Business Ins & Outs: Levain Bakery, Framebridge & More

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Susan Tynan.

NYC’S LEVAIN BAKERY COMING TO M ST.

Still, when all is said and done, they come to Georgetown first. Manhattan’s Levain Bakery with its big, textured cookies will be setting up shop at 3131 M St. NW, former site of the Johnny Rockets hamburger joint, in late summer or fall, according to Eater DC.

Known for its chocolate chip walnut cookies and other varieties, Levain — a top spot on the Upper West Side — also offers breads, pastries and sticky buns. Founded in 1995 by Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald, the bakery is expanding nationally with a strategic investment by Stripes, a private equity firm. The M Street shop will be its first outside New York.

GRAHAM HOLDINGS BUYS FRAMEBRIDGE

Last month, Graham Holdings Company acquired Framebridge, Inc., a custom framing service founded in Georgetown. The purchase price was not disclosed. “We are thrilled to have the confidence of Graham Holdings Company to take our business to the next level,” said Susan Tynan, Framebridge founder and CEO.

“We believe Framebridge can become the industry leader in custom framing, as its model of lower prices, faster service and great quality is a trifecta that is hard to beat. Susan and the team have reinvented the category and we’re excited to provide a home for Framebridge to grow,” said Timothy J. O’Shaughnessy, CEO of Graham Holdings, which previously disclosed a minority investment interest in Framebridge. O’Shaughnessy served as chairman of Framebridge’s board.

ARTISTS & FLEAS VENDORS PIVOT TO MASKS, FAUCI CHOCOLATES

While the pandemic has delayed the opening of market Artists & Fleas at 3276 M St. NW, several of the vendors set to move into the landmark building have pivoted to focus on giving back.

Wiggle & Scoot has transitioned to selling masks made with designer fabrics, with the proceeds going to the National Center for Children and Families. Chouquette Chocolates is crafting Fauci Fan Club chocolates, tasty tributes to the leadership of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Doctors Without Borders will receive a $2 donation for each purchase. The owner of Sweet
As Sugarcane has hand-sewn hundreds of masks, both for sale and for donation to nursing homes. Ruth Nathan’s, a maker of fine bow ties, pocket squares and lapel flowers, is also making masks. When you purchase one of Ruth Nathan’s sleek and fashionable masks, the shop will donate one to a local health care worker, post office staffer or delivery person.

OUT: CAMPONO, NEAR KENNEDY CENTER

Campono — the pizza, panini and gelati restaurant at 600 New Hampshire Ave. NW, across from the Kennedy Center, has closed due to the pandemic and a rent increase. The owners wrote: “We have truly enjoyed serving this wonderful community these last four and a half years … In addition to the mandatory shut down for the Covid-19 outbreak and slower times at both the Kennedy Center and our building, the landlord has exercised their legal right and directed us to vacate the building by the end of April.

“We have had our current lease/ agreement in place with the landlord since 2017. They requested additional monetary contributions in order for us to maintain occupancy and extend our lease. Given our current business model, we are unable to commit to the financial burden of this request. After months of discussions and negotiations they have decided to terminate the month-to-month lease we have been operating under since January of 2019.

“If we had been able to continue to operate under our current agreement, it still would have been a difficult road to re-opening (as many, many restaurants are going to soon be struggling with themselves).”

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