Beer, Burgers, Tube Socks and a Mariachi Band at the Target Opening Party

IMG_7247, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I’m not going to lie. I am no stranger to drinking beers and listening to a Mariachi band. I think it is one of life’s great pleasures. I just never thought I’d be drinking beers and listening to a Mariachi band in a Target…on a Tuesday night. And it was a truly beautiful thing. So thanks to a reader for hooking me up with their ticket to the Target festivities in Columbia Heights. I am forever in your debt. There was a huge turnout and I was happy to see a nice mix of regular neighborhood residents as well as folks who I imagine are part of DC’s “elite”. Let me say Target went all out. You couldn’t turn a corner without running into a band, a bar, food or a Target employee asking if they could help you find something. Obviously the first thing I asked help in finding was tube socks. Ok, first I had a couple of beers. Ok, then I had a burger and sweet potato fries. Ok, then I listened to the Mariachi band and some bongo drummers and then the Mariachi band again. But then I was whisked straight to the tube socks. The tube socks were a little anti climactic, I’ll admit, because I couldn’t find any with sweet racing stripes. But did I mention that there was a Mariachi band? Too cool. As for the Target it is gigantic. It actually has two floors and stocks just about anything you could possibly imagine. (Ed. note: This was actually my first time inside a Target.) As you may have imagined after the jump check out tons of cool pictures of the party and the store.Lots and lots of socks.

People partying and eating at one of the many bars and food stations.

Who knew there were so many blender options?

I’m pretty sure these guys were not getting paid enough to wear those ridiculous bandannas.

No expense was spared – they even brought out the Target dog.

No need to cross the street for your Starbucks fix get one in house. And if you’re hungry you can get some pizza.

If you have time, you’ll soon also be able to hit Bed Bath & Beyond sans band

I told you they have everything imaginable

The shopping carts await you…

64 Comment

  • So does Target open today or do we have to wait until Saturday or Sunday?

  • That is the last time you will see those carts and aisles so nicely organized.

  • I’m thinkin target needs to implement a monthly if not weekly Beer, Burger, and tube sock wearing Mariachi Band shindig… I can’t believe I missed that.

  • I can’t wait to get garden supplies from Target. Home Depot (although a great place to meet men) is the 9th gate of hell. I hope the Target employees are as nice as the Giant employees.

  • sad not to have been invited…

    I too have never been to a Target in my life, not sure I understand all the hubbub.

  • I totally forgot that Target sold basic gardening supplies! Hurrah for being able to buy a bag of potting soil at all hours!

  • As a Minnesotan, I 1) am extremely jealous you got to go and 2) cannot believe you have never been in a Target before. You should visit a SuperTarget some day *heaven*

  • I’ll go to the new Target from time to time, sure, but as far as gardening supplies go, The Garden District at 14th and S is a better bet, and I’d prefer to support a local independent business than a monster chain. Reading the various comments about DC-USA on this blog over the past few months, I’m surprised more people who bother to read (or comment on) a neighborhood-focused site don’t feel that way.

  • I just went. It is impressive to say the least. I must admit I had not appreciated how wide a selection Targets have during my maybe two visits to a Target before. The groceries section is quite extensive too.

    The best thing about it was that it was still virtually empty… ahh the peace and quiet! Will change soon. Go while you still can without bumping into people!!!

    Pop, two suggestions on the “no race stripes on tube socks problem: 1) felt pens 2) rubber bands, e.g. those charity (?) rubber bands that people seem to carry around their wrists (added bonus: if you are still saving for the calf implants, the rubber bands hold the socks up nicely).

  • @pauper

    Its opened today at 8.

    Also, its worth noting that the grocery selection is huge – an alternative to those huge Giant lines at peak grocery shopping hours.

  • Cupofyoshi– I’ll go to Garden District for big purchases, but for that late afternoon where you just need a small bag of potting soil, or some twine or- just anything that doesn’t merit much thought? Target, all the way.

  • Exactly. Plus, as far as I recall Garden District does not have e.g. a good selection of gardening tools. Target seemed to have e.g. those very nice Fiskars garden tools etc.

