Out with the old, in with the new: Four changes to D.C. businesses

Media Credit: Photo Courtesy of Escape Room Live

Escape Room Live! is back in Georgetown after a more-than-year-long absence from the District.

To those who are returning to D.C. after a long summer away, it might seem like nothing has changed in a city that is, in fact, mostly the same.

But there are some new places to check out around the District and venues to say goodbye to: New Hollywood-inspired escape rooms and Trump’s hotel have arrived on the scene, and old record stores and grilled cheese shops are showing themselves out.

Here are two new shops that have opened in the District and two old businesses that will be sorely missed.

The New

Escape Room Live
After the first Escape Room Live in D.C. was met with roaring success in 2015, a brand new M Street location is opening with a red carpet-worthy lineup.

Through its partnership with Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment, Escape Room Live is bringing four big-screen films to life – “Titanic,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Ghostbusters” and “Friday the 13th.”

In true Hollywood style, Escape Room Live’s press release of the event promised to create “the premiere interactive and immersive escape room” experience as teams race to find the exit before time runs out.

The new 3,500-square-foot location also includes a new lounge, bar and catering service for those who need a safe haven from a sinking ship or the clutches of Jason Voorhees.

3345 M St. NW.

Trump International Hotel
Perhaps this one’s a bit premature, but come Sept. 12, D.C. will boast its own flashy gold Trump sign in lieu of the Old Post Office Pavilion – a historic building on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The opening comes after a bit of a rocky start: Jose Andres and Geoffrey Zakarian cancelled their contracts with Trump International after he made anti-immigration comments while running for U.S. president. The Trump Organization took the fight to D.C. Superior Court and is demanding $10 million in reparations from Andres.

But fans shouldn’t be worried about small setbacks affecting the overall quality of the hotel. Members of the Trump family have described the hotel as “opulent” and “super luxury,” the Washingtonian reported.

A new BLT Prime, an Ivanka Trump fitness facility and OPO Bar & Lounge, which will serve wine on silver spoons, are included at the hotel.

1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

The Old

Melt Shop
Tragedy struck in early May when creative grilled cheese heaven Melt Shop closed its only D.C. location for good, blaming building construction, according to a sign left on the door.

The New York-based grilled cheese chain opened for business last February. The D.C. spot was the chain’s first storefront outside of New York.

Melt Shop was famous for its all-American sandwich, shake and tater tot combination, complete with its District-specific line of Melt Shops from the Abita Brewing Company.

Grilled cheese is all about indulgence rather than health, and Melt Shop certainly lived up to its implied dairy lux name – Melt served 10 different types of grilled cheeses, including a fried chicken spin and a truffle melt.

The news comes on the heels of other high-profile closures in the area, such as Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine, Smith & Wollensky and Science Club, the Washingtonian reported.

1901 L St. NW.

Crooked Beat Records
In the latest of a long line of local music closures in D.C. – like the end of the Bohemian Caverns – Adams Morgan institution Crooked Beat closed its doors May 29.

The record store had been a staple on 18th Street for the past 12 years, serving a niche community of old-time turntable aficionados.

Owner Bill Daly announced the news on Crooked Beat Records’ Facebook page, stating that the substandard store space was aggravating Daly’s respiratory problems. A release on their website revealed that customers had also been complaining about the conditions of the store.

Although this is the end of Crooked Beat Records’ AdMo run, it’s certainly not the last D.C. will see of the store. Crooked Beat will operate through its online store until the owner can find another suitable storefront in the District.

2116 18th St. NW.

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