At Last the Identity of the Parcel Next to Marvin Revealed! 14th Street Bakery and Wine Bar


Thanks to an alert reader for sending me the heads up:

“Now, this is really exciting news! It looks like the empty lot next to Marvin that’s being built on is going to be a Bakery/Wine Bar.”

I love good Monday morning news. And it is from the owners of Marvin and Gibson (ESL Development LLC):


They’re forming quite the force on 14th Street. That’s three spots in a row not to mention Patty Boom Boom around the corner on U Street.

Here are the rest of the details:


Do you think a bakery and wine bar is a good combination?

26 Comment

  • Bakery, yes. Wine bar? Apparently, Vinoteca, Cork, and Veritas are unable to meed the unquenchable demand for single glasses of wine.

    But at least it isn’t a wine bar/cupcakery.

  • According to the developers, this is going to be a two-story structure. The upstairs space will house 14th Street Arby’s and Kite Store.

  • I do not like when one developer monopolizes a block. Completely squashes diversity and makes DC an even harder place for middle class families to live. ESL is a DC force, they know the system, and have the money to navigate the huge hurdles to small business. Honestly, I’d rather see it sit vacant for another few years until a new startup found a way to get in there. I know know the PoP legions who drool over any and all scuttlebutt are going to have my head, and many of you have legitimate reasons to disagree with me.

    I just hate that even though the city is revitalizing, the vast majority of new development we’ve seen is coming from two or three companies (H Street/Atlas District is the biggest example). Certainly no way to encourage (or entertain) a middle class when everything new is prohibitively expensive.

  • PS when I say diversity I mean diversity in business ownership. Comment is G-word neutral. I like to see abandoned blocks get built up; I just wish the city would get behind a policy that got more small businesses in these districts instead of allowing them to be bought by the bakers dozen by entertainment conglomerates like ESL.

  • Good points by ShawRes. And yes, another freakin’ wine bar? Come on. No vision around here, nobody taking a risk. How many freakin’ wine bars do we need?

  • Small businesses don’t generate the tax revenues and longterm stable residency that chains/conglomerates do. The Council and the Mayor pay nothing but lip service to small businesses and diverse enterprises. If they had their way, every square foot of commercial space in DC would be $120 a foot office cubes and downtown would be a ghosttown at 6pm on weekdays.

  • Have you ever tried to get a table at Cork or Vinoteca after 7 pm on a Friday or Saturday? I’d say the demand is still pretty high.

  • How original!

  • Are these going to be one combined business or will there be a bakery on one floor and a wine bar on the other? If they are separate I like it. I like the summer garden on the roof. Although I am not sure how a DJ works with a wine bar; not sure if the wine crowd needs somebody spinning records while enjoying a nice merlot!!!

    @monkey…aren’t those wine bars you mentioned also restaurants? Is it known if this will be a restaurant or something like the wine bar that is going in on 11th Street in CH?

    @ShawRes…couldn’t give a damn who is building what. If you can’t afford to live near U St. or other developing areas, you go to where you can afford to live. You can still drive, metro, bus, ride a bike,or walk to get there. If you can’t afford to go to a wine bar, then you go to Trader Joe’s and get some 2 Buck Chuck. To say that you would rather see it empty rather than somebody build something because it isn’t local is ridiculous!

  • More evidence of ridiculously boring this city is.

  • I’d imagine this would be something like Cheesetique in Del Ray, where you’ve got the shop in front and a cafe in the back. Only with djs and a rooftop garden.

  • I’d have more sympathy for ShawRes’s argument if there weren’t still so many empty storefronts in the neighborhood. I counted more than a dozen on 14th between S and V the other day. If they want to open another business, God bless ’em. There’s still plenty of room for other entrepreneurs.

  • I used to think differently, but with so many wine bars now, I’d honestly rather have an empty storefront that will eventually be something different than another wine bar.

  • This site is now filled with super-negative whiners. Get out of this city, please… for the love of god.

  • U st definetly needs a bakery. there’s no place to go for a simple egg and cheese bagel, or sandwich.
    as for the rooftop garden, have fun competing with marvin’s uber crowded/loud deck.

