The inaugural Icon of Georgetown awards presentation filled the back dining room of J.Paul’s Restaurant March 11 with well-wishers for two Georgetowners who have served the town for more than 20 years . . . at least.
Ward 2 councilmember since 1991, awardee Jack Evans was among old friends and his 18-year-old children, Christine, John and Katherine. Evans noted that his political life began upstairs at J.Paul’s with the likes of Max Berry, Bill Jarvis, Richard Levy — and Paul Cohn. Evans noted that he won his first council race by 320 votes. The longest-serving councilmember also recalled his first stay in Georgetown at 35th and N streets in the summer of 1975.
Awardee Paul Cohn, who founded J.Paul’s in 1983 and began many other restaurants, such as Paulo’s, Old Glory, Georgia Brown’s, Georgetown Seafood Grille and the River Club, was introduced by Greg Casten of Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place. Part of Cohn’s latest effort, Boss Shepherd’s on 13th Street in downtown D.C., Casten said, “The biggest thing about Paul is that no one has anything bad to say about him. As a friend, he is always there.”
The joyful get-together benefitted a major Georgetown mission: Georgetown Heritage — a non-profit coordinated by the Georgetown Business Improvement District — which seeks to “restore and revitalize” the mile-long section of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, including the purchase of a new canal boat and the replacement of locks. The long-term, large-scale efforts call for donations that will likely exceed $25 million.
Host Tom Gregg, the new CEO of Capital Restaurant Concepts, which owns J.Paul’s, Old Glory, Paulo’s and other eateries in the D.C. area, said the C&O Canal is one of Georgetown’s treasures and presented the awards to Evans and Cohn.
Among the many other C&O Canal plans, Georgetown BID CEO Joe Sternlieb said that if all goes according to plan, the canal barge, The Georgetown, will be available for rent on Saturdays for group dinner or parties.