Former Commander Salamander Space Becoming an M & T Bank in Georgetown

Commander Salamander was located at 1420 Wisconsin Ave, NW and closed after a legnthy going out of business sale in 2010. Looks like an M & T Bank is taking over the space.

From an old Lonely Planet write up:

“This rock-and-roll store sells urban clothes and gear to give you that edgy look of the streets – if that’s what you’re after. Look for Blac Label shirts and jackets, chrome-plated belts, roaring tiger trucker hats, candy-colored Nike hi-tops and oversized Flüd watches.”

Quite a contrast…

27 Comment

  • aaaand…there goes another piece of my childhood.

    • yep, my 80’s and 90’s are being wiped away.

      • I suppose that may account for how heavy it feels nowadays, sometimes. This town seems to be rolling right over that old heart you mentioned just now, Jack. Rolling over us and burying us under.

    • right?? dc punk institution

    • x100. Although it was always hard trying to be a cool kid hanging out here – when the owner had been my kindergarten teacher. (Coolest K Teacher Ever – shout out to Wendy, I hope you are doing well.)

      • This is Wendy’s new (well, around for 2ish years?) place in Bethesda! It’s nothing like Commander’s, but I was happy to learn that she’s still in the fashion game!
        I worked in the office @ CS for a bit years ago – I loved the store and made quite a few long-time friends. It was the first place I bought hair dye. It lost a bit of magic for me when it expanded (taking over bootlegger). Even after the shiny expansion, I can’t imagine it in Georgetown now. I did shed a tear when it went under. Memories. Sniff.

    • saf

      That was my first thought too. Proof that my college punk kid days really did end all those years ago.

  • my soul dies a little bit with every new bank. its seems like they must take up 1/4 of the retail space in this city?

  • That joint was cool maybe 20 years ago, but it had become a parody of itself near the end.

  • I guess we’ll have to get our urban wear from Urban Outfitters from now on, and look like all the other fashionistas who shop there from every corner of the country =(

    • It was the Georgetown version of Hot Topic, in that they thought they were way above Hot Topic, but in reality it was pretty much the same.

      • saf

        Remember youngsters, in the 80s, there were no Hot Topics.

        Thrift stores for clothes and Commander Salamander for hair dye. (street vendors for jewlery and Tops for shoes.)

        Then, off to the 9:30, or One Flight Up!


    • Maybe as a tribute to this place, the tellers will wear trucker caps, ironic hair metal t-shirts, and neon sneakers.

  • So sad. But that place wouldn’t fit in Georgetown today. Just like Henry Rollins wouldn’t.

  • We need to change the zoning rules so there’s a moratorium on crappy retail banks rather than on liquor licenses.

  • Hey, at least it’s not going to be tapas place….

  • PDleftMtP

    First the last gasp of Asylum, now this. It’s worse than when The Wedding Singer came out and I realized that I was now the target audience for nostalgia movies.

    So long, Bela Lugosi…we’ll miss you.

  • Yeah, it had become a joke towards the end, but in the mid to late 80’s early 90’s it was pretty cool. Georgetown was very different then, but then again I guess everything was.

  • Fun fact of the day: Georgetown gentrified during the Great Depression when a ton of young, educated people moved to DC (and G-town) due to the New Deal. Prior to that, the neighborhood was rundown and a bit of a slum. Yes, Georgetown was the old Columbia Heights.

  • Aw, man. I wrote an article about Commander Salamander for my high school newspaper back in the early 80s. (I wrote it on a typewriter. Just shut up.) My mom took me to Georgetown so I could interview the manager. I made her stay down the street when I went in, and I immediately fell in love with the guy I was interviewing.

    I spent a lot of time and a lot of money in that store. Bondage pants, buttons, hair dye — now memories.

  • BOR-RING!!

    • Let me clarify: The bank is BOR-ING not the duscussion on the loss of this institution. The loss of Commander Salamander is down right depressing.

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