Friday Question of the Day – What Chain Store is DC Missing?

White Castle No More, originally uploaded by hfan.

A comment in yesterday’s photo from PoPville got me thinking. What would be your favorite chain to bring to DC that we don’t already have?  For me, fortunately, I’m very lucky in that I’m a Taco Bell and Dunkin Donuts fan both of which I can get to pretty easily, but not so easily that it’s dangerous. I suspect I may be a glutton for punishment as I expect we’ll get a few Arby’s recommendations. Yes, yes, we all want Arby’s but what others are people craving – White Castle, In-and-Out Burger, Peet’s coffee? We should be getting an IHOP in the near future. I know fast food is a dangerous topic but c’mon it’s Friday, I’m just tryin’ to have some fun.

210 Comment

  • This is definitely not any place cool like an In-and-Out Burger, but I’m always wondering why we don’t have more Burger Kings, at least, not in my usual stomping grounds. Is it just me? (I mean, it may just be me who likes Burger King, but am I right that it seems like there’s just not that many around?)

    Not to bring up Miami again, but boy, did I love Pollo Tropical when I was there.

  • Don’t need any chains. In and Out is extremely overrated. Not even as good as Five Guys

  • Sonic. And Sonic. Did I mention Sonic?

  • +1 on Sonic. First thing that came to mind when I saw the title of the post.

    Also, a TopShop and a Ministry of Sound

  • Burgers and fries for breakfast.
    No…that’s not the name of the joint, but it’s what comes to mind when I think of Jack-N-The-Box!

  • Anne Taylor Loft…..seriously bitches.

  • Olive Garden! They always have the best architecture and salads.

  • Definitely Original Pancake House (which I’ve mentioned before, but deserves mentioning again). There is on in Bethesda, but none, I believe, in D.C.

    Chick-Fil-et — we have every other chicken place on earth it seems!

  • Micheals or some craft store — you have to drive way out to the ‘burbs now. And JoAnn Fabrics or another fabric store. Seriously developers — this is a HUGE unmet need and would attract business from a variety of demographic groups.

  • Wawa, Sheetz or Royal Farms

  • Wegmans

  • There’s a Chik-fil-a in Foggy Bottom.

    Krystal, White Castle, or any mini burger place that doesn’t sell seared ahi tuna on a brioche and call it a “slider.” There’s already a Counter Burger planned for downtown, so the gourmet burger market is fairly saturated.

    Lucky Dogs or any Chicago hotdog chain. Italian beef would be a plus as well. And a Ray’s Pizza so the NYC ex-pats could finally STFU about the lack of NY slice.

    Also, more international chains like Kyochon Korean Fried Chicken.

  • bojangles

  • There’s Bojangles in Largo, New Carrolton, and Temple Hills. The New Carrolton one isn’t nearly as stabby as it used to be.

  • You gotta have a Tim Horton’s in the DC for those hockey fans.

  • Steak n’ Shake! Great crispy burgers and skinny shoestring fries and pretty good chilly. Oh yeah, great shakes!

  • I meant chili as in the food not chilly as in cold fries, but they do get cold fast.

  • If we had a Skyline Chili, I would never even consider moving away from DC ever again.

  • If Dubai can have a Figaro’s Pizza, DC needs to keep up with Dubai and keep the Mayor at home.

  • Amen on the Sonic.

    Being from the south I gotta go with Waffle House.

  • Noble Romans Pizza. Wegmans. And of course, Arbys!

  • I’ll add another vote for Sonic, and another southern staple – Whataburger!

  • In and Out, Hardee’s, Steak n Shake or Guthrie’s

  • I had some ideas, but after reading the comments, I’m just going to daydream about having a Sonic and a Waffle House in my neighborhood for the rest of the day. Sigh.

    Also, regarding Chick-fil-a: There are, I believe, two or three in D.C. proper, but they’re all on college campuses, right?

  • A Bojangles…on Kennedy Street. That joint would be immensely profitable.

    Agree with Monkeyrotica on the New Carrolton Bojangles–it’s better than it used to be. But it’s still not up to par with the NC Bojangles’.

    And an Arthur Bryant’s BBQ joint.

  • I second the Michael’s. Yes it isn’t food but if you want craft items you gotta bug your friends with cars so you can hit the yarn store in Hyattsville, and the G Street Fabrics out in the wilds of Rockville or is that Fairfax? This city sucks when you want to make stuff.

  • Hey, stop using my moniker!

