Four Retail Spaces Confirmed at Park Place Apartments Above the Petworth Metro


photo(3), originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Well there’s some good news and some less exciting news. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Union City, a coffee brunch diner type spot from the owners of recently opened Tynan Coffee & Tea in Columbia Heights, will fill the northernmost retail spot.

Today, the CricKet sign went up to help cement CricKet’s take over of DC…

And in happier news – Sala Thai will be opening up a Thai and Sushi restaurant. And finally a Subway sandwich shop will be opening. Still no word on whether the spot from former Colorado Kitchen chef Gillian Clark is going forward. More news on the rest of the spaces as deals are signed.

I’m particularly curious what you guys think about the Sala Thai and Subway shops?

76 Comment

  • holy crap, why did you have to qualify this with “not so good news?” if we’re still getting our brunch spot, plus a thai/sushi combo restaurant, who cares what is going in the rest of the spots. two more spots being filled is a good thing, if you take a stroll down GA Ave and see the empty storefronts. heck, even DCUSA can’t fill their storefronts.

  • I think Sala Thai as a location on 6th St. & H St. NW. If this is the same place, they are AWESOME! Really, they are our favorite restaurant in DC for good, cheap food.


  • Prince Of Petworth

    Hahaha. I agree, I changed it to less exciting news, which I primarily meant about the CricKet spot.

  • saf

    I’m happy about the coffee, but not happy about the other 3. I suppose Sala Thai is fine, although I don’t like their food, but cricket and subway piss me off. We have MORE than enough trashy stuff here already, TYVM.

  • I’m pretty happy with both Sala Thai and Subway. Sala Thai isn’t the best Thai food in the world, but it’s passable for a week night. Most importantly, they know how to run a restaurant professionally and turn a profit. Subway fills a useful niche – sometimes you just want a damn sandwich for lunch. After all the Metro is about 10 steps away. If you want gourmet you can hop on and get to Gallery Place in 15 minutes.

  • Cool news! Shrug I won’t use Cricket but I’m happy they’re providing people with a way to save money with $40 unlimited plans. Subway.. yup I will go there often for something quick, big, and $5.

    I’m SO excited for thai food and sushi! wow wow wow

    and brunch!!!!!!

    wow wow wow wow

  • Excited about food options near the metro, other than sweet mango and looking glass lounge

  • overall an interesting mix of big and local chains or at least second restaurants. glad to have thai up this way.

    oh and we should debate how the metro stop thugs will respond to the new restaurants. my take: the five dollar foot-longs will threaten their masculinity.

  • Sala Thai is passable if I am starving and nothing else is open. And I like the idea of a Subway, as sometimes you just want a no nonsense sandwich.

  • I think a mix is good. A couple of times I’ve looked up, say, Chipotle or Subway on my phone and when I got there I found other places to eat. I don’t like major chains crowding out the mom and pops, but they can also draw people into the area as well.

  • The old Sala Thai in Cleveland Park that closed down a while back was not very good at all, but hopefully their other locations are a little better.

    As for Subway, I welcome it. I can’t think of too many places in Columbia Heights where you can grab something cheap and healthy for lunch. And their new Buffalo Chicken sub is totally awesome.

  • Not to make a plug, but I switched to cricket and it is way better than any plan I’ve ever had, and at least 25 percent cheaper for the same features. I’d say the less exciting news is the Subway.

  • I’m all tingly for Sala Thai.
    I want to destroy Cricket.

  • i really want to be excited, but instead feel a bit deflated. sala thai is just not very good. suway will no doubt do well with all the teenagers in the area. the only place that will get my business is union city. but overall i’m happy to see that something rather than nothing will go in to these storefronts. while they’re not my cup of tea, hopefully they will be somebody’s.

  • Anonymous at 11:59AM : You think Looking Glass Lounge is a food option? I’m sorry, but, no.

  • @ Petworthian.

    When was the last time you ate at looking glass? I love the food (for what you pay.) Steak for $10 – count me in.

  • All these options sound a little blah to me. Ill still be at Sweet Mango I guess. Donetelli should have extended a cherry lease to Potbelly. anything is better than subway. Which is just one of the most poorly managed franchises I can think of. Have you EVER been in even a Semi-Clean Subway? I dont know how they continue to thrive really. The bread tastes like cardboard and they are all dirty as hell. As for Sala Thai. That is like the ruby tuesday of asian cuisine. Hope Jillian Clark opens her spot but it sounds a lot like Eatonville in concept only in a worse location. I think the building needs a draw in one of its big spaces. What that would be I dont know. Maybe a buffalo billiards type place

  • Duckpin Bowling Alley?

