Serendipity 3 ice cream sundae by joanna3555.
As reported all over the place, L2’s Rodrigo Garcia and Rhino’s Britt Swan have signed a deal to bring New York’s Serendipity 3 to the old Nathan’s location. For those not familiar with it, Serendipity 3 is an expensive ice cream parlor in the Upper East Side. Depending on whom you ask, it’s either a wonderful high-end restaurant or a total tourist trap.
But what specifically can we expect for Georgetown’s Serendipity 3? The NYC location offers a menu of various burgers and sandwiches, including also such odd choices as macarroni pizza and a $1,000 sundae.
But beside this basic outline, what will the Georgetown location actually look like? GM inquired with Garcia and Swan and received no comment, so he had to do a little digging on his own.
First of all, it appears that the interior of old Nathan’s will not survive in the new establishment. Last monday, DCRA issued a building permit for interior demolition. GM hears that the plans entail the restaurant using all three floors, which will require significant modifications. One particular issue that will likely drive a lot of the construction is ADA compliance. Nathans was grandfathered from a lot of the requirements, but as soon as the current tenants start building anything, they will likely have to bring it up to code (for instance, the bathrooms are way out of code). Plus, if they use the upper floors, it will likely necessitate the construction of an elevator, although GM is not certain of that.
Another issue that ought to be addressed before opening the new restaurant is the shabby state of the exterior. Check out how bad it’s looking these days:
The paint is in terrible shape on the Wisconsin Ave. side.
Not much better on the M St. side, plus one of the
balustradesbalusters is missing.
The last remains of Nathans, the exterior sign, still hangs.
All-in-all, the exterior needs a lot of work. Garcia and Swan are shooting for an April opening, but in GM’s opinion there’s little chance they could get exterior modifications approved and completed before then.
Physical modifications aside, what about liquor? GM did a little digging there too. As of right now, the Heon family holds Nathan’s old liquor license (see Carol Joynt’s blog for the history of that involuntary transfer). It is a tavern license, which is valuable but in this case probably not necessary since Serendipity 3 would likely get so much of its revenues from food. According to ABRA, no application has been filed to take the license out of safe keeping (i.e., start using it). Any such application would likely involve a new voluntary agreement with the ANC and CAG. Given the length of time that normally takes, it seems unlikely that the restaurant will be serving alcohol if it indeed does open in April.