Business Ins & Outs: Clyde’s, Bandoola Bowl, and Sweetgreen

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Clyde's on M Street.

CLYDE’S NEW OWNER: GRAHAM HOLDINGS?

It just might be a good hometown move. Clyde’s Restaurant Group has been in talks with Graham Holdings as its purchaser, reports the Washington Business Journal. If the deal goes through, a landmark business that began in Georgetown in 1963 would be bought by a local company, now based in Arlington, Virginia, that once included the Washington Post.

Clyde’s Restaurant Group’s CEO John Laytham — who began work at the M Street restaurant while a Georgetown University student — died Jan. 3. Founded by Stuart Davidson, the company has expanded to 14 restaurants in the Washington area. As for Graham Holdings, the conglomerate is headed by Donald Graham, a former publisher and former co-owner of the Washington Post. It includes the educational company Kaplan, the online magazine Slate and some television stations.

When contacted about the potential sale by The Georgetowner, Ginger Laytham, a Clyde’s Restaurant Group executive and John Laytham’s widow, referred the newspaper to Clyde’s director of communications, Molly Quigley, who responded to an email: “Thanks for reaching out … I have no comment.”

Likewise, Pinkie Mayfield, vice president of corporate affairs and chief communications officer for Graham Holdings, responded to an inquiry by The Georgetowner with “No Comment. Thanks!” This story will be updated.

IN: BANDOOLA BOWL ON WISCONSIN AVE.

Bandoola Bowl, a Southeast Asian salad shop from 25-year restaurant industry veteran Aung Myint, opened April 23 at 1069 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

“The 2,000-square-foot, two-story fast- casual concept explores Burmese cuisine, which often carries the scents and flavors of neighboring China, Thailand, and Vietnam, through approachable, ingredient-packed salads,” said the company. Myint opened family- run Burmese dining staple Mandalay in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 2004 and worked with his mother, Mandalay’s head chef Hla Hme, to develop the recipes for Bandoola Bowl’s menu.

“It’s been wonderful to see diners embrace Southeast Asian food and become more adventurous with their palates, but Burma has remained relatively hidden,” said Myint. “My family and I decided to open Bandoola Bowl as a way to share authentic Burmese flavors and a bit of our culture in a more familiar form. Salads play a significant role in Burmese cuisine and are quite different from the typical perception of salad.”

Bandoola Bowl, the company advises, “takes its name from General Maha Bandoola, who fought against the British in the First Anglo-Burmese War in the 1800s, and used his prowess riding and handling war elephants as a key strategy in his resistance efforts. During the Second World War, his heroic namesake elephant helped Burma defeat Japan. Both the commander-in-chief and the war elephant Bandoola are celebrated as national heroes in Burma.”

IN AGAIN: SWEETGREEN TO TAKE CASH

Sweetgreen, founded in Georgetown 12 years ago, has gone back to accepting cash for purchases after initiating a cashless policy three years ago. All Sweetgreens will be accepting cash by the end of the year.

Admitting its cashless move excluded some customers, the company said in a statement: “Ultimately, we have realized that while being cashless has advantages, today it is not the right solution to fulfill our mission. To accomplish our mission, everyone in the community needs to have access to real food.”

Georgetown University graduates Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet opened the first Sweetgreen at M and Bank Streets near the school in 2007. The company is headquartered in Culver City, California.

SOON: DENT PLACE MARKET

The Deli Corner Store replacement, Dent Place Market, will open this month after construction delays. [Editor’s note: The Georgetowner last month reported that it had opened. The newspaper regrets the error.] “Redefining the local corner market,” the market, at 1643 34th St. NW, intends to “honor the spirit of Georgetown.” It will cater to the morning crowd with Bullfrog Bagels and Compass Coffee — also carrying wine and local craft beer for the post-work crowd.

FALSE RUMOR: SMOOTHIE KING

Smoothie lovers will have to wait for their fix — for now, at least. A member of Smoothie King’s customer relations team told The Georgetowner that the rumored Smoothie King coming to the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and N Street is not on the company’s list. Smoothie King was founded in 1973 and has more than 775 franchise locations worldwide.

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