Chaia (vegetarian tacos) coming to Georgetown posts Liquor License Placard

3207 Grace Street, NW

The placard for Chaia says:

“A restaurant that offers seasonal, plant-based tacos in a stylish, fast, casual setting. Vegetarian combinations are served in freshly pressed and grilled handmade corn tortillas.
Total Seats: 20. Total Occupancy Load: 49.”

looking east towards Wisconsin Ave between Pinstripes and Patagonia

32 Comment

  • I love Chaia but I think they made a terrible mistake putting this in Georgetown.

    • Yep, I agree that the Georgetown location doesn’t make sense. I feel like this would be better suited in Shaw/Logan/Dupont area. When will retailers start realizing that Georgetown’s time has passed?

      • maxwell smart

        OF course it should be in Shaw! Shaw is totes the only place that matters in DC anymore. Why would anyone ever leave Shaw for anything?

        • justinbc

          There are neighborhoods other than Shaw?

        • Anonomnom

          +1. I like Shaw, but come on guys. Other places exist.
          I, for one, am thrilled about this because it is about a 1 minute walk from my office. There is actually a decent strip of office buildings from Rock Creek Park to Key Bridge that this place would be wise to cater to because it would give them a steady customer base other than tourists. Also, the only lunch food available to grab and go in this area seems to be sandwiches… (Chipotle aside)

          • Not to mention the neighborhoods right across the bridge. When I lived in Courthouse I was always walking over to Georgetown. If it was convenient to me now I’d still go there a lot!

      • When the university closes, businesses move out, tourists stop flocking there, and oh, probably when it stops being one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city.

        • I also love Chaia, but will never go to Georgetown. The fact is G-town saturated with restaurants and most tourists never leave M Street. They’ll have a tough time getting tourists down there. The student demographic generally doesn’t have a ton of spending money, isn’t drinking age, and only a small percent will want vegetarian food.
          I agree this is a terrible mistake. Would have been perfect on H St, U st, 11th St, Upshur, Blagden Alley, Mt Pleasant, any number of places around town. Even 18th Street.

          • maxwell smart

            Wait? College students aren’t drinking age!?

          • “The student demographic generally doesn’t have a ton of spending money, isn’t drinking age, and only a small percent will want vegetarian food.”
            Is this a joke? Georgetown is THE Mid-Atlantic school for the wealthy elite. You really don’t know much about Georgetown’s demographics. Also, tons of rich GW kids in the ‘hood. Along with some office workers and, of course, tourists.

          • Accountering

            I think you are conflating the average college student, who does not have much money, and a GU student, who in a lot of cases, has way more money than the typical young professional DC resident that frequents 14th st and Shaw etc.

      • My exact thoughts. I’d eat here at least bi-weekly, but there is no way I’m trekking out to Georgetown

      • Five years ago I would have been inclined to agree with you, but Georgetown actually has a lot going for it at the moment–several new restaurants (Chez Billy Sud, Fiola Mare) and classic and new retail options to draw people in from other parts of the city. Despite City Center and 14th and Penn Quarter, Georgetown is still the place to shop in DC. There’s a fair number of offices there, as well–Sweetgreen and Chipotle seem to do very good lunch businesses. Of course Georgetown also has the tourists and students that it’s always had. Out of the neighborhoods you’ve listed, Dupont is the one whose “time has passed” most in my opinion–although I think there are enough offices there that this would be fine there as well.

        • “Despite City Center and 14th and Penn Quarter, Georgetown is still the place to shop in DC” – Increasingly though it’s the place for downmarket retailers. DSW, TJ Maxx, etc. While Arc’tyrx, Hermes, Paul Steward are all in City Center DC.
          The neighborhood is still fancy, but I see M street becoming more student and downmarket tourist oriented like a more traditional college area with just a few fancy restaurants. Most of the high end retailers are looking elsewhere.

          • Except for some of the eating places, CityCenter is a spectacular failure so far. Georgetown is far from dead. people have been predicting its demise for the last 25 years.

          • yep, except for the eating places, the residents, and the many thriving shops, CityCenter is sure a spectacular failure.

