End of an Era: Booeymonger Closes
By April 10, 2023 31 6638•
Last week, the signage was stripped off the awning and the windows papered up. The unique Georgetown deli, known as Booeymonger, ended its 50-year-old existence at 3265 Prospect St. NW.
“Yes, Booeymonger is closed,” Leslie Samuel, property owner and co-founder of the business, told The Georgetowner. “A new restaurant is forthcoming.”
It will be a French bistro, Samuel said, from the owners of Zeppelin and Chaplin’s, two restaurants on 9th Street in Shaw. He added that he understands that the new business owners, Ari and Claire Wilder, plan to call it La Bonne Vache — “The Good Cow.”
Since 1973, Booeymonger — at the corner of Prospect and Potomac Streets, near residential homes and one block from busy M Street — was a gathering spot for neighbors, business folks and Georgetown University students. The unusually named sandwiches, the “Patty Hearst,” “Fifth Avenue” and “Tuna Turner,” fit the eatey’s quirky name, taken from a student newspaper in Ohio which one of the co-founders thought was cool.
Apparently, just everyone has stopped by — Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Patrick Ewing and various politicians and celebs — as well as former Georgetowner publisher Dave Roffman, whom Samuel said loved to have lunch there almost every day.
But the pandemic put a strain on the eatery for Rummana Choudhury, business owner since 2018. (The occasional underage drinking violation did not help either.) Hours constricted — and employees departed. Except for three or four, including Priya, who was the subject of a recent Mapping Georgetown column in September.
Nishantha Kodithuwakku, who works at the Embassy of Brunei, wrote on social media: “Booeymonger Georgetown is a place that changed their lives by helping nearly 100 Sri Lankans living in Washington, D.C., get green cards. In addition to working, a place where there were debates between party and opposition. Ron’s former-owner, with dedication for almost 40 years, is being devastated day by day at the change of administration. I was saddened when I walked by that company today. That company has been closed down. A new company is about to be started soon by a different name. Thank you, Booeymonger for making the lives of many Sri Lankans colorful… !”
An opening date for the new business — which is still going through the permit processes — has not yet been announced.
Please tell us your Booeymonger stories in the Comments section.