Though popular bagel deli Call Your Mother was scheduled to open at the intersection of 35th and O streets in late October, the deli has still not opened after opposition from local residents and politicians. Rather than fighting its opening, neighborhood residents should consider Georgetown University professor and student interests and welcome the establishment.
Call Your Mother currently has a location in the Park View neighborhood and also serves multiple farmers markets across the city, including the Georgetown University Farmers’ Market and the FRESHFARM Dupont Circle Market. Last summer, the deli signed a lease with GreenWorks Florist, the owner of the iconic pink and green building across from Saxbys.
The deli, if it opened, would give students a much-needed tasty and affordable dining option near campus. Students, especially those without a meal plan, have few affordable dining options within walking distance of campus. During busy school days when students do not have time to go to restaurants on M Street or Wisconsin Avenue, healthy food options are even more restricted.
Call Your Mother’s convenient location across from Saxbys would allow students to grab a quick bite at a relatively affordable price for the neighborhood. With the deli open on the weekends, students would also get a much-needed dining alternative, as campus dining locations are closed or have shorter hours on the weekend.
To open the restaurant in Georgetown’s residential neighborhood, however, the deli must be approved for a zoning variance, which allows the restaurant to operate in the neighborhood.
Ahead of the hearing before the Board of Zoning Adjustment on Oct. 30, Washington, D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E Commissioner Rick Murphy wrote to the board opposing a zoning variance. Four residents who live near the intersection also wrote to oppose the deli’s opening, but five others wrote to support the deli.
Opposition to the deli’s opening not only deprives university students and staff with quality bagels, but is also misinformed.
In his letter, Evans cites crowd, trash and noise concerns as reasons to oppose the deli’s opening. But the deli’s owner Andrew Dana has committed to alleviating these concerns by implementing a faster ordering system and hiring a contractor for daily trash pickup. Georgetown residents who oppose the deli’s opening must reconsider their position.
City agencies like the Historic Preservation Office and the Office of Planning have also determined the deli represents “no substantial detriment to the public good,” according to DCist. Politicians and students should listen to these agencies’ expertise.
In justifying his opposition to Call Your Mother, Evans also said he is prioritizing residents’ interests. In doing so, though, he should not ignore the interests of university students that form a large part of the Georgetown neighborhood. A petition for the deli to open has already obtained more than 400 signatures from students and community members. These voices should not be ignored.
Call Your Mother’s opening in Georgetown has been widely anticipated and is now long overdue. Local residents and politicians, including Evans, should consider the benefits the deli will bring and withdraw their opposition. Let us have our bagels.
The Hoya’s editorial board is composed of six students and chaired by the opinion editor. Editorials reflect only the beliefs of a majority of the board and are not representative of The Hoya or any individual member of the board.