GM was using Google Maps the other day when he stumbled on a new feature: Business Photos. What this is is Google Maps normal Street View technology, which lets you see 360 degrees from the street, but from inside stores. Above you can navigate your way through Patisserie Poupon.
There seem to be a couple dozen stores throughout Georgetown that have signed up for this service. To find them follow these instructions.
1. Open Google Maps.
2. Move your mouse over to the little yellow man in the top left corner and click (and hold down the button):
3. Now drag the little yellow guy over to the street. The stores that have this feature will have a little orange dot:
4. Position him over one of those dots a release the button. It will drop you into the store. You can navigate around the store like you would on the street, and can even walk right out the door. (Alternatively, you can go from the street into the store). Continue reading
GM has learned of a few new retail developments. Nothing Earth-shattering, but some good news in it.
The first one is that something called Alex and Ani (+) Energy is moving into 3070 M St. This is apparently a “bangle bracelet” store. This seems to be more of the same for Georgetown (stores where young women spend their parents’ money). But this space is not huge so it’s not exactly a big opportunity loss.
The second is that Cady’s Alley is adding a Bonobo’s Guideshop. Bonobo’s is a primarily online retailer of men’s clothing. But they do have a couple brick and mortar stores (including one in Bethesda). This would be their sixth such store. Continue reading
Photo by Ulterior Epicure.
This is an entirely unscientific observation, but GM feels as if store closures seem to happen more often this time of year. And walking around over the weekend, he saw that if such a “closure season” does happen, it has been kicked off. Long time shops Leonidas and the Dog Shop are closing.
Both stores have come under increased competition recently. Hurting Leonidas, there has been a proliferation of ice cream and sweets stores opening in Georgetown over the past three years or so. For the Dog Shop, the introduction of the Petco shop under the Safeway surely hurt sales (not to mention the constant competition that the Internet brings). Continue reading
GM wasn’t aware of this news until the signs went up: Jos. A. Bank is opening up in the new commercial strip just south of Safeway. (Normally this would have been revealed during the Old Georgetown Board review of the signage, but either they skipped that, or it just wasn’t specifically mentioned in the agenda).
This is normally the place where GM would complain about the mallification of Georgetown. Yes, Jos. A. Bank is a pretty middle-of-the-road chain. And Georgetown really doesn’t need more clothing stores. But GM’s gotten so pessimistic about the state of Georgetown retail that a Jos. A. Banks counts as “well, it could be worse”.
Photo by Shreyans Bhansali.
As reported first by the Patch, a new men’s “haberdashery” called H.L. Poling is planning on moving into the corner of 34th and Prospect, where Govinda Gallery used to be.
Georgetown has long had dozens of clothing shops primary, if not exclusively, targeting women. But in recent years an increasing number of shops have opened up that either primarily target men, or built their reputation on providing menswear, not womenswear.
Since 2008, we’ve seen the addition of:
- Vinyard Vines
- Brooks Brothers
- The Streets of Georgetown
- Jack Spade
- Gant (soon to open)
- Hugh and Crye (no storefront, but based in Georgetown)
- Rag & Bone
- Allsaints Spitalfields Continue reading
On top of the new stores coming to the mall, there are several new stores and restaurants on the way to M St. soon. GM has previously reported on each of these, but he thought it might be good to pull them together in one article.
Starting east and heading west:
- Eno Wine Bar – The Four Seasons is going to turn the old Lorenzo space next to Bridge Street Books into a wine bar.
- ShopHouse – This spinoff of Chipotle brings the chain’s “fast casual” style to Asian cuisine. This is the second location for this new chain (the first one is on Connecticut north of Dupont Circle). It will be opening in the old Furin’s space next year.
- Scotch and Soda - This Dutch clothing store is heading into the old Betsy Johnson space.
- Gant – This New Haven-bred preppy clothing store is moving into the old Saloun space.
- Good Stuff Eatery – This burger joint from Spike Mendelson is moving into the old Crepe Amour space.
Is GM missing anything?
After seven years, it appears the vintage secondhand clothing store Annie Creamcheese is closing up shop. Rather than shut down for good, the store announced on a sign in the window that they are moving to L.A. Specifically the sign states that next spring they will be open in Westwood Village “next to UCLA”.
While it’s only been in Georgetown since 2005, it feels like it’s been here longer, taking its place among other recently departed stores like Commander Salamander and Up Against the Wall as the go-to source of teenage punk chic.
GM wishes the store-owners well on their move out west.
Yesterday, the Washington Business Journal reported that one of the new tenants of the new building immediately south of the Safeway would be a Cardinal Bank branch. WBJ writes that “the 1,900-square-foot branch, which is next to a newly remodeled Safeway grocery store, is expected to open near the end of the first quarter of 2013. It will create four-to-five new jobs.”
Four-to-five new jobs would be good (particularly if the bank takes advantage of the mayor’s One City Hire) but pretty much everything else about this news is disappointing to GM. Georgetown has way too many bank branches, few of which contribute much more than a dead streetscape. And they keep coming.
When the Georgetown Metropolitan first started, there were 9 banks in Georgetown. Since then, 5 new banks have opened here. GM’s no economist, but it’s got to be some form of market failure when multiple companies offering what is essentially the exact same good, crowd out other uses. Continue reading
GM has learned that Spanish clothes-maker Massimo Dutti is planning to open up in Georgetown. As far as GM can determine, this would only be the second American branch for the European chain.
They are owned by the same parent company as Zara, but they seem to be on the higher end. This would be consistent with GM’s observation that Georgetown’s clothing stores are trending upwards in target market. It’s not Madison Avenue yet, but it’s a lot less dowdy than it used to be.
The store will open up where the American Eagle Outfitters used to be.
Who said e-books are killing all bookstores? A new children’s bookstore has opened in the second floor space of Tugooh Toys at 1319 Wisconsin Ave. The store is already well stocked with plenty of books, although at this point the books definitely skew towards very young readers. But GM spoke with the curator of the new store, and she said that they hope to add more “independent reader” books soon.
The store already has story time Saturday at 11 AM and Thursday at 4 PM. So bring your little ones on by!