Big Fire on M Street at Hook Restaurant in Georgetown

“Dear PoP,

There is a huge fire at building on the 3200 block of M street in Georgetown. Tons of black smoke poring out.”

I haven’t heard anything else from DCfireems. DCfireems tweets:

“3200 blk M St NW – comm bdg – fire from roof – 2 sty – heavy fire & smoke”

Update 1:04pm from DCfireems:

“Update – near Wisc & M St – 2nd alarm comm bldg fire – bulk of fire knocked”

Does anyone happen to know what building this is?

Update 1:06pm from DCfireems:

“Update – 3241 M St NW – Hook Resturant – M St closed – no inj – bul of fire knocked, checking extension”

From a press release:

The cause of today’s fire in Georgetown behind Hook and Tackle Box restaurants is yet to be determined. It is believed that the fire started outside of Hook in the loading dock, however there are no official details as of yet. Owner Jonathan Umbel is waiting on an official investigation from the fire department regarding specific details on today’s regrettable accident.

“The most important thing to me is that our patrons and staff are safe and no one was harmed. We want to thank the DC fire department, which was quick and responsive to prevent any injuries to our staff, neighbors and diners. Unfortunately, both Hook and Tackle Box Georgetown are going to be closed for repairs indefinitely. We will be working feverishly to repair the buildings to have them open for business for our loyal patrons. During this difficult time, Tackle Box’s Cleveland Park location will be open for business and we ask our fans to support our brand so that we may be back on our feet in Georgetown soon.” – Jonathan Umbel, owner of Tackle Box and Hook.

71 Comment

  • The tackle box. I was ilegallynparked grabbing smokes at the headship next door and …

  • Banana Republic is on the bottom floor. Not sure what else is there.

  • Shows how much I go to Georgetown 🙂

    • you should check it out. it’s a nice neighborhood. still a bit sketchy, but beautiful buildings and lots of restaurants. oh, they have a nice park too.

      • I don’t think Kary is missing much.

        • really? it’s very strange to me how people in dc, usually people not from dc, so dis on georgetown. it’s a beautiful, walkable, vibrant neighborhood.
          it’s easy to hate on i guess. seems childish though.

          • Beautiful, well with the architecture and the proximity to the river one can make an argument that it’s beautiful. Walkable, well that is an interesting thought.

            Walkable. You could say its walkable because you don’t have metro access and so you must walk. But usually walkable area are area with good public transport and Georgetown does not have metro access, thus not good public transport and little desire for it in Georgetown.

            Vibrant?!?!?! Now that is a joke. Georgetown is extremely homogenous. Please don’t come back and say, “well I did see an African-American yesterday while walking out of Club Monaco.”

          • +1 for Chris’ response. Watching over-monied yuppies walk around and bitch about their stupid problems while giving me the stink eye is not my idea of a good time.

          • Chris –

            Vibrant and homogenous are not mutually exclusive. Vibrant means usually indicates energy and activity, not “multiple African-Americans,” as you’re apparently choosing to perceive it. I’d say the Georgetown area is much more vibrant than many other parts of the city, regardless of the racial composition of the people you see. If you want to say that it’s not diverse, that’s one thing, but don’t confuse it with not being vibrant.

          • Tor,

            My bad. I saw a link between the homogeneity of Georgetown and why it is being mindnumbly boring. That, in my view, is indicative of a lack of vibrancy because boring is not exactly inspirational. The homogeneity of Georgetown is not simply a matter of its racial breakdown, although that is part of the wider cultural vacousness of the area, it is the types of businesses (chains, chains, and more chains), the types of art galleries, (worthless crap appealing to the lowest common denominator), restaurants (burgers, burgers, and standard Italian or French) and the people (to the extent that that they are not transient are old money).

            The only way in which Georgetown is interesting is how similar its commercial retail chain composition is to earther high-rent commercial areas in this country, like that of Greenwich, CT or Santa Monica, CA.

            Don’t delude yourself into thinking that Georgetown is vibrant. You want vibrant, check out Columbia Heights, Brookland, Petworth, hell, event Tenleytown.

          • M Street is awful (traffic, chain stores, crowds, Georgetown Cupcake crazies, people wearing cocktail dresses and heels at 1pm on a Saturday…), but other parts are kind of cool to explore. I appreciate the older neighborhoods off of Wisconsin Avenue, etc.

          • Chris –

            I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on what vibrant means. I do consider Georgetown a vibrant area, as do others. Your definition seems to be more along the lines having a diverse population and places that are not “mindnumbingly boring” to you, regardless of whether they have appeal to the thousands of people who fill the streets of Georgetown on a daily basis and keep the area constantly bustling.

