Photo from Eater DC.
New and hip restaurants never open up in Georgetown anymore. At least that’s the common refrain. And there is a lot of truth to it. Even the well regarded restaurants that have opened in Georgetown, like Chez Billy Sud or Fiola Mare, are far from hip. But maybe that’s a good thing?
Recently in Shaw–the epicenter of recently opened hip restaurants in DC–there have been a spate of closings. They’ve even come up with a clever name for it: the Ninth Street Massacre.
While that is (hopefully) a tongue-in-cheek expression, the closings have been a great disappointment. They include Chao Ku, A&D, Table, and the somewhat infamous (and infamously short-lived) Shaw Bijou. The local ANC rep, and unofficial “mayor of Shaw”, chalks up the losses to the “normal course of business” and to bad leases. But there’s also just more risk involved in trying to open an adventurous restaurant in a gentrifying neighborhood.
Georgetown’s restaurants are generally not nearly as exciting or well-regarded as those opening in Shaw. But they are more stable. Sea Catch just closed, but it had been open decades. Martin’s Tavern has been chugging along since the end of prohibition in the 30s. From Clyde’s to J. Paul’s to Paolo’s, Georgetown’s restaurants are at least stable and reliable.
Is it on balance better? That’s up to you to decide, but there is definitely some upside to lame.