A few weeks ago, after Walls of Books opened, I posed the question of what are we missing in the neighborhood?
I did a little survey and about 25 people responded with about 70 ideas -- some of them funny, some of them sarcastic, some of them things we already have, and a lot of them really interesting.
So here are the results. They were grouped roughly into food and drink (the majority), retail and services and then more broad topics (less crime, no more national chains like bank branches, 7-Eleven and cell phone stores.)
Lots of folks suggested a deli or bakery, specifically a Jewish, Italian or Greek one with good sandwiches. I think that would be great. A number of people also suggested a coffee shop around 14th and Spring, which is something I had mentioned in the post -- to me, that means it really would be a good thing to have.
A brewery was mentioned by three people, which would be awesome, especially on Georgia, and three mentioned a higher-end neighborhood restaurant -- three people said specifically something like Red Hen, a nice restaurant in Bloomingdale. Another good idea was fast casual near the Petworth Metro, like Taylor Gourmet. That empty space in the new building there is sadly under utilized, though it seems like it's making progress.
A few people also mentioned more types of eateries: multiple people mentioned ramen, plus others suggested sushi, Indian, BBQ, Greek and Ethiopian. Yes to all that.
As for non-food, multiple people mentioned a movie theater or venue like the Source or Studio Theatre. Maybe Suns Cinema in Mt. Pleasant, which is still nascent, could address that.
A couple people mentioned a running store, which sounds good, and others mentioned evening Spanish-language classes "so i can be a better member of my neighborhood," which is a great idea and admirable. Someone mentioned Salt & Sundry, which is a fancy kitchen store, and others suggested a paper store and small, interesting retail.
In the comments and in the survey, two people mentioned retail in Park View -- to me, Georgia Avenue could really have some interesting retail and food destination -- there are so many empty buildings and lots of new housing going in.
Someone also suggested child care, which is a good one. Two people also suggested a full-service gym. There was also Trader Joe's, a florist, and a local ice cream shop.
As for bigger ideas, some seemed kind of bitter: "less public housing, less crime, better restaurants" and some more tangible like more retail and fewer chains.
There were a couple of sarcastic responses too, and a couple of funny ones: lasers, a 300 foot cotton candy statue of Hall and Oates, and your mom.
Here's the full list of responses. Each person could put up to three. What do you think? Good ideas? Anything else you'd suggest? I'm planning to send this to a few local developers and business owners I know to see if it spurs any ideas, too.
Diner (because remember when Slim's was going to open?)
less public housing
theater venue (like Studio/the Source, etc)
Good bread bakery/sandwich shop
Local ice cream shop
Indian food in Columbia Heights (DCUSA area)
Non-chain deli sandwich shop in Columbia Heights (DCUSA area)
Evening Spanish language classes so i can be a better member of my neighborhood
Upscale neighborhood restaurant like Red Hen
Jewish or Italian Deli, BBQ, Ramen, Paper Store, Salt & Sundry
A good, traditional deli (not subway or panera)
Coffee shop at 14th and Spring
brewery on Georgia above NH, or 14th n of Spring
A higher-end neighborhood restaurant like Red Hen or Mintwood Place; more fast casual near the Petworth metro, like a Taylor Gourmet
Affordable food between the blocks where Target and Florida ave are.
300' Cotton Candy Statue of John Oates
Trampoline Basketball against local Bears, Raccoons, & Opossumes
coffee shop - like your idea at 14th & Spring
another restaurant or two
honestly I would take any business, even a 9-5 office, to fill in some of the vacants! surprised more nonprofits don't take advantage of the cheaper rent
small interesting retail
barber shops/braiding salons
corner stores that sell crap
areas for folks to loiter
Developers interested in renting to non-national chains
local restaurants, higher end retail
no more bank branches, CVS and 7-Eleven
minority owned business
theater north of Shaw
Retail in Park View