Business Ins & Outs: Glover Park Whole Foods, Ike Behar, All About Burger and More
More trouble for Georgetown Park?
Nicole Zimbelman • May 23, 2011
The financial troubles of the Shops at Georgetown Park just seem to be getting worse.
The Washington Business Journal reports that the scheduled June 3 auction date for the mall, the second attempt to sell it in a month, was again postponed by Capmark Finance LLC, the lender in charge of unloading the luckless property on a buyer after it foreclosed the property in April. Capmark cited a need to market the property more aggressively before it went to auction. Commercial real estate agency Jones Lang LaSalle will spearhead the effort to entice more potential buyers.
The mall’s owner, developer Herb Miller, had worked for years to make it profitable by establishing a department store anchor tenant to lure smaller tenants into setting up shop there. However, several national retailers, most recently Bloomingdale’s, have been spooked by the litigation Miller has been enduring for almost a decade with rival developer Anthony Lanier. At the time of foreclosure, over half of the mall’s tenant space remained unclaimed.
Lanier, credited with revitalizing Cady’s Alley a block west of the mall, is known for creating European-style projects that encourage pedestrian traffic. If he is able to get his hands on the Georgetown Park property, he is expected to apply a similar vision to the struggling mall.
Ward 2 Sees $103 Million in Fiscal Spending
-Critics continuously slam Mayor Adrian Fenty for favoring prosperous neighborhoods when allocating fiscal spending, yet recent Washington Post data shows Fenty has poured a substantial amount of money into many of the poorer communities over the past 3 years.
According to the Post, “Records show, for example, that predominantly black Ward 5 received more school construction funds — $152 million — than any other ward in fiscal 2008 and 2009…Wards 8 and 2 followed with $117 million and $103 million, respectively, crushing the idea that when it comes to school construction, wards were favored by class and race.”
Georgetown, which is located in Ward 2, has seen Fenty allocate $1 million a year on the Circulator bus service, $23 million to rebuild the burned-down library and $30 million to help fix Hardy Middle School.
Chadwicks: A Sense of Home in a Busy City
Emma Leavy • December 8, 2010
Chadwicks is a true neighborhood saloon, with the tradition, clientele, and warmth to prove it. It’s the type of local restaurant that chains attempt to emulate with manufactured charm. Yet, upon walking through Chadwicks’ doors, you gain a sense that it’s the real deal. From the homemade paper snowflakes dangling merrily above the bar, to its welcoming wait staff, the restaurant exudes the affable atmosphere one looks for in such an establishment.
Since 1967, when Chadwicks first opened, Georgetown has transformed into a bustling college town—home to affluent politicians and busy streets crowded with restaurants and designer clothing stores. Despite the frenzied evolution, Chadwicks has remained frozen in time, a beloved reminder of the past.
Tom Russo, owner of the Georgetown institution, is a proud part of its rich history. He first worked there during his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University. Russo’s face broke into a nostalgic grin as he revealed, “I’m a Hoya,” and it was easy to imagine him as a Chadwicks regular during his college years.
Beginning as a bus boy, Russo climbed his way through the ranks. After completing business school, he returned to his old haunt and eventually became a partner in 1986. As he puts it, he simply “fell in love with a girl, fell in love with the city, and stayed here.”
Over the years, Russo has watched the Georgetown neighborhood grow, but he remains at ease in his second home because, as he says, “Chadwicks is a place I would like to hang out in.”
In the last 25 years, competition has exploded in Georgetown. Russo laments how DC tourists often avoid local restaurants in favor chain names they recognize. Were it not for Chadwicks’ loyal patronage, it would be unable to compete. Fortunately, the familiar environment attracts plenty of locals, who order the same burger they’ve been enjoying for years.
Whereas restaurant chains rely on a center of operations located in some far-flung city, Chadwicks lacks these bureaucratic hang-ups. The saloon’s strength lies in its ability to provide the same quality and service it has for years. This constancy is not lost on Georgetowners, who can appreciate seasoned charm.
Chadwicks serves an assortment of classic American food, and is well known for its burger. Russo relates how lost souls wander in for the first time in 40 years to inquire if it still serves its famous clam chowder (The answer is a resounding yes, by the way.). Running from 4 to 7 on weekdays, the bar’s Happy Hour specials are favorites with professionals and students alike. What’s more, every Saturday and Sunday Chadwicks features a champagne breakfast, where the bubbly is unlimited, and the burritos are massive.
For the entire hour I sat with Russo, he greeted every lunch guest by name. His manner is impressively genuine as he asks each one, “How are you?”
The restaurant has no robotic hostess uttering her practiced, impersonal greeting. Guests here are met with a sincerity that Russo notes, “makes them feel at home.” It’s that sensation of being warmly received, of a homecoming, that makes Chadwicks unique. [gallery ids="99575,104858" nav="thumbs"]