-bone steak, smoked prime rib, and what Landrum calls “half of a four-legged chicken.”

The idea, Landrum says, is that when someone orders half a fried chicken, they will get two drumsticks, not one. “If you were going to split an order of chicken with your brother,” Landrum says, as if the memory were still palpable from childhood, “what were you going to fight over?”

Landrum wants to keep the peace in the families who dine at Ray’s the Steaks at East River.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at the East River Park Shopping Center at 3905 Dix St. NE. Landrum, Fenty, and others are expected to be on hand. Anyone who shows up won’t go away completely hungry, however. Landrum plans to have small bites of pulled pork, roast beef, turkey, and steak and cheese sandwiches.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery