Foggy Bottom Grocery’s new managers spent their summer going on tasting tours, planning ways to become more visible on campus, and overseeing expensive renovations in hopes of opening the shop in November.
The trio of managers – Kris Hart, a 2005 GW graduate and owner of Relaxed Tans, Devlin Keating, a 2006 School of Business graduate and current senior Daniel Blake – have been working with contractors to gut the Foggy Bottom Grocery store and completely redo the interior and exterior.
The store, located in a townhouse across the street from South Hall, has been painted from a vibrant purple to a muted beige, and the interior has been torn out. Keating said the contractors expect to complete their work by October and the store will probably be open to the public by November.
The group expects to test out products during a soft opening for family, friends and some student groups, and will feature steep discounts on the sandwiches and pizzas they plan to have on the menu.
“This way we can get a feel for the operations, the flow, the employees, the systems, the IT, everything,” Hart said. “We should be able to work out a lot of the kinks, but there’s going to be a big learning curve. We’re trying to do it right, and that takes time.”
Though Hart would not specify construction costs, he said the renovations will total several hundred thousand dollars, about 20 percent of their budget, which is bolstered by investors and the University, the building’s owner.
The group plans to keep the store open from 10 a.m. to midnight, and to sell alcohol seven days a week until 10 p.m.