UPDATE ON WEDNESDAY OCT 31: "Carol, your note about 7-11 is correct…its unfortunate because it lacks vision and reflects the absence of a strategy by the owners of the properties around that intersection. While markets change and the quaintness of the past is replaced by mass-appeal commercial, it doesn’t have to be this bad. Will keep you posted on what else I hear, but this one gets chalked up to a lack of trying on behalf of the property owners…." - another golden source
(Note to whiners, I am not pissed of about this. I will buy lottery tickets there, hopefully one that wins.)
My source on this is golden and so I'm going with it: apparently the Donohue family has done a deal to lease their building at Wisconsin and O to the 7-11 chain. Work already has begun on the interior. Everyone seems to like to look for signs that Georgetown's charm is a thing of the past, and this latest development will probably be included on that list, along with reports of a TJ Maxx, Target and a bowling alley at Georgetown Park mall, and the new mega Nike store on M Street. But, the times they are a changin'.
This building once was home to "Doc" Dalinsky's pharmacy, one of the most popular Georgetown hangouts of true Washington insiders: Ben Bradlee, David Brinkley, Joseph Alsop, Art Buchwald, to name a notable handful. They would come in for their morning papers, especially the Sunday papers, and dish and jive with "Doc," then amble down to Martin's Tavern for eggs benedict and a brew or a bloody. The building authentically represents a bygone era when unique "ma and pa" shops and chic and pricy boutiques lined Wisconson and M Streets and the side streets. Georgetown also was home to the city's best restaurants, cafes and bars.
Those days are not coming back; that scene, in various iterations, has moved on to other parts of town, and it's debatable whether the reason is that Georgetown's leadership handed the village over to developers, or having no subway, maddening parking issues, or simply changing times. It's probably a combination.
I've noticed this, though, over the last decade or so of massive change: most of the big chains don't last because the average consumer, the shopper who has to fill an SUV with necessary goods, would rather park in a lot at a mall than drive around cramped Georgetown streets for 30 minutes, looking for a parking space, only to return to the car to find a hefty pink parking ticket, which is DC's way of saying "thank you for your sales tax dollars." It doesn't compute.
As for the 7-11, if what I was told is true, it will be the village's second, joining the established 7-11 on P Street at 27th, which is currently being doubled in size. But having two 7-11's in Georgetown is precedented: there was one at the corner of Wisconsin and Q that closed a few years ago.