Georgetown Time Machine: Neam’s Market

This week for Georgetown Time Machine, GM is visiting a beloved, lost part of Georgetown history: Neam’s Market.

This photo is from the Historical Society of Washington, DC and is apparently from an unknown photographer from the 1970s or 80s. When GM saw it in the collection, he was unsure what he was looking at.

All it had was the street and block number. GM was surely aware that Neam’s once was at the location of the former Marvelous Market, but didn’t realize the configuration was so different. The entrance was on P St. and the short extension by the parking lot was not there yet.

Long term residents surely remember it this way, though. The market is legendary for them. It once stocked the kitchens throughout the neighborhood with fine goods and groceries. Sadly it closed in 2000. Shortly afterwards Marvelous Market opened in the space, but closed in 2014. GM can hardly bring himself to write that a goddam Chase Bank now occupies the space. Hopefully it will eventually close, like the HSBC, but we’re many years away from that. At least the old-timers have memories, the rest of us old photos…

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One response to “Georgetown Time Machine: Neam’s Market

  1. kerlin4321

    Ah, Neams. It was our principal source of groceries for years. If you were a regular, the Neams brothers knew your name. You entered the store and the fruits and vegetables were ahead on the right, rows of shelves of dry goods — fancy and basic — arranged on the left. In the back were household items. On the front /center left was the register. In the back left was the amazing glass cold counter, where we bought or ordered everything from filet mignon to turkey to lobsters. Neam’s, like Scheele’s in that era, had a professional butcher on site. They bought their fresh produce at the wholesale Central Market every morning at dawn. Many delicacy items, like oysters or lobsters, truffles and foie gras, were trucked in from the Bay or New England or flown in from Europe. What we couldn’t get there we bought up Wisconsin a few blocks at Safeway or the French Market. Down Wisconsin less than a block away was the Wine and Cheese Shop. Further down on the western side was Coffee Tea and Spice. The denizens of lower Georgetown typically frequented the Food Mart at M & 31st and bought their seafood at Cannon’s near the Canal. There were other generally well-stocked corner markets scattered around town. Almost everyone could buy staples within a few blocks of home.
    Georgetown today is a relative food and grocery desert, alas.

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