Business Ins & Outs


IN: George Becomes Chines Disco

Within Georgetown Court on Prospect Street, the restaurant/bar George rebooted itself as the Chinese Disco — a legendary name from a nightclub near 21st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in the 1980s. Gone is the dark, black decor, replaced by a lighter, airier look. It still boasts a list-heavy, young crowd

OUT: Georgetown Theater to Be Rebuilt

Demolition and rehab work has begun on the old Georgetown Theater property along with its iconic “Georgetown” neon vertical sign. The sign was removed Sept. 16. by its original manufacturer, Jack Stone Signs, which still has all of the templates and parts. Property owner and architect Robert Bell told the Georgetowner about the upcoming reconstruction on the building at 1351 Wisconsin Ave., NW. He expects the sign to be returned in October, “during which time I will be removing the faux stone and stuccoing on the front façade to return it to the 1940 design.”

IN: Prospect Place to Replace Doggett’s Parking Lot

To the surprise of few in Georgetown, a new retail complex will replace the existing Doggett’s Parking Lot at 3220 Prospect St., NW. A redevelopment of the site, owned by the Weaver family for more than 100 years, was discussed before.

The 27,000-square-foot retail space will be called Prospect Place. It is across the street from the mixed-use Georgetown Court, which includes condos as well as Cafe Milano and Peacock Cafe.

A longtime Georgetown and Washington family, the Weavers own W.T. Weaver and Sons, a decorative plumbing and architectural hardware store. The family also owns the building adjacent to the parking lot property. The new Prospect Place will have underground parking, adding about 20 spots to the 80 which are now in use at the lot.

Planners will make a presentation about the site at the Sept. 29 meeting of the Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission; the Old Georgetown Board will meet Oct. 2. Work is expected to begin late next year.

IN: Via Umbria Pops in Former Tari Space

Authentic culture and cuisine from the Umbria region of Italy is coming to Georgetown in the form of Via Umbria, which moved into the old Tari space. Via Umbria will open its doors Sept. 27 as a pop-up shop with the full store and gallery to come next spring.

Located at 1525 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Via Umbria will feature four main businesses: the emporio (the shop), vino (wine), casa (the rental villa in Umbria) and galleria on the second floor (events and gallery space).

Owners Bill and Suzy Menard spent a semester in Umbria when they were students and fell in love with the region. Inspired by their trips to Italy, the couple opened Bella Italia, a shop in Bethesda offering authentic Italian products. The Menards decided to relocate to Georgetown with a new name to develop their concept even further. “The purchase has been months – nearly a year – in the making,” they wrote on their blog.

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