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Come out and visit Georgetown BID

August 23, 2011

The organization best known for its work to improve the vitality and quality of life in Georgetown just got a new home. Since July 1, the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) can be found (with a little help) in the Flour Mill building on Potomac Street.

Jim Bracco at the new BID office in Flour Mill (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jim Bracco at the new BID office in Flour Mill

“We wanted a location in the center of the business district. Looking for the kind of space that would also accommodate our Clean Team eliminated a lot of conventional spaces,” executive director Jim Bracco told The Georgetown Dish. The team of 12 headed by Bill Baker will be all moved in by the end of this month.

The 3,200 square foot space, all at street level has room for seven offices, a conference room that seats 24, and a kitchen large enough to prepare food for in-house events.

“Come out and play (Georgetown’s rebranded slogan) was a call to action,” said marketing director Nancy Miyahira. “We’re going to do more promotions with merchants and engage people more with the brand.” Looking forward to their signature events this fall, starting with Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) on September 8, Nancy explained, “Last year, 80 businesses participated, and so far, over 95 businesses have signed up.”  

Jim Bracco, at door of of new BID office (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jim Bracco, at door of of new BID office

As Nancy pointed out, individual businesses are excited to be producing their own in-store events for FNO. The outlook is good, Nancy said, “the mix of independent to national brands has held steady at 73% to 27%.”

And on October 15, for the 18th year, it's Taste of Georgetown.

More good news. The BID has made free Wi-Fi available from Washington Harbour to Jack’s Boathouse. And soon, when it officially opens,  at Waterfront Park.

The Georgetown BID is located at 1000 Potomac Street, in the Flour Mill office building (on the C&O Canal side, not the K/Water Street side.)  Down the steps behind Dean & Deluca's patio and over the canal, it's on the right directly on the first level in suite 122. Tel: 202.298.9222


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GBA’s starry, starry night at House of Sweden

August 17, 2011

Washington's only embassy on the waterfront, The House of Sweden hosted the Georgetown Business Association (GBA) and 400 of their closest friends Wednesday evening for a sparkling midsummer’s evening of cocktails, music and a special tribute to the Furin family.

House of Sweden's patio on the Potomac (Photo by: Judith Beermann) House of Sweden's patio on the Potomac

“This time last year, we had 25 people come to our event at Chadwick’s,” GBA vice president Rokas Berseniovas wasn’t complaining as he surveyed the guests packing Anna Lindh Hall and happily spilling out onto the patio.  

Erwin Gomez, Sherie Gabriel and Rokas Beresniovas (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Erwin Gomez, Sherie Gabriel and Rokas Beresniovas

Zubair Popal, Justin Shine, Mary Kay Williams, Hope and Ed Solomon and Pat Tally (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Zubair Popal, Justin Shine, Mary Kay Williams, Hope and Ed Solomon and Pat Tally

Jennifer Altemus and Holly Styles (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jennifer Altemus and Holly Styles

Matt Cheney, Joe Giannino, Rokas Beresniovas and Catherine Olive-Treyvaud (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Matt Cheney, Joe Giannino, Rokas Beresniovas and Catherine Olive-Treyvaud

A meeting place as well as home to the embassies of Sweden and Iceland, this gem on the Potomac was designed with many poetic nods to life in Sweden, from frosted glass walls symbolizing the early spring melting of ice to pixelated lighting in the ceiling mimicking a starry sky.

GBA fills Anna Lindh Hall (Photo by: Judith Beermann) GBA fills Anna Lindh Hall

ANC commissioners Jeff Jones and Bill Starrells (Photo by: Judith Beermann) ANC commissioners Jeff Jones and Bill Starrells

View from House of Sweden's patio (Photo by: Judith Beermann) View from House of Sweden's patio

As guests enjoyed each other, stellar views of Virginia, and boats docked at Washington Harbour, GBA president Joe Giannino thanked everyone for coming, and especially the evening’s sponsors: House of Sweden for the dazzling venue, Ridgewells for the catering, The Georgetown Business Improvement District for beverages, and Chris Furin for desserts.  

