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A New Lease on Life Just Isn't Enough

Dan Rather answers a question from Carol Joynt, proprietor of Nathans in Georgetown, during a Q&A Cafe in September 2007. (Ellen Schreiber)

Just a month ago, Carol Joynt declared victory: Nathans, her landmark pub at Wisconsin and M, had thwarted three years of closure threats and landlord disputes by finally securing a lease extension.

So much for that: Yesterday, Joynt announced she's closing after all, amid mounting debt and declining revenue. After 40 years, Sunday will be the final last call. "I've been a life-support system for Nathans for 12 years," Joynt told us. "I just had to pull the plug."

The society blogger and host of the restaurant's celebrity Q&A luncheons inherited Nathans -- and a massive tax debt -- from husband Howard Joynt after his death in 1997. In hindsight, it should have closed then, she said. "You get caught up in the fact that people love the place so much." Joynt now will focus on her memoirs; her landlord is exploring options to take on a new tenant or sell the building.

By The Reliable Source  |  July 7, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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Bummer. Nathans is a DC/Georgetown landmark. Perhaps she could have just sold the business instead of closing altogether. Hopefully another restaurant/bar will take over the space. The last thing I'd want to see there is another Gap or J.Crew-type retail establishment.

Posted by: RambleOn | July 7, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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