Business Ins & Outs of 2021


The coming and going of Georgetown businesses — retail and restaurants — seemed to tilt on the positive side in 2021, despite the pandemic and other stressors. Here’s to more good news in the new year — and there’s always something new.

Coming — 

Starr Italian Restaurant on M

Stephen Starr, the restaurateur behind the popular French restaurant Le Diplomate on 14th Street will be opening an Italian eatery and market in the former Dean & DeLuca space on 3276 M St. NW. Starr operates Starr Restaurants, a multi-concept and independent restaurant group that includes more than 30 eateries. Starr shared the news at the Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission’s June 1 online meeting. He’s working on getting California-based star chef and baker Nancy Silverton of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza, both in Los Angeles. The group has designs for a “mega Italian concept” with lots of pastas and pizzas and a hearth in the middle for baking —”not super expensive,” he said. The market portion will be 1,000-square-foot Italian market with gelato and espresso, breads, baked goods, fresh veggies and more. Eventually, there may be a wine cellar in the basement.

Glover Park Whole Foods to Open in 2022

While Whole Foods lovers will have to wait a little longer for their Glover Park store to reopen, excitement is building that it is one of the first that will use Just Walk Out technology for check out. “We are excited to announce that Whole Foods Market will open two stores featuring Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology as an option for customers. The stores, one in Washington, D.C.’s Glover Park neighborhood and one in Sherman Oaks, California, are expected to open next year,” said Jamie Forrest of Whole Foods Market in a statement. The Whole Foods Market at 2323 Wisconsin Ave. NW will reopen in a month or so with a 21,500 square foot sales floor, according to the company.

Buck Mason and Pressed

Two coming from L.A.: The straightforward menswear store, Buck Mason, founded in 2013 by Sasha Koehn and Erik Allen Ford in Los Angeles, will set up a store at 3128 M St. NW. Also coming is Pressed which says it began in 2010 as a 25 square-foot “juice closet” in Los Angeles and included a food truck in Malibu. Pressed offers its signature cold-pressed juices along with plant-based foods. It will open in the former Papyrus card store location at 1300 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee

There’s a new coffee shop coming to the former Calvin Klein store at 3207 M St. NW in March. But North Carolina-based Bitty & Beau’s is not just a coffee shop. It primarily employs individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and declares: “Brewing up more than just delicious drinks, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is a human rights movement disguised as a coffee shop. Our shops provide a one-of-a-kind experience that is changing the way people see people with disabilities.”

 

Afghan Restaurant on M

Taking over the former space of Don Lobo’s Mexican Grill which closed May 31, 2020, after 16 years,  Afghania  will be another restaurant by Omar Masroor at 2811 M St. NW. His Bistro Aracosia on MacArthur Boulevard gets high marks for serving the likes of sabzi turnovers, lamb chops and beef tenderloin,  qabuli palou  and veal  ryehaan. The new restaurant is situated between Taj of India Cuisine and La  Chaumiere.

In — 

Bakeshop on Grace

Bakeshop opened at 3210 Grace St. NW in November. It’s an award-winning bakery from Arlington with cakes, cookies, pies and more. 

English Rose Garden Reblooms

While it had been in a temporary spot, the English Rose Garden, the floral boutique established in 1997, has returned to 3209 O St. NW after the June 2018 fire which began next door at Wingo’s (set to reopen also by the end of January). Drop by to congratulate  Taraneh  Dadmarz  who is excited to welcome Georgetowners back into her flower shop.

Yo Yoga, Curated by Svetlana

Yo Yoga opened in October at 2805 M St. NW, in the former Georgetown Yoga space, above  Freshbee’s American Grill & Cafe. Mind & Body Studies at Yo Yoga is a tranquil, light-filled Georgetown studio, curated by Svetlana Leonidovna Sidilkovskaia.

Avocado Green Mattress in Cady’s Alley

No, you’ll not be dipping your body into guacamole, but you will feel a unique softness. Avocado Green Mattress, makers of organic and eco-luxury sleep and lifestyle products, opened its first Washington, D.C., location at 3336 M St. NW in Georgetown in November. 

