Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What is Columbia Heights missing? Or do we have everything?

It's been awhile since I've written a What We're Missing post, where I find something I think the neighborhood could use. Past ones included a bookstore, child care, post office, thrift shop, and movie theater. The full list is here.

Then a few months ago I had an open-ended What We're Missing post where commenters could propose their own. Looking back on it, it looks like a lot of the things people proposed are actually planned to open or already have: a sports bar (Meridian Pint), grocery store (Ellwood Thompson's), 24-hour diner (IHOP), and coffee shops (Tynan and Columbia Heights Cofffee).

So what else do you think we need? There are definitely a lot of empty retail spots remaining on 14th, mostly in DCUSA and a bit south of the main intersection, like in the Columbia Uptown Apartments at 14th and Fairmont and the Lofts of Columbia Heights building at 14th and Girard (home of Dunkin Donuts). Some other things that have been proposed in the past are a pet store, veterinarian's office, sushi spot, and yarn or cloth store. Any other ideas?


  1. A used bookstore! (preferably similar to Books for America where they raise money and collect books for local schools)

  2. A low-key neighborhood gay bar. Not a dance club, just a small come-as-you-are kind of place.


    Chop't or some other to-go salad place.

    A gym to compete with WSC -their customer service is terrible because they know they have a captive audience.

  3. A bagel shop and salad place like chopt.

  4. We're missing the following things:

    A bookstore
    A sushi place
    A music store (like instruments and such)

  5. The most important thing, and the thing that I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet, is a place to get food--good food--after 11pm. Considering the huge market for such an eatery in this young hipster-laden area, I'm kind of shocked no one has jumped on that.

  6. I like Chop't too, but aren't those places more for lunch?

  7. Anon, there's the 24-hour IHOP coming in August, or did you mean more than that?

  8. south columbia heights is missing a liquor store

    I 2nd the need for a bagel/breakfast place and sushi.

  9. Re: bagels and breakfast, how about Columbia Heights Coffee, Tynan, Dunkin and Starbucks?

  10. Fireworks. I am disappointed with the pre-4th neighborhood shows this year. Light 'em up if you got 'em.

    (If you are the PoPo we are talking about legal fireworks only).

  11. more dining on the higher end...matchbox, proof, PS7 (no I don't want to be Penn Quarter, there are just examples of what I am thinking of).
    a used bookstore would be awesome too.
    Love the new nail salon on Park Road too. that used to be the thing I really missed and now we have it and I love it!

  12. A *good* sandwich shop (which could double as a bagel/breakfast shop). Something similar to Dupont Market on 18th or the Java House on Q St. None of the places mentioned really cut it.

    A liquor store which sells the whole range... at D'vines you've gotta get on your knees to find anything under $25.

  13. I'd like to see some commercial office space. Why aren't we recruiting the federal government? I want something like the new DOT building by Nats Park to come in near the Metro. It would help the local businesses, it would probably raise our spot on the priority list for government funding by adding some big squeaky wheels.

  14. re: alex. try the sandwich shop next to the trivoli, its really good.

  15. yes, uptown market next to tivoli has some tasty sandwiches, breakfast included.

  16. I would love a bookstore, a vet, a higher-end grocery store with actual intent to build *ahem, Mr. Ellwood Thompson* (WholeFoods, please re-consider!), and I second Jaime's gay bar idea...maybe the new Meridian Pint could be "commandeered"? Oh, and could we re-purpose the old Mayorga? I love the interior of that place...too bad the sushi place that was briefly there didn't last.

  17. Another vote for a sushi place and a bookstore.

    Also, a restaurant/cafe for brunch/lunch/dinner that's a bit less expensive than the Heights? And not a chain or fast food or pub food...thinking along the lines of Open City, Matchbox, Tryst, etc. Would be nice to get mid-range places with healthy options. Wish we could get away from all the chains (not a huge fan of IHOP coming in).

    A salad place would be great too (though I'm a much bigger fan of Sweet Green than Chop't, mentioned here earlier)

    I also would love a Trader Joe's but I've already written the store a note recommending they come to Columbia Heights. So much cheaper than Whole Foods, and great stuff.

  18. I'd love to see a good deli that included lots of locally-sourced meats, veggies and cheeses. A good deli could do breakfast bagels, basic coffees, maybe a juice bar, and salads. Have an eat-in or to-go option, and stay open late.

    I disagree about D'Vines not offering anything under $25 - I frequently enjoy the 2-for-21 bins, and their frequent customer program is great. Thrilled to have them in the neighborhood.

