October 3, 2018 at 3:57 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Officials hail opening of Freddie Lutz’s new restaurant
Federico's Restorante Italiano, gay news, Washington Blade

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Sept. 30 for the grand opening of Federico’s Restorante Italiano. (Photo courtesy of Tony Rivenbark)

At least three elected officials joined LGBT community members and friends in participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 30 to mark the grand opening of the gay-owned Federico’s Restorante Italiano in the Crystal City section of Arlington, Va.

Gay Virginia State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and gay Virginia House of Delegates member Mark Levine (D-Arlington-Alexandria) were among those participating in the event. They hailed owner Freddie Lutz for his longstanding role as an LGBT supportive businessman and overall community activist in Northern Virginia.

Federico’s is located on the same block on S. 23rd Street in Crystal City as Freddie’s Beach Bar, another restaurant-bar owned by Lutz.

“We can’t think of Arlington and the whole rainbow community without thinking of Freddie,” Levine said.

Also attending the ribbon cutting were former Arlington Board member Jay Fisette and Arlington’s current Clerk of the Court, Paul Ferguson.

Lutz reminded many who attended the ribbon cutting on the sidewalk outside of Federico’s that he began his career in the restaurant business in the 1970s as the maitre’d at Café Italia, the restaurant that occupied the building in which Federico’s is now located. He said he remained in that position for around 25 years until he opened Freddie’s Beach Bar in 2001.

Earlier in the day Lutz and his husband Johnny Cervantes hosted a social gathering and fundraiser at their nearby home for AGLA, the nonpartisan Northern Virginia LGBT advocacy organization formerly known as the Arlington Gay & Lesbian Alliance.

Among those attending that gathering were Arlington Police Chief Murray “Jay” Farr and several candidates running for the Arlington Board of Supervisors, Arlington school board and the Alexandria City Council.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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