UPDATE: The M Street Dean & DeLuca closed permanently on Friday, July 26.
The upscale grocery store, Dean & DeLuca, which opened its doors in 1993 at 3276 M St. NW, closed after 26 years.
The Georgetown location was the third Dean & Deluca store — and its first outside New York City, where the company was founded in SoHo in 1977. For Washingtonians who love specialty and gourmet foods, it was epicurean heaven. A corporate representative confirmed the date with the restaurant blog, DC Eater.
After years of expansion, and then headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, and an ownership change to Pace Development, a Thai luxury development company, Dean & DeLuca took on debt, missed paying its bills and started closing stores a few years ago. Part mismanagement, part past its prime, the legendary food purveyor’s fall was the subject of stories in such newspapers as the New York Times and the Washington Post.
As of last week, there were five Dean & DeLuca locations in the U.S.: two in New York, two in Honolulu and one in D.C., aside from its Asian locations. After the final closings, the company plans to focus solely on its original SoHo location.
The Georgetown location has been the site of a market of one sort or another for about 200 years. The property is owned by the D.C. government and must by law be a food market of some kind.
Dean & DeLuca was once famous for its coffee and wine selections, its butchery, its cheeses, its pates, its delicious excesses. Last week, even the special sushi counter was no more. The coffee and bagel spot remained as did the sandwich line. But for anyone who frequented the M Street spot in the 90s or aughts, the place was a sorry state of affairs to behold.
A day before the official announcement that surprised no one, an M Street employee could only say, “We’re doing the best we can.”