  • Buffalo Wild Wings! (They just got one in College Park I know, but that’s still a bit far for us District residents.) Tim Hortons would also be cool (or a Tim Hortons/Wendy’s would be cool).

  • I would kill for a Chick-fil-A in DC! I think Jim is right — the two Chick-fil-A I know in DC are on college campuses (GW and Howard).

  • NO CHAINS! I’ll never understand the craving for them, they all pretty much suck and in the food business are the reason a lot of us end up fat and unhealthy and sucking all the life out of the health care system. NO CHAINS please.

  • There’s a IHOP on Alabama Ave in Congress Heights and at least a couple of Noble Romans Pizzas: one on Minnesotta Ave, and one on H Street, both in northeast. Frankly, I don’t think we need any more chains.

  • yeah i think we’re pretty good on the chains. no thanks.

  • Anon 8:46 – punishing responsible consumers because of irresponsible consumers is quite nanny state-ish, if people choose to lead a path of transfatty destruction they should be able too, they should just have to pay more for health care… just like bad drivers. The healthy insured, currently subsidize the unhealthy and that is a problem.

    Biscuitville is delicious.

    Bojangles in New Carrollton is the best you’re going to get in PGC.

  • I know there used to be an Arby’s in the Georgetown mall. I ate there many times in college. Does it not exist anymore?

  • I am not big into chains – stepping into them only as a last resort, but if we must:

    * Zen Burger
    * Zen Palate
    * Wegman’s – seconding that – they treat their employees well
    * My Organic Market
    * Ten Thousand Villiages

  • Gates BBQ!

  • jsut as an FYI – there is an Orginal Pancake House in Falls Church on Route 7 – I know it’s far, but thought I’d mention for New2CH sake

  • ET might be my soulmate. Waffle House and Sonic would make my life here complete!

  • WAWA x 100. Best convenience stores ever (and I believe they sprinkle crack into the WAWA icecream – so good…)!!

    Hmm…Steak & Shake would be great too but it brings back horrible memories of my days in the midwest.

  • WAFFLE HOUSE!!! There’s one nearly every exit from Richmond to South Florida. Gimme one up here.

  • Having grown up in Philly, I will second Wawa, where I can load up on Tastycakes.

    Is Chess King still around? That was where I bought all my skinny leather ties in the 80’s. Isn’t Hot Topic the Chess King of the new millenium?

  • Judging by the overwhelming fatness of DC, it seems we already have more than enough processed food outlets.

  • wegmans!! and friendly’s

  • Wawa? hell i’d settle for a Sheetz. Royal Farms would be awesome too. Why is DC completely devoid of these cheap late night options?

  • I second the call for a Wawa. I’m not even from Philly, and those things are pretty frickin’ awesome.

  • Wawa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • We need an all night Perkins! My favorite post-bar grease!

  • @missing Kansas City right now – did you just move here? I’m orig from PA but my parents recently moved to St. Joe MO… I’m still looking for a good bbq joint that’s NOT a chain out there! Appar you guys are all about the pork tenderloin sandwiches.

    And speaking of KCMO… Culver’s! Best best fast food joint. And I’m not even a fan of the midwest.

    I second Sheetz! Best MTOs 🙂 We should get a Primanti Brothers. Ohh yum.

  • Tiffany’s (at least my wife might think so)

  • SONIC, that’s a given. And sometimes, I do miss eating Little Ceasars breadsticks with the crazy sauce. Not the pizza, just the crazybread…

  • Ledo’s. And don’t tell me there’s one in Chinatown. THere’s a LEdo’s *sign* in Chinatown (going on what, year 4?). LEdo’s Steak and Cheese: Heaven.

  • 14th/Otis:
    Naah, Chess King died ages ago (company bought by merry go round & finally passed away in its sleep, skinny ties and all, in the early 90s)….

    so that was my poor attempt at humor. also to ferret out all the old farts like myself.

    Also trying to broaden the range of responses: PoP does cite fast-food examples but the question was chain STORES, which could include damn near anything.

    If regional places like White Castle are valid, I’d kill for El Taco, the mexi chain in AZ/NM. But it would be seriously out of context up here.

  • wasn’t there a Ledo’s (until recently) way up Georgia near Walter Reed?

  • @2b3s FATNESS? Have you been to the suburbs? Even going down to my childhood hometown, Waldorf, there are a ton of fatties. DC is a fit city, so I don’t know where you’re hanging, but the people I come across are thin and healthy.

