Business Old & New: 1789 and the Tombs Are Back; New Arrivals on Grace Street

The Tombs and 1789 Restaurant reopened Sept. 6 after a three-month closure for a $2-million renovation project. There were internal improvements: the roof was fixed, new HVAC, kitchen equipment and leather banquettes were installed and new items such as Brussels sprouts salad, grilled salmon salad and chicken enchiladas were added to the menu. On the whole, however, the Tombs looks pretty much the same.

On hand for the Sept. 6 reopening lunch were John and Ginger Laytham of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, which owns 1789, the Tombs and F. Scott’s, now a private club, which will merge with 1789 sometime next year. The original Clyde’s on M Street and its other restaurants in the area employed 1789 and Tombs personnel during the summer.

The restaurants at the corner of Prospect Street and 36th Street — across from the Exorcist Steps — are longtime Georgetown University and Georgetown neighborhood institutions. Founded in 1962 by Richard McCooey, the upscale 1789 has hosted the likes of President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel; its preppy rathskeller companion is a favorite of Olympian Katie Ledecky.

Seven blocks away from the Tombs, a new food destination has opened on the increasing popular Grace Street, parallel to the C&O Canal, between Wisconsin Avenue and Potomac Street.

Three eateries share space at 3210 Grace St. NW: Grace Street Coffee Roasters, South Block Juice Co. and SundeVich.

Two have opened at the location, near Dog Tag Bakery and across from Chaia Tacos. The coffee shop has been joined by the Arlington micro juicery’s sixth store. Still under construction in the back, the global-sandwich maker from Shaw will soon open, too. The back windows look out on on the gates and walls of backyards of small townhouses and a cute alleyway. In the front, one big room looks out on Grace Street.


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