LivingSocial Expands Into the Real World

The group-coupon company opens a brick-and-mortar space on F Street, promising “the next step in the evolution of local commerce.”

By: Carol Ross Joynt

The coupon business apparently isn’t enough for the folks over at LivingSocial. They are expanding their virtual world into the real world of hosting live events and hands-on experiences with food, art, and fitness for the whole family. They’ve set up at 918 F Street, Northwest, a 28,000-square-foot building with six floors and a basement, an endeavor they admit is an “ambitious test for the company.”

While the public opening isn’t until Monday, the company notified the media today with a two-page press release.

LivingSocial executive Doug Miller said, “918 F Street will serve as a venue for special experiences where local residents can try the hottest pop-up restaurants, take a yoga or painting class, learn to make sushi, or participate in scores of other social activities. We believe this is the next step in the evolution of local commerce and complements our existing offerings.”

The food offerings are vast, including an evening with Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella, who’ll offer a preview of his soon-to-open Georgetown Mexican spot, Bandolero; classes on sushi rolling or chocolate making; cocktail and mixology courses; and a cooking lesson for children. There will also be painting and wine-tasting events. Attendance vouchers can be purchased through LivingSocial, because while the company is expanding into new ventures, it is, yes, still in the coupon business.