Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Panera coming to DCUSA in October

Thanks to some readers, I was notified that Panera, the bakery/sandwich chain, is coming to DCUSA in October. It was originally thought that they were going into the now-closed Adams Mill bar in Adams Morgan, but that turned out not to be the case.

Now I like Panera pretty well, I've been there a few times. I like IHOP, Target, Chipotle, and so on, but there needs to be a balance. I'm getting more and more concerned about all the chains coming into the neighborhood, while there are no local or regional businesses at all in DCUSA. I'm worried that there won't be much more room and that rents will rise as bigger chains move in. What's next, Cold Stone Creamery? Buffalo Wild Wings?

These chains are obviously attractive to landlords because they have the dough to pay higher rents, but I think there needs to be some effort from the city about this. I wrote about this Jim Graham and encourage you to do the same. If too many more places come in we might as well be living in Gaithersburg. Maybe I worry too much, but I don't want to see any of our local, home-grown, interesting places get pushed out by chains or higher rents.

17 comments:

Tom Veil said...

From my perspective, the problem is not the PRESENCE of chains. Chains are great at providing consistent quality for low price, which is what a lot of us are looking for. Plus, most small businesses can never afford the huge rent that DCUSA needs to pay for its mammoth parking garage and other expensive-to-maintain features.

The problem is the LACK of local businesses. Restricting chains will not get us local businesses; it will get us the neighborhood that we had 5 years ago, with shops few and far between.

I think that the solution may be to loosen some of the zoning restrictions. Personally, I love the stretch of little townhouse storefronts on Mt. Pleasant Rd and on Park Rd, but it's illegal to mix housing and commercial on a lot of the other streets in CH. And yet townhouses are EXACTLY the sort of places that small businesses love for their low rents, while big chains shun for their quirky layout.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Anonymous said...

I think Tom is dead on with his analysis. And I for one am thrilled with Panera coming into the neighborhood! Before I moved to DC, I ate breakfast at Panera several times a week. Love it!

Anonymous said...

What the area *really* needs is a Jack in the Box and something to compete with IHop like a waffle house:)

Anonymous said...

Why hate on Buffalo Wild wings?

Anonymous said...

bullseye Tom

Williams said...

Panera Bread in the neighborhood?!? Sweet Sassy Molassy. That's AWESOME! Anyone know what storefront they'll take?

Williams said...

Ahh... just read that it's going to be in between the IHOP and Panda Express. Very very cool

Anonymous said...

What our community is lacking is a place to get a haircut/organic grocery store and some cute botiques

Rosie said...

@ Anonymous - several "cute botiques" (boutiques) have opened on 14th recently between Monroe and Meridian.. maybe you aren't looking?

the Gup said...

i would rather have a chain then nothing in the store front. plus look across the street - Commonwealth, Pete's, Lou's sports bar (in march), the heights. I think sometimes people look to see only what they have already concluded in their own head.

+1,000,000 to Tom.

Anonymous said...

Just go two blocks east to 11th St. No chains, just locally owned places. Red Rocks, Room 11,Meridian Pint,Wonderland. Now the owner of Tryst/Diner from Adams Morgan is opening a bar/lounge in the large building going condo on corner of Monroe and 11th. This is the block to watch and hangout on.

Anonymous said...

dear hipster,

Why are you against chains? Are you worried CH will stop being hip because of the new business moving in? You need to learn that is all about the money.
Like Tom said, Panera offers a reasonable food alternative to all residents. By the way, RedRocks offers the best value in 11th st.

Anonymous said...

i love panera, but honestly i would rather give my money to a locally run/independent sandwich shop. too many chains will make DC loose its appeal.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Buffalo Wild Wing's? I've lived in the nieghborhood for years and would love a bww. Chains can be localy owned and operated. There is nothing wrong with a proven formaly that can provide much needed services to the community.

This blanket hatred of chains is absurd and only stalls the further development and upward momentum of the community and its residents.

Andrew said...

Anon, I don't want the neighborhood to start to look like Germantown, and I don't want any interesting local businesses to be dissuaded from opening or forced out by national chains. I've been to Panda Express, Potbelly, Target, Best Buy a million times, but I like chains in moderation.

katp said...

Don't be so quick to categorize the IHOP restaurant as a "chain". This IHOP, as well as the one in SE Washington, is independently owned and operated by a local family. Locally owned businesses reinvest locally and should be locally supported.

PaneraLover said...

I am more than excited to have a Panera Bread closer to Howard University. It was one of my favorite bakeries/ sandwich shops when I was home and traveling all the way to Dupont Circle was a bit much for my BBQ chopped chicken salad. I ready to have a good, quality meal outside of the usual (and over-rated) Chipotle and PotBelly just a metro stop away.