New restaurant and retail openings in Georgetown have been few and far between over the past year, and understandably so. To open in such an uncertain environment would be excessively risky. Heck, just trying to keep a shop or restaurant open has been an exercise in boundless faith. But a handful of apparent openings on the horizon might suggest that some are anticipating the light at the end of the tunnel, which is only just now flickering into sight.
The first is Mason’s Lobster Roll, which is coming to the former Paul Bakery just south of the Banana Republic. This is a medium sized chain with locations up and down the east coast (including Dupont Circle). It looks to be offering about the same menu as Luke’s Lobsters. (Sidenote: walking by it appears that Luke’s has closed, but the company’s website lists the location as closed until further notice, so maybe they’ll reopen. Given that the “Luke” in Luke’s Lobsters is a GU grad, you might expect that they’ll try to keep it open.)
Next is a Ray Bans store coming to 3030 M St. This will mean there will be no fewer than 4 (four) sun/eye glasses stores in Georgetown (the other’s being Sunglass Hut, Warby Parker, and Mykita).
And finally, across the street from the future Ray Bans store a Mexican restaurant is promised. It will take over the former Miss Saigon restaurant.
It’s probably too early to say this represents the tide finally receding. But if in six month’s time we see this momentum continuing, it may be fair to point to these openings as the start.