Kiko’s Chicken Closes – New Peruvian Chicken Spot to Take Over in August


Wow, that was fast. Kiko’s had opened up in March at 3703 14th Street, NW. Thanks to an alert reader for sending the news:

“You know, those of us in North Columbia Heights had high hopes for Kiko’s Chicken at Spring and 14th. It was disappointing. Last night we noticed that it is closed and has a sign up that a new Peruvian chicken place will arrive in August.”

Hopefully the Peruvian spot will have more success.


23 Comment

  • There are a zillion other chicken restaurants around – I don’t understand why they don’t try something different.

  • This weekend I ran into a guy on 14th on the same side of the road, maybe a block south from there. He is building out now a new Vietnamese restaurant. Pho 14 is tough competition, but hopefully his place will have a slightly different twist to attract customers.

  • I’d rather have a glut of Peruvian chicken and Vietnamese places than a glut of bulletproof-glass liquor stores and Chinese takeouts–the only businesses that used to open up around this neighborhood in the bad old days (a business model that William Jordan and the rest of the anti-development crowd still pine for).

  • Mr. T: The reason is probably that chicken is pretty simple to prepare, and by far the cheapest meat that’s legal to serve to humans in the United States.

  • What I never understood is why someone doesn’t look at a place like Pasta Mia (where there is a line every single night) and just copy it. Is pasta that difficult?

  • Seriously. If someone who had actual culinary and business abilities copied an awesome NY pizza-by-the-slice place, opened a half-decent Chinese place, or a Murray’s bagels equivalent, or a simple, home-cooked pasta place that was open more often than pasta mia, or a place like Flour in Boston (similar in some ways to Taylor’s, but more emphasis on baked goods, and about 20 times better), all of those would make a killing especially in downtown DC. There is a reason anyplace good that opens in DC, even something as simple as Redrocks, is just swamped with customers — the competition is not exactly fierce until you get to the super high price points. I’ll never understand the amount of missed opportunities in DC — if only I had spare capital, and didn’t have a job, and knew anything at all about running a business … sigh.

  • What New2CH said. It’s true. Same goes for casual bars like the Red Derby.

  • are they offering any jerk chicken,

  • How about a decent coffee place? Starbucks by the metro is always packed. Not that I want a Starbucks, but a decent coffee place would do well and have no direct competition in North CH. And the possibility of another Vietnamese place is great – I hope it serves more than pho and bahn minh, though. Pho is nice when it’s cold out, but in the summer … not so much.

  • New2CH… DC proper unlike most Eastern cities does not have working class Italian, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Greek, Jewish, or Eastern European neighborhoods. So great, cheap pizza, kabobs, Chinese, falafal, delis, or pasta are not going to happen here. Unless they are started from scratch by young folks. And most young folks are professionals who already have jobs (another difference in DC). So really what we get are Salvadorian and Ethiopian, and not much else. Unless some more lawyers out there want to give up their $200,000 a year jobs, train for three years by de-boning chickens, and open up a restaurant for (say) $25,000 a year in income.

  • If I had the resources, and it was legal, I’d open up a restaurant featuring the most tasty meat of all – human! Ha ha ha…

  • New2CH: I work near Springfield VA, where they’ve got the highest per-capita pho restaurants and they’re always busy. Another pho restaurant is like having another bar: more joy!

    Anonymous 8:09: Where you been? Right around the corner is Sticky Fingers. Then there’s Columbia Height’s Coffee. Then there’s the Uptowner Cafe – just opened. Then there’s the other one next to Commonwealth that’ll hopefully open up soon.
    But my fave is Sticky Fingers.

  • I tried Kiko’s once, and wasn’t impressed. That “new chicken flavor” just didn’t do it for me. We go to Pollo Sabroso instead. Or if we want chicken with some kick to it, we go to Sweet Mango Cafe –now that’s some chicken with flavor. I will miss the song from the kiko’s website, though –annoyingly catchy.

  • What I never understood is why someone doesn’t look at a place like Pasta Mia (where there is a line every single night) and just copy it. Is pasta that difficult?

    The wife of a good friend of mine is an idiot who knows nothing about food but runs a Korean deli. Unfortunately most of the people I meet who want to open restaurants or do open restaurants have no idea what makes good food.

  • Bloomingdale good, albeit depressing, point. I guess it’s no coincidence that the best affordable ethnic food by FAR in D.C. is Ethiopian — at least we have Etete — that kicks any Ethiopian I’ve had in other cities in the butt!!! Plenty of good Japanese as well, but I guess those establishments feature a different demographic history. I hear there is top notch Chinese in the MD burbs and stellar Vietnamese in the VA burbs, but being sans car plus generally lazy, I have yet to confirm … but really I’d settle for some good, solid, basic Italian food that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg …

  • kiko’s was decent but too expensive. no reason to spend an extra couple bucks to eat there over pollo sabroso.

  • @anon8:09- kiko’s is about 3 blocks from the new Qualia coffeehouse. try that out if you haven’t, you won’t be disappointed.

  • “Unless some more lawyers out there want to give up their $200,000 a year jobs, train for three years by de-boning chickens, and open up a restaurant for (say) $25,000 a year in income.”

    Funny enough, that’s the story of Proof downtown. (Except he made well over 200K.)

  • Nooooo! God, Why? I loved Kikos. I have been living off of their $4 Pulled Chicken Plantain Plate since they opened. Furthermore, I gave a piece of my heart to the various staff there they were like the family I only visit for home cooked meals. This is a trajedy; I will reluctantly patron the peruvian chicken joint until they proove they are worthy of all that was Kikos.

  • I never tried Kiko’s but heard from a couple people that it was pretty average. Considering that there’s another rotisserie chicken place about five storerfonts away, and probably a dozen within a three block radius, I can’t say I really care one way or another to see it go.

    I would love another Viet Namese place. I have heard Pho 14 is really good. But the three times I’ve tried to go, there’s been a huge line and I didn’t feel like waiting 45 minutes. So I still haven’t tried it. Obviously there is sufficient demand for another one.

    And totally second the idea of a decent pasta restaurant. But cloning Pasta Mia is probably harder than you think. No, it’s not hard to make decent pasta dishes, but very few people seem to be able to do it. And it does take quality ingredients and, apparently, being Italian to do it.

  • Pho 14 is preety good noodle soup. But it’s one of those places where they pack about 5 too many tables into an already small dining room – so eating there is not so much fun unless you like getting hip-checked by the waitstaff every time they trundle back and forth to the kitchen.

  • I heard there’s a fastfood chain that makes an indescribable roast beef-product sandwich, but the name escapes me.

  • I heard this new place will have peruvian dishes……………let me tell ya!!!! peruvian food is really gooood…….haven’t seen something around.

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