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Don’t blame CVS. This time it’s another drug-store chain, Rite Aid, that will be displacing a District institution. On Aug. 2, Face’s Restaurant on upper Georgia Avenue—which lost its lease—will be closing for good. That means people in the District will have one less place to find good fried chicken or a decent crab-cake sandwich. No big deal, right?

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Well, that all depends on who you’re talking to. Face’s is a great place to get your fill, but for more than 25 years it has also served as a back fence for folks around upper Georgia Avenue. Now Face’s clientele will have convenient access to condoms and diapers, but no place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries.

Not to mention the legendary victory parties for Ward 4 political champs.

That’s too bad. Face’s is a safe and decent respite, where owner Donzell Tate cooks dinner for you within sight, and the waitress who brings it to you knows that you always want the gravy on the side. Trendy it ain’t—no couscous or microbrews in sight. The menu of Southern staples hasn’t changed in years, and regulars don’t even need to open it. In a neighborhood that’s a little short on places where you can just drop in for a quick bite, Face’s occupied important terrain. Here’s one last look in the rearview at Face’s, which will serve up its last chicken dinner this Saturday:

Art accompanying story in the printed newspaper is not available in this archive: Susan Pardys.