Business Group to Meet March 20; Former Head Moves to State Bank of India

March 19, 2013

The Georgetown Business Association will meet Wednesday, March 20, for a spring networking mixer at TD Bank at 1611 Wisconsin Ave., NW, 6:30 p.m

ALSO: Rokas Beresniovas, former GBA president, has accepted the position of vice president with the State Bank of India to head its expansion market in Washington, D.C. He was previously with HSBC Bank USA.

USPS Sells Georgetown Post Office to EastBanc

March 13, 2013

The United States Postal Service has signed a contract with local developer EastBanc to sell the historic Georgetown post office building on 31st Street, as first reported by the Washington Examiner. The property is valued more than $4.5 million; the U.S. post office stays.

Anthony Lanier, president of EastBanc, said a post office will remain on the first floor of the 19th-century building which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The sale to EastBanc has been years in the making. EastBanc’s design and use for the building was reviewed by the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission, the Old Georgetown Board and D.C.’s Board of Zoning. Future use of the post office building calls for offices, a back addition with much of the new space below grade, according to the Georgetown-Burleith ANC.
Lanier’s EastBanc group owns and has redeveloped almost 60 retail buildings along M Street or Wisconsin Avenue. It is known for its development of Cadys Alley and the adjacent stores. Another EastBanc development is in the works for condos on Wisconsin Avenue to be built on the Verizon parking lot between the C&O Canal and Grace Church.

J. Chocolatier Departs

March 12, 2013

J. Chocolatier’s retail shop on 33rd Street closed March 4. It will become an online operation.
“We have had a fantastic three-and-a-half years in our Georgetown location,” wrote J. Chocolatier owner Jane Morris in an email. “J. Chocolatier will continue bringing delicious chocolates to the D.C. area. . . . “We are proud to say that our Georgetown retail sales have grown every year, with increases ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent year-over-year. … In fact, we are exiting the Georgetown store up 27 percent so far for 2013.”

Forever Yogurt Coming, Too

But, wait, there’s more: Chicago-based Forever Yogurt indicates that it is coming to Georgetown, seeking two locations. It already is set for 1728 Columbia Road, NW, in Adams Morgan. The franchise company is riding the yogurt mania wave. The company shows on its website locations — from Princeton to Panama — being prepared for new Forever Yogurt stores.

Capitol Prague Opens in April

Capitol Prague Restaurant Coming: A new restaurant will fill the void left by the departed Morso. Capitol Prague Restaurant will soon set up at M and Potomac Streets, part of the Eton Court complex.

Capitol Prague will operate a restaurant and a coffee shop two doors away, said manager Petra Foist, who added, “We hope to open in mid-April.” With Czech and Slovak cuisine—schnitzel, goulash, braised pork and dumplings—as well as various beers, “it will be down-home cooking,” Foist said. Capitol Prague will be the only restaurant in Washington, D.C., with Czechvar lager on draft, she said. That beer is made by the famed Budweiser Budvar Brewery (Bud?jovický Budvar) in the Czech Republic. (Capitol Prague is still constructing its website.)

BID Cheers 26 New Businesses in 2012

Known as D.C.’s “Shopping Playground,” Georgetown saw 26 new national and independent merchant openings in 2012, with several exciting new openings planned for early 2013, the Georgetown Business Improvement District announced last week.

“Georgetown continues to be the Washington area’s premier retail destination and the leader in bringing exclusive local, national and international brands to shoppers,” said Joe Sternlieb, CEO of the Georgetown BID. “Not only do stores want to set up their business in Georgetown’s urban retail-friendly setting, but customers want to come here because it’s not your typical mall and is a beautiful, historic place to spend your time. It’s a ‘meeting place’ for Washingtonians, and we’re optimistic that the neighborhood will only continue to provide more choices in not only shopping, but food, hospitality and entertainment as well.”

2012 marked the opening of 26 new businesses in Georgetown: From Bandolero to Luigi Parasmo Salon, Luke’s Lobster and the Washington Harbour Ice Rink. This year will include Alex and Ani, Billy Reid, Bonobos, Capella Washington, Eno Wine Bar, the Graham and Malmaison — and more to come. Visit for details.

H.L Poling & Sons Closer to a Georgetown Reality

February 28, 2013

More details have been revealed about the soon-to-be-opened Georgetown haber- dashery H.L. Poling & Sons, namely about
the individuals behind the retail concept. The duo, prep-revivalists Drew Poling and Scot Meacham Wood, now of San Francisco, Calif., were available for a few questions from the Georgetowner last Thursday. Drew Poling is an alumnus of Georgetown University who worked at the Georgetown University Shop from 1984 to 1986.

Since then, he worked as a buyer for Bloomingdale’s in New York City and in social media at UNICEF. His partner, Wood, is an interior decorator and has done visual work for Ralph Lauren. He boasts more than 500,000 followers on Pinterest. According to Poling, the two began developing the store about a year ago. The location of the Georgetown store has not been disclosed.

The concept of the store is that it is a contin- uation of the original “Poling’s” menswear shop in Ottumwa, Iowa, founded in 1910 by Poling’s grandfather. The shop was taken over by his father and closed in the mid-1990s. The two de- scribe the store as “old Ivy for modern times,” with customer service being a top priority. “We want it to be a welcoming place,” said Poling. H.L. Poling & Son’s website, hlpolingandsons. com, lists the store as “coming to Georgetown Fall 2013.” ?

Heating Plant Bid at $15.8 Million

The West Heating Plant, the two-acre government property continues to get bids between two or three bidders. As of Feb. 26, the winning stood at $15.8 million, with bidding extended another 24 hours. Advised the General Services Administration: “We are now with the soft-close period. Bidders are encouraged to check back frequently to the remaining auction time.” If no one bids on the plant for more than 24 hours, the GSA will then decide if the auction is to be concluded.

Fiola Mare Signs 15-Year Lease with Washington Harbour

Chef Fabio Trabocchi signed a 15-year lease last week with MRP Realty for a new restaurant in Georgetown, according to the real estate group, which owns Washington Harbour, the popular multi-use complex between K Street and the Potomac River. Trabocchi plans to open the 9,000-square-foot Fiola Mare by the end of 2013; he already operates Fiola in downtown D.C. To be located on the west side of Washington Harbour, the fish-happy eatery will have inside and outside dining along with a raw bar.

“Fiola Mare will be exceptional complement to the restaurant tenant mix we have at Washington Harbour,” said Bob Murphy, managing principal of MRP Realty. “Having recently completed a significant renovation project at Washington Harbour, Fiola Mare will add to the level of sophistication that we are bringing to our tenants, residents and the community.”

District board of directors vice president, John Asadoorian of Asadoorian Retail Solutions, represented MRP Realty during the transaction, according to MRP.

Powerhouse: Latest Event Venue

February 15, 2013

The Powerhouse at 3255 Grace St., NW, along the C&O Canal, is the newest event venue in town, fit for fundraisers or weddings. With bay windows and a smoke stack, the 6,500-square foot interior once was part of a real powerhouse; it was also the site of a high-power public relations firm in the 1980s. The business touts its proximity to the M Street shopping corridor as well as the town’s hotels, such as the Four Season and the Ritz-Carlton, and the new entries, the Graham and the Capella. Visit thepowerhou. se for more info.