Business Ins & Outs: New Clyde’s Owner, Made In DC Grand Opening & More

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The original Clyde’s on M Street. Courtesy Clyde’s Restaurant Group

IT’S OFFICIAL: GRAHAM HOLDINGS OWNER OF CLYDE’S

Graham Holdings Company announced July 31 that it had acquired Clyde’s Restaurant Group. The purchase, for an undisclosed price, joins two homegrown businesses. The new owner of Clyde’s, which began in Georgetown in 1963, is a company based in Arlington, Virginia, a spinoff from the 2013 purchase by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos of the Washington Post, once owned by the Graham family in Georgetown.

Founded by Stuart Davidson, Clyde’s Restaurant Group has 13 restaurants in the Washington area. (F. Scott’s closed in 2016.) Clyde’s CEO John Laytham — who began work at the M Street restaurant while a Georgetown University student — died on Jan. 3.

Graham Holdings (formerly the Washington Post Company) is a conglomerate headed by Donald Graham, publisher of the Washington Post from 1979 to 2000. It includes the education company Kaplan, the online magazine Slate, and television stations. It has not owned restaurants before.

Timothy J. O’Shaughnessy, CEO of Graham Holdings Company, said in a statement: “The Clyde’s group of restaurants are well-run businesses that align with our investment strategy: working with great management teams to operate businesses with a long history of profitability. Clyde’s Restaurant Group has been a Washington institution that includes Old Ebbitt Grill and the Hamilton, two of the top 20 highest-grossing independent restaurants in the country. We are thrilled about the long-term possibilities of this business and we are looking forward to continuing to serve hungry and thirsty D.C. area diners for years to come.”

For his part, Thomas Meyer, president of Clyde’s Restaurant Group, said: “For 56 years, Clyde’s Restaurant Group has served the Washington, D.C. area and has built a great business based on our commitment to quality and service. Graham Holdings Company is well suited to be the new steward of the Clyde’s brands in that we share the same values and dedication to the region. We are excited to join such a well-respected company and equally excited about the future.”

IN: SHOP MADE IN DC

Shop Made in DC on grand opening weekend. Photo by Peggy Sands.

Shoe Made in DC, the local booster of products made in the District, opened its third store on Aug. 1 in the former Max Studio space at 1242 Wisconsin Ave. NW — on a block that solely needs another tenant.

“Cobblestone streets and local commerce? Yes, please!” wrote Stacey Price, who founded Shop Made in DC with Michael Babin two years ago. The mission of the retail venture, the company says, involves “enabling ideas, products, and people to converge and drive traffic to neighborhoods while creating low-entry to market opportunities for D.C.-based makers and small retailers.”

The 1,800-square-foot store will feature 100 local products, including 26 entirely new with the Georgetown store’s debut.

IN: INDOCHINO

The sign is up on another block that needs some real action. Custom men’s wear retailer Indochino, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, is heading to 3030 M St. NW, formerly home to women’s wear store Cusp. The company has more than 30 showrooms across North America.

IN: REVAMPED ROSEWOOD WITH RESTAURANT, TOWNHOUSES

The Rosewood Washington, D.C. hotel, located in Georgetown at 1050 31st St. NW, has reopened with a revamped lobby and library; a new Wolfgang Puck restaurant, Cut D.C.; and a rooftop lounge, Cut Above, also by Puck. The new public and culinary spaces were designed by French architect, interior designer, and landscape artist Jacques Garcia.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Cut D.C. has “a highly evolved vegetable-and seafood-centric menu” overseen by executive chef Andrew Skala. The bar will feature a dedicated Negroni section and a roving beverage cart serving made-to-order Old Fashioneds.

“It’s important to me that Cut D.C. has its own soul that reflects just how unique the Mid-Atlantic is and how diners want to eat now. While guests will still be able to order the signature steaks they have come to love at Cut, we want to showcase the bounty of the region and create a menu that encourages sharing,” said Puck.

Later this year, Rosewood will debut six townhouse suites next to the hotel on 31st Street. Designed by Thomas Pheasant, they will offer an entirely residential guest experience. Each 1,100-square-foot suite will have a private entrance, a fully equipped kitchen, and a private back courtyard.

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