  • Carvel Icecream. I miss Cookie Puss! And Cookie O’Puss for St. Patrick’s Day. And Fudgie the Whale.

    And bring back Shakey’s Pizza while you’re at it, with the little grease cup pepperonis.

  • I’m usually the first to crucify the call for chains but today I have a serious hankerin’ for a double-double w/ fries. That said, the financially independant genius who sets up a krystal burger next to AU, GW, Georgetown, Howard, or any late night watering hole for that matter, is going to rake it in.

  • Steak ‘n’ Sabre…

  • If we’re dreaming, then I want a Portillos! that place would make money hand over fist in D.C….

  • I’m pretty sure there is a Ledo’s on Wisconsin near georgetown.

  • Hey Jimmy 8:21! I second the Skyline Chili. Anyone who’s ever been through Cincinnati knows it’s the one thing you can’t escape without every local telling you to try. There have been many nights wondering home from the bars that I’d kill for a three-way (or some chili, ZING!). But did you know you can get the frozen bricks of chili at Harris Teeter? It’s not the same, of course, but damn if it doesn’t hit the spot and remind me of home.

    I lived in Delaware for a while. The only redeeming things were the aforementioned WaWa and Capriotti’s subs. They have stores in Delaware, PA, MD, Vegas, and Los Angeles. It’s been rumored they’re coming to DC. Try the Bobbie when they do. Amazing.

  • I’m a sucker for Cracker Barrel. Closest right now is Frederick, I think. Though the one thing holding Cracker Barrel back is its lack of scrapple on the menu. Seriously, how can they not have it on there after all this time?

    I’m not much for fast food. I prefer greasy spoon for my regrettable dining options. If I want a burger, gimme a Five Guys.

  • Damn, 63 responses on the FQTD by 9:30 in the morning?! You’d think you asked about a shooting, race relations, gentrification, or some other heated topic. Pah.

  • It warms my heart to know other southerners are lurking on this site. Biscuitville (I used to go to the one in Clemmons NC) or a Whataburger! Wow, I haven’t been to a whataburger in 15 years. I do occassionally make the drive out to Iverson Mall for the Bojo out there…that sweet tea is lethally sweet. Awesome stuff.
    I wish we had a big ass Ikea at DCUSA for whats it worth.

  • Cookout is my favorite of any fast food chain – probably the only one for which I amend the routes of road trips. Any erstwhile North Carolina folk agree?

    In sum, it is a drive-through in which BLTs and corn dogs constitute “side items.”

  • Without a doubt — “Academy Sports and Outdoor”….

  • Wal-Mart!

  • what we really need are more jumbo slices

  • better yet, make that a Super Wal-Mart anon 9:39

  • Old Navy – especially for kids clothes – would have preferred that to Children’s Place in DC USA.

  • Raising Canes…need crack sauce…now.

  • Waffle House or Tim Hortons.

    If I had to pick one, probably a Tim Hortons as the nearest one is way up in PA or now in Times Square. A nice big double-double and some Timbits would get me out of bed at least 37 minutes earlier every day.

  • WAWA (I’d take sheetz to remind me of my college days)

  • There’s a drive-through hamburger chain I’ve seen in Tennessee which is just like In-‘n’-Out but, in my opinion, actually BETTER, called Central Park. They don’t have the cult secret menu options, but they’re tasty!

    Krystal Burgers!!!!!!!!!!

    And I wouldn’t consider Cracker Barrel fast food per se, but it’s a darn tasty chain.

  • In-n-Out, Del Taco, Sonic, Whitecastle, Carl’s Jr., Steak n Shake, Arbys, Jack in the Box – in that order.

  • Yes! A craft store! Michael’s, Ben Franklin, ACMoore, JoAnn’s where are you? We REALLY REALLY REALLY need one of these. With the creative capital we have here it’s fairly astounding we don’t have access to a store like this in the District.

  • Orr — I’m a North Carolinian (Greensboro, specifically), and wholeheartedly second your Cookout suggestion!

  • Jamba Juice. I love healthy drinks that make you fat.

  • that Chess King comment brought back memories of my first pair of parachute pants.

    I’d kill for a Garner’s or Smithfield BBQ, or a Jersey Mike’s Sub Shop.

  • Jimmy @ 8:21 AM…you don’t know how many times I have checked into franchising a Skyline in DC, sadly they are not currently allowing that.

