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.