  • Don’t know why people are complaining about Sala Thai. Admittedly, its cuisine (well, the Thai dishes; I’ve never tried the sushi) is not outstanding, but it is certainly more than serviceable. The 13 & U location is a five-minute walk from our house and we have eaten dinner there two or three times per month since it has opened. It’s always good for a reasonably fast, moderately priced dinner on a night no one feels like cooking or shlepping the five extra blocks to eat superior (and pricier) Thai food at Regent.

  • Any place without bullet-proof glass is welcome. Even the misanthropic Colorado Kitchen.

  • Duckpin? What is this, Baltimore? 😛

  • If retail here were to actually reflect what the majority of people in the neighborhood would want to see open you can bet there wouldn’t be any sushi, pubs, or gourmet coffee shops. Only a small little sliver of the local population (single/no-kids/big-paycheck) will be served by most of these outlets while the rest of the neighborhood gets thrown a Subway or Cricket bone. Some of us just want a reasonably priced meal and somewhere to buy batteries. Is a small hardware store or a Radio Shack within walking distance too much to ask for?

    At least we’ve been spared a f*cking wine bar… so far…

  • There is a small hardware store across Georgia Ave, just south of NH. Open you eyes [email protected]:50

  • I am going to assume most of the seeming 5,000 Cricket locations in DC are going to be gone in a year or two. They opened 2 on the Hill (that I know of). One in the 1300 block of Penn SE and one on 8th street SE – literally blocks from each other.

    I wonder if their plan is to open all of these location for a set time and get their logo all over in an effort to build some kind of momentum.

  • @ saf

    Subway is “trashy?” Oh, please. I get so tired of the snobbery on this blog sometimes.

  • Dog Walker: That’s a locksmith (Capitol Locksmith), not a hardware store, FYI.

  • @[email protected]:50:
    I bought hardware at that locksmith store earlier this week, FYI. It’s a little funky, but the guys that work there are unfailingly polite and good at what they do.
    And I don’t fit the description you offered at 10:05, but I’m still pretty happy about the Union City/Sala Thai selections.

  • I think what Saf was trying to say i that Subway is literally “Trashy” as in there is trash all over the stores and the food tastes like trash and we will be seeing subway bags and sandwhich wrappers and napkins all over georgia ave. That kind of Trashy.

    As for getting some more all inclusive establishments. I think a sports bar with cheap game day drafts and some pool tables would be welcoming to all. A place for all to gather and watch the Skins. Same with a good cheap bowling alley. Not a fancy Strike! type place.

  • [email protected]:50

    Are you DCDireWolf or voiceofreason? Are you going to ask for a kite store?

    I can think of at least a dozen of places within 3-4 blocks “thrown to the rest of the neighborhood”.

  • @[email protected]:50:

    Um, it is most definitely a hardware store and a locksmith. I have gotten paint, yard tools, and some other stuff there. Definitely not a full blown get everything you need place but it has definitely been convenient to run in and get items instead of having to trek all the way to home depot or some other place.

    I just went in there on Tuesday and got a paint tray liner. Unless you are just saying they don’t have everything that one might expect in a giant hardware store, therefore, they are only a locksmith (with some hardware stuff) then I suppose your point might be valid.

  • Don’t count on anything local or particularly interesting going into this building. Better to look at the surrounding side streets for new development. Unfortunately, PW has few commercial corridors, off GA Ave, that are close to the metro. Once you leave the metro, you are squarely in residential zone for the most part. Upshur is just too far a walk from the metro. CH, on the other hand, has 11th St and all the commercial side streets.

  • Gotta agree with Petworthian about Looking Glass. The food was WAY better back when it was Temperance Hall, before the place got Wonderland-ized. It’s like they introduced all the worst traits of Wonderland (loudness, crap music, boring food, annoying hipster ‘tude, etc.) when they took over.

  • Cricket should be given a medal for opening shops these days, especially in numerous places along Georgia Avenue. They seem to be the most positive force going on that street, in my book. Do not sneer, please, and be grateful you don’t live farther up Georgia, where I do, and virtually nothing opens, ever. Thanks Bowser.

  • saf

    Dead Presidents: it is indeed. First, I hate their sandwiches. But that’s just me. My bigger concern is the proliferation of fast food in the neighborhood. Wendy’s is a prime example of a bad neighbor, and I fear that Subway will be the same. They generate a great deal of trash and do nothing to provide incentives for their customers to pick up after themselves – same as most fast food places . This is something we don’t need.