  • I’ll also suggest small-NC-chain Armadillo Grill. Armadillo Grill is similar to a baja fresh — casual, eat in or takeaway fresh mexican — only it is also a great place for a beer or margarita. Typically Armadillo Grill occupies a cool old building and features outdoor seating.

  • Wegmans, Wawa, Waffle House… and Schlotzsky’s.

    Ooo oo oo, and Zero’s!

    It’s so hard to pick one.

  • WAWA! WAWA!! WAWA!!!

  • TUDOR’S BISCUIT WORLD!!!!! WV chain food heaven.

  • ARBY’S!!! Mmmmm…. curly fries….

  • I’d love to have a Wawa around. And I’m a sucker for a big breakfast, so an IHoP and/or Original Pancake House would be my heaven.

  • While I am in agreement with the No Chains plea, in playing along I’d say: Arby’s, Macaroni Grille, Cheesecake Factory (w/out the cheesy architecture).

  • It’s not food-related, but REI. I’m tired of driving out to Bailey’s Crossroads and Rockville is even worse.

  • Brew Thru

  • There IS a Ledo’s on Georgia upper northwest (in DC proper, bitches). I know because I live in Brightwood and its one of the only places to eat.

  • For you Wegmans fans, I offer the following:

    NIK TAHOE”S -lovin some Garbage Plate. Maybe a Country Sweet for Wings.

    Dont know if it is still there but there was this “egg shack” on Wisonsin that was open real late and had greasy egg burgers, fuzzy memory accross from the Crusty Crab.. There should be more of those around.

  • As someone who works in a field that’s all about preserving community character, I am opposed to chains on principle.

    That said, I’d like a Cracker Barrel and a Sonic installed adjacent to my house with all possible haste, please!

    Also – to the person who had a hankering for scrapple, they sometimes have it as an appetizer at Cashion’s in Adams Morgan. 🙂

  • It was unfortunate that the Fractured Prune donut outlet that opened in fall 2007 on the 2100 block of P Street came to the street at the same time street construction did — and was located well away from both the Metro stop and morning office traffic. The store lasted all of eight months. (The space is now Saigon Bistro.) Fractured Prune fries up the best donuts — which I still enjoy at the original store in Ocean City.

  • To get the mouths of fellow texans watering (some have been mentioned and I know all aren’t limited to Texas)

    taco cabana
    taqueria Jalisco

    …seeing sonic commercials pisses me off knowing that the closest one is probably fredricksburg.

  • Love me some In n Out but that would NEVER happen here. Maybe Sharky’s tacos. Or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

  • All the NC food joint votes are awesome! Forget ‘Dillo, we need a Cosmic Cantina here (for anyone who went to school on Tobacco Road). I met the owner recently and begged him to open a DC location in CH. Open ’til 4 a.m., burritos for under $5 and $2 quesadillas, amazing.

    Also 2nd cookout and bojangles. No way am I driving to New Carrollton when I need a chicken supremes combo on Sunday afternoon.

  • Given Cracker Barrel’s history of racial and sexual orientation discrimination, I hope we keep them out of DC. I wouldn’t give them a dime of my money, regardless of the food they serve.

  • Jack in the Box!!! Carl’s Junior!!! In and Out!!!!

  • White Castle, Skyline Chili

    I always bring some back when I go home to Ohio. And a case of Old Milwaukee Light.

  • Mal, check out Red Hot and Blue in Rosslyn and Laurel, MD. Memphis-style, f-ing fantastic. Screw Rockland’s, it sucks. Also a Primanti’s would be heaven, my parents are from the ‘Burgh I go there all the time

  • This thread is exactly what is wrong with American culture. Look at all the excitement over processed, unhealthy, chemical-laden “food”. Look at all the excitement over large corporations who have no qualms keeping you addicted to their crap and killing you slowly for $$. Look at all the excitement over chains that kill the rainforests acre by acre every week to feed the cows, and put the small farmer out of business and ruin other crops in the name of soy and grain agribusiness. Almost nothing is more damaging to the earth and humanity than the proliferation of these chain eateries, yet Americans go ape shit over them, wanting them so badly, so badly that they want them in their immediate neighborhood, don’t even want to travel a few miles to get to them.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Anon 10:38 We’re not saving the world with this post, just fondly reminiscing. It’s Friday my friend, breath with me. Ahhh.

