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Archive for the ‘Merchants’ Category

From the April 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

A dumpster containing 300 gallons of used cooking oil was stolen from behind Whole Foods (2323 Wisconsin Ave.) sometime after Christmas, according to a police report. The theft was reported on February 17, when a recycling company arrived to pump out the tank and noticed it was missing. The oil, valued at $585, was to have been turned into biodiesel fuel. (The tank’s value was $600.)

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Glover Park Hardware bag saleOn Saturday, February 22, shoppers at Glover Park Hardware (2251 Wisconsin Ave.) will get 20% off “almost anything” that fits inside a brown paper bag (regular-priced merchandise only). What’s more, people with Ace Rewards membership cards can get the bag sale deal a day early—that is, today, February 21.

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From the February 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

Whole Foods (2323 Wisconsin Ave.) recently launched email ordering. It’s for non-perishable items only, and the store needs at least one hour’s notice to assemble your items for you. To order, email inahurrygtn@wholefoods.com. You can pick up your purchase at the customer service booth.

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On Wednesday, October 30, Old Europe (2434 Wisconsin Ave.) will host a paint-color seminar taught by Monarch Paint & Wallcovering (2130 Wisconsin Ave.). “With countless shades and tones and thousands of colors to choose from, the quest to find your perfect color can be a complicated process,” reads the invitation. “Let us help you find the way.”

The 5:30 p.m. seminar is free and refreshments will be served, but an RSVP is required. To reserve a space, call 202-525-3468 or email sandy@monarchpaintdc.com.

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Whole Foods "sketti" dinner“The shutdown affects us all, so we’re serving everyone dinner,” writes Whole Foods (2323 Wisconsin Ave.) on its Facebook page. The event occurs Sunday, October 6 from 5:30 pm to 7 pm or until supplies run out. Everyone is welcome, the message states: “No government ID needed, just a smile.”

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While its rear parking lot is torn up to make way for apartments, Glover Park Hardware (2251 Wisconsin Ave.) has added several services to make shopping there easier:

  • Personal shoppers: With 45 minutes’ notice, customers can call in an order and find it waiting for them at the cash register to be paid for;
  • Curbside pickup: By providing a credit card number when calling in an order, the customer can swing by and have the whole order brought out to their car at the curb;
  • Shop and pick-up: At the end of a shopping trip, the customer can go fetch their car and bring it to the curb, where staff will help load their purchases; or
  • Walking delivery: The store will deliver purchased items to customers within a quarter-mile radius of the store for free.

For more information, visit acehardwaredc.com. To call in an order, contact store manager Jay Rushing or assistant manager Noe Delgado at 202-333-6378.

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The attorney for Mahmood “Max” Keshani, owner of Max’s Best Homemade Ice Cream (2416 Wisconsin Ave.), says lease negotiations between Max and his landlords are ongoing, despite the landlords’ earlier decision not to renew Keshani’s lease when it expires on June 30. “Max and the landlord are in productive discussions and have agreed that there are not to be any statements issued to the press until the discussions have been concluded,” says the lawyer, who has asked that his name not be published. “At that time a joint statement will be issued by the parties.”

Previously, the attorney told us that Keshani had “no intention” of vacating the premises on June 30. He told the Georgetown Current, however, that Keshani might not have the heart to wage a long-term battle to hold onto the building indefinitely. “Max would like to stay in business long enough to pass it down to his [baby] grandson,” the attorney was quoted as saying. But given “how long that process would play out … [and] the stressors involved, it’s probably settling in a different way.” We’ve been told by someone not involved in the negotiations that the attorney hopes to extend Keshani’s lease through November 30.

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An attorney representing Mahmood “Max” Keshani, owner of Max’s Best Ice Cream (2416 Wisconsin Ave.), says the merchant plans to remain in his storefront shop past the June 30 expiration of his current lease. “I sent a [lease] proposal to [landlords Gail and Barbara] Bassins’ attorney yesterday afternoon,” says the lawyer, who answered our questions by email on the condition that his name not be published. “Max has no intention of vacating on (or before) June 30.” Keshani’s attorney says that he would have sent a proposal to the landlords sooner, but he wanted to give them “the courtesy of making the first offer, since they are in the unenviable position of having two tenants who both have legitimate claims to the same space.” The second tenant to which the attorney refers is Rocklands Barbeque (2418 Wisconsin Ave.), which has signed a lease to expand into the Max’s space.

When asked what legitimate claim Keshani will have to the storefront after his lease expires—given that the lease contains no option to renew—the attorney declined to outline his legal strategy, but said that Keshani had received two previous lease extensions even though there was no specific option to renew then, either. Further, he says, Keshani and his daughter, Neda, had been engaged in lease negotiations with the property management firm—something the firm’s president has denied. “Max and his daughter were verbally given the cost per month for the lease extension, accepted the cost, and were waiting for the documents to review and sign them,” the lawyer says. “They were in touch with the management company and were not told their lease would not be renewed until they received [written notice to quit] in early May.” As we have previously reported, Neda wrote a letter to the management company on April 26, one week before the written notice to quit was delivered, expressing the shop’s interest in renewing the lease and requesting a letter stating the monthly rent.

