Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Post on mom and pop retail in CH

Shops Along Park Rd NW
Originally uploaded by dipdewdog
Lots of Columbia Heights in the news lately. The Post reports on the mom and pop shops around 14th and Park Rd in Columbia Heights, and the challenges they face. Some groups, like the Latino Economic Development Corporation, are helping businesses, giving their stores facelifts and stuff. It's not a bad idea, some of the places on Park between 14th and 15th are not too inviting.

Another business owner, who runs a translation and notary service called Multi Servicios Latinos at 3541 14th St NW, says she'll be opening a bakery with shakes, tea, and other goodies, with a patio - that sounds like a cool addition.

Some other of those stores are interesting - Robyn (who wrote the reviews of El Rinconcito and Mayorga) wrote about the Park Road shops for The Onion a few months back. I also remember reading an article somewhere about the area being a bit of a Vietnamese shopping area, like the store pictured here.

Anybody have any experiences with the shops on Park?


  1. well, there's pollo sabroso, which is the same as the one on mt. pleasant and just as tasty.

    i've also accidentally walked into a santeria type place (i can't think of the name) and it wasn't very inviting. there was a woman behind (presumably) bullet proof glass ringing up a customer when i walked in. she wasn't very pleasant. maybe she was having a bad day, i don't know.

  2. I live across the street from these shops and, honestly, I wouldn't shed a tear if they were to close. There is one remaining vietnamese shop and there are three salvadorian food shops and two salvadorian restaurants. Hygiene is problematic in all venues and most of them have a much bigger social rather than commercial role. I don't see many of them surviving unless they improve their businesses. The three salvadorian food shops sell essentially the same food. Giant carries most of the same items as well, so they aren't really filling a niche any more. There's plenty of demand, but I think most families shop at Giant regardless. This strip is in a sad state. Hopefully some of them will either renovate or shut down.

  3. Pollo Sabroso is tasty stuff, but the rest of the shops are in disrepair and uninviting. Unless you are wasted and busy making nonsensical remarks while stumbling around with three of your closest unemployed friends in front of one of the salvadorian grocers, this strip of shops is not for you.


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