A longtime D.C. Council member representing the city’s ritziest ward has written a letter to city zoning officials arguing that they should block Call Your Mother deli from selling its frenzy-inducing bagels at an outpost located in his backyard in residential Georgetown.
Jack Evans, the Ward 2 representative at the center of an ethics investigation probing conflicts of interest in his consulting business, tells DCist that he’s speaking for residents (i.e. NIMBYs) who don’t want the hit bagel shop attracting crowds into a quiet section of their ultra-exclusive neighborhood.
Call Your Mother, named one of Eater’s 16 Best New Restaurants in America, cooks its bagels in a wood-fired oven at its original shop in Park View. It has already signed a lease for its second location, a former flower shop at 3428 O Street NW that will be equipped with a limited kitchen. If it clears its zoning hurdles, the Georgetown outpost could reportedly open in December.
Although the Advisory Neighborhood Commission has already approved the self-proclaimed “Jew-ish” deli’s move into Georgetown, Call Your Mother is seeking permission from the Board of Zoning Adjustment to bypass the location’s designation as a retail space and run a prepared food shop.
Ahead of the zoning board’s vote, Evans wrote a letter to its members arguing that the proposed bagel shop would be a “substantial detriment” to the neighborhood, saying that Call Your Mother’s famously long lines would block sidewalks, lead to traffic congestion, and accumulate trash that would attract rats. He says 25 residents have contacted his office complaining about the deli moving in.
Call Your Mother co-owner Andrew Dana seemed befuddled by that premise, telling DCist that the shop’s lines have never drawn a trash or a noise complaint: “It’s just people reading their phones, waiting for a bagel.”
Evans cites the shop’s success as evidence that it could afford to move into a prime commercial space on Wisconsin Avenue NW. Dana says it would be “hard to make those economics work.”