            I don’t consider Tenleytown, with its dearth of pedestrian activity and retail strip including Best Buy, Whole Foods, Dominos, Subway, Z Burger (gasp – burgers!), and a run-down Hollywood Video, very vibrant. Again, I guess we’ll have to disagree.

          • I think Chris’ rant breaks the record for foolishness. It’s all well and good that you love your neighborhood and don’t consider other neighborhoods to be “vibrant” (whatever thet means). But writing off Georgetown (and presumably, most of upper Northwest) as being undesirable is just stupid. I never realized that all of the people who pay millions to live in Georgetown had bought in such a worthless neighborhood. I’ll bet they’re all kicking themselves when they realize that they could live next to DCUSA in Columbia Heights, that mecca of “vibrancy” (no chains to be seen) and endure property and violent crimes. What fun! It’s great that people want to live in gentrifying neighborhoods. But to act like established neighborhoods are beneath you is just ridiculous.

          • Tor,

            Hey hey HEY! Hollywood Video has been replaced by a vibrant Sears Appliance store. We also got a new bar (Public, I guess it’s a chain now) next to Dancing Crab. And they’re constructing a new building a couple Check out the neighborhood once in a while. 🙂

          • chris,
            you twisted 2 words i said. walkable and vibrant.

            walkable does not mean public transportation.
            vibrant does not mean diverse.

            personally i don’t give a shit about the superficiality of the diversity of race you reference. i live in a very african american neighborhood, and it’s a very interesting place, but it’s far from diverse. georgetown on the other hand has people from all over the world and from all kinds of background. to me, that’s real diversity. but whatever, i didn’t bring up diversity and you seem focussed on the superficiality of skin color. i brought up Vibrancy. it is culturally and economically vibrant. there are many people around. there are healthy businesses. there are many activities. maybe they don’t suit you and that’s a different matter. i don’t spend a whole lot of time in georgetown, maybe a few hours every other month, and never weekend nights. but there’s lots of shit to see and do, and lots of different kinds of folks enjoying it.

            walkability. it’s about walking, not taking the bus. which i do occasionally do to get there. in fact, since i live in the older part of dc, public transportation MEANS bus to me, not metro. our metro system is optimal for the suburbs, not city residents. but back to georgetown’s walkability. it’s lack of a metro station has nothing to do with it’s walkability. block by block it’s a fascinating place. there are many different things to see, the canal, the water, shops, bars, restaurants, the library, the university, the graveyard, the parks, old houses. i’m sorry you don’t understand this as it’s part of your city. anyway, learn to take the fucking bus.

            if you don’t like it, thats one thing, but the points i made are all extremely valid and you had to twist my works and make up shit to argue.

          • Denizen,

            Stop telling people about Tenleytown. Everytime I have to wait in a long line at Pete’s I’m going to blame you. To everyone else – There’s nothing to see or do on Wisconsin Avenue. No need to check it out on your own.

          • Denizen of Tenallytown –

            My mistake! I’ll admit that I haven’t spent much time there lately (though I did years ago), but I did check Google Maps street view to see if the HV building was still there – guess it needs updating! 🙂

            I really wasn’t trying to knock Tenleytown; I certainly wouldn’t call it as “vibrant” as Georgetown (Sears Appliance notwithstanding, of course!), but it has plenty going for it on its own.

      • The best thing about Georgetown will soon be gone–the pinball museum. Then it’s back to absolutely no reason to go over there. Well, maybe Jinx, but that’s it. Okay, and the Exorcist stairs, but that’s definitely it!

        I find the area to have a really creepy vibe. And not creepy in the good way.

        • Don’t ride a bike there. No place—I mean NO place—to lock up. Unless that’s changed in the last two years. Weird. But other than that, a nice place to stroll, I agree.

  • The domed building is the bank. Across Wisconsin Ave from there is a Benetton on the corner. And next door to that (where it looks like the smoke is coming from) is an empty retail space (used to be The Body Shop) and an Uno’s Pizzeria.

  • This would have probably never happened if those jerky gentrifiers had just stayed out of georgetown.

  • Pretty sure it’s above the tackle box. Walked by right when smoke just started to billow… I also saw at least six fire trucks come to the scene. Steer clear of M Street right now if possible.

  • I’ve been sitting on Mst and 23d for past hour and seen at least 25 emergency vehicles go by.

  • This pic from a friend that works in Georgetown shows the smoke coming from behind Chipotle/Shoe Gallery/etc.

  • Wow, that is a frightening photo. Glad no one has been hurt so far.

  • Does this mean I can;t use my groupon to hook?

  • that blows. hook is amazing.

  • Amazing to see so much lame hate towards Georgetown! Are you all angry cause you couldnt afford living there?

    • Yes. How did you know? The jealousy consumes my every thought.

    • it’s universally fun to hate on rich people. it just feels good.