  • I’m soooo glad someone mentioned Taco Cabana. They kick Taco Bell’s arse. Fresh tortillas every day, and open 24/7. Can’t beat that. Also, the Pappa’s chain of restaurants would be awesome –Pappasito’s Cantina, Pappadeaux, Pappa’s BBQ, etc.

  • Wegmans Web site sez there’s one opening in Landover (off the Beltway at Landover Road) in 2010. Much easier to get to for some of us than the ones in Fairfax, Dulles and Woodbrige.

    I would guess Landover is about as close as Wegmans is going to get to DC proper. The company has made it clear that it’s only in the business of building mega-markets that require huge tracts of land.

  • I’m going to eat at Bojangles regardless, so it’s definitely easier on the environment for there to be a Bojangles on Kennedy St. than for me to drive 20 miles to get to one.

  • @Anon 10:38: go preach somewhere else, o humorless one. It is called nostalgia.

  • Harold’s Chicken Shack, Maxwell street depot, and a real deep dish pizza place like Giordano’s. These are all things I miss from my days in Chicago.

  • You’re kidding me, Fractured Prune closed? No wonder I was never able to find it. I looked and looked for that place. damn it. I thought they were opening up a new one in Silver Spring.

    I can’t imagine eating in a chain restaurant though, that’s not what life is about. I would rather see Horace and Dickies franchised out.

    There’s a Wawa in College Park I go to, but Wawa sucks. I thought it was cool when I was on the road, but in-town I realize there are much better options.

    I liked the original Cosi so much better than the Cosi that we have here.

    I would like to see the craft store certainly. Wegmans (which cannot open in the city without changing their business model).

  • Look at all the excitement over chains that kill the rainforests acre by acre every week to feed the cows

    You’d be surprised to learn that a whole lot of the rainforest was cut down by companies making plant-based gasoline for cars as “green energy.”

  • mmmmm hungry

    Steak and Shake
    Tim Hortons
    Waffle House

  • POP and others, I get it, but I choose not to have any fond nostalgia over what are truly awful institutions. It’s celebrating death and destruction, for reals.

  • @Anon 10:38 – Thanks for reminding me. We definitely need an Ape$h!ts. They make the best Bacon Double Bacon Bacon Burger (Bacon Style) this side of Junkpunchers. Almost as good as Cap’n Goatse’s Poop Deck or Seamus von Leningrad Standing Horse’s Omni-ethnic Sub Pub.

  • 114 messages and nobody said Papa Gino’s? Best. Pizza. Ever.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Anon 10:49 then please do me a favor, let those who want just want to reminisce, reminisce. You are not obligated to share the sentiment. I respectfully ask you to save your rants for the noon random reader rant and/or revel. Thanks.

  • Tastee-Freeze Yum

  • @anon 10:38 – stfu, you are giving all of us other anons a bad name.

    I’d also like to mention a REAL burrito place (not the crappy chipotle and Cali tort)


  • Okay, I didn’t think I was stopping anybody from reminiscing, they seem to be doing it just fine. I voiced my opinion, I’m done, barring any responses from others that call for a reply.

  • Jimmy D – if your’e looking for the banging scrapple, try the AM PM Carryout on 14th and V. Used to breakfast there when I worked at the Reeves and their scrapple, egg and cheese on white toast is scrumptious.

  • From L.A: Del Taco, and a fish taco place (LongWongs?) i think was the name, Chubbys or another greasy mex joint
    From Dallas: Country Burger, and that Rib place downtown near Daly Plaza
    From NY: Anchor bar for Wings, and Tahoes for Garbage plates
    Not registering anything from Phoenix and Boston. Come to think of it the place on wisonsin ave was a steak and egg shack, anyone know if it is still there?
    They should open another Waffle Shop like the one accross from Fords Theatre downtown. Morning Special for 4$ cant be beat.

  • No, the celebration of death and destruction is Kali Puja, on Oct. 17th this year.

  • Steak n’ Shake – for their shoe string french fries
    Friendly’s – for their pistachio ice cream you just cannot get everywhere

    And I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if Publix would take over the grocery markets all across DC. Nothing compares to Publix deli (their subs are fantastic), extra services, pharmacy, excellent selection and great prices. It’s a one stop shop with no pushing and shoving. I think it’s a south/east chain which probably explains the pushing and shoving comment. I strongly dislike Safeway and Giant!!!

    Trader Joe’s, Filene’s Basement, DSW shoes and probably a few others are the redeeming stores of this area.

