In: Hotel Hive Rooftop
Michael Lastoria, founder of &pizza, and developer Jim Abdo, owner of the Hotel Hive at 2224 F St. NW, greeted guests and inaugurated the rooftop May 3 for the micro-unit hotel, offering prosecco, beer, frosé — and slices of &pizza, samples of which include combinations for breakfast or dinner. Cool views of the Lincoln Memorial and over to Georgetown at the corner of F and 23rd Streets. Photo by Robert Devaney.
Amazon Bookstore Coming to M Street
It’s back to the future, as online retailer Amazon has plans for a brick-and-mortar bookstore on M Street — with a touch of irony. That’s right … in good, old Georgetown.
The Washington Post (owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos) had the story first, reporting: “Steven Roth, the chief executive of Vornado Realty Trust, told investors this week that Amazon has leased 10,000 square feet at 3040 M St. NW in Georgetown, a storefront previously occupied by Barneys New York. He did not specify when the store is set to open.”
The future Amazon store is adjacent to the huge Nike store property, also owned by Vornado. The Nike store took over the large — and still missed — Barnes & Noble Books location, which closed on M Street in 2011, a victim of increased online book sales.
Amazon already has physical stores in Seattle, San Diego and Portland — with ones planned for New York City and New Jersey. Besides books, Amazon stores display Amazon products such as its TV streaming and Echo voice assistant. Expect some purchase-pickup services as well. The Amazon app will be used for product information and to speed transactions.
Under Armour Not Coming to Wisconsin & M
What, is the rent too darn high? Once expected to become an Under Armour retail showcase, the building at Georgetown’s most famous intersection — Wisconsin Avenue and M Street — is going up for lease and will not show off the athletic apparel of the Baltimore company, according to the Washington Business Journal.
Sagamore Development, part of Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank’s growing real estate and business empire, continues its reconstruction of 3150 M St. NW, which includes more than one building. The work should be completed by the end of the summer.
The Plank group purchased the building for $12.25 million in 2014 from the Heon family, which owned it for 100 years.
In: Falafel Inc.
Not far from Wisconsin and M, the space that housed Quick Pita at 1210 Potomac St. NW has been refilled by Falafel Inc. Owner and entrepreneur Ahmad Ashkar will give some of the eatery’s profits to refugee programs — appropriately, since falafel sandwiches are a common dish in Middle East refugee camps. Ashkar’s Hult Prize Foundation helps startup businesses.
In: Bibibop Opens May 31
East Asian grill Bibibop will open a location on May 31 at 2805 M St. NW, formerly a Shophouse, Chiptole’s failed East Asian fast-casual chain. A Dupont Circle location at 1516 Connecticut Ave. NW will follow on June 1. The business appears to get its name from “bibimbap,” Korean for “mixed rice.”
Out: Flor Stor No Mor
Having gone bricks-and-mortar in 2012, carpet-tile system Flor has departed 1037 33rd St. NW and returned to the online world exclusively. The company’s carpet squares can be combined to make rugs, runners and wall-to-wall flooring.
Out: Calypso St. Barth
Calypso St. Barth has sailed away from its store at 3307 M St, NW. Founded in 1992, Calypso St. Barth began as a modest resort-wear luxury brand. Since then, the boutique has grown into a luxury lifestyle brand. The high-end clothing store features pieces with rich textures, exotic colors and embellishments that appeal to modern women consumers. The closest store now is in Bethesda.