Georgetown’s Call Your Mother bagel shop may get shut down

Call Your Mother in Georgetown. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

You may see long lines stretching out of the vibrant pink corner house in D.C.’s Georgetown. They are patrons of Call Your Mother, a jew-ish deli, but they may not be able to visit in the future because the popular shop faces closure.

Call Your Mother has operated at the corner location since July of 2020. Since then, neighbors have complained that large crowds hamper the neighborhood.

Some neighbors in nearby row houses have also reported the patrons of the bagel shop will grab their bagel and then go sit on their stoops.

The bagel shop has been allowed to operate in this primarily residential area because it received a zoning variance that allows them to sell prepared food. Corner stores are often zoned for residential neighborhoods, but need to receive a variance from the zoning board to sell prepared food.

Last week, after a meeting, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission for the area sent a formal letter to D.C.’s Board of Zoning Adjustment to rescind the variance for Call Your Mother.

In the letter ANC 2E Chair Gwendolyn Lohse wrote, “the large crowds that critically cannot be contained within the establishment create a routine objectionable condition. The applicant (Call Your Mother) has made attempts and promised plans to address these crowds and the detrimental impact they have, but these attempts have not and will not succeed without a fundamental shift in shop operations.”

Notice of a virtual public hear for Call Your Mother. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

In documents submitted to the Board of Zoning Adjustment, owners of Call Your Mother state that they have posted signs asking customers to eat off site and away from neighboring property.

They also store trash in their basement and offer no outdoor seating for their mostly pedestrian customers.

One neighbor, though, is happy the bagel shop is in the area.

They wrote an email to the board stating: “We live near Call Your Mother in Georgetown and support it. We do not believe it creates objectionable noise, traffic, etc. it does not cause problems. It’s been great for the neighborhood.”

D.C’. s Board of Zoning Adjustment is holding a variance hearing Wednesday.

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Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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