Craving a PB&J and pale ale at 10 p.m.? An old town neighborhood mart where everybody knows your name? Wait no more. After months of delay, the old Foggy Bottom Grocery at 2140 F St. is set to open in February. The newly renovated “FoBoGro,” as it’s called, will operate seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to midnight, offering comfort food to George Washington University students during late-night study sessions and serving up Danishes and coffee to early birds, notably at the nearby State Department. FoBoGro is a “corner store where you run into your friends, people know who you are,” says owner Kris Hart.
Though you won’t find any pizza—that was one of the compromises. Last fall, City Desk reported, the GWU alum bought the grocery store, opened in 1946, in hopes of revamping the run-down establishment into a modern-day mart with fresh produce and prepared food. The opening stalled, as he faced opposition from the West End Citizens Association (WECA). The group’s fears: Students visiting late at night would disturb sleeping residents and drag down property values.
FoBoGro won the battle earlier this month when its alcohol license was approved by the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, reported the GW Hatchet. Its building permits, and hours were approved shortly after by the D.C. Office of Zoning. Originally planned to open until 2 a.m., the mart compromised with a midnight closing.
Hart, COO Devlin Keating, and friends spent countless hours experimenting in their kitchen, tweaking the menu. The P.B.J.B. adds a bit of flare to the original PB&J with bananas and granola. (Hey, we are adults, after all.) The Cazenovia Sub is named after Keating’s home town in upstate New York and is modeled after an old favorite: hand-sliced Italian ham, pepperoni, sopressata, sharp provolone, lettuce, tomato, tangy hot peppers, oregano, oil, and vinegar. “We wanted to take some classics…and we wanted to put some fun kind of twists on others,” Keating reports. (Foggy) Bottoms up, Cheers is finally moving in.
Photograph by Daniel Blake