      • I have no great love for Georgetown (other than the architecture) and wish that Chaia were located somewhere further east and more Metro-accessible… but I don’t think the claim that Georgetown’s “time has passed” is an accurate one. There are lots of tourists there with money to spend, not to mention well-heeled non-student residents.
        Sure, lots of us in the eastern part of NW and in other quadrants avoid Georgetown, but just because we don’t like going there doesn’t mean there aren’t others who do.

        • There’s a certain demographic that’s not us, consisting largely of European expats and lawyers, who love Georgetown and wouldn’t consider living anywhere else. They’ll keep it going.

        • justinbc

          Georgetown is full of fantastic things. I would guess that outside of the stuff on The Mall it’s also the most heavily trafficked area in the city. Anyone who thinks a business can’t do well here is either ignorant, or knows something about the business model’s inherent failure that the rest of us don’t.
          As an aside, the number of people who chime in with “this idea I have or this current restaurant would kill in x neighborhood” always crack me up. If there was a legitimate demand for it there, I’m sure someone would fill it, and if they aren’t then by all means go get a business loan and make it happen.

      • Georgetowns time has passed? Yea they said that when the C&O canal became obsolete 150 years ago. My Dad is 62 and from Maryland. Him and his buddies were heading to Georgetown to drink in 1971 as the legal age was 18. Pretty sure Georgetown isn’t going anywhere. Shaw? That’s a trend that will swing down in 20 years just like DuPont has.

    • palisades

      Translation: I want this in my neighborhood

      • Right, I mean it’s totes obvi that only Petworth can appreciate veggie tacos. And Shaw – the kids love everything in Shaw at the moment.

      • +100 Yes, it is a pain to get to Georgetown, and no, people will probably not be going there from Petworth or H Street regularly. But Chaia will be around the corner from the mall, the movie theater and a hotel, so I’m sure it will do just fine. And rest assured, anyone who can afford Gtown tuition can afford all of the vegetarian tacos they can stand.

        • maxwell smart

          “Yes, it is a pain to get to Georgetown, and no, people will probably not be going there from Petworth or H Street regularly”… which is basically my thoughts about going to H Street.

  • It’s easily accessibly from the Waterfront and C&O Canal and that’s a big selling point. Baked and Wired gets lines down the block and I don’t see how they’ll have any problem in this nearby location. I’m way more likely to come here than if it was on M or up Wisconsin. Never went to Dupont Farmer’s Market to try it but I’ll definitely seek it out in this new spot.

  • The people who don’t think a business like this can succeed in Georgetown are being completely ridiculous. People spend something like $60 or $70 million a year at restaurants in this neighborhood and so there’s obviously space for a wide range of cuisines and prices. I think the more interesting question is simply whether this Grace Street location is a good one — it’s an unusual little Georgetown side street that gets very little foot traffic, although perhaps their rents are much lower to account for this.

    • If you look at Google Maps, you can see a sign on this building advertising the commercial space for $6K/month. Also, it directly faces the C/O Canal. If they are smart, they’ll install a take-out window right on the canal path.

  • This looks like a great building that totally matches Chaia’s aesthetic. Grace Street is so cute and quiet, and I look forward to easily riding my bike there and enjoying the respite from Georgetown’s M Street and waterfront crowds. Wishing the whole Chaia team many years of success here! Can’t wait to visit.

  • PoPville, thanks for covering updates with our shop! We’re very excited to serve beer and wine at our shop. We wanted to add our two cents about why we picked Georgetown. Chaia’s co-founders, Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon, have lived in DC for many years and felt a real need in their own neighborhood for a locally-owned restaurant that served the sort of delicious, handmade food and drinks they wanted to eat and drink every day. More than that, they looked at numerous properties throughout DC and simply fell in love with our new home–a charming carriage house that is slightly off the beaten path with a very clear sight line from several directions. We feel it’s a gem of a spot and hope you will also feel it when we open our doors. Last but not least, we hope to one day open up locations in other neighborhoods in DC so we always appreciate customer feedback for where we should go next.

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