DC’s oldest neighborhood is also the most exciting one to visit right now. From new and creative outdoor spaces, to a true dining renaissance, and the return of signature events, you’re in for an unexpected experience.
Let’s knock on every wood surface we can find, then cautiously agree that the worst of the pandemic seems to finally be behind us. Georgetown’s recovery has surpassed that of DC’s other neighborhoods, and we have our amazing business owners and loyal visitors to thank for that. You’re still welcome to wear a mask if that makes you feel the most comfortable, but there are no city-wide mask mandates or other COVID restrictions. So come shop, dine, stroll and stay awhile!
More than 25 restaurants are operating outdoor streateries for those who still prefer to eat outside (or just love the great people watching). The Georgetown BID also built sidewalk extensions on select M Street and Wisconsin Avenue blocks. The Georgetown Decks not only provide a more welcoming experience for outdoor dining, but create more space for you to safely and comfortably walk through Georgetown.
The Big Food Renaissance
It turns out Georgetown is cool again. (We’ve been telling you this for years!) Much of the buzz is thanks to what the media, residents, and visitors alike are declaring a neighborhood dining renaissance. Washingtonian released its What’s IN and OUT in DC Restaurant Trends for 2023, and Georgetown is in. Eater DC also asked restaurant experts to name their favorite dining-out neighborhoods of 2022, and the common theme was DC’s oldest neighborhood.
The biggest headline is the news that restaurateur Stephen Starr is partnering with Georgetown Park developer Jamestown and Los Angeles-based chef Nancy Silverton for a “huge Italian marketplace” and the first East Coast location of her Michelin-starred restaurant, Osteria Mozza. The restaurant and marketplace will open in the former Dean & DeLuca space in late 2023 and will occupy 20,000 square feet. Starr and Silverton’s new venture will join a scene that’s already exploded in the past year, thanks to French hotspot Lutèce, Michael Rafidi’s recently opened Levantine cafe Yellow, The Fountain Inn, L’Avant-Garde, NYC-based French bakery Maman, and the soon-to-open Van Leeuwen ice cream – among other dining favorites.
Say goodbye to your couch, and get back out there. There’s so much to do in Georgetown right now, beyond all the amazing eating. Georgetown Heritage’s new C&O Canal boat tours returned in April 2022, offering one-hour guided historical tours of the first mile of the Canal for the first time in more than a decade. Several Georgetown signature events also made a comeback, including the annual Georgetown French Market, Bike to Work Day, and Georgetown GLOW. In July, the BID also partnered with the Capital Fringe Festival to host the performing arts festival in Georgetown for the first time in its 17-year-history. In addition to the BID’s signature events, our member businesses offer weekly promotions and events, so there’s always something new on tap.
We’ve never been more optimistic about Georgetown’s future – and we’re always working to make the commercial district even better. The BID is actively engaged in tenant recruitment and retention, and we are working with landlords and brokers to encourage pop-ups, and new uses for vacant and underutilized spaces. In our ongoing effort to respond to the economic consequences of the pandemic, the Georgetown BID and its Board of Directors also put significant time into strategic planning in 2022 to map out the organization’s priorities for the next five years. We did a deep dive into placemaking, economic development, marketing, communications and events, transportation, and diversity, equity and inclusion work that will hopefully allow us to deliver a stronger and more sustainable Georgetown over the coming years.