Popular bagel deli Call Your Mother will open its second location late this fall in the bright pink and green building at the corner of 35th and O streets, formerly GreenWorks Florist.
Call Your Mother’s first location opened in October 2018 in Park View to long lines and critical acclaim. Eater’s website named it one of the 16 best new restaurants in America earlier this year. The new location, at 3428 O St. NW, is set to open near the end of October.
The deli’s founder and self-appointed “Chief Dough Boy” Andrew Dana also co-owns the popular Timber Pizza Co. in Petworth, a regular vendor at the Georgetown University Farmers’ Market, with his friend Chris Brady. Dana partnered with another Washington, D.C. native, Jeff Zients, to develop the Call Your Mother deli concept, which ultimately proved to be wildly popular.
The Park View location saw about four times more customers than projected and had to streamline its menu to accommodate demand, Dana said.
“Clearly D.C. was very ready for a new bagel shop,” he said in an interview with The Hoya. “We basically can’t service everyone we want to on the weekends, so we thought, let’s open a new joint.”
The deli does not yet have an opening date, however, as it still needs to secure a building permit from the Old Georgetown Board, an advisory board of three architects that reviews proposed building projects in the neighborhood. The bagel shop hopes to open eight to 10 weeks after the permit is secured, Dana said, and the restaurant’s interior post-renovation will be about 1,100 square feet, according to Washington Business Journal.
“It’s gonna obviously have the same color scheme and be similar to the Park View location, but we’re moving over to Georgetown so we felt it had to be a little more refined for you refined kids,” he said. “We are hopeful for a mid to late October opening, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it.”
The team reached out to GreenWorks when the space was not on the market and signed a deal to rent it from the floral company, Dana said.
“I grew up in D.C., and I’ve always loved that building,” he said. “It was sort of a serendipitous exchange where I reached out at the exact right time and we struck a deal pretty quickly.”
It will not be your average deli, though. Call Your Mother tries to put a twist on the typical Jewish-style deli fare, Dana said. Dana himself is half-Jewish and the menu includes funky takes on simple bagel-and-spread combos, with dishes like a zaatar-seasoned bagel with candied salmon cream cheese and a pizza bagel.
“We call ourselves a ‘Jew-ish Deli,’ so there’s definitely an ode to some Jewish classics, but we’re certainly not doing anything super classical,” he said. “So you won’t find a Reuben on our menu, but you’ll find a ‘cheesesteak’ made with brisket and pastrami on a challah sub roll.”
Dana is looking into allowing students to pay with their GOCards, either through debit or Flex dollars, and they may even expand hours into dinnertime. However, many of these details are still in the works, he said.
Call Your Mother will have a table at the Georgetown University Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays this semester, with other surprise features to come.
“There will definitely be a couple items that are unique to the Georgetown location that you can’t get at the Park View location, but I can’t tell you what those are yet,” Dana said.
GreenWorks, which still owns the building, closed in late May, according to The Georgetowner. The floral company consolidated its inventory in its other locations in the West End and Willard Hotel, according to a company spokesperson.
“It was more of a boutique location, more for novelty items, home furnishing, and more of a gift shop and a takeaway arrangement shop rather than a larger scale full design shop,” the spokesperson said.
GreenWorks will still deliver to Georgetown and within a 25-mile radius of D.C., leaving its business operations unaffected.