Tag Archives: Nathans

Deal Near For Nathans Space?

Nathans by M.V. Jantzen.

Walking by the iconic Nathans building at M and Wisconsin recently you may have noticed that the large sign advertising the building’s availability has come down. GM emailed the agent, Josh Feldman, to see whether that meant a tenant was found. His response “[w]e are close to tenanting the building but I cannot comment past that. I am sure we would all like to see the corner achieve its potential.”

Could this mean we’ll finally bring some life back to the southeast corner of Georgetown’s crossroad? GM hopes so, but when informed about the news, a person very knowledgeable of the Georgetown commercial real estate market was very skeptical.  So don’t get too excited until we see some more evidence.

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2009 – A Georgetown Year in Review

2009 was the first full year of the Georgetown Metropolitan’s existence (except, of course, for it’s earlier existence as a genuine newspaper). While there were certainly some nights when GM has to stretch for content, overall Georgetown provided plenty of stories this year to fill these pages. So before we ring in 2010, GM wants to take one more look back at the year that was in Georgetown.

A Bad Apple Turned Good

2009 started off with a bang in Georgetown as Apple had four different designs rejected for its proposed store at 1220 Wisconsin Ave. While the decisions to reject the designs weren’t being made by “Georgetown,” there were howls of complaints from commentators who should know better lamenting about the monied-elite squashing their dreams of a District-based Apple Store.

The fact is that Apple simply made several bad decisions, perhaps out of pique, before they finally realized what they were up against. The first design was rejected based on the mild complaint that the wall of glass along the sidewalk was too monotonous:

Rather than actually address those concerns they went off the deep end and proposed these two successive designs, which may have their own merit but which are completely inappropriate for Georgetown:

Two designs later, Apple finally got a design approved by simply going back to the first design and making the glass wall slightly less monotonous. You know, like the Old Georgetown Board was asking for from the beginning. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Georgetown homes by Kevin H.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

G.U. in the snow by Bowena.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Georgetown Waterfront Xmas Tree by William Couch.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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Circa: November 1980

Today GM adds another entry to his occasional Circa series, wherein he looks back to a particular snap-shot of Georgetown in an earlier time. Up next: 1980.

On the eve of the 1980 election, all of Washington was on the edge of its seat following the close race between Carter and Reagan. However, at least a few were out in the streets looking for some booze. And not just any booze: Canadian Club Whiskey.

The reason they were out on the streets looking is that Canadian Club hid a case of its liquor somewhere in the District. Where was it?

Start at a place that was named for America’s most important city. See where a bark takes you. From there, go to what you can’t miss. When you have arrived, face in the direction of a past scandal that was uncovered and made public. Turn in the opposite direction and make tracks for a nearby Metro station. Ride three stops.

Come up and then find the way to a famous ending. Continue in the most obvious direction, when you know the time is right. Before it’s too late, head for the nearest bridge that can take you over water. If it becomes impossible to continue in a straight line, go toward a body of water and find a spot with three banks. From the highest bank, go in the direction of a bridge. When you’ve reach it, walk back 100 paces and you’ll be right over the hidden treasure: a whole case of Canadian Club.

It’s all yours if you’re first to find the person in charge and say, “C.C. please” with feeling.

So where was that case of Canadian Club? Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Design Week DC Installation by Vincent Gallegos

 

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

Photo by Flickr user Muohace DC used under Creative Commons license.

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Life in the Village: Nathans 1969 – 2009

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Last Call at a Georgetown Landmark: The Story of Nathans’ Closure

Next Monday, Nathans will be no more. That much has been reported here and other places. But GM spoke with owner Carol Joynt today to get a little more background on how she arrived at this decision. To do the story any justice, we’ve got to go back to the beginning.

The Past

Nathans Restaurant came to be 40 years ago when a bookie calling himself Nathan Detroit got himself a lease from the Heon family for the space. (It had been a diner before that). Nathan roped in Charlie Matheson, a member of the Virginia horsey set, and Howard Joynt. As Carol told it, Howard was able to buy in with money he got from his dad. Essentially Nathans was a gift from father to son.

Soon after they opened, Nathan Detroit ran up a large gambling debt and wanted out. Howard’s dad gave Howard the money buy Nathan out. Soon after that Charlie’s wife wanted him out of the business as well. Howard’s dad gave Howard the money to buy out Charlie as well. That’s how Howard ended up the sole owner. Continue reading

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