Georgetown Pizza & Grill Replaces Kitchen No. 1

Replacing the reliable Chinese carry-out, Kitchen No. 1, Georgetown Pizza & Grill opened in November at 3208 O St NW. There are varieties of pizza — along with subs, salads, gyros and kabobs (halal). 

Masala Street Indian Eatery on O

Masala Street Indian Eatery  — “an authentic Indian restaurant with a modern twist” — opened at 3206 O St. NW in the former Georgetown Dinette space, just before Thanksgiving.

Ally Banks on Book Hill

Ally Banks Interiors opened at 1661 Wisconsin Ave. NW — in the former Egg store — in the fall. 

Everlane Opens on M

The Everlane Georgetown store opened in November at 3259 M St. NW and features an assortment of men’s and women’s clothing including denim, footwear and sweaters. It is the brand’s first location in Washington, D.C., and its ninth retail location nationally.

Petite Soeur’s Perfect Bonbons

Pâtissier Ashleigh Pearson’s stylish 1332 Wisconsin Ave. boutique, Petite Soeur, opened late October. Pearson honed her chocolate-making techniques at Thomas Keller’s famed Per Se in New York City, where she crafted an entire chocolate course of eight to 12 different bites each day. Her pastry skills reflect training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and her work at D.C.’s Marcel’s. 

Fat Munchiez, Upgraded Snacks

It’s the candies, snacks and sweet cereals you love, only in bigger boxes and awesome flavors, along with Japanese and other East Asian sweets. The brands at the shop at 1432 Wisconsin Ave. NW — formerly a marijuana pop-up called Up N Down that the police shut down — are an eye-catching upgrade of your standard Twizzlers. 

Gorjana, Gems on M

The specialty jewelry store  gorjana  [sic]— started in Laguna Beach by former models Gorjana Reidel and Jason Griffin Reidel in 2004 — opened at 3029 M St. NW in a 1,675-square-foot space. Says the company: “Inspired by the natural beauty of Southern California, gorjana jewelry incorporates subtle shimmer, colorful gemstones and a signature gold finish.”

Sarah Flint Pops Up

Sarah Flint opened its luxury shoe shop at 1079 Wisconsin Ave. NW in the former Lily Pulitzer store. With celebrity fans that include Jessica Alba, Amal Clooney and Meghan Markle, the hip pop-up looks the part.

Noosh, 280 Eatery

While Ledo Pizza at 1721 Wisconsin Ave. NW may be gone, next door Casbah Cafe is opening under the name Noosh. The same owners, the  Jannesari  family, have opened another restaurant in the former Ledo space — 280 Eatery. 

Mono by All About Burger

 

The folks who bought you the ill-fated Mono Diner at 1424 Wisconsin Ave. NW reopened the space as an All About Burger, which has other locations in Glover Park, downtown and Arlington.  

L. Priori Jewelry at Wisconsin & K 

L. Priori Jewelry officially opened in July at 1002 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Originally from  Philadelphia, the team at L. Priori creates “one-of-a-kind experiences and products” for its second retail space.

FP Movement at the Canal 

FP Movement set up shop midsummer at 1063 Wisconsin Ave. NW, next to the C&O Canal, in the former Onward Reserve men’s clothing store and before that the Pleasure Chest. FP Movement offers Free People’s “athletic and athleisure wear” collection for women, i.e., exercise and workout clothes.

Fitzgerald’s, Next to 1789

Clyde’s Restaurant Group and 1789 Restaurant have gone back to the future with the second reboot to replace the celebrated, longtime F. Scott’s, companion to the Tombs and 1789. Located at 1232 36th St. NW, the cocktail-centric Fitzgerald’s opened in June and gets its name, as did F. Scott’s, which closed in 2016, from mid-20th century novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was related to Francis Scott Key. In 1814, The “Star-Spangled Banner” author lived one block south of the future three restaurants, the brainchildren of original owner Richard McCooey.

