Yesterday a reader alerted GM to the fact that Einstein’s Bagels closed down. GM was expecting this, but not that soon. The building it occupied is owned by Safeway and they plan to tear it down and build a new own (plus another smaller building on the green space between this building and Safeway).
GM went over the initial plans last year. They were pretty tacky and completely out of place in Georgetown. Safeway changed architects and came back with revised designs. The ANC saw that they were on the right course and left the final call to the OGB. Since GM doesn’t attend OGB meetings (they’re during the work day) he didn’t notice that the plans were approved in February.
The pawn shop moved out (and basically across the street) shortly thereafter and now Einstein’s is gone. GM can’t say Einstein’s was his favorite bagel shop. The bagels were ok, and the coffee decent (and incredibly hot for some reason), but the service was incredibly slow. If there was a line of more than two to three people when you walked in, you expected at least a ten minute delay. Nonetheless, it was a relatively cheap option for take-out breakfast, which there’s not much of in north Georgetown.
To be honest, GM is pretty worried about these buildings. First of all, they’re going to be expensive to rent, so it’s unlikely a neighborhood serving store like Einstein’s or the pawn shop will move in. Second, CVS has not shown a lot of willingness to entice interesting tenants. They promised that they wouldn’t put a bank in the space below the new supermarket, and they didn’t. But they put in a Petco, a nail salon, and a cell phone store. Not very interesting. GM fears that with at least one building, nothing but a bank will be willing to pay the rent.
And that’s not even getting into the question of whether they’re building too much parking (they are) or creating a hazardous pedestrian environment with their curb cuts (they will). Oh well, we’ll see.