In a statement released yesterday through their attorney, the Bassins said that Keshani was informed last fall that his lease would not be renewed. “It is not clear why Max chose to think that the lease would be extended,” they said. The Bassins’ attorney could not be reached for comment on Keshani’s lease proposal.

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Today, landlords Gail and Barbara Bassin released a statement regarding their decision to terminate the lease of Max’s Best Homemade Ice Cream (2416 Wisconsin Ave.). In the statement, the two sisters express affection for Glover Park and small businesses in general, and confidence in their decision to lease the Max’s space to Rocklands (2418 Wisconsin Ave.) so that the barbecue restaurant can expand. Although they do not completely foreclose the possibility of allowing Max’s to remain through one last summer season, they say that they have yet to receive a definitive proposal from Max or his attorney on that.

Here is the entire statement:

As owners of the property at 2416 Wisconsin Avenue NW, which houses Max’s Best Ice Cream, we felt compelled to issue a public statement in light of recent media and community attention.  Some of this attention has unfairly resulted in casting Rockland’s Barbeque or our property management company in an unfavorable light, which we, as landlords, feel is grossly unfair, misinformed and unjustified.

We have recently heard from numerous community members, many of who have been friends and neighbors of ours for years, and we have listened carefully to both your support, and your concerns, about our decision to offer Rockland’s the opportunity to expand.

We do not take our property ownership responsibilities and community commitment lightly, especially as we have a long family history in Glover Park spanning several generations.  Our grandparents originally purchased the properties on Wisconsin Avenue, transferring them to our mother and she recently to us.  As our family’s connection to Glover Park spans several generations, we understand and appreciate the feeling of community among residents.  Our mother grew up in Glover Park on 37th Street, living upstairs from the small grocery store her parents owned.  She went to Stoddert Elementary School, Gordon Junior High, and Western High School.  Our uncle owned a deli that occupied the current Rocklands space. We understand and support small businesses, which have been a part of our family background for many years and continue to be part of our family.

As we approached the end of Max’s current  lease, we recognized that as new owners of the property we needed to look ahead as to the best long term use of the property.  We reached the decision some time ago to pursue other interested parties in the property.  Max’s lease was set to expire on June 30, 2013 and the lease did not contain a right to renew.

While considering the best use of the space in 2416 Wisconsin, we recognized that our family has always had a positive relationship with John Snedden, the founder and owner of Rocklands, and this Winter we approached Rocklands about leasing 2416 Wisconsin. For many years John had informally expressed to Ruth Bassin (our mother) his interest in expanding his space if the property next door were ever to become available.  We understand he made the same request to the owners of the property on the other side of Rockland’s as well.

Throughout all this, it is very important to note that while Rockland’s had expressed interest in this property for some time,  when we made the decision to seek a new long –term lease last year, we had no formal arrangement with Rockland’s at the time.   We did know of John’s interest from our mother, and we knew that local patrons have been asking for them to offer more seating since they first opened their doors.  We also knew John and his long standing dedicated staff as both excellent stewards of the property and committed members of our community.   Many of John’s employees have been with him since he first opened more than 20 years ago.

In offering John the lease we sought to support his efforts to improve the service that he provides to the Glover Park community.  We are saddened to hear that members of the community have taken upon themselves to be critical of and abusive to John over what is our decision to allow him to expand his business.

In October of 2011 Max had requested a lease extension and was told that Ruth Bassin was not interested in discussing an extension more than a year and a half before its expiration date.  Max again inquired about a lease extension in July of 2012.  In the Fall of 2012 Max was informed that we would not extend the lease.  It is not clear why  Max chose to think that the lease would be extended. In the beginning of May 2013 Max was given a written notice to vacate when his lease expires on June 30, 2013.

These properties are small spaces, and as the current owners we ultimately decided that it made sense to combine 2416 and 2418 Wisconsin into a single retail space that could support a larger restaurant under a new, long-term lease agreement.  As landlords and owners we feel comfortable with our decision to consolidate the two spaces and offer a friendly locally owned restaurant an environment where families and friends can come together in Glover Park twelve months of the year.

Some community members have suggested we honor a request to delay Max’s lease expiration for the summer period should Max need time to make plans for his business.  At this time, however, we have not received a definitive proposal from Max or his attorney regarding a short term extension.

Barbara Bassin
Gail Bassin
5/21/13

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After more than two weeks of silence in the face of a public uproar over the end of the lease at Max’s Best Homemade Ice Cream (2416 Wisconsin Ave.), landlords Gail and Barbara Bassin plan to release a statement on the matter by this time tomorrow, their attorney tells Washingtonian. 

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