    It’s not alway big chains vs. local businesses – some local businesses might quite well benefit from the increased trafic (grr..) to and from DC USA also stopping by at the local businesses, e.g. up and down 14th St.

  • I am unbelievably excited about this. Target in the District! and right by my house!

    PoP- so jealous of the mariachi band fun and how have you never been to a target?

    Oh, the packs of tube socks I’ll buy. And picture frames. And shampoo! Ok, I’m getting seriously excited here. Think my boss would be cool if I leave work to go to Target?

  • I just got to work after heading to our fine French department store, Tar-jay. I echo everything anonymous said above. A few elaborations:

    Everyone really was nice. People were smiling, kind, and courteous: they really did want to help. About five other random shoppers/casual observers spoke to me about their happiness that Target was opening. You could almost see the relief in their face as they took it all in, fully internalizing that they don’t have to make the trek out to Prince George’s plaza or Wheaton anymore.

    One older gentleman said to me: “I can’t believe it. I’m impressed. About a department store” (emphasis mine, natch). Another woman said “I have a dog, and I have to keep him right, and now that Target is here, I may come every day.”

    It was nice to see some sense of civic pride there, as people were happy to have a new job in a new store in a part of town that needed a development anchor. Although we can all list a litany of shortcomings/problems with this kind of development, I hope that the positives for the community psyche mitigate some of them.

  • It’s great that Target is helping revitalize the neighborhood, but Cupofyoshi hits the nail on the head. The big boxes like Wal Marts and Targets over time smoke out smaller, independent businesses rather than help them, and aside from the economic aspects they erode neighborhood distinctiveness. Go ahead and get your cheap garden supplies and what-not, just don’t complain when Columbia Heights morphs into Clarendon or Tyson’s in ten years.

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  • While I fully support local businesses, we just don’t have the variety of retail in DC that covers all of the offerings at Target. And, I will venture to say that many DC residents leave the District and spend their money (and pay the sales tax) in MD and VA to get the goods offered there. In addition, Target has spent a large amount of money to support local offerings in the CH neighborhood for as much as the past 2-3 years – including supporting the Gala, the Dance Institute of Washington and sending school children to Phili for a field trip.

    There are plenty of people in CH/Petworth who can’t afford the boutique prices of a place like Garden District and will really appreciate having affordable, quality goods from acompany that supports their neighborhood right where they live.

  • I’m with J-Z and god help me if I ever need to buy something from this place — I’ll loathe myself for going in.

  • There will certainly be some of that. However, one could ask : which local Columbia Heights business is threatened by Best Buy? In general, there isn’t a huge amount of retail in CH. Which clothing stores in Columbia Heights are threatened by Target or Marshalls? Does Garden District suffer or benefit, given that Target does not sell big bulk dirt, mulch, plants? Is the fact there are several local restaurants open and opening around DC USA some evidence that some local businesses benefit? Wouldn’t Elwood Thompson (fingers crossed) coming be a similar positive case?

    I am NOT saying that some or even many local businesses will be under pressure. But there are cases where they may also benefit.

  • We all talk about how we don’t want to see this neighborhood distinctiveness eroded, but in more ways than one our beloved neighborhood was a mess for decades. Empty lots, vacant buildings, drugs, gangs. If you want all of those bad aspects gone, then you may have to deal with some perceived good aspects going as well. Since I’m a capitalist (that’s right), I have to believe that the quality independent businesses will continue to exist because the neighborhood wants them to exist. Those that are run poorly and do not fit a need, well, they’ll go as they should.

  • I like shops within walking distance (with a granny cart — Target) and shops that do not look at me like I have 3 heads. Garden District can be very snobby if you are not gay and if you do not have 10 piercings.

  • i hate the haters…..

  • “im so cool and open-minded cause i don’t go to big box stores” “im saving the planet cause i support independent stores” “i’ll never step in one of ‘those’ stores” some people in dc can be so elitist…..rolling eyes….this mall is bringing great things to the neighborhood and ALL of DC – local jobs, convenience to ALL dc residents, not just those in ColHeights.