Kevin Lee, Janine Schoonover, Liz Sara, and Ayda Saenver (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Kevin Lee, Janine Schoonover, Liz Sara, and Ayda Saenver

Jennifer Snell, BMI's Fred Cannon, Karen Schandler and Ellen Grantham (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jennifer Snell, BMI's Fred Cannon, Karen Schandler and Ellen Grantham

Music for All Occasion's DJ Oscar Braithwaite (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Music for All Occasion's DJ Oscar Braithwaite

Cecilia Browning and Bo Jonsson (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Cecilia Browning and Bo Jonsson

Andrew Osbborne, Cecilia Browning and Stephen Brown (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Andrew Osbborne, Cecilia Browning and Stephen Brown

Cecilia Browning, House of Sweden’s general manager thanked everyone for coming and introduced Andrew Osborne, director of conferences and events.

Joining real estate agent Nancy Iiteilag, Joe Giannino and Sue Hamilton saluted the Furin family for 27 years serving the community with their baking and catering business.

Also today, longtime GBA representative Sue Hamilton was quoted at length in The Washington Post on the changing nature of business in Georgetown. “Family businesses  . . . are the heart of Georgetown,” said Hamilton, a 26-year Georgetown resident, told the Post. “You can go to a national chain anywhere. But here you have [surviving independent businesses like] Georgetown Tobacco, Georgetown Floorcoverings, Cannons Seafood, Weaver’s Hardware, Bistro Francais.”

Chris and Bernie Furin, Wendy Kerr, Joe Giannino, Sue Hamilton and Nancy Itteilag (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Chris and Bernie Furin, Wendy Kerr, Joe Giannino, Sue Hamilton and Nancy Itteilag

”It’s difficult closing a restaurant.” Thanking the crowd, and their legion of loyal customers, Chris Furin said. “We’ll miss you.” Furin’s of Georgetown may be leaving but the baking tradition continues with Cakes by Chris Furin.

D.C.councilman at-large, Vincent Orange addresses the crowd as Cecilia Browning, Joe Giannino and Fred Cannon listen in (Photo by: Judith Beermann) D.C.councilman at-large, Vincent Orange addresses the crowd as Cecilia Browning, Joe Giannino and Fred Cannon listen in

As chair of a new D.C. Council  small business development committee, Vincent Orange thanked the community for their support, and had good news for Georgetown's business leaders. "President Obama has made 13.5 million dollars available for small businesses in D.C."

On that sweet note, it was time for desserts by Chris Furin.

GBA at House of Sweden, August 17, 2011 (Photo by: Rokas Beresniovas) GBA at House of Sweden, August 17, 2011


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"Fabulously British" Jack Wills arrives in Georgetown

August 16, 2011

Designed to resemble an English country home, the new Jack Wills store in Georgetown is the 9th spot across the pond for the British retailer. You may  know Jack them from Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket or Newport, Rhode Island.

This university outfitters features men's and women's apparel and accessories, housewares, beauty and grooming items.

"I'm really excited to be here. I've been to quite a few places in the states, and never seen anything quite like it," assistant store manager Alistair Penny told The Georgetown Dish. Speaking for himself and store manager Jade Newark, Penny added, "We're really glad to be here. Georgetown does seem to be the perfect place for the brand."

Inside Jack Wills (Photo by: Juliana Gutowski) Inside Jack Wills

Established in 1999 in Devon, U.K., the brand is founded in "British style resurrecting the cool, yet eclectic dandy." This distinctive aesthetic draws from the tension of teaming formal wear with more casual, preppy attire.

Since the company selects locations that are "all about setting, history and character," it's not surprising to find Jack Wills landed here on Wisconsin Avenue.

Jack Wills in Georgetown (Photo by: Juliana Gutowski) Jack Wills in Georgetown

Jack Wills is located at 1079 Wisconsin Avenue. Tel: 202.333.7980


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