      • well, that’s true. it feels very good.
        but it’s still shocking how little people know about such an important neighborhood in their own city.

        • Like the fact that it used to be a black neighborhood before it was…wait for it, wait for it – GENTRIFIED!! All of those folks that used to live there were forced into what are now known as the projects (Langston, Sursum corda and Barry Farms). You know kinda like now but instead of those three projects it is PG. Just thought I would share.

      • Replace “rich people” with “hipsters.”

    • That seems to be a staple on this blog. If you listened to the posters, you’d never live in any neighborhood west of Rock Creek Park. I mean, why would one want to live somewhere where one can walk after dark with little fear of muggings, shootings, stabbings, etc.? On the other hand, Georgetown, Tenleytown, and Cleveland Park are bashed with Petworth, Columbia Heights, Brookland, and Eckington held up as the “only places to live.” Quite silly, really.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        Actually you’re falling victim to a common misconception. Most people respect/like many neighborhoods in DC. The extremists (that come from every neighborhood) tend to stick out in your mind. They are what I call the vocal minority and they are in no way representative of the majority of readers.

        • You’re probably correct, but the fact remains that the posters, who are the people I mentioned, do reveal such biases. The great thing about DC is that there are such good neighborhoods. But there is a definite bias for a rather small slice of the city among the people who post here.

  • I don’t get the hate for ‘hoods, either.
    If you don’t like an area, don’t go there but don’t begrudge others their opinion of it. I know it’s a small city, and the approved areas of “cool” are shrinking – what will the only approved place be this time next year? Norfolk?


    • Prince Of Petworth

      I think Georgetown is one of the most under-rated neighborhoods in the city. It has some of the best architecture and random walks in the city. In my opinion.

      • Agreed – a few of my favorite great restaurants, some of the best small parks and great side streets.
        But with the traffic as bad as it is – I’m okay with the hating if it keeps it even that much less crowded.

        • I think it’s a nice place to walk around on a fall day – tourist season is over, the houses are pretty, and it’s a different feel than where I life – why hate?

          I think people on this blog are way to in to neighborhoods (“no, that’s not Petworth, idiot, it’s a neighborhood so cool you haven’t heard of it yet!”). I guess everyone is live and let live until they decide to live someplace that isn’t cool enough…

          • Maybe some people are into the “cool to hate XYZ” thing, but there are others who can decide they don’t like a particular neighborhood (or bar or restaurant or skinny jeans) not because it’s “cool” to do so, but just because they don’t like it.

            One of the best times I’ve ever had in DC was at the Ukrainian embassy. Other than that, I don’t spend time there because I’m not comfortable there. Do I get cool points? lol

          • Right on. It’s the “I only like bands until they become mildly popular” hipster view writ large. Stupid.

      • i agree.

    • Are you talking about Norfolk, VA? Don’t drag tidewater into this.

    • I hear a lot of Georgetown hate. Yeah, M Street is a pain. But have any of you haters ever taken an afternoon stroll through the neighborhoods north of M? Absolutely stunning.

      • Agreed! Get off of M Street! There is a lot more to Georgetown than the tourist area.

        • even the tourists areas are fine. nice shops. keeping tax money in dc.
          i’d like an apple store in my corner of the city. and a paper source.
          and a canal. and hell yeah a pinball museum. i’d also take a bierria paradiso in a freakin heartbeat.

          do i want the narrow sidewalks and tourists with strollers? no. but my hood has problems too and i still like it.

  • Right on. Georgetown is the Ron Jeremy of houseporn.

  • As a 25 year old, young professional Georgetown resident, I could not be happier with where I live. There is amazing shopping, you can walk to Dupont metro, great night life -bars or nice quiet restaurants depending on what your looking for, beautiful homes, gardens and parks, great dog and family neighborhoods, a tad bit preppy and can be a bit overwhelming with tourists in the summer. I <3 GTOWN!

  • I think everyone is missing the fact that a fire erupted in a busy restaurant, but nobody was injured. That is newsworthy. I’m glad they’re all safe and wish them the best!

  • There are $1 Circulator buses to Georgetown from Dupont, Rosslyn, and Union Station.  You should check it out…though I don’t give a sh*t whether you like Georgetown or not. It’s just an individual’s personal preference, nothing else 

  • I work at Georgetown Cupcake and saw the dark smoke this morning. I’m highly amused that DC Fire EMS thought to reassure its twitter followers that GTC was not damaged. We’re a block and a half away.

  • Aren’t we supposed to use the term “DC FEMS”? Even as a guy, I’m offended that DC FEMS refuses to use the acronym because it sounds too girly!

  • I had a feeling this post was going to get derailed and turn into a snarky “I hate Georgetown” post. People need to grow up. Lame.

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