  • FREEBIRDS!!! Chipotle and Baja Fresh can’t hold a candle to that place. I just ate there when I was back home in Houston a few weeks ago. Nostalgia is right –makes me remember the good old days when my metabolism was high enough to take down a super monster burrito and not think twice about it.

  • Ranter/Raver- Let me guess, are you also Voice of Reason?

    You have a particularly joyless view of the world it seems.

  • Yes, same person, and no, you’re incorrect, I love the world, I love life, I celebrate it every day. I love people, my neighbors, my co-workers, friends and family. If you saw me face to face or met me, you’d walk away thinking, that’s a happy person. I just don’t mind calling out things that need to be called out. Processed and/or fast food being one of ’em. I also just saw “Food, Inc.” so it’s fresh in my mind.

  • I could seriously go for a Root Beer Ice Cream Float from A&W right about now…

  • Reader– good call!

  • Heck yes to Taco Cabana, Whataburger and Sonic (blue cocounut slush!…mmm)!

    But I’d also love to see a Jim’s and a Luby’s. That’s the stuff.

  • There are A+W stands in DC or just over the border. I saw one Saturday.

  • Jim- Thanks, it seemed pretty likely.

    voiceofreason- Fair enough. Doesn’t take away from the fact that there are few things more satisfying than gorging on the occasional greasy fast food.

  • There is not a Wawa in college park.

  • I second (or third) the need for a good craft store (Michaels, Jo-Ann, AC Moore)….tired of driving out to Rockville for an inkpad or Mod Podge.

  • voiceofreason is the worst fake person i don’t know on the internets

  • WAWA and Primo Hoagies!!!!!!!! Best. Ever.

  • Lubys chop steak, fried okra, mashed potatoes, and dinner roll… I think I have to go clean myself up after thinking about it.

    Anontexan, from SA?

  • Michael’s! or Joann’s! or AC Moore! Some reasonably priced crafts store in DC is a must. Hate having to pay premium prices for yarn in DC or trekking out to the exurbs to Michael’s.

  • @ 11:28 am – yup, SA/Austin native here! You? What I wouldn’t give for some Luby’s mac n cheese and spinach right now. Dang.

  • A Publix would so rock! Or a Kroger for the Ranger Cookies!

  • .. put me down too for a Michael’s, Joann’s, or AC Moore. It is a b itch to go trek out to the burbs to get some decent A&C supplies

  • DC definitely needs a craft/fabric store or two!!!! All the stich n’ btch groups out there in the city would suggest there is an unmet need for at the least yarn.

  • @ naomi, aj, etc. : so if i open a craft store in DC you’ll come? not a chain, but an independent gig? ’cause i’ll do it. its ridiculous that dc doesn’t have a good craft supply store. and there’s a real dearth of art stores too…

  • I fail to understand why there are so many Panera locations in the suburbs but none in downtown DC. They would do extremely well with the lunch crowd.

    Along with others, I am also quite surprised that no fabric/craft store has opened up either in DC USA or in the Rhode Island Avenue shopping center.

  • Me and mine would definitely patronize a local, independent craft store. Often. Sometimes with bulk purchases.

  • I third on teh Publix – they are by far teh best grocery store. I used to live in Fl and I miss them!

  • @Zoom268 – I love Gino’s crust!!!! I hadn’t thought of it since it’s strictly a New England chain … but then this is just a QoftheDay, so whey not add it!

  • Peet’s. By far the best of the chain coffee stores.

  • I understand the desire for Michaels/AC Moore, but I feel like those places are often filled with a lot of cheap crap. Sometimes you just need cheap stuff, but a locally owned craft store that was high on quality items and low on weird wicker thingies would definitely get my vote.

    We do have some locally owned yarn stores, don’t we? I thought there was one in the Marine Corps barracks neighborhood.

  • El Bolillo Bakery

  • Anne Taylor Loft…..seriously bitches.

    DC has those.

  • Wegmans!

    I love the votes for Stewarts & Friendlys 🙂 Are there a lot of upstate New Yorkers on this site?

  • JAMBA JUICE! JAMBA JUICE! JAMBA JUICE! You’d think with all the health nuts in this city there would be one on every corner. I love being able to drink my 5 servings of fruit for the day in one sitting!

  • Yes, I craft store would be nice. I agree with Christina that a more stylish store (but not crazy expensive) would be great as opposed to a sometimes junky Michaels or JoAnns. I know that Ipso Crafto was I think in the Eastern Market neighborhood but it closed.

