Not So Long Ago: 31st and M

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This week on Not So Long Ago, GM picks up the music store thread from a couple weeks ago and takes a look at M and 31st. Now the north side of this block of dominated by Urban Outfitters. In 1993, where Urban Outfitters is now, a Sam Goody stood.

Sam Goody was a national music retailer. GM remembers going to one up in Connecticut where he grew up. It was your typical over-priced bloated mall-based music store that was absolutely torpedoed by the .mp3. GM’s not sure when the Georgetown location closed, but he believes that Urban Outfitters was open as early as 1997.

Where Steve Madden now is, there appears to be a sign that begins with “EARI”. GM has no idea what that was. Anyone remember?

Another interesting piece of street furniture in the old pictures is the old trash bin. It wasn’t terribly attractive, and the new black cast iron ones are much better.

Here are the pictures:


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8 responses to “Not So Long Ago: 31st and M

  1. Brad Altman

    The store was Earl Allen, an upscale womens colthing shop owned by Earl Meyerson.

  2. Brad Altman

    The Urban Outfitters was originally a Woolworth 5 & 10 until the early 80’s

  3. Retail Ninja

    Earl Meyerson (in addition to his women’s clothing store, Earl Allen) also owned a ski shop on Thomas Jefferson Street….go figure…..

  4. Urban Outfitters was, for years and years, a Woolworth’s, with a sit-down dining area included. Earl Allen’s was a premiere women’s fashion store for 3 decades. Earl Meyerson was a Georgetown resident and longtime board member of the Georgetown Business Association.

    Once again Topher, your history of Georgetown begins in the early 1990s, when in fact Georgetown’s mercantile history dates back to the 1760s. The Sam Goody store was a blip on our history.

  5. carol Joynt

    The Woolworth’s was cool. Retro all on its own without faking it. Georgetown’s version of Bruce’s Variety, which still operates out in the suburbs and is regularly packed. Kids and parents loved Woolworth’s. Looking back, it feels like real character compared to what’s arrived on M Street and Wisconsin Avenue in recent years. Just to the left would have been Reed Electric, another actually useful store that served the community. Interestingly, tourists liked Georgetown better when the commercial area catered to the village rather than tourists. They liked coming to Georgetown for Georgetown’s uniqueness. We had what no other neighborhood had. Now we have what everybody else has, plus high-priced parking tickets. There’s a lesson in there, but it’s not what anybody wants to hear.

  6. Kate Whitmore

    And in the basement of the Earl Allen was, for a while in the mid 70s, “Monkey Business,” a bar with a postage stamp sized dance floor (where we “did the Hustle,” when we weren’t doing it at Nathan’s.) Fake ID heaven for those of us in high school.

  7. asuka

    Or maybe people are just tired of hearing about it…ad nauseum.

  8. A late data point –
    Earl Allen Ski & Tennis was originally on the south side of M Street opposite the Earl Allen clothing store. (I worked there in ’73.)

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