Not So Long Ago: M and TJ

This week on Not So Long Ago, GM stops by M and Thomas Jefferson Streets. Today on the north side of the street there is Sephora, a cosmetics store, Kate Spade, a handbag and apparel store, and Blue Mercury, another cosmetics store. These are square in the middle of the young-women-shopping market that has steadily grown in Georgetown over the years.

But 18 years ago the scene was different. Where Sephora now stands once stood Georgetown Seafood Grill. It was a laid back seafood restaurant owned by Capital Restaurant Concepts, the name behind other similarly laid back restaurants J.Pauls and Old Glory, among others. In 1997, four years after this photo was taken, Anthony Lanier and EastBanc bought out the building. After renovations, Sephora moved in.

There was another restaurant down on 19th and M called Georgetown Seafood and Grill, which renamed itself “Fin”. GM doesn’t know if there was a connection, but either way, it’s closed.

Next to Georgetown Seafood Grill was Rosey Cross. From what GM can determine, it was a new age type store. From one account, it was originally called “Crystals”. GM tried to research more into the store, but when you Google “Rosey Cross” and “Georgetown”, you get tons of conspiracy websites trying to try Rosicrucianism  with the Jesuits, and the Illuminati, or something. But GM has said to much already…

It looks like Rosey Cross didn’t last too much longer after this photo was taken. By 2004, at the latest, Kate Spade was in this spot.

Next over was Eyetech, an eyeglass store. GM couldn’t find anything particularly interesting about this store. By 2004, Blue Mercury was already there.

There is also a slight part of the building that is currently housing Miss Saigon. GM can’t make out what the awning says, but it clearly wasn’t Miss Saigon. Anyone remember?

Here are the static shots:

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Not So Long Ago: M and TJ

  1. Before Georgetown Seafood Grill, the building housed Chez Odette, one of the more popular restaurants in Washington during the Kennedy years. Chez Odette iwas a bargain: good French food at reasonable prices. Murals of Paris set the mood, as did the maitre d’ with his “Bonsoir!” as you entered and left.

    And before Blue Mercury, the building housed Fendrick Gallery, owned and operated by Barbara Fendrick, and considered to be one of the best galleries in Washington, DC. And a long time ago, Richard and Philip Levy’s father, Sam, ran a successful men’s clothing store here.

    This side of the street also once housed Potomac Wines and Spirits, owned and operated by Scotty Feldman. Today, the spirits shop is across the street and 31st and M.

  2. GeorgeM

    The French restaurant Chez Grand Mere was at 3057 M Street before Miss Saigon. I think it was still open in the early 1990’s.

  3. Carol Joynt

    Oh, Chez Odette! I was so young but still remember the chicken with mustard sauce. Brilliant. Would go with my parents and then later on a first date. It felt so grown up. They closed in Georgetown and moved to L or DeSales downtown and then closed altogether. Oh how I wish someone had saved that poulet recipe.

  4. The ongoing lesson that I get from all of the photos in this series is that the streetscape changes brought about by the city, and kept looking nice by having an active BID, are the most significant and important change that happened to Georgetown in the last 20 years.

  5. George Djordjevic

    This reply is for Carol Joynt:
    Chez Odette in Georgetown on M street was owned by dear friends Mr. and Mrs Pantelic. I have good news for you. I have her recipe for Chicken Dijonaise.
    Here it is, Madame Odette’s own:
    In a medium bowl combine 1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth, 1/4 cup dry white wine,1/2 finely chopped small onion, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon dried thyme.
    Mix and then transfer to a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over a low to medium fire. Add 5 to 6 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Poach covered until chicken is cooked through (do not overcook it). Take chicken out and continue cooking about 2 minutes more, until sauce thickens.

    While chicken cooks, boil 1 cup of white long grain rice. Follow instructions on the package.

    In a shallow dish spread well drained rice, place chicken on top of rice, then spoon sauce on top of the chicken.

    Et Voila! – Bon appetit!

  6. Ellen Marconi

    I was the GM of the Georgetown Seafood Grill from 1993 until it closed :( I LOVED running that restaurant and I loved working for Capital Restaurants. When it closed, I took over the Georgetown Seafood Grill in Dupont Circle. They moved me to Vegas in 1996 and that restaurant later became “Fin”. The building was unbelievable! I’ve been gone from DC for so long, I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize Georgetown. Made me smile to find this site!

  7. Peter Rocchio

    OMG – Chez Odette and my days in Wash.D.C from’69 to ’79 all filled with great memories. Thrilled to have Chicken Djonaise recipe from George Djordjevic. Another of my favorite dishes and for which I would the recipe is the Carrot and Pea dish they served as a first course – I have searched every French site but can’t find it.

  8. Elliott Moulton

    Peter,

    The space presently occipied by the Vietnamese restaurant across the parking lot entrance from The Old Stone House was called Chez Gran Mere owned and managed by La Famille Blanc; he behind the bar and she in the kitchen barking orders. I remember the day I was to meet a contact there and the doors were locked and they were never to be seen again on this side of the pond.

    Elliott

  9. When I was one year old my parents took me for my first dinner in a restaurant. It was to Chez Odette’s and I had lamb chops. I ate many happy delicious meals there over the 30 years I lived nearby. They had the best Escargot anywhere! How I miss it!

  10. Bill Bell

    My dad owned the Quizzicum Bookstore on Wisconsin Avenue, a couple of blocks north of M Street. He used to take me to Chez Odette for dinner, where I would always get the escargots and try out my grade-school French on the waiter (who, I found out later, was actually German).

  11. I was checking to see if Chez Odette was still there so we could urge our son to visit there on an upcoming trip to DC. Sadly it is not, but I am pleased to see so many who have just as fond memories of it as my wife and I do. We went there often from 1961 through 1966, particularly on Fridays, when we would have the fillets of sole hollandaise with a cold salad of vegetables. I’ve managed to come close to the sole dish, but getting the cold salad of vegetables down properly still escapes me. I think we had a gibson before the meal and a good white with it, all for about $20 tops and wandered out to the effervescence that characterized Georgetown in those days, finally replenishing ourselves if too much excitements occurred with a hearty breakfast at Britt’s around the corner before wending our way home to 2900 Dumbarton St., and then later, when we married to Q gardens.
    I relish the memories of those better days.

    jim babb

  12. Wow, Rosey Cross! It was my favorite store in Georgetown. It wasn’t New Age, it was gothic apparel, though they had some fantastic jewelry there made with gemstones of all types that would rival any New Age store. I bought my favorite dress of all time there, a red number with a cross-shaped dagger on the front, and a sheer red hooded cape with black lace trim. Ah, could have spent a fortune in there. Back when I used to be a goth. :)

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