Some Salacious Scuttlebutt and Friday Question of the Day


Back in July I wrote that Habitat was moving into the space next door, formerly Moojoo Ken located at 1512 U Street, NW. But I had no idea what was going to move into Habitat’s old space at 1510 U Street, NW. A reader provides some salacious scuttlebutt:

“I was just in Habitat, the purse/ bag shop on U Street. It recently moved downstairs into Moojoo Ken’s old spot. I asked someone working there what was moving into their old spot and he said it would be a sex shop. He seemed to be an honest man, who struggled to find the appropriate English words to describe the shop to me.

While I often look at vacant spots on U Street and brainstorm what this area needs, sex shop has never been the top of my list. Guess I am a bit naive.”

Of course this is only scuttlebutt but I’m dying to hear what you guys think. So for the FQoTD – do you think a sex shop will be a good fit for U Street? Also, do you think the U Street neighborhood association (if there is one) will support or at least not fight a sex shop on U Street?

34 Comment

  • I can’t wait for this to open. I need to update my accessories! Stat!

  • If Old Town couldn’t stop it, I seriously doubt that anyone can.

    By the way, I can’t say enough good things about the folks at that shop. They donated a huge gift bag to a silent auction we organized for some friends’ team for the upcoming Breast Cancer 3 Day. If I recall correctly, someone’s grandmother was the winning bidder.

  • Sex shop is fine. I don’t think it’ll be out of place at all

  • The Pleasure Palace has operated for 30 years or so in Dupont Circle and Georgetown – although there may have been objections in the beginning, they don’t seem to have brought the neighborhood/s down by their presence. I vote yes!

    By the way, these are erotic boutiques or “toy stores for sophisticated adults”, NOT sex shops!

  • About time. They needed something to replace Porsche’s joint below Twins Jazz from back in the day. ^_~

  • Before moving to DC I lived for a decade in a neighborhood, a very upscale neighborhood, that had a sex shop. The window displays were always very tasteful and it was like any other shop on the street. They were good neighbors, took care of the property, participated in the local commerce association, sponsored charitable events in the neighborhood. The were better members of the community than most businesses were.

    So I don’t really get what the objection to a sex shop might be. Do people think hooker hang out in front of them? Or that there will be customers having sex on the sidewalk in broad daylight? What, exactly, is wrong with them?

  • Unless there is specific language in the zoning regs (or if there is an overlay for this area which I don’t think there is) there isn’t anything the neighbors can do about it. The closest school is St. Augustine’s so that’s not a problem. The only problem may be the church across the street.

  • If the presence of a church across the street can be a cause for concern, maybe the church can be shut down, or forced to move? Seems to me the spread of organized religion has caused a “hell” of a lot more bloodshed than sex shops. Seriously. The record for both businesses seems stacked against the prayers.

  • There’s another sex shop going in on 14th.

    Also, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if a military recruiting station were to open. Nobody bats an eye when a recruiting center for the largest killing machine in human history opens up in their neighborhood. but an orgasm?! aw hell no, in the parlance of our time.

  • yeah because no one ever protests military recruiting stations (?)

  • Sex shop = mom & pop video store with dildos. With the advent of online ordering and free shipping, not really the best idea for a business with long-term growth potential. But hey, it’s always nice to have a small, locally run business where you can go when you run out of ream cream and orgy butter and you want to keep your money in the community. And I’ve lost track of all the dildos UPS dropped off on the porch, only to be stolen by some delightful street urchin.

    I’ll start paying attention to what churches say when they start PAYING TAXES.

  • I’m in favor. When I lived in London, I was in a very nice part of the central city and right down the street there was a huge, well lit, 2-story sex shop, usually filled with casually strolling couples. T’wasn’t seedy at all. Of course, neither is The Pleasure Place. I’m sure they don’t want the competition, but hey, in metro terms (as opposed to geographic), the two places are far apart.

  • There used to be (as in 3-4 years ago) a small sex shop on U St. between 14th & 15th, so I don’t think this is a new or shocking thing.

  • Oops, make that between 13th & 14th. Too early for geography.

  • Hopefully it will have lots of those video booths with streaming porn. And a mop man. Just kidding?

  • Actually there already is a small gay sex shop on U Street between 15th and 16th.

    Not that I’ve ever been in it. 😉

  • I think it is fine. The one in Old Town sits among some very nice restaurants and upscale stores. The displays are tasteful, and the staff is great. Mostly married couples patronizing. As long as this new spot is tasteful – cool!

  • Is there really a gay sex shop on U Street? It must be at the top or the bottom of one of the buildings, if I’ve never noticed it!

  • @Bob. Yes, there has been a gay, sex shop in the bottom (heheehe) of a rowhouse between 15th and 16th for almost 3 years. If you let the Asian owner cop a feel, he’ll give you free poppers!

  • Who cares? It will get as much use as purse/bag store, I would imagine. The presumption that it is constitutionally different and less able to be a “good neighbor” is a fairly archaic one. Somehow we’re struck with the notion of 1970s-era, seedy old Times Square, with a bunch of unsavory characters hanging around, but any time I’ve lived anywhere near one of these places, it’s never had a differential impact on its surroundings than any other type of business, save that it runs later hours. In fact, I’d guess the sensitivity to the stereotype makes proprietors of these places more incentivized to be a upstanding members of the community. I’m sure some people will stand up in protest, purporting to represent the neighborhood, but that would be true of any store. And frankly any person who tells me he speaks on behalf of a community as diverse as ours is inherently suspect and likely speaking primarily in his own self-interest.

  • Haha. Everyone is so defensive.

    Yall want to embrace the business before you know anything about it?

  • Dammit. “Gay Sex” beat me (HA!) to the joke…

  • Yeah what others said about the gay sex shop between 15th and 16th, in the basement of one of the converted townhouses. I can’t imagine it would be a big deal… is a sex shop really that salacious nowadays? on U street? really?

  • I guess I am the only person that thinks these kind of “toy stores for sophisticated adults” (lol) can be a blight on nice neighborhoods. It definitely helps if the window adverts etc. are tasteful, not graphic… but who knows what it will look like. I’m fine with one in U St. though… its a slightly edgy neighborhood anyway, so this wont have an impact.

  • do people even know what “sophisticated” means?
    i’m thinking they dont.

    anway i hear fun fair video needs a new home.
    so do the sex shop/hookers ring that are getting booted from pg.

    OR it might be a legit place. at this point how would anyone know?

  • Maybe the sex shop can make a trade with the angry neighbors, nasty DVDs in exchange for ditching the formstone exterior. Everyone wins!

  • Seems there’s plenty of support for a classy sex shop; if this bloke doesnt open one, I will.

  • Pyrex!!

  • Where is the one on 14th St going to be? We need one in CH too, you know.

  • Formestone!!! For a second I thought I was still in Baltimore. 😉

  • Isn’t there a Greenpeace office on the top floor of that building? Friend of mine used to canvass for them and I think that’s where she’d go.

  • Intangible Arts: too true!

    tonyS: stay home.

  • Maybe it’s going to be the sister shop to Baltimore’s Sugar! I heard a rumor they were opening one in DC!.

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