Amid Georgetown Closures, New Stores Arrive

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José Andrés stands in front of his America Eats Tavern on M Street in April, talking to World Central Kitchen staffers on the phone and being interviewed by “60 Minutes.” Photo by Robert Devaney.

Like many business communities across the nation, Georgetown is taking a hit during the pandemic — on top of the ongoing retail decline.

High-profile chef José Andrés and his ThinkFoodGroup have closed the America Eats Tavern at 3139 M St. NW after opening to much acclaim two summers ago. The news got picked up as an indicator of COVID-19’s lasting impact on the local economy.

While eateries shut down in the first month of the pandemic, America Eats Tavern remained in operation to provide meals for the needy from its front door. Andrés continues his work at his nonprofit World Central Kitchen. As for the America Eats menu theme, the restaurant group says it is open to “revisiting this concept in the future.”

In the bankruptcy circle or downsizing are the following closed or soon-to-close stores, all on M Street: Le Pain Quotidien, Peets Coffee, Washington Sports Club, Lucky Brand, Brooks Brothers, Johnny Rockets, Starbucks and Roots.

But all is not gloom and doom for Georgetown’s commercial corridors. There is some good business news afoot in Washington’s oldest neighborhood.

The following stores are set to open soon, according to the Georgetown Business Improvement District: Blu Dot furnishings, 3333 M St. NW (the former North Face store); Bozzelli’s pizza and subs at Washington Harbour; Donahue restaurant at 1338 Wisconsin Ave. NW (the former Smith Point); Foxtrot Market at 1267 Wisconsin Ave. NW (the former Jonathan Adler); Le Labo perfume shop at 3005 M St. NW (the former Hu’s Shoes); Levain Bakery at 3131 M St. NW (the former Johnny Rockets); UBreakIFix at 1519 Wisconsin Ave. NW; and Veronica Beard women’s clothing at 1254 Wisconsin Ave. NW (the former Streets of Georgetown clothier).

Also opening soon, with all its applications approved, is the Call Your Mother deli and bagel joint at the corner of 35th and O Streets NW, two blocks from the gates of Georgetown University.

New stores that made their debut within months of the pandemic and then temporarily closed include Allbirds and Rothy’s, both shoe stores on M Street, Georgetown Butcher on Grace Street and L.A. Burdick chocolatier and Paddywax Candle Bar, both on Wisconsin Avenue.

More good news: a pop-up is opening today, July 2, at 4 p.m. on the ground level of Georgetown Court at 3251 Prospect St. NW in the SandboX eatery behind Cafe Milano. Bar Beteco offers Brazilian-style grilled meats in partnership with Claudete Seban of MK Catering.

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