TUESDAY UPDATE: If you read my post of today you'll learn the good news that the Lee's got a reprieve and Scheele's will remain open.
MONDAY UPDATE: I stopped by Scheele's this morning to talk to the Lee's. Apparently, subsequent to their "closing" sign being posted and my item below, the landlord phoned them and said she does not want them to close, and both parties are having a meeting tonight to "try to work it out." Fingers crossed.
EARLIER: This is news I don't want to report. It's too depressing. "Another brick in the wall..." At Scheele's Market -- which has operated continuously as a Georgetown neighborhood market for more than 100 years -- Kye Lee has posted a sign that says she and her husband will have a closing sale soon. When I asked what that meant, Oscar, the weekend clerk, said the market would close at the end of November. Damn. The bell has rung for Scheele's several times in the recent past, but I gather this time it is for real.
For up to date history, here's something from Scheele's Facebook page:
Scheele’s Market, a venerable Georgetown landmark throughout the latter part of the 19th century, all of the 20th century and continues in operation today, is located in one of the most exclusive Georgetown neighborhoods known as the “East Village”. Scheele’s Market was originally located on 28th Street having been started by David Francis “Dave” Scheele. The market moved to 29th Street, its present location, in 1895. Following Dave’s death in 1922 the market was purchased by his brother, George Scheele, Sr. In 1970 George Sr. passed away and ownership of the market passed on to his son, George Jr. who ran the market until 1983 when he retired. He continued owning the property and leased the business to several people with the last being the Lees who continue running the business today. After 118 years, on February 7th, 2011, the property was sold by the Scheele heirs to Jordan O’Neill.
When Scheele's closes that means we will be down to one neighborhood market in the East Village, if you don't count 7/11 and CVS, and I def don't. The one remaining market is Sarah's, which changed ownership in the last year and, in my opinion, has declined. Maybe with Scheele's closing they will see an upturn in business. Maybe they will step it up. Maybe Sarah's will sell Georgetown Bagelry bagels, as Scheele's does on weekends. That would be a good step. And bring back the Black Jewel popcorn, please.
Here's what a Scheele's fan posted on Yelp:
I feel funny ranking Scheele's on Yelp, because it feels so personal. It's that dependable convenience store that every neighborhood should have. It's the reason you move to the city, so you can walk two blocks for approximately 93% of your cooking needs. A far better selection than anything in the vicinity, Scheele's makes optimum use of its small space. And Mr. Lee is awesome, friendly guy. Just to illustrate how well stocked they are, here are a few features you'd be surprised to find in a small convenience store, smaller than most 7-11s:
-An impressive beer and wine selection
-An array of fresh produce
-An array of cheeses and meats
-An array of virtually anything you need in the spice rack or pantry, it's halfway between a grocery store and a convenience store. Maybe I'm hyping it up to much...I can't help it, I love this place!
NOTE: It actually stands in stark contrast to the nearby 7-11 which has one of the worst selections I've ever seen from the chain.
We need our neighborhood markets, but it's up to the neighbors - and benevolent landlords - to keep them alive.