Business Ins & Outs: Current Newspapers, Georgetown Main Street, and Moby Dick

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The colorful Greenworks store at 35th & O Streets. Georgetowner photo.

OUT: THE CURRENT FOLDS

It’s the end of the line for the Current Newspapers, Inc., which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection May 10. The move to Chapter 7 means liquidation of assets and the end of the more than 50-year- old company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. Its hearing is set for May 22 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia.

As reported at inforuptcy.com: “Hearing Scheduled (BK) (RE: related document(s) 61 Motion to Convert Case to Chapter 7) Hearing scheduled for 5/22/2019 at 10:30 AM Courtroom 1. (Mathewes, Aimee) (Entered: 05/10/2019)”

According to records at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia, the Current Newspapers has more than $1.2 million in liabilities and less than $50,000 in assets. The biggest debtor claims include $180,000 by Gannett Company printers and $105,000 by Bartash Printing, Inc., of Philadelphia.

IN: WELLS FARGO EXPRESS

The banking of Georgetown has begun its next phase, as residents express their retail dissatisfaction with JPMorgan Chase and Capital One Café also in the works. Wells Fargo’s second spot at 1329 Wisconsin Ave. NW is one of its “digital express centers,” as the bank calls it. The 1,500-square-foot space offers more convenient and high-tech ways for customers to make deposits and other transactions. There is a sitting area for checking your computer, making phone calls or just counting your money.

Gabriele Davis, branch manager for Wells Fargo at 2901 M St. NW and its additional Express Center on Wisconsin Avenue, across from the Georgetown Inn. Georgetowner photo.

IN: NEW HEAD FOR GEORGETOWN MAIN STREET

Rachel Shank has been named executive director of Georgetown Main Street, succeeding Jessie Himmelrich, who moved on to the Southwest Business Improvement District, which includes L’Enfant Plaza and the Wharf. Shank is working on her master’s degree in public administration.

Georgetown Main Street is a local nonprofit that seeks “to help promote and support the economic vitality of our local small business community along Wisconsin Avenue, from Whitehaven Parkway, to K Street and the adjacent area. GMS is designated as a DC Main Street program and is funded by the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development.” “I Do,” Georgetown Main Street’s wedding event, has been postponed to August. Shank can be reached at 202-656-4427 or rachel@ georgetownmainstreet.com.

EASTBANC TO REMAKE PROSPECT & WISCONSIN

EastBanc, Inc., and Acadia Realty Trust have acquired 1238 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The 30,000 square foot retail building will be converted into office, retail and residential spaces, returning the property to its original layout.

At the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Prospect Street, the building boasted Michael O’Harro’s Tramp’s Discotheque and Billy Martin’s Carriage House in the 1970s. Most recently, it was home to the Zara clothing store.

Its latest iteration will be a mixed-use building with 15,000 square feet of office space and five residential units above the ground-floor retail — with 2021 opening expected.

OUT: GREENWORKS AT 35TH & O

By the end of the month, the florist of choice for many hotels, law firms and other businesses — as well as weddings — is decamping from its most whimsical location: 3428 O St. NW, at the corner of 35th and O Streets, across from Saxby’s Coffee and near Georgetown Hairstyling. The store, painted only a few years ago in hot pink, will consolidate its inventory to its other D.C. spots on 23rd Street in the West End and at the Willard Hotel on F Street. The creative group of flower-power lovers is headed by James Michael McCann.

Mike Daryoush, founder of Moby Dick House of Kabob, died May 9. Courtesy Moby Dick.

MOBY DICK’S FOUNDER HAS DIED

This week, the beloved Moby Dick House of Kabob is celebrating its 30th anniversary. It is also mourning the loss of founder and owner Mike Daryoush, who died on May 9. First opening in 1989 in Bethesda as Moby’s Luncheonette, the restaurant found its footing after Daryoush built a clay oven to bake fresh pita the way he’d learned in Iran. After the pita was a hit, the restaurant recalibrated and replaced American dishes with traditional Persian cuisine. It rebranded as the Moby Dick House of Kabob, and the rest is history. The 31st Street staple has 24 locations throughout the Washington area and in Baltimore.

Stephanie Green and Katherine Schwartz contributed to this business report.

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