Thursday, December 15, 2011

WATERGATE SCANDAL! Safeway in Watergate Complex Closes After 45 Years

It's a Watergate Scandal!

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No, not this one.

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The Watergate Safeway has CLOSED after 45 years ...

I discovered this two days ago on Tuesday night while wandering in that part of Foggy Bottom. It closed on December 3rd. The company closed the store as part of a consolidation and focus on its newer and bigger operations in the region. News links here (TBD / News Channel 8) and here (WaHoPo).

The outside of the Watergate Safeway, Washington, D.C., 8:32PM, Dec. 13, 2011. 

The sign reads, "CLOSED - Thank you for your support for the past 45 years! Visit Safeway.com for Delivery." 

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The Watergate Safeway was housed in a relatively small (by grocery store standards) semi-subterranean space beneath the Watergate Hotel and Office Building.


Of note, I incorrectly stated in previous entries about this store that it was housed below the Watergate East building. The complex consists of five distinct buildings, as shown in the image above.

Its closure leaves all the residents of the Watergate complex, not to mention students in the nearby GWU Foggy Bottom district, without a grocery store. The Safeway on 17th Street in the heart of the gayborhood is about 1.5 miles away and the Harris Teeter in the Kalorama neighborhood about 2 miles away. That's much too far for all the rich little old ladies in the Watergate.

The sunken, open-air Watergate shopping promenade between the Watergate East and the Watergate Hotel and Office Building, 8:31PM, Dec. 13, 2011.

Note the Christmas tree in the empty bottom most fountain pool.

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There's really no good grocery store in Georgetown at this point except for a Whole Foods on Wisconsin Avenue, but it's just not a good grocery store. (There is also a Whole Foods in the 1400 block of P Street, NW, east of Dupont Circle.) There is also a Trader Joe's in Foggy Bottom, except I suspect that it too isn't the kind of grocery store that is as practical as as Safeway, Giant, or even more upscale, Harris Teeter.

This was a picture from the inside of the Watergate Safeway that I took on March 7, 2011.

I've written about this place -- where I sometimes went on a circuitous route back from work -- on this blog in the past such as here, here, here, here, especially here, here, here (with really crummy quality pictures), and here (with more crummy quality pics. As you may know, I feel a weird connection to the Watergate that I cannot readily explain. 

There may be some other entries but I could not find them.

Does Scottie Pippin' know about this?? How are we supposed to shop together?? I guess it will just have to be randomly at Best DC Supermarket. 

I went down to the Watergate not to go shopping but rather to stop in the Rivers at the Watergate restaurant, housed in the Watergate Office Building (which should not be confused with the bifurcated Watergate Hotel and Office Building). The restaurant used to be called simply 600 Watergate.

This is outside the Rivers restaurant, Washington, D.C.,. 8:36PM, Dec. 13, 2011.

The distinctly Watergate-styled illuminated oval sign says "600 Watergate" but it was smeared out by a puff of steam emanating from some vent.

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Here is a clear summer's day picture of the same 600 Watergate sign taken on July 17, 2011.

The "600" refers to the former's address at 600 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, right abutting the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway as it runs along the Potomac River and below the overhang of the Kennedy Center. (Each Watergate building has its own address.)

Of note, I live on New Hampshire Ave., but it is in the 2000 block or 14 blocks away (to the northeast).

Mackey's Back Stage Bar at the Rivers at the Watergate, Washington, D.C., 6:39PM, Dec. 13, 2011.

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Anyway, I stopped in the restaurant -- where Gary and I went during the showery rain squalls from Hurricane Irene last August -- to sit at the bar and have an after work drink. The bar is called Mackey's Back Stage Bar, and the name refers to the fact that the place attracts a Kennedy Center clientele, both patrons and performers.

This is also part of my "new" effort to go to the bar of a nice D.C. restaurant once a week and have a drink and maybe a horse-diver, I mean, hors d'oeuvre.

BTW, there is a lovely and sublime nighttime view of the illuminated Rosslyn (Arlington) skyline on the other side of the Potomac River that rises up above Theodore Roosevelt Island. I've mentioned the Rosslyn skyline recently, see here.

Here is a view of the illuminated Rossyln skyline taken on a summer night that I found online. It is from the vantage point near the Lincoln Memorial and Teddy Roosevelt Bridge, which are relatively close to the Watergate.

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OK, I think that's about all for now. I had planned to post a longer entry, but I don't think that is going to happen. My apologies. I'm not feeling well tonight. I've been having one of those bad acid reflux attacks, but the Prilosec seems to be kicking in.

I will try to update this blog tomorrow or else over the weekend. 

--Regulus

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