Not So Long Ago: Wisconsin and M

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This week on Not So Long Ago, GM heads to the heart of Georgetown: Wisconsin and M. And there’s is only one difference on this block from 1993 till today, but it’s a significant one: where the fancy BCBGMaxazria now is, a Burger King once stood.

This block is particularly appropriate to consider after yesterday’s post on chain restaurants in Georgetown. When considering the relative merits of independent restaurants versus chain restaurants, it’s important to remember that there are big differences between chains. While Pain Quotidian and Paul Bakery are not unique to our neighborhood, and thus lend the neighborhood a little bit of a generic vibe, they’re still miles better than a Burger King.

This block echoes the changes made in the first Not So Long Ago, when GM discussed how the Restoration Hardware used to be a Roy Rogers. Like the BCBG store, you may not particularly care for Restoration Hardware, and it might be a soulless chain, but in GM’s opinion it’s still better than a chain fast food joint.

As GM said in response to complaints about the loss of good and cheap eats: we’ve got good and cheap eats with local character to boot, Wingo’s.

Here are the photos, see if you can find any other difference, because GM can’t:

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Not So Long Ago: Wisconsin and M

  1. Phil

    Well, back when more people were coming to Georgetown to hit up places like Annie’s or Pall Mall, the BK was more appropriate. I know they got a lot of my money back in the day!

  2. Charlie Eason

    I beg to disagree in this instance. There are days when I crave a Roy Rogers roast beef sandwich with “horsey sauce.” And a side of fries, of course. I mean, it isn’t the 1789, but it is good! We need a mix.

  3. asuka

    Eighteen years later, and DC cabbies are driving the exact same cars (which were old in 1993).

  4. The building that is BCBG has a long history in Georgetown. At one time it was the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and in 1876 the commissioner at the bureau received Indian chiefs including the infamous Geronimo, who had come to call on the U.S. Government to honor certain treaties with the Indians. This building also housed a fire station, and in the ’70s was restored as a museum replete with an old fire engine. It is rumored also to be the building where the CIA had set up headquarters in the 1950s, for some nefarious goings on to be sure. The Burger King wasn’t here long in the history of things, neither will BCBG be here that long.

  5. Phil

    Dave, I wonder if that explains the picture of the firemen that hung fairly prominently in the BK?

  6. GeorgeM

    Number of times I went to the Georgetown Roy Rogers when it was open: 1-2 times a month (loved the fries and cole slaw)
    Number of times I’ve entered the Georgetown Restoration Hardware since it opened: O
    Number of times I’ve eaten in the former Burger King on M St: 3-5 times a year
    Number of times I’ve entered the Georgetown BCBG Maxazria since it opened: O

  7. andy

    The lamp posts are new (I like) and the trees are gone (don’t like).

  8. John Paul

    Number of times I’ve been to (any) Roy Rogers: zero
    Number of times I’ve been to (any) Burger King:one
    Number of times I’ve been to this BCBG: over 20
    Number of times I’ve been to this Restoration Hardware: over 40

  9. Jim McCarthy

    GM, the not-so-long feature is terrific. Keep up the great work there.
    Dave, excellent note on Geronimo. Geronimo! Astounding factoid.
    Charlie, Phil, George, agree that Roy’s had an irresistible appeal, delicious at any hour of day or night! And BK was dang good too.

    Have to say, I’m puzzled at the antipathy for chain stores. Unique stores are cool too but why should a chain be bad, per se? Dean & DeLuca is a chain and it’s terrific. Same goes for Five Guys. Or Paparazzi. Why can’t Georgetowners and our touristy guests decide with our palettes? There’s places in the village I frequent all the time and others not at all. I’ve never gotten the appeal of the Sephora store (another chain!) but I don’t begrudge the people that have. I thought the loss of Smith & Hawken was rough but UltraViolet Flowers is still kicking and with luck there will be some new businesses I’ll be pleased to see. I guess I’d rather live in a dynamic village where everyone gets to shape it with their preferences than a sort of quasi-Sim City planned by only a few.

  10. carol Joynt

    You go back a little further, GM, and at the corner of Wisconsin and M was the Rive Gauche Restaurant. Now THAT was a great French restaurant. It drew food-loving customers from all over the world, but especially the White House, Capitol Hill and social top dawgs. On any given night a cluster of old-school stretch limousines would be idling outside (yes, before bomb-proof SUVs and concerns about carbon footprints). I recall the best possible soft shell crabs and frais des bois in season. It was cozy, romantic, and the service was outstanding. Today the building is home to what we know as Banana Republic, but whenever I walk in I have sense memory of glamorous people and great cooking. I wish you could have experienced Rive Gauche.

  11. RD

    Carol: What year was Rive Gauche at its peak? And when did it close?

  12. Pingback: Georgetown Time Machine: Fire Horse | The Georgetown Metropolitan

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