Que Huong Market Closing

IMG_1868, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

There were a number of fans of this market located on Park Road just west of 14th Street, NW but sadly it seems they are closing. At first glance I thought a Nails Saloon was coming soon. That would’ve been cool.

17 Comment

  • I think the lesson of this place is much like the lesson of the old pho place on Park Rd. There’s actually probably a pretty good market for a good Asian grocery in this neighborhood, but you can’t stay in business in this neighborhood at this point without reaching beyond the small ethnic community. After all, I think at this point no one is going to argue that Park Rd. can’t support a pho place.

  • The main asian/chinese market in Chinatown closed a while back, theoretically helping this market. There’s that nice japanese market (I think on U) between 14th & 18th.

    Maybe some rent condition pushed them out. If it was low demand, then they could have cleaned it up and made it more recognizable to ‘non-ethnics’.

    I live in NoVa and frequent a giant intl grocery here, and a smaller asian market that do really well. If I’d known about this place I would have stopped in.. as much as it looks familiar though, I can’t recall ever seeing it. If a frequent asian market shopper doesn’t recognize it then they’re doing something wrong. If it weren’t for the obscured dirtied word “market” and a lottery sign, I’d just have assumed this was a locksmith or shoe repair shop — way to dingy on the outside to seem like a place you’d want to buy food.

  • ughhh…how many nail salons and barber shops do we freaking need?!?!?

  • It’s true, the demographics of the neighborhood have changed rapidly over the last decade. The Vietnamese-American population in Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant used to be sizable, but it’s pretty minuscule these days. It seems they’ve all moved out to Fairfax County.

  • This. F?*king. Sucks. That place was small but had every staple you needed for most kinds of asian cooking. Now I have to drive to fricking wheaton to buy that stuff.

    I don’t know exactly what they could have done to “reach beyond their community” more, they were always perfectly welcoming when I’ve been there. If you mean sell stuff other than asian stuff, then it wouldn’t really be an asian market would it?

    I suspect it has less to do with that and more to do with their rent doubling post DCUSA, but who knows.

  • Lee’s right. I’ve seen a number of stores that did well in the past, but adapted to the changing demographics, tastes, and expectations in “transitioning” neighborhoods.

    One that comes to mind is the liquor store next to Wholefoods. They removed their bullet-proof glass, stocked higher end product (wines & beers) but still kept a lot of their traditional products. They repainted the place and made it look nice and wa la! they’re doing well. Another market/liquor store did the same thing in the 1300 blk of U street.

    Now sure, not everyone has the $ to renovate their business, or the knowledge of what new customers tastes are, but if I’m not mistaken, the owners of the liquor store is an immigrant himself. Since business is by definition competitive, you gotta adapt of die!

    P.S. I guess there’s also a chance that the competition from all the new development was just too much regardless of what they could have done…

  • Jamie – good point. If the rent is the issue nothing to do here. If their customer base has been moving out, then marketing to the new “non-native” shoppers might have been possible. I know painting the front of the store could have been a first step to be more welcoming to newbies…

    Either way, I agree it’s sad to see a place like this close.

  • Im gonna agree merchents in changing neighborhoods need to adapt their business model. For instance. Ben’s Chili Bowl did NOT have vegan chili cheeseburgers when I was growing up here. Then Ustreet became home to several punk rock clubs that are no longer around. But Bens saw an oppurtunity and started serving vegitarian and vegan options. I believe this market was owned by the people that opened Pho 14? Which people seem to like. I think a new awning with a name like “Market Pho 14” would have brought more people in the door. Then put on the menu “buy ingrediants for your own pho at Pho 14 market.” etc. but maybe the owner is doing well with the restaurant and doesn’t see the need for the market anymore. anyway its sad.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Jaime don’t forget the Japanese Market, HANA, at 17th and U –


  • Didn’t see that before! Is it Just japanese or do they have other asian stuff (thai, korean, e.g.). While 17 & U isn’t quite the easy walk for me that Park & 14th was, that’s not so bad.

  • I remember walking past this place on the way to Pho 14. Though I like asian food a lot, I’ve never learned how to cook any dishes myself, so I don’t venture into asian grocery stores like this one ever. The thing that really jumps out at me is the sign on the side of the awning that says “Boat People SOS Washington, D.C.” What’s up with that?

  • sucks. I just went there last week and obtained some thai basil and some pho broth along with some frozen noodles. The elderly grandma couldn’t speak a lick of english but was very kind and the 20something girl manning the register was nice too.

    I hate to see it go.

  • I don’t think we have a nail salon in Columbia Heights yet do we? I have been walking down to U Street, so this would be a welcome addition. Although, bad timing to open as pedicure season is ending, hopefully they’ll make it through winter.

  • Just some notes to clarify the situation with the Que Huong Market.

    No they were not pushed out, in fact the owners of the market (who are also the owners of Pho 14) actually own the building the market was in (as well as the building that Pho 14 is in), so this was not a rent situation.

    I am under the impression that it was the choice of the owners to shut down the market and turn the space into a nail salon.

    Also there isn’t a single nail salon in Columbia Heights.

  • does anyone know the actual date when the market is closing?

  • Drove by around 11:30 this morning, it was locked up with the rollie down.

    zai jian

    …Que Huong Market. We hardly knew ye

  • Nail place is at the corner of Georgia and Kenyon (and they can paint a whole landscape on your big toe if that’s your style)

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