Adams Morgan Not Going to Hell — Yet

Ray's Hell Burger rumored for 18th Street

Most late-night revelers in Adams Morgan are already going to hell. But a report published Friday morning led many to believe that their trip would be much tastier.

The Washington Business Journal said Ray's Hell Burger, infamous for a visit by President Barack Obama and his trusty sidekick, would open its first D.C. location this fall in Adams Morgan.

The executive director of Adams Morgan Partnership, Kristen Barden, told the Journal the restaurant would open at 2465 18th Street NW (formerly Ghana Cafe).

But not so fast, burger lovers.  The City Paper ruins our happy Friday by saying the report in the WBJ was wrong.  Ray's owner Michael Landrum says he has no deal in place. 

Rumors about a Hell Burger in Adams Morgan have surfaced, Landrum says, because of his relationship with Wilma Roumel, who owns the property that houses both Ray’s HB in Arlington and the old Ghana Cafe. Landrum says his contractor has been helping Roumel bring the Adams Morgan space up to modern standards.

Landrum has indeed talked to Roumel about opening a Hell Burger in Adams Morgan, he admits, mostly to help relieve some of the pressure on the Arlington location, which has been overrun with fans since the presidential visit in May.

City Paper, we love crippling depression more than most, but couldn't you at least give us a full day to ponder what it would be like to bite into a juicy burger on 18th Street instead of whatever it is that McDonald's passes off as food?  Seriously.  Way to kill the good Friday vibe.

Landrum told the City Paper that he has considered putting a Ray's in Adams Morgan, but is hesitant unless he sees "a lot more police presence and municipal support."  Smart move, sir.

So we'll continue to wait for a great burger joint in Adams Morgan.  In the meantime, lines have been long at Ray's in Arlington since Obama and VP Joe Biden made a visit there in May. Obama has made regular trips to local burger joints since then, including a stop at a Five Guys.

For those not keeping score at home, Obama ordered a cheddar cheese burger (medium well) with spicy mustard. He wanted fries, but ended up with some cheesy tater puffs since Ray's apparently hates the French. Aww, just kidding. We're guessing the spicy mustard was a Grey Poupon of some sort.

The VP had a swiss cheese burger with jalapenos and ketchup. And yes, Biden asked if he had to put the ketchup on by himself. Come on, Joe, this is a classy joint!

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