Not So Long Ago: Wisconsin and P

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This week on Not So Long Ago, GM stops by one of his favorite restaurants in Georgetown: Cafe Bonaparte.

GM’s been living in Georgetown long enough to remember when Cafe Bonaparte opened. It was 2003. It’s been a very popular destination for neighbors and visitors alike since then.

GM can’t remember what was in that space before Bonaparte. The photo shows what appears to be a cafe named Espresso Allegro. The sign says: Cafe – Espresso Bar – Patisserie. GM couldn’t find much about this place other than this listing in the Post from 1991:

ESPRESSO ALLEGRO – 1522 WisconsinAve. NW. 202-338-3848. Open: Sunday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to midnight. MC, V. No separate non-smoking section. Prices: coffees $.90 to $3.25, sandwiches and salads $2.75 to $5.75.

Does anyone know if this immediately preceded Bonaparte or was there something in between? Either way, it looks like Bonaparte was not much of a change for this address, if not a bit hipper.

Up the street right now is Darrell Dean, an antiques store. From the photo, it’s tough to figure out what was in that space. It could be a clothing store, or perhaps antiques. There appears to be a sign in the door that says “Henri” but nothing comes up under that name and address. Any clue?

Just south of Bonaparte is Lucas Cleaners. Other than a few small sign changes, it looks pretty much exactly the same.

Finally, the biggest change is the sidewalk. Almost all the sidewalks in Georgetown used to be concrete. During the early part of last decade, that was all changed.

Here are the pictures for those that can’t get Flash to work above:

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Not So Long Ago: Wisconsin and P

  1. carol Joynt

    I believe the place that was there before Bonaparte couldn’t get a liquor license and thus packed it in. I think they did some catering to sustain, but usually it appeared half open.

  2. RobRob

    Wow. They moved the whole tree.

  3. Yes, that’s right, the place that was there before Cafe Bonaparte was an Italian restaurant…..can’t remember the name. They had great food, but no liquor license. They tried to get an exception to just serve wine, but that was not a possibility.

  4. Andy

    Do tell more about the sidewalk concrete to brick replacement. Who, when, why and how?

  5. Tom

    The Italian restaurant before Bonaparte was called Cafe Sorrento, run by a very pleasant Italian couple and their daughter. They were unable to afford, or unwilling to pay for, a liquor license and unable to work any exceptions to get one from the city, so they closed.
    The brick work on sidewalks on Wisconsin and M Street was put in, in certain sections where concrete still remained, with the streetscape project funded by the city in 2001-3. The residential streets had already been in brick from long standing.

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