Child’s Play has a new owner: Or, in their words, a new chief happiness officer. “As you may have heard, we recently sold Child’s Play Toys & Books,” Simmie Kerman, the store’s longtime co-owner with founder Steven Aarons, wrote on on October 5th on the Chevy Chase Community Listserv. “As some may know, Steven has been battling an extremely aggressive cancer for the past several years. At the behest of his amazing doctors at Sibley Hospital, we now need to devote our full-time energies to his health journey.”
Aarons founded Child’s Play in 1986, and the store will remain locally owned. “We hope you will join us in welcoming new owner Rita Pin Ahrens to the Chevy Chase community. We are so happy that our ‘baby’ will be in her capable hands.”
A death in the Politics and Prose family: The bookstore’s longtime book buyer, Mark LaFramboise, died at his home in Arlington on September 28th. He was 60 years old, and had worked at Politics and Prose (5015 Connecticut Avenue) for 25 years.
Owners Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine wrote in a September 30th email to customers that the bookstore’s founders had recruited LaFramboise to work for them as a bookseller in 1997. Before long, he was also helping with the buying, and when Graham and Muscatine purchased the store 11 years ago, they quickly promoted him to chief book buyer.
“Mark was the best book buyer any independent bookstore could hope for. Not only did he know books; he knew P&P’s customers, who gravitated to him because his passion for literature was infectious,” they wrote. “Today, it is hard to imagine the fiction room without Mark at his desk, eager to share his impressions of a new novel (he read two a week), his favorite new recipe, or the latest sports news, from football to women’s softball to college hoops to his hometown Chicago teams.”
“It’s hard to imagine P&P without Mark.”
Another first for the first unionized bookstore in DC: After nine months of talks, workers and management at Politics and Prose negotiated the store’s first union contract. Employees, representatives from their union, and P&P co-owner Lissa Muscatine announced their agreement at a September 6th news conference. DCist provided comprehensive coverage, including a copy of the contract, but in short, all but one of the 50 employees covered by the three-year contract will see wage increases.
And Muscatine says both sides get a lot of clarity and “codification, not just of processes and procedures, also what management roles and what management’s responsibilities and rights are.”
Watch this space: Here’s an intriguing teaser from the folks at I’m Eddie Cano (5014 Connecticut Avenue):
“Next door” likely means the former Jake’s American Grill, which closed in January 2019 after eight years. I’m Eddie Cano owners Massimo and Carolyn Papetti have opened two additional concepts in recent months: Italian Bar, just two doors down Connecticut, and In Bocca al Lupo in Glover Park.
Both openings got the attention of local food press: In Bocca for its Roman-style pizza, which Washingtonian reports is a rarity in this area; and Italian Bar, a coffee bar that Bethesda Magazine says will transport you to Rome.
In Bocca’s new weekend brunch menu also got a recent Eater DC mention, as did the return of brunch at I’m Eddie Cano.
We’re also watching this space: The signs up at the incoming AllCare healthcare clinic at 4340 Connecticut say “coming soon.”
Jazz Wednesdays at Flavor Garden: The UDC jazz trio that performed on Flavor Garden’s patio during Art All Night was not the first live music performance at the restaurant and bar. Flavor Garden at 4400 Connecticut is hosting live jazz performances each Wednesday this fall, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Actually, yes, we HAD wondered about this:
Some might wonder why we’ve ALWAYS had bagels from NYC. The answer is because of Ed Sands, one of the original owners of CW! Originally from #Brooklyn Ed required all of our bagels to be from there and they have been ever since.#nycbagels #calvertwoodley #washingtondc #bagels pic.twitter.com/lkWnnfTzFL
— Calvert Woodley (@CalvertWoodley) October 5, 2022