Griffin Market to close due to rent increase

Photo by The Georgetown Dish
Griffin made through the winter of 2010, but can't absorb rent increase
Griffin made through the winter of 2010, but can't absorb rent increase

The popular Griffin Market has steadily built its clientele and made it through the worst of winter weather , but owners Riccardo and Laura Bonino find they can’t survive a 40% rent increase. 

Carol Joynt reports that Griffin Market clients received this email yesterday:

Dear Friends, the transition to close the store for good has started. Today was the last day for us to serve Lunch. Starting from tomorrow the store will open only in the afternoon with the following timing: Tuesday to Saturday 3PM to 9PM Sunday 4:30PM to 8PM

Last Dinner Service will be Sunday Feb. 20th 2011. After that we will be cleaning the store in order to be ready to return the key to the Landlord on Feb.28th.

0 Comments For This Article

Dave Roffman

Who is the landlord? You should report that too....people want to know.

Colbie

This is very sad to hear. The owners of Griffin Market are very nice. They always put water out for dogs passing by. How greedy these landlords are in these tough economic times. I am very sorry to hear this!

Lisa Bartolomei

I find it astounding that at this time , with so many store closings, the landlords feel they can get 40% more in rent. Corner stores like this provide a wonderful service to the neighorhood and the landlord is doing the community a grave disservice. I will miss those yummy dinners!!!!!

Anonymous

It is a fact that the community has no idea of how much gouging that commercial leasing in the District is taking place which is at a disastrous level. Wake up please. It is going on all over the city. There is a very old law which permits commercial landlords to continue to smother mom and pop shops is just disgusting. The mom and pop shops will disapear from every corner until we change that law which governs them. We must cap that law to reflect times as this

Bob

Wow - their food was good - she is a serious chef. The landlord tolerated a previous tenant who had the place overrun with mice and seemed to be going broke - I got sick from a sandwich under the old manager. The Boninos had the place humming. In what peabrain does the landlord think they will get a tenant for this store. I suppose the landlord is some out of towner who has been watching Georgetown Cupcake and thinks they can put a cupcake store there. The landlord also seems to have done zero maintenance on the building - the front wall is falling with a big crack in it. A new tenant is going to expect them to fix the place up, especially a cupcake store - you won't see change out of $150k - and the cupcake fad will be over in a year. Here's another hint - Georgetown cupcake is on M street, in an area with foot-traffic - college kids.

The neighborhood is pissed off - and Georgetowners love to file, nuisance cases, and can afford to do it. Rumour has it the landlord is an obnoxious **** from out of town.

This landlord must be really seriously dumb! He/She obviously thinks someone who flips hamburgers today can make the Seared Duck Liver & Sour Cherry Bruschetta, Roasted Pepper & Fennell Soup topped with Thyme & Honey Glazed Pear Compote, Triglia (red Mullett) Filets with a Shaved fennell, Pink Grapefruit & Black Olive Salad with a Caper & Anchovies Dressing, Borlotti Beans & Sausage Risotto simmered with Red Wine & Rosemary that we had recently!

Good luck to Boninos - they were probably the only people who could have made it at that location. And yes, someone find out who the landlord is - and post his/her name and contact details.

Anonymous

Well - go to the DC property records and plug in 2736 P Street NW and you will find out - there might even be a personal name.

https://www.taxpayerservicecenter.com/RP_Search.jsp?search_type=Assessment

Then go to the DC company records and run the name of the company you find.

http://mblr.dc.gov/corp/lookup/index.asp

LongTimeRez

According to DC Property Tax records, the current owner of the property recently purchased the property:

GRS MILLER LLC ASHLEY MILLER
10310 Seagrape Way Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418-4532. Phone: (561) 625-1214

Title: Vice President

Ashley Merrill Miller, Vice President with Regional Capital Group, has over 10 years experience in commercial and real estate finance and investment, where she facilitated and managed a diverse array of multi-million dollar loans. Prior to RCG, she was employed for such companies as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and as an investment associate for a hedge fund. She was responsible for performing market analysis and financial due diligence on borrowers and guarantors.

