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New Twist at Old Anglers

Restaurant to host canal boat fundraiser in new beer garden.

From kayakers to hikers to bikers, many locals who enjoy the C&O Canal consider Old Anglers Inn to be synonymous with the canal’s entry point on MacArthur Boulevard. That’s part of why Old Anglers co-owner Mark Reges wanted to get involved with a canal-related cause as the restaurant launches a new phase.

Old Anglers Inn is opening a beer garden with a casual menu. On Tuesday, July 11, Old Anglers is hosting a benefit at the new terrace to help Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern’s Canal Boat Fund.

"About 30 years ago, I had a beer garden in the back," Reges said. "It actually got a bit too successful, because we got more people there then we got in the front."

With the change in demographics in the Potomac area in recent years, Reges figured that the restaurant could accommodate both a formal clientele at the restaurant, as well as a more casual crowd in the beer garden during warmer months.

"We wanted to realign ourselves with our neighbors. … That kind of got lost to some degree," Reges said, referring both to locals in Potomac, Bethesda and Rockville. When Reges heard about the Canal Boat Fund, "I jumped on it, because it was a perfect kind of relationship."

Friends of the Tavern expect their efforts to bring a new boat to the canal by Great Falls Tavern will come to fruition later this summer. The Canal Clipper, a replica cargo boat, was retired after 30 years of service in 2003 due to irreparable damage to its hull. Friends of the Tavern anticipate a new boat will arrive in late August or early September; it is a double-decker "packet" boat modeled after those that ferried passengers along the canal in the 1800s. To date, the Friends of the Tavern have raised more than $515,000 of the $545,000 that the new packet boat will cost.

<1b>— Alex Scofield