Across from the train tracks, if you look carefully, you’ll see a wooden gate and an ivy-covered archway. Past two flaming torches mounted on the brick wall you enter a narrow courtyard and then climb up the steps into the entrance to the C & O Restaurant, named for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, which dates back to 1869. Candlelight shines on the wooden floor, uneven and patched with copper plates. What used to be an alley between two buildings now has transformed into an intimate dining room.One feels like smoking a pipe, drinking a mug of ale, and reading a Dickens novel in such a place.

What stories these walls must hold – watching the passage of time, listening to the songs and tragedies of humankind.