Developments at 14th and T


I know I’m a little late to this one but I’m super curious to know your opinions. City Paper/City Desk broke the news on Friday:

“Sources close to the deal say that the earlier agreement to lease the space from the current owner fell through. Rather than let their dream die, Diner/Tryst/Open City owner Constantine Stavropoulos and DC-Improv and Riot Act comedy impresario John Xereas, along with a few others—including (Dave) Chappelle, a Xereas acquaintance who has D.C. roots—worked to get a deal together to buy the building. The bid is in the neighborhood of $9 million. The problem? They’re not the only ones interested.

Big-box furniture outfit Room & Board, based in Minneapolis, has also put in a bid for the building, according to a real estate source. Although the bid is said to be close to what the locals have offered to pay, the current owners put their trust in furniture. The Room & Board bid has been accepted, the source said, albeit with a 60-day window where it can be retracted.”

I was super psyched for a Tryst type spot to go in there but I’m not that familiar with Room & Board. So which would you rather see go into the spot? If the Room & Board does end up going in do you think it will be able to thrive in that location?

30 Comment

  • Crap and double crap. If you doubt the ability of furniture stores to kill street life, take a stroll in the 3300 block of M St, on the way to Key Bridge.

  • What we need to have exposed is – who is-are the current owners? Is it still WestGroup, the Tysons VA guys? This property has gone through broken-down deals and overpriced litigation in the past two years. We need illumination on this situation property. I know about it from insiders but not enough to shoot off my mouth.

  • I’m psyched. First of all, there is no Room and Board in the region. Second, they could have located out in the suburbs, but they are trying to locate in the City. I think that can’t be overlooked from an economic development standpoint. And I really don’t think you can compare Room and Board to Crate and Barrel. They aren’t in the same league. Room and Board is a good addition to the neighborhood. I might have liked something like the Diner or Tryst, but it isn’t like this is the only piece of real estate on 14th. There are some smaller options and I think old Constantine Stavropoulos will be able to find something that meets his needs if he is really interested.

  • Recently the property was owned by WestGroup, Tysons real estate titan. Can anyone update?

  • great!!! i can’t believe people complain about things like this given the preponderance of “subs/chinese food/seafood/american” from behind bulletproof glass restaurants, boarded up storefronts, and undistinguished corner stores throughout the city.

  • Yes, there are still plenty of empty spaces on 14th and on U Street. Enough space to go around. Residents on the block are looking forward to seeing the space take shape. We’re told that Room and Board has the resources to accelerate the renovation of the building & the opening of a store. That’s good news. And, we’ll still patronize Tryst and the Diner until another location is selected for their collaboration.

  • Awesome. Room and Board is a great store. Similar pricing to Crate and Barrel, but higher quality and MUCH more interesting merchandise. That store will be a huge hit in D.C., as it sells very stylish furniture without have to pay designer boutique prices. Really fills a niche in a stretch populated by a lot of overpriced furniture sellers.

  • Yay! Yay! Yay! Love Room and Board and it will be the first store in this region!!!

  • white whine: “i can’t believe the comedy club is not going to open and its going to be a furniture store… i mean… i JUST BOUGHT furniture”

  • Room and Board rocks! Why not a R&B with a Tryst in the first floor? How cool would that be – somewhere to park my husband while I shop for great, moderately priced modern furniture. He can even stay there while I hop over to Miss Pixie’s for some funky accessories!

  • I have to agree with one of the other comments, there is plenty of space on 14th st to go around.

  • tryst has horrile service. the diner is not that good. maybe i just hate both of these places because I am forced to eat them due to work lunches/ proximity to the office. Anyways, I am NOT sad they will not be opening another mediocre restaurant in DC. GO ROOM AND BOARD!
    What DC truly needs is more street cart vendors doing delicious things.

  • Now, I love furniture stores. But what 14th Street needs is a great coffee shop, not a big-box furniture store. I’d hate to see the strip lose its character and totally out-price itself. We already have Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Bang & Olfusen, so that’s certainly already a risk…

  • Cupcake, you’re a genius!

  • Katie: 14U is ACROSS the street

  • How many times do you see yourself buying a couch over the next 12-24 months versus how many times do you see yourself going to a Tryst-like establishment. Although I like Room and Board, I think the alternative is a better option for the area…. nuff said.

  • @sometimes…: Last I checked, 14U was still closed.

  • JUNK, there’s already a few furniture stores on this block, including my favorite, Rough and Ready. Who wants some Midwest chain to open right here? Not I, cast my vote for a resounding neigh.

  • Well, I do see myself going to a furniture store more (even if just to touch the funky chairs) than to some “improv” place and to a “tryst” full of people pretending to be important and working hard on their latest novel or a super important report on their spanking new Macbook or whatever they are now called. 😉

  • Cafe Collage across the street and behind St Ex on T is one of the best coffee houses around. Try the Chai. You’ll melt. It’s soooooo gooooood.

  • I’m not opposed to furniture stores, but come on, do we really need another way overpriced store on the street? I had never heard of Room & Board before this posting, but from their web site I can tell I’ll never shop there. A $449 bar stool?

  • @ GforGood: Places don’t survive on window shoppers and looky-loos. At some point they need someone to actually buy something. I think you made my point when you mentioned that a Tryst-like place is “full of people” who are actually purchasing something, even if it is just a cup of coffee.

  • I think it’s sort of a choice between another place to go shopping versus a place(s) to DO something, get together, see friends, have fun, hang out, be creative, yes work on your MacBook or whatever away from home ;).

  • When the hell are we getting a Chipotle!!!

  • I think it’s a shame that Tryst/Diner/Comedy Club won’t be occupying this space. I’m pretty shocked that people are so pro-corporate chain on here over some very respected local businessmen.

  • I would MUCH rather see the Tryst/Diner/Comedy Club go into that space. A store like Room & Board would be a great addition to the city, but not on 14th Street. It could serve as a great anchor in some other developing neighborhoods in SE, NE or SW. I love living in this area because of all the cool, local businesses and feel adding a huge corporation like Room & Board won’t help the neighborhood retain it’s unique personality. We’ve got Mitchell Gold – I think that’s enough…

  • Mitchell Gold, AND Muleh AND Reincarnations AND Miss Pixie’s AND Vastu…I bet R&B is great, but Im not sure any of these local businesses would last long if a big-box retail furniture store moved in.
    In addition to the cafe, restaurant & comedy club, they will also be moving Boundless yoga to the space, which would be great! I plan to write to John Gabbert, Founder and President of Room & Board, directly to voice my opinion ([email protected]).

  • Have known Constantine Stavropolous since Tryst opened about ten years ago and have remained in touch with him…to the point of asking him to consider coming to Petworth with a nice eating place some day. He’s friends of Kera Carpenter, Domku owner, and Kim Weeks, a yoga studio owner and neighbor near Sherman Circle. Great guy. Seems to have a golden touch with her eateries.

  • Correction: HIS eateries, if that’s a word.

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