  • Wow, I’m heartened to see that there aren’t any calls, seriously or not, for more McDonald’s! The world is turning into a better place!!!

    And it’s not food, but I’d love to see an REI in the District so I don’t have to drive to one. DC could use some more crunchiness.

  • I am from the south, so maybe I just don’t understand… But why aren’t there smoothies places around this town like jamba juice? It doesn’t get THAT cold to where people wouldn’t go during the winter. At least have one near the gyms for post workout treats.

  • @Christina, yes. It’s called Stitch and it’s on 8th St SE (Barracks Row). There also used to be both a craft store (IpsoCrafto) and an art store there, but both are sadly gone. Is that fabric store on K (@ 19thish?) still there? Closer in to the city (particularly for yinz in Greater Petworthia), Langley Park is fabric store paradise. Still probably requires a car, or at the very least a working knowledge of the bus system, but it’s nearer to you than say the AC Moore in Bailey’s Crossroads (which also isn’t an exurb as someone stated, but I can understand how it might feel that way).

    The Wawa in College Park has been closed since 2007. I’m not sure what (if anything) is in that space now. It was vacant for a while.

    For whoever was looking for Tiffany’s/Maggiano’s/Cheesecake Factory – all of those are metro accessible in Chevy Chase.

    I can’t think of one chain that I’d want that we don’t have. Yeah, In ‘n Out would be awesome, but they don’t do the East Coast period, so in trying to think of things that are even within the realm of possibility… most of the stuff, with the exception of the regional stuff that isn’t in this region, is easy enough to get to since I have a car and I’m not ashamed to use it. I guess if I could transplant a regional chain that I haven’t seen mentioned I’d have to say Una Mas. I loved Una Mas when I lived in CA.

    **OH! Perfect Pita! I would LOVE a Perfect Pita on the Hill! (a Perfect Pita in NW is no closer to me than the one in Old Town, so I’m being selfish.)

  • 1) In-and-Out
    2) Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
    3) Zanku Chicken

  • There used to be a Jamba Juice at GW, in the Marvin Center, and I think in Whole Foods, right? Both are gone now. There’s a Robek’s still (I think) on L @ 17thish, and they’re pretty comparable.

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp!

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp!

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp!

  • Red Robbin!!

  • Julie Ann’s Dog House Shop. It’s the finest Chicago style hot dogs, Italian Beefs, BBQ, shakes, and sundaes.

  • The fabric store on K street has closed.

  • Why is there no Panera Breads in DC…

    The franchise system requires liquid assets of $3 million and a net worth of $7.5 million. The total investment for a store will run between $1 million to $2 million (please add on real estate, related costs, and landlord allowances). Keep on driving to the VA.

  • @e – hells yeah!

  • @ the crafters on this post
    i totally agree that quality is a must, however i think one of the issues with having a general craft store is that craft stuff can encompass so much. i have only seen one store that sold both yarn and fabric and was my perfect ideal but even then the prices were particularly high. my main reason for wanting a generic chain store is just filling the need for basic supplies without costing an arm and a leg.
    the marimekko store in silver spring was starting to branch out into stocking other mo-marimekko fabric and had sewing machine rentals, which i thought was absolutely BRILLIANT. sadly they closed their doors a few weeks ago.

    totally off-topic: why isn’t there a church of craft chapter in DC?
    …any interest in one?

  • er…non-Marimekko

  • @ Mal –
    Rib Pit on 14th is awesome.,1096155.html
    It helps me not miss Gates BBQ as much. My friend who grew up in GA, and was also homesick for great BBQ, also loves it. I’ve never really liked any other BBQ place.

  • 100% co-sign to Sheetz and Sonic

  • Hippies who hate chain restaurants also hate freedom. If you hate chains so much, move to France!

    DC needs a Super Wal-Mart.

  • Dangit, that Marimekko store in SS closed? I had been meaning to get up there for a while. And I didn’t and I caused it to close by not going. 🙁

  • sonic, hardees (mm, breakfast), good juice/smoothie place

    and hell yes to michaels/ac moore/joannes or any of the like. crafters unite!

  • You know, reading this it occurs to me that I almost never eat at “chains”. A lot of that probably has to do with my not owning a car and using that savings to eat at nicer places that tend to be locally owned.

    That said, it’s always a great treat to eat a What-A-Burger when I visit my parents and then choose between Jack in the Box tacos or a Taco C for my “4th meal”. Drive through of course.