  • Considering how many long-time, independent retail operations are shutting down around town, I think we should take what we can get from local powerhouse businesses. Yeah, it’s another wine bar, but we definitely need more bakeries in DC. I think we’re only seeing the beginning of how this current economic depression is going to knock-out a lot of local stores and restaurants.

    And before I hear the usual knee-jerk comments of “DC sux”, I was in SF last week, and we tried to get into a restaurant around 9PM, and the manager told us they now close early because the entire neighborhood has been hit hard.

  • Actually, Anon 1027, I live four blocks away and have owned since the 90s. I also own several houses that I rent out throughout the district (possibly to you!). Don’t get me wrong, ESL is a local company and they’ve done great things for the city. that said, they are so successful because they’ve learned how to navigate the city bureacracy. My problem isn’t so much with them as it is with the fact that our elected leaders are too nutless to take on the neighborhood activists. As a result, only the most well heeled and knowledgable entrepreneurs have the werewithal to start up businesses in this city. It is the single largest impediment to the growth of a middle class in our economy.

    @Simon: Exactly! They are wasted space because it is so difficult to get a hold of one for a commercial purpose. This is why, when one does get the retrofit, it’s usually at the hand of ESL or a like minded group.

    I would encourage an occasional read of to see how incredibly difficult it is to manage a business in this community. It shouldn’t be so hard for a family to make a living on 14th street. that’s all i’m sayin. (but shawres? you’ve lived here for 16 years why aren’t you doing anything about it???!?! Gotta work.)

  • During college I worked a night shift at a hospital and always had a warm, fresh bran muffin with a glass of red wine for “breakfast” in the morning. Still remember this combination as delicious!

  • I look forward to doing wine bar crawls, starting at Veritas, then to Cork, this new place, then Vinoteca, winding up at Room 11. Or mayhaps continue on to finish up at Red Rocks.
    I’m not a big fan of conglomerates, but I’m happy to know ESL is at least local. I can deal with local chains way better than nationals.

    victoriam – that sounds like a lovely combination. Mayhaps I’ll try that, either when this place opens, or at Sova on H Street.

  • Anon @10:51 I want a real bakery where I can get a loaf of bread or fresh pastry, not a F#CKING egg and bagel sandwich! There are at least three places in spitting distance that have that!

  • Cork was packed to the brim Friday night. I agree it seems inconceivable that more demand for these places exist, but it definitely does.

  • @ShawRes: I hear your point (though I don’t know from personal experience), but it seems to me that the problem is with the ANC’s and the city regulatory process, not with ESL or other local “conglomerates.” We shouldn’t blame ESL if the city makes it difficult for new entrepreneurs to open businesses — especially when it’s not like ESL is taking up all the open spaces. To me, ESL is helping the neighborhood, and red tape (I’ll take your word and 14thandu’s for it) is hurting.

  • In the original Les Halles market in Paris, you used to be able to get a breakfast of onion soup gratinee, rare roast beef on a baguette, and a glass of red wine. DC needs a breakfast place like that. Now you’re lucky to get an Egg Mcmuffin, a cup of burnt coffee, and diarrhea.

  • Dog walker Says:

    July 20th, 2009 at 3:27 pm
    Anon @10:51 I want a real bakery where I can get a loaf of bread or fresh pastry, not a F#CKING egg and bagel sandwich! There are at least three places in spitting distance that have that!

    PLEASE LIST Egg and Bagel Sandwich places:

  • you whiners are hilarious

  • One very important issue has not been discussed here and should be considered:

    From a regulatory standpoint, why would a bakery and wine bistro need a CT “Tavern Class C” or in short a “Bar” license? They can serve any liquor they want, do not have to serve any food, and have maximum opening hours.

    If they are to be a Bakery and Wine Bar (an unlikely combination – “I’ll have the ’98 Merlot and a cupcake, please.”) Anyway a DT “Class D Tavern License” permits the sale of wine and beer only and allows for the sale of food, but at no set percentage of sales. They need a DT, not the very wide-reaching CT license. This is an important distinction with long-term and wide- reaching repercussions.

    Whenever an establishment like this is granted a CT license, more likely than not, they will become another bar, loosely regulated. Nothing wrong with Bars, but to ask for such a license for this place leads me to only only one conclusion.

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