Aerie for All Ages 

Aerie opened at 3235 M St. NW. Pittsburgh-based American Eagle sells lingerie and other fine apparel.

Tea, as in Gong Cha Bubble

Gong Cha Bubble Tea & More arrived in June at 3279 M St. NW.

Faherty Comes to M

Founded by twin brothers Alex and Mike Faherty, the lifestyle American clothing brand that revolves around the beach has arrived at 3263 M St. NW, just in time for summer.

Cat Cafe Is Back

Closed during pandemic restrictions, the Crumbs & Whiskers cat cafe at 3109 M St., NW reopened to the public in late June. Along with coffee and playtime, patrons may get to adopt kittens or cats, thanks to rescue group Homeward Trails. 

Green Almond Pantry on Grace

The Mediterranean cafe counter and market from chef-owner Cagla Onal reopened in Georgetown in May. Located within the Grace Street Collective at 3210 Grace Street NW, the new location offers nearly double the seating that was available in its Shaw spot and takes advantage of an open kitchen concept to bring forward Onal’s love for simply prepared, high-quality ingredients. 

Mini Me Boutique on P

Owner Liana Vassila took her pandemic time to put together her boutique at 3236 P St. NW. It carries mother-and-daughter outfits along with cool European threads, surprising novelties and vintage toys.

Donahue Lounge

The former Smith Point space at 1338 Wisconsin Ave. NW was transformed into a nightlife lounge for grownups in April. The old Bo Blair place was known for its midnight action, even attracting two first daughters in its day. Today, the restaurant, named Donahue for a longtime Georgetown family and owners of commercial property, shouts glamour, champagne, fancy cocktails and culinary sophistication, thanks to Luca Giovannini and Cesar Varela, both formerly with Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants, and restaurateur Noe Landini. 

Brow Bar on M

The microblading clinic and brow bar moved to 2918 M St. NW, a few doors from its original spot around the corner. 

European Market on MacArthur

European Market Kitchen & Cafe opened in the spring at 4418 MacArthur Boulevard NW in the space which housed Kristina’s Cafe. Owner Daniel Rossi, who worked at Cafe Milano, serves homemade Neopolitan pizza, along with more items like grilled Mediterranean branzino with a baguette. 

Spicez 

Spice, spice baby! If you’re in need of spices, you’ll want to check out Spicez at 1610 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Georgetown’s new one-stop shop for spices, herbs and other Indian and Eastern food items.

Duly Noted 

The cool, hip stationery and gift shop opened in March at 1355 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Foxtrot at Wisc. & N 

Foxtrot — the first-of its-kind corner store/café/delivery retail market — made its East Coast debut in March at 1267 Wisconsin Ave. NW, at the corner of N Street. “We were thrilled when this building and location opened up,” co-founder and CEO Mike LaVitola told The Georgetowner. “We want to be part of the neighborhood in every way. That means hiring local staff — about 20 permanent and temporary — and offering the best local products.”

Roll by Goodyear 

New tire-change concept Roll by Goodyear opened in February at 1336 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The premise of the business — with the slogan “Tires, on Your Terms” — is to let the customer pick the time and place to have tires installed at no additional cost. 

Freshbee’s on M

Freshbee’s American Grill & Cafe took over the former Bibibop space at 2805 M St. NW. The refreshed spot, which held a ShopHouse by Chipotle earlier, offers all-American burgers, all-day breakfast, smoothies and other sandwiches.

New Owner for Sara’s Market

Girma Hailu, who owns the 7-Eleven at P St. NW, bought Sara’s Market at 3008 Q St. NW in February. The store was refreshed and restocked with the top-quality items patrons expect. Along with fine wines and cheeses, the dry cleaning and alteration services remain. Neighbors are relieved and very happy.

Amigo Mio, Si

No more pho for you, my friend! Amigo Mio, a new Mexican restaurant — in the location that Miss Saigon called home for nearly two decades — opened at 3057 M St. NW in February.

Ray-Ban Sunglasses on M

At 3030 M St. NW, a Ray-Ban sunglasses shop opened in the spring.

