Call Your Mother opens its Georgetown bagel shop today, tying a bow around a 13-month saga in which the self-described “Jew-ish” deli from Park View faced opposition from its new well-to-do neighbors — including a disgraced former councilmember looking to rally supporters — won approval from a city zoning board to convert the retail license at the former GreenWorks Florist building, and acquired permits for city agencies overseeing construction, occupancy, and health protocols.
Known for its long lines, Call Your Mother now implements social distancing markers and non-contact pickups. The Georgetown store, its fourth location to open in less than two years, is accepting online pre-orders from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for pickups from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Top sellers include a pastrami, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich and an option with candied salmon, cream cheese, cucumbers, and crispy shallots. Chef Daniela Moreira, an Eater Young Gun (’17), bakes babka muffins and black-and-white alfajores.
In the time between announcing a 10-year lease at 3428 O Street NW and welcoming its first takeout customers to the new shop painted in pink and teal, Call Your Mother reconfigured its business to account for a pandemic, opened a standalone shop in Capitol Hill and a bagel trolley in Bethesda, and changed the names of its wood-fired bagel sandwiches while apologizing for co-opting Black culture. At different points, the shop was hoping to open in the fall of 2019, then by February, and now, finally, in late summer. Co-owners Andrew Dana and Moreira, the couple behind Timber Pizza Co., also had time to unveil at “Sorta South American” cafe and restaurant in a West End hotel called Mercy Me.
According to an opening announcement, Call Your Mother’s Georgetown location will reman open for pickup only even after the city lifts reopening restrictions put into place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Georgetown University, which sits a couple blocks from the bagel shop, shared a reopening plan earlier in July that outlines steps to welcome 2,000 undergraduates back to campus, including its freshman class and students who can’t pursue remote work off campus.
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