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Griffin Market and Owners Move to South Carolina

Griffin Market closed in February and now leaves Georgetown permanently.

Griffin Market, a popular corner Italian store, closed its Georgetown doors in February after an exceptionally high spike in their rental rate. Though owners Riccardo and Laura Bonino had hoped to find another D.C.-based location, they have since moved to South Carolina, where they will set up a new incarnation of their business.

They have family in Beaufort South Carolina and the climate is more friendly toward small businesses, wrote Riccardo in an email to Jim Wilcox, a former customer of the small business.

In February, the Boninos were negoitating a lease for another space in the area, but could not reveal where because of a confidentiality agreement. At the time, Riccardo told Patch in an email,

"We are in a particularly difficult time right now and I would prefer to not to discuss any possible future scenario for Griffin Market until we have something signed. We have already identified a location and we're discussing the deal with the owners."

The deal did not pan out. Now the couple will start over in South Carolina, where they will open shop and a restaurant.

The move could not have been easy. ,

"We see a lot of people at the store, some locals some not, some regulars, some occasional. The store is our home, when you come to Griffin Market it's like coming to our place", says Riccardo.

In the email to Wilcox, Riccarco Bonino wrote, "We will miss Georgetown and all the friends and great customers we met through the Griffin Market. "

The former Griffin space on the corner of 28th and P Streets sits unrented since the market closed in February.

Guiomar Barbi Ochoa July 06, 2011 at 07:38 PM
This is so sad. They were a great addition to the neighborhood and I was really hoping something would work out. Laura's food was amazing and Riccardo was always so helpful and friendly. They will be missed.
Sandra Randolph July 06, 2011 at 09:59 PM
How are the 2 beautiful cats getting along? Sandra R.
Karen Sprecher Keating July 07, 2011 at 01:34 PM
This is a sad commentary on the landlord's common sense and a true loss to our neighborhoods (I live in Glover Park but stopped by for carry out often (not enough). I do not understand piggish landlords who would rather go for months without any rental income at all rather than negotiate a reasonable increase. Nor do I understand the "malling" of Georgetown with shops no Georgetowner or Glover Parker would step foot into, which are just populated by tourists. Laura's food was spectacular and the concept of individually perfectly prepared carry out meals was brilliant - best chicken piccata I've ever eaten. Riccardo was ever so charming and helpful. Their boutique Italian groceries/goodies/wines were wonderful and they stocked the best baguette this side of, well, Paris (haven't been to Italy in 30 years but can attest to the quality v. Parisian baguettes). Lucky Beaufort. Sad Georgetown/Glover Park. Good luck, talented Boninos! You have already been missed. Karen
henry townsend July 07, 2011 at 03:40 PM
Salisbury is devastated. He still remembers the snowy day in the winter of 2010 when he ran away in the canyons of snow on O Street, but ended up in front of the Griffin Market waiting for the dog treat Riccardo always had for him. I too am devastated, what with no (just what is the Italian for sommelier?) to help me buy vino. We will all miss Riccardo, Laura, and the cats.
kit bruce November 15, 2011 at 04:01 PM
It is sad for you but oh so exciting for us, Beaufortonians. My husband and I love Italy and can not wait for the Griffin Market to open. Benvenuti Laura and Riccardo. Kit Bruce
Mike Sutton January 28, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Delicious
Teel Oliver February 08, 2012 at 02:43 PM
We miss you.

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