At last week’s ANC meeting, BID CEO Joe Sternleib gave a presentation on the state of retail in Georgetown. During his presentation he displayed an updated version of the BID’s list of recent closings and openings.
The list above (click on it to enlarge) shows 63 shops and restaurants that have closed over the past year or so. That’s about twice the rate Georgetown normally sees. That’s obviously bad news, but in a way it’s good news in that it’s only twice as bad. Given the devastation that the pandemic has wrought on commercial activity, it could be a lot worse.
On an even more optimistic front, Sterneib put up a slide showing recent and future openings too:
Here’s the list:
- Amigo Mio – 3057 M St. (already open)
- Arlandria Floors (3210 O St.) (replacing the thankfully closed Vaporfi)
- Bozzelli’s Pizza – Washington Harbour
- Dig – 1301 Wisconsin
- Donahue 1338 Wisconsin Ave.
- Mason’s Lobster Rolls – 1078 Wisconsin Ave.
- Foxtrot Market 0 1267 Wisconsin Ave.
- Ray Ban – 3030 M St.
- Roll – 1336 Wisconsin Ave.
- Sandlot Popup – M and Pennsylvania
A few of these were new to GM, including Roll. This is a new business model from Good Year, where they open up a small shop in city neighborhoods. They seem to be expanding aggressively (there’s already one up in Cathedral Heights), which always makes GM think it will only last a few years. (GM hopes this turns out to be the case for the approximately 5 million Chase Bank branches that have opened in DC over the last several years).
Ten openings is about a third of what we see in normal years. But this is definitely not the only openings we’ll see this year. We may ultimately reach a normal level of openings by the end of 2021.
All in all, things did not get as bad as they could have and they may get good faster than we had any reason to expect.