I’ve spent many Summers in Washington, DC growing in the Virginia suburbs and later moving to Georgetown post college. One thing that kept me sane during the scorching Summer heat was seeking refuge in the plethora of shops on M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, as well as the hidden gems on cobble stoned streets in the historic neighborhood. Over the past year, old stores have closed down due to exorbitant rent and lease rates in one of the most highly sought after business districts in our nation’s capital. We saw Commander Salamander, a Georgetown institution, close its door for the last time last year. When one door closes, another opens is a mantra that has contributed to the surge in new boutiques and labels looking to invigorate DC fashion and their bottom line.
A slew of new shops have cropped up in Georgetown and all have been welcomed with open arms. Just in time for tourist season, these shops have catapulted Georgetown into a shopping destination for locals and tourists alike; making the neighborhood a palliative option for those not willing to trek all the way up Wisconsin Avenue to Mazza Gallerie or cross the bridge to Tysons Galleria.
Newly Opened Boutiques, Restaurants & Galleries
Babette (3307 Cady’s Alley NW): San Francisco-based label, which offers dramatic designs and innovative fabrics and artistic textures, opened its doors in Georgetown’s Cady’s Alley on March 21.
Bookhill Bistro (1639 Wisconsin Ave. NW): Grab a seat on the patio of this new two floor bistro, housed in a historic home, and nosh on yummy dishes like the Croque Monsieur and Lobster Pasta while taking a breather from the hustle and bustle of the Georgetown streets. Finish off with cocktails or an espresso before heading back to your hotel or home.
CB2 Georgetown (3307 M St. NW): Looking to decorate your new apartment with elegant and modern home furnishings and decor? You’ll find everything you need to make Collin Cowey jealous in this 12,815 square foot space that houses all the CB2 offerings you see online. The best part about visiting the store is that you can try out that micro suede couch or that iron frame bed before purchasing.
Fleurir Chocolates (3235 P St. NW): Sink your teeth into something sweet at this locally based chocolatier just of P street. Specializing in “hand grown” chocolates using the finest natural ingredients, Fleurir offers a unique selection of flavors like Pink Peppercorn, Lavender Shiraz and Peanut Butter Banana.
Heiner Contemporary (1675 Wisconsin Ave. NW): Georgetown is home to several art galleries but this one promises to make art accessible with emerging and mid-career artists in various mediums housed inside.
Lou Lou (1304 Wisconsin Ave. NW): Looking for affordable yet chic accessories? Lou Lou carries an impressive collection of both affordable and designer jewelry, accessories, handbags, hats, sunglasses, scarves and hair accessories.
Rag & Bone (3067 M St. NW): Contemporary men’s and women’s wear brand rag & bone made their DC debut May 12. Impressed with Georgetown’s charm and architecture, the design duo behind the famed brand opened their 1500 square foot store in the heart of Georgetown.
Serendipity 3 (3150 M St. NW): We all love sweets and Serendipity 3 has got it. Bringing its famed Frrrozen® Hot Chocolate and other signature dishes to DC for the first time, NYC franchise will feature the same menu and whimsical décor as its Manhattan outpost, but will also pay homage to DC’s political roots with artwork designed by local artists and DC-inspired dishes such as jumbo lump crab cakes and pan-seared Virginia stripe bass.
Sprinkles Cupcakes (3015 M St. NW): Is there room for two cupcakeries? Ok so there are technically three cupcakeries in Georgetown now. Skip the long lines at Georgetown Cupcake and sink your teeth into something sweet at this Beverly Hills import.
Stores and galleries opening soon include:
AllSaints Spitalfields (3235 M St. NW): Georgetown hasn’t seen anything yet. Prepare to be addicted and wowed by this British brand’s collection of men’s and women’s wear, shoes and accessories. Step into the 8000 square foot space and see why New Yorkers are so addicted to AllSaints
Brooks Brothers (3077 M St. NW): Georgetown is home to preppy chic so it is befitting for Brooks Brothers to finally make its way into the neighborhood. Offering authentic American style for affluent men, women and children, Brooks Brothers is going to give J. Crew a run for its money with both its true prep collection and higher priced Black Fleece label.
Calvin Klein Underwear (3207 M St. NW): Another SoHo gem makes its way to Washington, DC. Calvin Klein Underwear will open its second U.S. store early this Summer in Georgetown. Stock up on Calvin Klein Underwear sleep and lounge wear as well as its classic underwear for men and women.
Comer & Co. (1659 Wisconsin Ave. NW): Antique collectors will excitedly welcome a new addition to Georgetown’s Book Hill neighborhood this summer. Virginia-based Comer & Co. will open at the end of May 2011, offering an unrivaled collection of fine antiques and decorative arts for today’s home.
Michael Kors (3103 M St. NW): Michael Kors has a staunch following in Washington, DC and for many seasons, his collections have only been available at the large department stores and high end boutiques. Opening this year is the Michael Kors shop, offering luxury clothing, shoes and accessories, as well as the lower priced Michael Michael Kors line.
Nectar Skin Bar (1633 Wisconsin Ave. NW): Offering a fresh, upscale boutique beauty experience, the new shop will offer luxurious spa services, lavish beauty products and the highly buzzed-about Lash Dip service – an innovative semi-permanent mascara treatment.