In (Trouble): Piccolo Files Chapter 11
Ristorante Piccolo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection May 5 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for D.C., according to the Washington Business Journal. Run by Karen and Tony Kowkabi, it has been at 1068 31st St. NW since 1986. Their other restaurant, Catch 15 at 1518 K St. NW, was part of the same filing. The restaurants will stay open during the Chapter 11 process.
“Both restaurants list assets of fewer than $50,000; Catch 15’s petition lists debts of between $500,000 and $1 million and Ristorante Piccolo lists debts of between $1 million and $10 million. The largest debt in Ristorante Piccolo’s filing is $678,629 owed to the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, though that claim is listed as disputed. There is also an undisputed debt of $358,442 to the Internal Revenue Service.”
Across the street from Piccolo, where il Canale restaurant now holds court, the couple also ran the Alamo Grill.
In 2006, according to the Washington Times, Gholam “Toby” Kowkabi plead guilty to tax fraud and received an 18-month prison sentence.
In: Where Cellar Door Was — Starbucks No. 5
A Starbucks will be taking over the vacant building at 3347 M St. NW. The 2,600-square-foot space most recently housed a Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, which lasted a year, and before that the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Factory. Its most famous iteration, from the 1960s to the 1980s, was as the Cellar Door, the legendary music venue. With the new spot at 34th and M Streets, Starbucks will boast five Georgetown locations; the others are at Washington Harbour, 3122 M St. NW, 1810 Wisconsin Ave. NW and the Georgetown University student center.
TEMPORARY CLOSURE: The tea house Ching Ching Cha at 1063 Wisconsin Ave. NW will be closed for renovation from June 5 to July 6. It will reopen July 7. Ching Ching Cha has been in Georgetown for 19 years.
In: Insomnia Cookies Within Sleepwalking Distance
A cookie shop with late-night delivery — generally until 3 a.m. — is coming to 3204 O St. NW, where P Street Frames used to be. The store — there is one in Adams Morgan and another will open on H Street NE — offers ice cream with its warm cookies and other sweet concoctions. Founded in a dorm by a UPenn student in 2003, Insomnia Cookies now has more than 100 locations — most near university campuses.
Long & Foster Execs Sell Georgetown Property
In a move that is really not a move, Long & Foster cofounder Wesley Foster and Vice Chairman George Eastment sold the company’s 1680 Wisconsin Ave. NW building to developer Penzance Cos. for $8.5 million, according to the Washington Business Journal. But none of the tenants is going anywhere — especially the big one: Long & Foster.
Long & Foster spokeswoman Jackie Allder told WBJ: “The brokerage had been leasing space in the three-story building from Foster and will remain as a tenant under its new owner. The real estate brokerage remains committed to the Georgetown area and to buyers and sellers throughout D.C.”
Foster and Eastment bought 1680 Wisconsin Ave. NW for $3.4 million in 1999, according to WBJ. In District land records, the property is assessed at about $7.2 million. Penzance will move in later this year after renovations to the space it will occupy. Other tenants include Georgetown Village, an aging-in-place nonprofit.
In: Kung Fu Tea Bubbling Up Next Week
A Kung Fu Tea location is set to open June 12 on the second floor of 1529 Wisconsin Ave. NW, above Zannchi, the Korean restaurant that opened last year. The chain, launched in 2009, calls itself, “an Asian beverage specialist with a selection of tea, bubble tea and other hot and cold drinks, including coffee and slushes.” Manager Yizhou Yu, who graduated from Georgetown University in 2016, also started Zannchi with classmate Eunjung Kim.