  • That is so great that it’s okay to have live music from Mariachi’s and jazz combo’s inside the new Columbia Heights Target, but not in a Mount Pleasant restaurant or bar.

  • For those who don’t want things like DC USA to ruin “distinctive nature” of the neighborhood, come on over to my side of North Cap. We still have the distinctive sound of 9mm pistols, shiftless young men shuffleing throught the alley’s, attempted theft of autos, bicyles being stolen off front porchs, long drives to any kind of retail that is not behind 4 inches of ballistic plexi, I could go on, but you get the point.

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  • Now I don’t have to drive all the way to Va to get my stuff…..

  • hey man, all I’m sayin’ is that when the major chains come to a confined area they tend to crowd out many- not all- smaller unique businesses, and that in turn eventually erodes neighborhood distinctiveness. of course that’s better than crime infested streets, and yes, adding jobs is a very good thing, but are there better models of urban development? in any case it’s a moot point. i need some potted soil, laundry detergent, and shower rings. anyone know where i can go?

  • I’d like to point out that although Target will probably edge out small neighborhood stores to some extent, I’m anticipating that most of the items I’m buying at Target are things I would have bought at the fellow monstrous chain CVS for outrageously inflated prices. So I’m not feeling too bad about that.

  • Just a note on tube socks — You can find the cool ones with the racing stripes in the sporting goods section. At least that’s how other Targets work. Also, I believe they only stocked kids sizes, which is good for ladies, well, and children, I suppose.

  • Amen, emrj, great comment.

  • Except that Emrj’s comment probably implied a link between the two that doesn’t necessarily exist… not that I have anything against live music in bars if its done as per e.g. an agreement with the neighborhood (my neighbors a few doors down from us are suffering sleepless early nights when a bar accross the street violates such an agreement and has very loud live music late into the night).

  • People seems to think that a neighborhood will keep the independent, local businesses alive. Well, what happens when their rent triples due to their already established presence in a hot neighborhood? A year or so back there was an article that Ben’s Chili Bowl couldn’t keep up with the escalating costs of being on U Street (see Washington Post Business Archives). The neighborhood certainly seems to want to keep them there but they can’t compete with national chain stores, which is the problem here. The competition becomes entirely unfair to the smaller folks. And do we really want to see only national chains that we can find in any town in any part of the US or do we want a distinctively DC feel to our community? These developers are usually from outside this area!

  • Hooray! The long-awaited Target finally arrives. This is the culmination of years of planning, developing and campaigning and I for one cannot wait to see the realized product.

  • Anonymous, last time I checked, Ben’s is still there and doing rather well. So well, in fact, that they’re able to expand and serve the new stadium. That’s the whole point. The market worked as it should.

    And please PLEASE tell me which local businesses in that area have been so important to the community and are worth keeping? Seriously? Moreover, you tell me which of these local businesses would’ve had the ability to have such a positive impact on the neighborhood? None of them. Not one.

    Whether from outside of the area or not, the developers took a risk in building here and it’s a win-win for them and the community if this works out.

  • yay for pauper!

  • Thanks Paups. As I said before, for those who want the taste of the distinctive neighborhood, come over to my side of North Cap…better yet give Kennedy street a walk through – just do it in the day light.

  • As much as I like small, locally owned businesses, I’m really annoyed by cash-only operations that likely are not reporting their legitimate income and shirking their tax liability to DC. I’m tired of DC using homeowners as the primary source of revenue during a shortfall. For that reason, I will happily support a mix of large and small businesses (not to mention the number of jobs it will bring to many of the young people in our community).

  • yo steve – i live around georgia and kennedy…went to the liquor store around 7p one night alone(im a girl) and i was pretty scared. i thought to myself, this is where i live, i dont want to be scared, i want some wine, i live down the street from a liquor store so i went….it was fine, nothing happened, but i was just scared. i hate that feeling in one’s own ‘hood.

    anywho…yea come over to kennedy if you want to keep it real. i’ll be going to target. 😉

  • >>>> bogfrog Says: I like shops within walking distance (with a granny cart

  • just remember DCzSlimmest… credit cards charge vendors to use their services and people like to bounce checks (and takes a while to get the funds).

