Zoning Order Finally Issued, Call Your Mother May Finally Open Soon

It seems like a million years ago, but it was only January (or approximately 500,000 years ago [and it was 400,000 years ago when GM already used this joke]) when Call Your Mother received a positive vote from the Board of Zoning Adjustment, which would let it open in Georgetown at O and 35th. As GM warned at the time, due to the fact that that BZA awarded party status to a neighbor–Melinda Roth–at the last minute, it would need to issue a formal order for the vote to take effect. And at best that would take three months.

Well a pandemic happened in the meantime, and yet still the order was finally issued last week, after just six months. Cheers to the hardworking DC employees!

GM reached out to Call Your Mother to see whether they would open now, and they responded that they hoped to soon. The restaurant already has experience dealing with the current environment, with their original Park View location and a new Capitol Hill location being open.

Roth immediately requested a rehearing, citing three issues. First, she claims the ANC vote was “tainted” because Commission Kishan Putta, who was running for Ward Two Councilmember, apparently had a campaign event shortly after the ANC vote where Call Your Mother bagels were part of the catering. Additionally, she states that the owner and a primary investor in the business donated $50 each to Putta’s campaign. (The ANC vote was 6-2 in favor of granting zoning relief).

She also stated that since Call Your Mother was able to adapt to the Coronavirus limitations on restaurants at their two other locations that they obviously could’ve done the same with the Georgetown location without needing the zoning relief.

Finally she claims that due to the shutdown, both Saxby’s and Wisemiller’s are “teetering on bankruptcy”, and that the BZA must not allow a new restaurant to open which would compete with them. (Saxby’s is a Pennsylvania-based chain with 25 locations).

Call Your Mother can open regardless of Roth’s request for a rehearing, but could theoretically lose the zoning relief if Roth either convinces the BZA to change course (unlikely) or wins on appeal to the DC Court of Appeals (who knows). Either way, it appears that Call Your Mother will be finally opening soon.

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