Miss Miller’s area of expertise includes development and maintenance of detailed financial models, structuring, underwriting and pricing of real estate and asset-based financing. Her experience includes loan origination, analysis and structuring of real estate transactions.

Miller graduated with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and a concentration in International Finance and Marketing from the University of Miami, where she attended on an athletic scholarship.

28th Streeter

Even though I am not a regular, I have been so happy to have the Bonino's on the corner. They have high quality products and a true customer focus making them a neighborhood gem. Is there nothing we can do?

Anonymous

Well it's pretty obvious from reading the profile of Regional Capital that she is little more than a front for some investor that wants to build condos. First, they'll let the place get rat infested and derelict - and then they will say they are improving the property to try to get permission to build what they want. She's just a minion though (tennis jock from U of Miami) - the real person behind this is the CEO, Paul P. Braungart. So if you want to express an opinion, that's where to go.

Regional Capital Group
701 Route 70 East, Building One, Marlton, NJ 08053
856.983.4800 Office, 856.983.5001

Anonymous

I don't think that the frankly appalling sounding Ms. Miller understands the depth of the local anger at the shabby treatment of the Boninos. This store was a local institution and the whole neighborhood regarded the Boninos as friends. Most of the neighborhood has been aware of the situation with the landlord for several months, during which no appearance was ever made by the landlord.

So we are all pretty hostile - and we will likely stay that way - whatever Regional Capital's Ms. Miller thinks she can do with the store. Georgetown is one of those places where you do not piss off the neighbors - because they will watch every single little thing you do - and calling DCRA is the local pastime, and DCRA never visits without a $1000 fine or two for everything they find.

Meanwhile, you can do nothing in Georgetown without the neighborhood going along with it - because it will not pass the Georgetown board. Given the resentment and suspicion in East Village over this, the landlord is in a very bad spot - and I suppose she will go on making it worse. This Ashley Miller boasts real estate experience .... all anyone can say is where? How did she get the idea that a corner store in Georgetown - with competition from Wholefoods, the largest and most upmarket Safeway, a new Giant Foods, a Trader Joes, the supermarket at 23rd and P, on a street with zero foot-traffic could sustain a 40% rent hike. If she loses the liquor license where does she get the idea that she will get another one at this location, with 4 churches, a liquor store 1 block away, Scheele's and Amy's markets in a block or two objecting. Why does she think the neighbors would agree to someone who has demonstrated she does not give a shit for our community getting a license for whatever creature she chooses over the Boninos who we all know and trust and have seen stop selling wine on Halloween to keep the rowdy's away? Only the business they were running was going to get any of the neighbors to use the store - and that involves getting a cook as good as Laura, someone who could produce, cooked to order:

Appetizers

Terrine de Foie Gras with Pears roasted with Truffle Honey & Thyme 10.00$
Black Beluga Lentils Soup 6.00$
Caprese Salad 8.00$ SOLD OUT

Main Courses

Whole Roasted Branzino with Baby Arugula Salad 16.00$ SOLD OUT
Berkshire Pork Roast in a Garlic & Fennell seed crust with Mashed Potatoes & Steamed Carrots 14.00$ SOLD OUT
Rabbit Ravioli in Sage butter & Rabbit Jus 14.00$
Handmade Tagliatelle in Artichoke Pesto 14.00$ SOLD OUT

Dessert

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Sauce 4.50$ ONLY 2 LEFT

And does the idiot think she will get a change of use to build condos - with the neighborhoods' consent needed, the loathing her conduct has inspired, fat chance. A block away Sheele's could not get a change of use and we like the owners of that store.....

I think the Boninos are making the right business decision - who wants a jerk for a landlord, someone who lets the whole building reach an astonishing level of decay. I wish they were not giving up the store, but I can see why. I would not stay unless everything was fixed and they had a professional running things. They obviously don't right now. Here's hoping that the current landlord sells, the value of the store will fallen like a rock without the Boninos.