  • @Christina
    awwww, don’t feel guilty. i felt bad too but it’s just a terrible economy. i loved what it was evolving into – i think the owner realized that the $45/yard fabric market wasn’t serving her well. in the last several months she began stocking lots of patterns, yarn and other quilting fabrics at a lower price.

    i also wonder if advertising didn’t have a lot to do with the demise. she offered lots of workshops and “sew a skirt” classes. it was just hard to know what was going on at the store unless you actually went in there often (i work across the street)

  • Tim Horton’s. Olga’s Kitchen. I go to Olga’s everytime I go home for a visit.

  • Has any POP thread ever broken 200 comments? Who woulda thunk this could set the record …

  • A new place in San Antonio called Dona Tota’s that serves sublime gorditas. It’s a chain from Mexico so I don’t know if the freedom lovers up north will go for it.

  • New2 – was thinking the same thing… friday afternoon, kind of slow, you need a spark… ummmm I think something political, racial, or of course bumfestive could do it… or anything to get voiceofnoreason going…

    185 and counting

  • Roy Rogers of course. I need a fry holster.

  • Just adding to the chorus of crafters. Why, I’m steeling myself for a drive out to rockville this very weekend!

    Also, wawa. Those pretzels filled with sweet cream cheese? I’d eat one a day.

    Why don’t we have an old navy? Good for kids’ clothes.

  • I’d like a Peet’s too—plus, El Pollo Loco, those are delicious. Publix also does rock.

  • I will second the calls for Old Navy, an AC Moore-type craft store, and an REI. As for food, I don’t eat at chain restaurants very much — does anyone know of a good bakery chain?

  • You may get your Chick-fix at Howard University, George Washington University, or
    Catholic University, but you may have to be a student at the university.

    Can anyone confirm this is the case?

    It seems like Chick-fil-a should replace the MickeyD at 14th & U Street except it is closed on Sundays and after midnight on a Saturday is primetime for chicken on U Street. Maybe not a good business idea.

  • Roy Rogers, I haven’t had a Double R Burger in a while. Of course, we definitely need an Arby’s.

  • Dogfish Head Brewery Restaurant, and a Peace a Pizza

  • Kev, sweet, now I have an excuse to “hang out” with undergrad ladies …

    (JUST A JOKE) …

    I can’t believe no one else has my back on OPH … damn. Oh, and one mini-chain that is in D.C. but I would LOVE to expand from Penn Quarter is Potato Valley (awesome fresh loaded baked potatos). I was addicted to that place when I used to work nearby. I would KILL for one in CH area …

  • Allan’s Bakery Brooklyn NY, we need one on DC

  • Wegmans! Jamba Juice!

  • I graduated from GW, anyone can go and use that Chick Filet, you don’t have to be a student.

  • @jimmy – you can find skyline chili in the frozen foods section at Harris Teeter. Not quite the same, but still pretty tasty. I loves me some 4-way.

  • is 198 comments a record?

  • waffle house

  • a casual dining chain that serves beer in cold frosted mugs.

  • Little Caesers!! Why do they not have one in DC? Also, the only Chic-Fil-A’s are at schools.

  • Roy Rogers

  • Time to bring back Etzys

  • University Burgers, the have them in Atlanta
    Sylvia’s Soul Food

  • Fat Burgers, they have locations in LA

  • i adore white castle. and the best part of an actual white castle outlet used to be the employees newsletter. wc has saved the lives of many folks who went there looking for work after being in jail or dropping out of school, or just being down on their luck. after white castle hired them, they found themselves being promoted to positions like “assistant night supervisor, french fries,” and their self-esteem began to a) exist or b) rise. any place that has such compassion for its workers gets my burger money. plus, i am crazy about those teeny little onions!! i remember when i could feed all my kids with sodas, burgers, onion rings, and (as they called them) “fence fries” for less than $5!! go white castle…or rather, come to dc!!!

  • Ooh. I’ll have to second the Del Taco.

    But I’m a Philly girl with some ties to Baltimore, so I could go for WaWa or Royal Farms. Sheetz really does have good sandwiches… I’ll take a Jim’s Cheesesteaks just to have the real thing down here. (They have a few stores in Philly. But it’s not a true franchise.)

    BTW, Monkeyerotica – Carvel was bought out by Baskin Robbins a long while ago. So you can’t get Cookie Puss or Fudgie the Whale anymore. But they do have similar ice cream cakes with the crunchy choco cookie crust.

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