Unlike most of Historic Alexandria's 18th century architecture, the building that houses the Two Nineteen Restaurant is over one hundred years old. Built in 1890 by the prosperous merchant Lewis MacKenzie, this elegant home reflects the Victorian style of the 19th century: an austere and sober red-brick exterior with an ornate but comfortable interior, so comfortable that its rumored that the ghost of the last private tenant, Mrs. Edna M. Royster, refuses to move out and haunts the building to this day.
By 1979, the renovations were complete and the doors of Two-Nineteen were opened once more, now as a fine New Orleans style Creole restaurant. We hope that you will visit our bar in the Bayou Room. Listen to blues and jazz in the Basin Street lounge. And enjoy service and cuisine worthy of our Southern heritage in the two formal dining rooms. We are proud of what we have brought together at Two-Nineteen and hope you will enjoy the experience.
Clifford T. Cline bought the house in 1972. Like much of Old Town in the seventies, the house had fallen into a state of disrepair, what was left of the building was the perfect place to recreate Victorian elegance in a fine restaurant. The interior décor features period millwork which is evidence by the chair rails, cornices, and solid mahogany bars. The antique furnishings, purchased amidst the excitement of London auction houses, include matching marble fireplace mantles, hungarian crystal chandeliers, solid brass wall sconces, and original Victorian oil paintings. Of special interest are the brilliant-cut mirrors fashioned by on of the few remaining artisans who used the technique created at the turn of the century. Special care was taken to assure authenticity in every detail.