A La Carte

Suitsupply Coming to Georgetown

August 5, 2012

Don’t let the name fool you. While Suitsupply may conjure a warehouse full of overstock menswear, the reality is something quite different, and exciting. You’ll see for yourself later this month when they open their first Washington, D.C. store at 29th and M Streets.

Nish de Gruiter in Bourbon Steak (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Nish de Gruiter in Bourbon Steak

It all started in Amsterdam 10 years when a young law student named Fokke de Jong needed to make some extra money. He started selling clothes, hosting trunk shows where he sold suits to fellow students and employees who worked in the offices on campus. The business took off but not before De Jong noticed how many steps were involved in the distribution of high-end suits, so he decided to launch a company that took out the middleman.

“It’s by now a familiar business concept, but not done before with luxury men’s clothing,” says Market Maker, Nish de Gruiter. “We’re a vertically integrated company, so we design, manufacture, buy and operate everything in-house. We source all raw materials in Europe and only use Italian fabric. Manufacturing is mainly done in the Far East.”

(Photo by: Suitsupply)

After opening 35 stores in Europe, Suitsupply arrived in New York last year.

And what’s so special about Suitsupply?  At the time of the Soho opening, Wall Street Journal reported on a blind test using two suit experts who were asked to review the quality and make of six suits. Suitsupply tied with Armani for first place in quality. The Armani suit retailed for $3,600 and the one from Suitsupply was $614.

2012 Dutch Olympics Team Outfitted by Suitsupply (Photo by: Suitsupply) 2012 Dutch Olympics Team Outfitted by Suitsupply

“We’re all about fit, quality and service,” de Gruiter continued. “Instead of keeping the tailor in the back room, we bring him out into the middle of the store … like seeing chefs prepare your meal in an open kitchen. You come in, try on what you like and it’s altered to fit you right there on the spot.” Or you can order online as you're walked through a detailed self-measuring process.

Suitsupply carries sizes ranging from 36 short to 50 long and up. Accessories include ready-to-wear shirts, ties, shoes, socks, bags and more.

And about that name? "de Jong wasn't thinking about the American market when he started, and besides in Dutch it sounds different," said de Gruiter.

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Tony & Joe's and Nick's Are Back!

July 30, 2012

Nick inside the new Nick's (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Nick inside the new Nick's

“In the short term, the flood was disastrous,” Nick Cibel explained. “But it was a blessing in disguise. We were able to build two completely new facilities.” Nick’s Riverside Grille was under seven feet of water, Tony & Joe’s under three feet last April.

On a sunny Monday morning, only weeks away from re-opening, painters and carpenters and construction crew were out in force when The Georgetown Dish caught up with Nick conferring with staff and his new executive chef, David Stein.

David Sein and Nick Cibel (Photo by: Judith Beermann) David Sein and Nick Cibel

“What I’m most proud of was that we were able to support 40 of our core employees despite not being open for 16 months.” Yes, it’s really been that long since the Washington Harbour floodgates were not raised one storm-filled evening last spring.

This fall it will be 25 years since Tony & Joe’s opened and it remains the only original Georgetown Waterfront restaurant.

View from Nick's (Photo by: Judith Beermann) View from Nick's

Nick, together with his cousin, Greg Casten, fourth generation Washingtonians, have created a local seafood culinary empire. It started in 1983 with The Dancing Crab on upper Wisconsin Avenue where Nick started working in the kitchen. The crab is still dancing and now Nick’s got a brand new kitchen.

Nick’s dad Tony Cibel is the principal owner of Tony & Joe’s (since 1987) and Nick’s, which opened in1992. Greg Casten owns ProFish, started in 1988, is now OceanPro Industries Ltd. In the beginning, they supplied only two seafood restaurants, both of which Casten operated. “There was one pickup truck, a small thousand square foot facility, one 10 foot by 10 foot walk–in cooler, no computer and just two employees.”

Tony & Joe's new bar (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Tony & Joe's new bar

As Nick gave us a tour of the newly expanded Nick’s, it was hard to ignore its world-class Potomac view from every curved sliding window. “Nick’s is closest to the river anywhere in the city.” Huge circular bar, mezzanine level flush with boardwalk, open and airy.  

