What if I Want a Hammer not a Haircut?

IMG_7073, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I love encountering shops that are in the middle of a residential block. I imagine that this sight was very common in the 1950s. But my question is: why are the shops in rowhomes on residential blocks always hair salons? I mean why not a hardware store every now and then? Have you guys seen any other shops on residential blocks besides hair salons?

5 Comment

  • Generally, you won’t find ANY businesses in the middle of rows of residences, because it’s illegal. You need to be zoned commercial or mixed-use. Maybe there’s an exception to DC zoning regulations for hair cutters… could you call yourself a “hair consultant?” Or maybe it’s just easier to fly under the radar as a hair salon.

    There are a few rare residential places zoned mixed-use, like 11th Street between Monroe and Park. And you will notice there is a hair salon there… but most streets with townhouses on both sides are residential only.

  • I don’t know DC, but in other places I have lived, residential zoning typically allows for home business like hair salon, catering, artist studio, under strict guidelines–no commercial deliveries, no excessive customer parking, no non-family employees.

    Here’s the DC application:
    Last page of this faq lists DC rules:

  • There’s a dentist’s office on Rock Creek Church Rd – right behind Sweet Mango. Very strange. I think it’s called Petworth Dental…

  • how about the hardware store that’s never open (at least not for the last 8 years) on the southwest corner of Monroe and 11th. I have been hoping someone would re-open it. But I do love going to Cooper’s on 14th and Oak?.

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