City Desk

Neighborhood Watch: GWU Students Need Late-Night Food, Residents Need Quiet

Foggy Bottom Grocery The Issue: The old Foggy Bottom Grocery at 21st and F Streets was known by most George Washington University students as “the sketchy purple place”- perfect for last-minute beer runs, and little else. In June, a former GWU Student Association president bought the place and started renovating it with the intention of serving pizza and sandwiches at "FoBoGro” until 2 a.m. weekdays and 3 a.m. weeknights. But the West End Citizens Association (WECA) isn’t thrilled about catering to the late-night munchy crowd; they filed a petition and argued in an ANC meeting last week that the new owner is ignoring D.C. zoning regulations and is likely to disrupt the neighborhood.

No Late Night Munchies: The WECA says that late hours and kitchen-prepared food were also requested by predecessors, and rejected for good reason: Barbara Kahlow, spokesman for WECA, told City Desk “the only people who support this are [GW] students, who live on campus or in frats. It’s the homeowners we want to protect.” In terms of the new food, Kahlow likens the case to a Georgetown Papa John’s that was unable to extend its original restaurant zoning into take-out. In terms of the requested hours, she says: “These hours in a residential zone are ridiculous.”

Munch Away: New owner Kris Hart says the certificate of occupancy he obtained in August listed the space as both a grocery store and sandwich shop. As for staying open late, he wants both to appease the nearby residential community – which he believes isn't very well represented by the WECA, on which he sits – and fill a void in late-night food on campus: “The overwhelming majority are just excited we're taking a building that was falling into complete disrepair and putting hundreds of thousands of dollars into it,” he told the GW Hatchet.

Next Step: The age-old riley students vs. tax-paying residents debate continues: The issue will be raised again at an ANC meeting next month.

Image by Dana Liebelson

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  • Angry Al Gonzales

    GWU students need a curfew - in bed at 11 pm. Anyone who pays $50,000 per year for college has way too much money & way too little sense.

    Under a Socialist government, we would tax their daddies & mommies' incomes at a healthy 70% rate or higher. The USA used to tax rich people at 90% - & guess what, there was no shortage of rich people! Or people trying to get rich! The UK had a 95% tax on income of rich people! No shortage of rich people! Or people trying to get rich!

    Socialism forever!

  • Keith

    Angry Al,

    Im going to need you to count to 10 and exhale buddy. Its Friday, take it easy...

  • http://ustreetgirl.wordpress.com u street girl

    Oh please like this place being open later is going to mean there are more drunk GW students wandering along F street at 3 am ... as a former drunk GW student I can tell you it's not going to make an iota of difference, plus there are a few frats by there and a lot of houses on that block rent to GW students throwing parties... yeah you live in Foggy Bottom, GW is there, deal with it.

  • liam

    Exactly, u street girl! If you live in Foggy Bottom, you have to accept the students as a way of life. Don't like it? Don't like in a college neighborhood! The college must own way more land than private residents by now, anyway.

  • http://newcolumbiaheights.blogspot.com Andrew

    There really aren't that many residents around anyway.

    To me, the crazy thing in that Hatchet article is that the West End Citizens Association hasn't met in six months (according to Hart, who says he's on the board of the WECA), but all of a sudden they're protesting this.

  • kob

    The neighborhood groups fight GWU and anything related to GWU at every single opportunity. It's sport. But the biggest problem in that neighborhood isn't GWU, it's the residential property owners who lease their houses to groups of college students who then, in turn, hold screaming parties on Thursday night until the booze wins. I lived in that neighborhood for 10 years and I can tell you chapter and verse about screaming.

    The neighborhood groups view GWU as an advancing Soviet Empire.

    You know, I always tell visitors that it's a shame DC isn't a place of grassy fields, wide open meadows, tweeting birds and the gentle sound of wind swooshing waves of grass. I just may write the ANC about it!

  • http://www.fobogro.com Kris Hart

    Thank you all very much for expressing some common sense and support for FoBoGro. Please continue to voice your support; we have petitions going around and are working hard to make this local, community business into a success.

    Feel free to contact me with ideas, suggestions, support or if you would like a tour.

    Best,

    Kris Hart
    FoBoGro Owner
    Foggy Bottom Grocery, Est. 1946
    khart@fobogro.com
    (215) 740-2663

  • Anonymous, too

    "Oh please like this place being open later is going to mean there are more drunk GW students wandering along F street at 3 am."

    LOL. Actually, they'll have to push all of the other drunk students that are already there out of the way.

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