Al’s Steakhouse at 1504 Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray is closing permanently? The iconic eatery was to reopen after the holidays but a sign on the door says closed indefinitely. While eagerly wanting to grab one of Al’s mouth watering steak and cheese on Wednesday afternoon, I was stunned to see the closed sign.
Al’s has been an institution in Del Ray for decades.
John “Big Al” Severson and his wife Patricia bought Al’s in the mid 1960’s. Big Al initially worked for the original owner, Al Martino, as a child. The building and the delectable steak and cheese served up by Big Al were a constant in Del Ray even though the neighborhood changed throughout the years.
Al’s steak and cheese rivals the best Philly has to offer. It is an amazing sandwich heaped with beef, smothered with cheese, and topped with whatever you liked. If you had the delectable deliciousness you knew that you would be back for another.
Big Al passed away in August of 2015 after losing the battle with cancer. Big Al was known to the many fireman that ordered steak and cheese form him as “John” or “Big John”. He was a straight forward guy who wanted you to know what you wanted prior to ordering. To fireman this made a lot of sense. John made friends quickly with all the fireman that came to his shop and he would take the time out of his very hectic days to stop and chat for a bit.
Big John’s son has been running the steakhouse shop since his father’s passing.
Hopefully the best steak and cheese found to date will be flying out the door on Mount Vernon Avenue again soon. However, it is not promising news that the business website has become inactive.