Mason’s Lobster Rolls

At the former Paul Bakery, Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls opened at 1078 Wisconsin Ave. NW. It has locations from Dupont Circle to Rehoboth and Miami.

Out — 

Georgetown Gap’s Closing Leaves Huge Gap 

 There will be a big vacant space on Georgetown’s main avenue, come the end of January 2022 — and it comes as not quite a surprise. The Gap store at 1258 Wisconsin Ave. NW has been quietly looking to leave for a few years. The clothing retailer has been operating out of a huge historic building — Forrest Hall, built in 1851. An assembly hall, it was used during the Civil War for offices and a prison. Mark Twain spoke there. It was the site of many community meetings. The building is 16,266 square feet divided over four levels.

La Jolie Bleue No More

La Jolie Bleue, the sweet and savory bakery at 1560 Wisconsin Ave. NW, closed in November. The popular dine-in and takeout spot, run by Tahar and Djamila Slimani, is looking for a new home in Georgetown.

Budd & Co.

Gone before Christmas: Budd & Co., a concept house of British brands, bespoke suiting and fine leather accessories, which opened in May at 2824 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, near the Four Seasons Hotel. Budd & Co. Washington, the brand’s first foray into the U.S. market, had replaced Sterling & Burke, a luxe British clothing and gift store that was at the same address for eight years.

DCG-District Chicken & Gyro

DCG-District Chicken & Gyro store at 3147 Dumbarton St. NW was closed due to an eviction by its landlord Raul Silva. Business owners Ahmad Tariq Saylab and Mary Ali Saylab of Sterling owed $136,500 in rent, shown in public documents displayed on the store’s window. The popular “hole-in-the-wall,” as fans called, offered halal street food — gyros, falafel, chicken and other Middle Eastern treats.

7-Eleven Shut by DC Health, Rats

The 7-Eleven at Wisconsin Avenue and O Street NW closed after being shut down by the DC Health Department because of “imminent health hazard(s)” on July 7. It permanently closed because of a rodent problem.

Police Close Charcoal Town

After several years of problems with DC Health and with nearby residents and businesses, Charcoal Town Hookah and Shawarma at 1027 31st St. NW was ordered shut by the Metropolitan Police Department in August. The Mediterranean food and falafel spot is subject to a hearing by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. MPD wrote: “The Chief of Police finds that continued operation of this establishment will present an imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public; that there is an additional danger to the health and welfare of the public by not closing this establishment; and that there is no immediately available measure to ameliorate these findings.”

M&T Bank

The M&T Bank branch at 1420 Wisconsin Ave. NW closed. In 2012, M&T took over the space once occupied by the famed Commander Salamander, which made a brief resurrection in the film, “Wonder Woman 1984.”

AllSaints Leaves M

London-based fashion retailer AllSaints Spitalfields ended its almost five-year run on 3235 M St. NW. AllSaints sells menswear, womenswear apparel, footwear and accessories in 279 stores across 27 countries.

Lou Lou

Cute, classy boutique Lou Lou, at 1304 Wisconsin Ave. NW, next to the Georgetown Inn, closed in April. Established in 2004 in Middleburg, Virginia, by husband-and-wife team Tara and Ben Wegdam, Lou Lou operates stores from Massachusetts to Georgia.

Kiehl’s on M

Kiehl’s, the high-end retailer of skin, hair and body care products that began in 1851 in New York, has closed its Georgetown shop at 3110 M St. NW. 

Café Tu-O-Tu 

After 18 years in Georgetown, Café Tu-O-Tu at 2816 Pennsylvania Ave. NW closed. The eatery, near the Four Seasons, was a popular spot for coffee, wraps and sandwiches, salads and Turkish baklava. Owner Mino Sarano was known for his warm and welcoming nature.

Bredice Bros. Shoe Repair, Hardware Store

Mr. Lee has closed his hardware store and shoe repair business at 1305 35th St. NW after almost 20 years. He returned to South Korea because of declining business and COVID precautions. Lee was beloved by many for his advice on tools, screws and shoes, as well as his witty retorts and teasing nature.

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