  • wow. Got stuck on the fact that PoP had never been to a Target. Anyhooo, my friend had a mariachi band at his wedding. We all walked out of the church and, voila, there was the band on the sidewalk. FUN!

  • “Capitalism will kill competition”
    -Karl Marx

  • Somehow, I don’t think the charges credit card vendors charge merchants is the primary reason credit cards are not used in more places (visit Zip dry clean — a very large chain). Having worked in the restaurant, bar, and nite club circuit for many years, hard cash RARELY gets fully reported as revenue.

    All I’m saying is that as a tax paying, home owning resident of the District who’s tired of the DC Govt irresponsibly assessing home values to boost tax coffers, MD & VA reaping the rewards of workers who commute into the city, and the masses of individuals who reside in DC and pay taxes to some other state, it would be nice if everyone pays there fair share. I, personally, don’t think cash businesses pay their fair share.

    MS-13 will kill Capitalism… nice Google though.

  • Anon 6:22 – I was joking. Love the Target. I hop there is a master plan for Kennedy that builds on the work that has been done to the old theater over there. That is a scary street in general.

  • I am totally excited about the Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond improvements to Columbia Heights. I’m already planning what route to take to walk there, as it’s a bit far for us to walk. Hope we don’t go crazy and buy bulk, then have to walk home. That stretch of 14th Street may start looking like 7th Street, around Gallery Place. I don’t care: I remember long parts of 14th Street baren 30 years after the riots and never rebuilt, essentially until now.

  • I thought target allows you to take their shopping carts a few blocks away to encourage people without transportation to go there. Then after you abandon them they come around and corral them up.

    slim: DC has one of the lowest property tax rates in the country! yeah the new assesments suck but if you paid the price you should plan for the taxes. however if you got your house before the boom you are protected by the cap and the homestead exemption. Property tax in DC is one of the things i don’t think citizens can complain about. a 250k house in new york pays almost 10k in taxes per year while here its less than 2500 (approximates people).

  • Rueben…I love ya, I do…but Marx? How did his dream of Communism work for Russia or Vietnam?

  • I am so glad Target is finally here. And you’re right – Kennedy St is horrifyingly scary, even after so much change in the past few years. There are as many drug dealers on Kennedy St as there are liquor stores. I live in the Kennedy St area and my family lived here many, many years ago (1930s-1970). It is sad to see the state that Kennedy St is in. Believe it or not, it was actually once a very nice place. I have been participating on the Kennedy St Revitalization Committee (overseen by the Office of Planning) and am VERY excited for the potential changes that might be coming as a result of this plan. We’re not asking for much – just to get the dealers off the street and bring in some retailers that might actually be patronized by the area residents. NO MORE liquor stores, funeral homes, or storefront churches that never seem to have any service (we suspect some of these storefront churches are actually covers for illegal businesses). Sadly, in the 4+ years I have lived near 5th and Kennedy (the central part of the strip), I have NEVER patronized a single store on the street. I do just about all my shopping in Silver Spring, where it far safer and there are stores I actually want to shop in.

  • Hi Pauper. Seems that you have two different issues here. There’s Marx’s statement-which I think is true, and then there’s what happened in places like Russia.
    I certainly acknowledge your point. But I would be lying if I told you I didn’t believe that
    a world which values profit before people is a (as the twentysomethings say) totally cool one.. I dont… Once you get over 50, you tend to begin to (finally, in my case) own up to your stuff. Good, bad, or unresolved…


  • AR- You are right , alas, about Kennedy. My family lived on 5th between Ingraham
    and Jefferson from 1959 until 2001-when my late Mother was placed in a nursing home.
    I too have warm, considerably safer memories of the old Kennedy Street-not to mention entire weekend afternoons spent in the Kennedy Theater.
    I’d like to know more about the Kennedy Street Revitalization Committee.

