Over 10 years and nearly 90 coast-to-coast locations later, cult salad shop Sweetgreen is going back to its roots and rebooting the inaugural Georgetown store that started it all.
This time around, the tiny 500-square-foot hut (3333 M Street NW) — dubbed the Tavern — will function as a hyper-local grocery hub, complete with rows of colorful for-sale produce from partners Sweetgreen has worked with over the years. The historic store, completely renovated and wrapped in shiny green and white tiles, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The opening day for the new market is Tuesday, September 25.
The modern eatery will eventually sell its iconic salads through online orders, with a pick-up window off of Wisconsin Avenue NW. Customers don’t have to go far to customize creations in-store; the biggest Sweetgreen ever — spanning over 2,200 square feet — opened a few blocks away (1044 Wisconsin Avenue NW) a year ago.
The Tavern’s shelves are packed with goods from over 30 health-conscious area vendors, including South Block, District Juicery, Gordy’s pickles, Blue Ridge Kombucha, Paisley Fig’s baked goods (now found at critically acclaimed Elle), Firefly Farms, and more. Local restaurateur Nick Wiseman (Whaley’s, Little Sesame) helped curate the overall selection. Coffee hails from Lost Sock, with a blend unique to the location, and La Colombe.
Sweetgreen’s tart frozen yogurt Sweetflow, which disappeared from its menus in 2014 despite drawing a large following, is also making a comeback in line with the store’s reopening. The team came up with the latest version out of Union Market’s Dolcezza gelato factory, tasting over ten iterations before perfecting a replica of the original. (Co-founder Nicolas Jammet, now based in Los Angeles, flew to D.C. just to sign off on the final flavor profile.)
The Tavern’s arrival is especially significant for its founders, including Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru, who debuted the Sweetgreen model there soon after graduating from neighboring Georgetown University in 2007 in what was then a modest cottage-style site of a former burger joint. They’ve since blanketed the U.S. with 87 mostly-cashless locations, building a lifestyle brand for millennials along the way.
The store pays homage to the founders’ alma mater by accepting student discounts via GO Cards. Customers can also sign up for a CSA program at the store and get monthly packages from local farmers.
The one-stop shop also houses non-edible items like cookbooks from D.C. chefs Nora Pouillon and José Andrés, T-shirts, and flowers from Common Market.
Status: Certified open. 3333 M Street NW; website.