Business Ins & Outs — End of an Era: Sara’s Market Closes Tuesday


A Georgetown tradition of more than a century is ending in less than a week. Sara’s Market at 3008 Q St. NW will shut its doors for good at the close of business on Tuesday, June 28.

Business owner Girma Hailu — who last month closed his 7-Eleven at 2617 P St. NW after decades working there and owning the franchise with his wife Tsige “Chu-Chu” Sebsibe — made the difficult decision a few weeks ago. 

“I really tried, but it just doesn’t make sense anymore,” Hailu told The Georgetowner. “I love this neighborhood. This place is home.”

Last year, with encouragement from the neighborhood, Hailu bought Sara’s business, refreshed the old store and restocked it with the top-quality items patrons wanted. Along with fine wines and cheeses, the dry cleaning and alteration services continued. Neighbors were relieved and happy; this month they’re sad.

Daily revenues at the small store were increasingly abysmal — its bottomline likely cut into by more online grocery services and newer stores opening up this year.

In: Storie Collective Opens June 22

Storie Collective: Unique Kitchens & Baths opens this week at 1506 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The design firm tells us: “From whole home renovations to single room remote designs, Storie Collective collaborates with families and trade professionals to create approachable and authentic spaces that tell a story.” It provides two principal services: full-service design and remote design for residential and commercial interiors.

Founder and creative director Sara Swabb lives in Georgetown with her husband, Erik, and two daughters, Tippi and Minna. The lead designer is Mirentxu Meyer.

Moving: Pacers Running … to Wisconsin Ave.

Pacers Running, now at 3273 M St. NW, is planning to move to 1079 Wisconsin Ave. NW, the former space of Lily Pulitzer and Sarah Flint.

Moving? … Another Sneaker Store Called Nike

“Nike appears to be moving its Georgetown store just down the block,” UrbanTurf reported June 21. “Plans filed today with D.C.’s Historic Preservation Office point to the company moving from its flagship 33,000 square-foot space at 3040 M St. NW (map) to a smaller 10,000 square-foot location at 3235 M St. NW (map). The plans call for renovation of the existing space, currently home to an Aerie store, along with proposed signage and other brand elements. MBH Architects is helming the design and renovation.”

“The move may not come as a surprise to some,” UrbanTurf continued. “Back in February, the Washington Business Journal reported that Lincoln Property Co. was looking for replacement tenants for the current Nike store after the company missed a deadline to exercise a renewal option. The store’s current lease is will expire early next year.”

Fall Debut: Yellow to Open, Next to Lutèce

Yellow cafe will open in the fall at 1524 Wisconsin Ave. NW, between Lutèce bistro, the closed Little Birdies boutique and the George Town Club. 

“Chef Michael Rafidi is opening a second location of his popular Eastern Mediterranean cafe, Yellow,” Washingtonian reported. “The Navy Yard spot, which specializes in Levantine cuisine, will expand to Georgetown this fall. On tap: homemade pastries like orange blossom croissants, wood-fired pita sandwiches, vegetable dishes, interesting wines, and specialty coffee drinks. Whereas the original Yellow adjoins Rafidi’s Michelin-starred dinner destination, Albi, the Georgetown cafe will be its own standalone show with all-day hours and more room to dine. The cafe — outfitted with 30 seats indoors and a 30-person patio—will eventually run morning through night.”

Correction: UpWest in Former Kiehl’s; Hatley in Former Dawn Price Shop 

UpWest, a casual women’s clothing store, opened at 3110 M St. NW, part of the Canal Square retail complex — in the former Kiehl’s Skincare space. UpWest’s motto is “Progress Over Perfection,” and the retailer writes: “We believe moving forward is more important than being perfect. That’s why we strive to use more and more sustainable fabrics, give generously to those in need and only work with Brands We Believe In for our non apparel items.”

Hatley, on the opposite side of the Canal Square entrance, occupies the former space of the Dawn Price store at 3112 M St. NW and is best known for its PVC-free rain gear and cotton pajamas. John and Alice Oldland started Hatley as a cottage business in North Hatley, Québec, Canada, in 1986. Today, Montreal-based Hatley sells its products in approximately 3,300 stores in North America and in more than 20 countries. It operates a direct-to-consumer website and 15 corporate stores in North America, the latest in Georgetown, D.C.

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