Politico’s Fred Ryan buys The Guards’ sign

Remember a few weeks ago when the owners of the restaurant that replaced The Guards in Georgetown put the bar’s sign up for auction? It’s now been sold to Fred Ryan, outgoing CEO of Politico, according to the owners.

The sign’s eBay auction wasn’t very successful; the starting bid was set at $10,000 and then reduced to $5,000 with no bids.

But Ryan approached Rialto owners, Moe Idrissi, Joe Idrissi and Ben Kirane, when he heard the sign was for sale because of his sentimental connection to the bar. Ryan met his wife, Genny, at The Guards when they were both summer interns. He also lived in an apartment above the bar during the Reagan administration.

“The sign represents so much of my life upon arriving in Washington, I can’t think of a more poignant way to remember it,” Ryan said in a statement. “We are just lucky enough to be able to own a piece of Georgetown history that will always remind Genny and me of our own history.”

The Idrissis are donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale to the D.C. Central Kitchen, although they didn’t immediately provide the sale price.

Ryan is the founding CEO and president of Politico, having also served as president and COO of Allbritton Communications Company. Last month, he announced he would soon be stepping down to “pursue other career options.”

I am following up with Ryan for more details and will update this post once I hear back.

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