“I miss the view” says Chef David as he scurries back into his gleaming new stainless steel kitchen after three months of outdoor grilling. Formerly chef of Bistro Michaels on the Eastern Shore, David now oversees both facilities. "We're True Blue, using Chesapeake Bay’s local ingredients, 80% of our seafood used is from Maryland, says David. "We're introducing a whole new international menu filled with pasta and curry and Korean barbeque," Nick was quick to point out as we inspected the kitchen and tested the new windows.

David in Nick's kitchen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) David in Nick's kitchen

Centerpiece of the riverside complex is a new ice skating rink, “bigger than Rockefeller Center's” slated to open before Christmas. Nick's is planning outdoor lounge seating with a heated grill area.

Adjacent to Nick’s, another family business, Mexican restaurant Cabanas has been closed since the flood. “We decide to renegotiate our lease and instead, expand Nick’s by a third.”

Plan to enjoy the cuisine, hospitality and that view year round!

Site of new ice skating rink (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Site of new ice skating rink

Tony & Joe's is at 3000 K Street. Tel: 202.944.4545 and Nick's is at 3050 K Street. Tel: 202.342.3535

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Divine Decor to Divine Inspiration: WDC Becomes Bible Museum

July 30, 2012

The Museum of the Bible, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization announced Thursday, July 26, 2012 their purchase of the Washington Design Center (WDC), located at 300 D Street SW, Washington, D.C. for $50 million. The building is part of a larger sale totalling $200 million.

According to Chandler Epp, spokesperson for DeMoss Group, "The site was selected as the location for a yet-to-be-named museum to house The Green Collection, the world's largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts.

After an 18-month search in cities including Dallas and New York, the museum’s board chose the nation’s capital—a destination known for its world-class museums—to be the location of this future museum,” said Mark DeMoss, spokesperson for the Museum of the Bible and member of its board.

Plans include reconfiguring the WDC into a non-sectarian, scholarly-focused, national museum that will illustrate how the Bible came to be, its impact on the world throughout the ages and the story that is told in this best-selling book of all time.

The future museum will house The Green Collection, which has 55,000 ancient biblical texts and artifacts—including one of the world’s largest private collections of Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest-surviving New Testament texts in Jesus’ household language and other antiquities dating from the first century BCE to Torah scrolls that survived the Holocaust. The museum also plans to display items borrowed from other prominent collections from around the world.

With several years from opening, no design plans, construction timelines or completion dates are yet available.

Our intent is for this museum to showcase both the Old and New Testaments, arguably the world’s most significant pieces of literature, through a non-sectarian, scholarly approach that makes the history, scholarship and impact of the Bible on virtually every facet of society accessible to everyone,” said DeMoss.

Items from The Green Collection continue to be displayed around the world through traveling exhibitions. 

About The Green Collection

Named after The Green Family (founders and leaders of Hobby Lobby, the world's largest privately owned art and crafts retailer), The Green Collection is the world's largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts.

The Green Collection includes:

  • Codex Climaci Rescriptus, known as Incial 0250 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering)
  • The second-largest private collectionof Dead Sea Scrolls, all of which are unpublished
  • The world’s largest private collection of Jewish scrolls, including Torahs that survived the Spanish Inquisition, scrolls confiscated by the Nazis and recovered in concentration camps and others from across the globe
  • One of the world’s largest holdings of unpublished biblical and classical papyri, including texts that date back to the lostLibrary of Alexandria
  • Rare illuminated manuscripts and previously unknown biblical texts and commentaries
  • The earliest-known, near-complete translation of the Psalms in Middle English, including the Canticles and commentary predating Wycliffe's translation
  • Some of the earliest printed texts, including a large portion of the Gutenberg Bible and the world’s only complete Block Bible in private hands
  • Early tracts and Bibles belonging to Martin Luther, including a little-known letter written the night before his excommunication
  • Numerous items illustrating the contribution of Jews and Catholics to theKing James translation of the Bible and other historical artifacts

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