Dynamic Fall Full of Evolving Projects in Georgetown

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The weather may be cooling down, but Georgetown’s restaurant and retail season continues to heat up. More than 55 retailers and restaurants have opened or are slated to open in 2023. Grab an autumnal drink or a bite to eat at Baker’s Daughter, Blank Street Coffee and Arcay Chocolates, give your wardrobe and accessories a refresh at Curated by Cecilia, Frame, Rails, Frank Darling, and the Sandro pop-up, plan a night out at Kyojin, spruce up your home at MANSE, and upgrade your Fall getaway at AWAY Travel. La Bonne Vache, Wingos, Club Pilates, Greco, Alara, Steve Madden, Vouri, Gold’s Gym, New Balance, Zadig & Voltaire, Clare V., Outerknown, and Citi Bank are all opening soon.

You can support both new and longstanding businesses at the Georgetown Fall Market, October 14 and 15. More than 30 Georgetown shops and restaurants will host in-store and sidewalk sales along Wisconsin Avenue, brought to you by Georgetown Main Street. Enjoy a pumpkin painting competition, live music, outdoor dining, face painting, and more free activities.

In other event news, the second season of Georgetown Heritage’s C&O Canal boat tours end this month. Take one last ride through history – including a Halloween-themed Ghost Cruise – before the National Park Service begins the next phase of Canal repairs that is projected to last until 2026.

Fall is one of Georgetown’s busiest seasons, making it all the more important to improve access in and out of the commercial district. As everyone is hopefully aware, DDOT initiated a transportation study for the Georgetown neighborhood with support from the Georgetown BID. Last month we distributed 5,000 postcards to encourage participation in a study survey, and received over 1,400 responses. Additionally, we conducted three stakeholder listening sessions for the business, school, and senior communities. The project team is reviewing the feedback as it prepares draft recommendations. Sign up for updates at engage.dc.gov/georgetownstudy.

On the bike front, the access ramp on the 34th Street staircase will be upgraded this month, and six new in-street bike corrals are being installed throughout the commercial district – with additional bike parking in other high-traffic areas. You can request racks by contacting the BID directly.

We are in the process of refurbishing our plaza furniture, so whether you’re on bike or foot, come out and enjoy your lunch, a good book, or some people-watching. Further south, K Street is getting a facelift thanks to lighting improvements under the Whitehurst Freeway – an initiative we worked on with the city as part of the DC Smart Lighting Project. The BID is now pursuing permits for a gateway sign at K and 29th Streets that will create an even more inviting welcome for those entering Georgetown.

The BID is also working with the community to improve the look and feel of the streateries and sidewalk extension in the short-term as we work with the city to design and install much more attractive and appropriate sidewalks in the long-term. These will replace the jersey barriers that were installed in 2021 at the height of the pandemic.  We’ve heard loud and clear that folks enjoy outdoor dining and the livelier vibe in Georgetown and want us to continue the streatery and sidewalk extension program while we seek improvements in the short and long-term. A continuation of this program will provide enough time for restaurants to make investments in their streateries, and give ourselves enough time to design and permit new, safe, and aesthetically appropriate sidewalks to host outdoor dining, bus stops and other public amenities.

We look forward to a productive and festive end to the year, including the 9th edition of Georgetown GLOW – the region’s only free, curated outdoor light art experience – running December 1 through January 7. For more on upcoming events and commercial district news, visit georgetowndc.com and sign up for our weekly BIDness newsletter.


Joe Sternlieb serves as Georgetown BID President & CEO.




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