    I DON'T consider IHOP an asset to the neighborhood, or a prospect for good food late at night. I consider it a blight that sells the best examples of American's worst foods. It will further harm the health of at-risk populations in our neighborhood and I'll be damned if I ever eat there.

    I agree about office space - would be good to see some diversity of business here.

    And maybe something to cultivate the arts. GALA is great, but a mixed use arts space - small theater/gallery kind of thing - would be really fantastic.

  19. A movie theater, a "multiplex"

  20. We need a good coffee shop - something more along the lines of Tryst or MidCity - good coffee with a good atmosphere to hang out. Tynan is too small and the fluorescent lighting doesn't cut it. I heard the Tryst folks were looking at 14th and T, but they should reconsider moving into Columbia Heights!

    I also second a good sushi place and more independent, decent restaurants in general. I think all of these places could practically print money here, they just need to come

  21. Repeating was others have said, but...

    a bookstore - new, used, small, big, whatever

    a place to get decent meat - please, Elwood Thompson's, move in and be that place

    And... I wish there was a craft/fabric supplies store somewhere in DC... anywhere... so why not here?

  22. Does anybody even shop at Children's Place or that other women's clothing store that has horrible clothes that only fit a segment of the population? I know we're always trying to avoid the uber mainstream but if they're going to put clothing stores in those spaces atleast make them clothes people can actually wear. When I was a kid Children's Place was expensive. So do people even shop there? I'm really sick of ann taylor loft because it's the closest decent affordable work apparel retail to Columbia Heights...Target doesn't count.

    And I second the sushi and Chop't and a gym where the workers aren't lazy and I can actually get into a workout class. Other than that I think Columbia Heights has done a great job balancing...as long as Elwood's pulls through.

  23. a half decent blog

  24. nail salon
    higher end dining
    boutique retail (clothing and accessories)
    more green space

  25. Used bookstore
    Thrift store
    Hair salon
    Gift Store

  26. Organic Grocer - although I understand Ellwood Thompsons should open this winter.

    More higher end restaurants (including sushi + vegetarian + french bistro)

    Running company/athletic apparel
    Art supply store
    Framing gallery
    Hair salon - for men and women (Bang would be cool)
    Fun clothing stores (carbon, urban outfitters)

  27. An art/crafts store for sure
    A nice business attire type store
    A hookah lounge
    A restaurant (like chipotle) that stays open past 10.

  28. We need a decent porn shop.

  29. I second a coffee shop like Tryst...something that is open past 8 pm!

  30. A salad place, def. Glad to know I'm not the only one who recognizes the lack.

    U.S. Post Office...sometimes you just have to mail a package and hauling it up to T St is a pain.

    Bookstore... good luck! These are going out of business, haven't you noticed? I wish one would come in too but it's not likely.

    Bagel place like Bruegger's. I've tried to give them the benefit of the doubt but every time I go into Tynan's I'm dissapointed.

    Sandwich place like Pret a Manger.

    And in response to 8:47, yes, I've actually shopped at Children's Place and Lane Bryant, the store she cannot even bring herself to name. I'm a teacher and know plenty of mothers who shop at Children's Place. Also, LB caters to size 12 up... there's a lot of us out there, get used to it!

  31. I have kids and I hate to shop at Children's Place. It really isn't that much more expensive than Target, but for some reason that I cannot put my finger on, it makes me grouchy everytime I go in there. And, they really don't sell anything you can't also get at Target.

    So, I'm a kid-owner (oops, I mean parent) who would vote to replace Children's Place with something else.

  32. Noooo on the movie theater. You want all those teenagers that are currently hanging out in China Town to start hanging out here. No thanks.

  33. What about a children's indoor play space like Jonah's Treehouse or gymboree. A place that could have classes for the kiddos, birthday parties, play area for kiddos on days when its too hot or cold or wet for outside play?

  34. I second the Sweetgreen suggestion! And a sushi and/or Matchbox-type place would be great, too.

  35. as a resident of columbia heights, we need:

    a movie theater

    another women's clothing store besides target and lane bryant ex: wet seal or new york and company.

    a men/woman/kids shoe store ex: foot locker or bakers.

    a bookstore.

    a nail salon.

    a post office.

    keep Gaint open 24 hours.

    and lastly THANK GOD IHOP opening soon :)!!!!

  36. Hey how about Popeyes!!!!!

  37. An Indian restaurant!!

  38. a good sushi place (too bad Sake did not make it after all) and a Barnes and Noble

  39. A really good Chinese restuarant!


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