Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Western Market Food Hall Brings New Food Offerings to Foggy Bottom Community

Four new establishments have opened in the Western Market Food Hall since September as part of the building’s continued redevelopment and renovation.

Western Market, a public food space located on The George Washington University’s (GWU) main campus, opened in late September with the four offerings: RAWish, a vegan vendor; Roaming Rooster, a fried chicken restaurant; Capo Deli, a sandwich place; and Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, a lobster and seafood shop. The market additionally plans to open four stalls later this fall, with four more coming in the winter.

@westernmarketdc/Twitter | Western Market, a redeveloped food hall, opened four new food stalls, with eight more to come this fall and winter, on George Washington University’s main campus.

According to Tim Hill, vice president of investments for MidAtlantic Realty Partners (MRP) and the developer for Western Market, the combination of different types of vendors was important for the vision for the space.  

“We wanted a really eclectic mix of vendors, in terms of price point, regions and health,” Hill said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “We really thought carefully about getting the balance right so that we have a really healthy blend here.”

Housed in a market building constructed in 1802, Western Market features patio seating, socially distanced seating options and large open spaces. 

Michael Habtemariam, co-owner of Roaming Rooster, chose to open his fourth location in Western Market because of past success in the area. 

“We started out as a food truck, and our food truck used to come by GW and used to do really, really good,” Habtemariam said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “A lot of the students liked our food, so I think it’s a prime location for us.”

According to James Yarborough, co-owner of RAWish, the students and The George Washington University Hospital community will enjoy the type of food that RAWish offers.

“I think particularly with the campus community, the younger population is tending to focus on healthy eating in general, and plant based makes up a decent percentage of that,” Yarborough said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “Also being near a hospital, that tends to have a population that wants to eat healthy.”

Aside from various food options, Western Market hopes to offer other community bonding activities like yoga classes and wine tastings, according to Hill.

“We are focused on getting the rest of the retailers that we’ve leased to open,” Hill said. “We’re also continuously filling out our events calendar and creating different ways to bring people to the market to build a community here.”

Recent events offered by Western Market include movie nights, live music on the patio, yoga and wine nights. All events were open to the public, though visitors were required to comply with local COVID-19 guidelines, according to Western Market’s website. 

With all the food options and events at Western Market, Habtemariam hopes that students will continue to support Western Market as the food market continues to expand. 

“I think it’ll be a really good spot for students to come out and try a different variety of foods,” Habtemariam said. “Once everything is open, it is going to be a good deal.” 

Upcoming openings this fall and winter include Greek street food restaurant Alitiko, Guatemalan street food restaurant Nim Ali, Venezuelan restaurant Arepa Zone, Southeast Asian restaurant Bandoola Bowl and Japanese restaurant Sushi Onkei. 

Although Western Market is located in Foggy Bottom, it is a space where people from all over the District, including Georgetown University, can gather, according to Yarborough.

“We’re really looking forward to partnering with the Georgetown community,” Yarborough said. “We’re not that far from Georgetown, so we hope to get kids who come over for a break from their usual dining options.”

According to Hill, Western Market provides delicious food options and a perfect setting to build community in Foggy Bottom. 

“We want a group of customers to come, and everyone can get something that they love and then meet up at a table, hang out and spend the afternoon there,” Hill said.  

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