    PS. They-you know -the old days-weren’t-as Mel Torme once said-“all velvet.”
    I lost a ton of childhood friends to white flight. Made me think something was
    wrong with me…

  • Pauper –

    “And please PLEASE tell me which local businesses in that area have been so important to the community and are worth keeping?”

    How arrogant to assume that because you don’t happen to patronize all of the businesses around doesn’t mean that nobody values them. Sure, I may not go to all of the locally owned pupuserias or beauty salons or dollar shops or clothing stores on north 14th street as often as some other neighborhood residents do, but that doesn’t mean I want them to disappear. As a teacher in the neighborhood, some of my students’ parents own those shops that you find beneath you – unimportant to you does not equal unimportant to the community.

    And Toby –
    “14th Street may start looking like 7th Street, around Gallery Place. I don

  • I was once a patient person, but that patience has waned after having to read such self-righteous drivel on so many blogs. Please Lester…you don’t know me at all so stop with the arrogance comments. I don’t find these shops or people beneath me at all…never have and never will.

    These local businesses don’t have, and never will have, the resources to revitalize a neighborhood like Target or other larger businesses can. The violence, the drug trade, et al, which sadly is still prevalent, would be much moreso without the development. Furthermore, just like my post said, if the neighborhood thinks the local businesses are providing a service, the businesses will survive and even thrive. Those that don’t continue to serve the neighborhood won’t survive. It’s a fact and the way of the world. If I don’t provide the right product or service for my boss, I’ll get fired and will have to find another means of living. If you don’t continue to teach your students as you should, you’ll be fired. We both live with these truths everyday. Why should these local businesses have it any other way?

  • Did someone just say that Columbia Heights will turn into Tysons Corner/Clarendon???? Bwahahahahahahaaaa ….. I also heard that Shaw will be turning into Greenwich Village.

  • To whoever upthread said that the Target was nice and empty, well it isn’t anymore.

    I went there yesterday and the place was mobbed. The teenaged girl who rang me up was very nice (did I use “nice” and “teenaged” in the same sentence? Shocker!).

    I felt the new Target was small—it had two floors and a grocery section, but something about it made it seem small and compact.

    Anywhoo, I’m glad I’ll never have to go to Wheaton or Prince George’s again!

  • A friend of mine went yesterday and reported that the prices there are higher than at the suburban Targets. Can anyone verfiy this, or does anyone know why?

  • Cant verify, but why? because its the city everything is more expensive, as it should be

  • Yesterday I went to Target at 8am to grab a Nintendo Wii!!! Finally…. I was impressed with the store and yes, the Target employees were very nice. I’m excited about new shopping options in “da hood :-)”

  • I went last night and it was buzzing but mellow. I hope and pray that the employees stay as nice, happy and helpful as they are right now. Just imagine if DC grew a reputation for good customer service….

    I didn’t notice the prices being higher (but then again, I didn’t buy anything, so I probably wasn’t paying attention).

  • I did notice that the prices of some things were higher than they would have been in Wheaton or PG, but I expected that anyway since it’s in the city. Also, some of the prices were the same as the burbs. All in all, I feel the tradeoff is worth it not to have to take the metro just to pick up a tube of toothpaste.

  • I did notice that the prices of some things were higher than they would have been in Wheaton or PG, but I expected that anyway since it’s in the city. Also, some of the prices were the same as the burbs. All in all, I feel the tradeoff is worth it not to have to take the metro just to pick up a tube of toothpaste.

  • Amel, they had a wii there? did they have several?

  • Yeah, I thought it was pretty standard for things to be a bit pricier in DC, but the person was angry because she thought it was a conspiracy to rip off poor people or something.

  • I didn’t really pay attention to how the prices compare to MD Targets, but I noticed that a skin care product I get was cheaper at Target than it is at CVS.

    And go while the customer service is still good—I had to make an exchange today and since they were having problems scanning my card and took a while, I got a three-dollar coupon good for anything from Target for my patience! Imagine that!

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