    I would SO love a hardware store there. I would also love something like Litteri, or even Taylor (although they are a bit expensive). But an exploitative cell phone vendor and a fast food place are not what we need.

  • Subway is far from “healthy”.

    I am not [email protected]

    I’m not the only one who thinks the development plan in this city sucks.

  • JW speaks the truth. That is a hardware store – not a great one, but a real one. Speak to its inadequacies if you wish (if you have given it a try), but don’t just ask for a hardware store.

  • Majority of you guys are just complainers….its pathetic…I welcome any business that will help our community for the better…Do you just want abandoned storefronts?

  • If by plan you mean give lucrative contracts to friends, then yes, planning sucks. But you know what else sucks? Vacant parking lots, crack cocaine, and blight. For those of us that actually go to ANC2 meetings, I’m sure you know as well as I do that some of the most vocal support for these types of projects come from the long time residents. At the meeting right after the Yes! Organic market opened, there was a standing ovation from one of the most diverse crowds I’ve ever been a part of.

    I think its fantastic to see the city repopulate, to see the tax base grow, to see retail and entertainment options (and all of the concomitant employment) expand. So, please, [email protected]:50/voiceofreason/etc., understand that the most vocal opposition to projects like this are coming from the luddites that oppose all development

  • I guess I have low expectations because I am just happy to see some kind of commercial activity in those spaces. It’s better than them staying empty, like 90% of the residential building appears to be. I agree with Skeletor: if it doesn’t have bullet proof glass, it’s progress.
    And as fast food goes, Subway is a heck of a lot more healthy than any of the fried food joints in the ‘hood. I’ve got nothing against fried food, mind you. But a different option would be nice. I’m still pissed that the pizza place that was next to the nail shop closed down 4 years ago.
    Any prosective retailer or restauranteur is going to look at the neighborhood as it is now, not as it might be five years from now. The types of retail and food places that the neighborhood can support now are not necessarily what it might be able to support in a few years.

  • I’m delighted to have some choice in the area. My colleagues (from Rockville/Columbia/etc) always say “oh, you live in DC; you must be able to get any kind of food within a few blocks”

    I’m like “yeah, Popeyes and a couple of sandwich/Chinese/pizza combo places”.

  • I love breakfast! If 20 breakfast places opened between Petworth and CH, I’d visit them all every week. Breakfast is good at all times of the day. More breakfast please.

  • I’m excited to have Sala Thai coming to the area! We’ve been ordering delivery from their U street location for a while. Union City also sounds good. This is great news!

  • Anon @ 11:08: The point is that a sushi bar or $5 coffee shop might as well be a vacant store to 95% of the people who live near it. It’s a lost oportunity for something more inclusive and useful to the majority of residents. Is it any wonder some of the long time residents get resentful when, after 40 years of blight, they then get excluded from the renewal? Who do these expensive eateries serve? A very narrow demographic.

  • Neither Columbia Heights nor Petworth come remotely close to featuring a majority of expensive eateries. None feature ANY expensive restaurants by DC standards. Each FINALLY has a few moderately priced eateries (in CH, that would include Commonwealth, The Heights, Room 11, Pete’s that’s probably about it), but the vast majority of even NEW food options are cheap (Julia’s, Potbelly, Panda Express, Pho 14, Ruby Tuesday’s, among many, many others in Columbia Heights). Anon at 9:50, you are arguing against a straw man. Adding a sushi place or a coffee place does no one any harm, but it brings additional jobs, law-abiding eyes on the street, commercial street traffic, and tax revenue to the city, plus pleading many residents, not all of them who adhere to your pre-conveived stereotypes. There is no shortage of cheap eating options on Georgia Ave. or on 14th Street, and those options have EXPANDED greatly with the new development. Again, you are arguing against a fiction that does not exist. The development in this part of DC has been geared almost exlusively to the middle class. Same with the retail development (Target, Best Buy, Giants, Safeway, etc.).

  • The carryouts exclude me. I don’t complain. If the natives wanted better, they would have opened stores themselves. Instead, they let the Asians, Africans, and Indians feed them, clothe them, and provide whatever else they needed.

    Now the “gentrifiers” are coming in and putting stores in that appeal to them. Seems to me that the gentrifiers are providing for themselves. That is something that the blacks have not done.

  • I hope the bacon is good at Union City!! I never thought bacon could ever be bad, but my wife and I ate at a diner recently where it was. It actually made me gag. My world was shattered and I am still recovering.

    I’m pretty sure that if I did a survey at least 75% of folks in Petworth (and perhaps even 99% of the people reading this) will agree: Bad bacon is even more evil than gentrification, Payday check cashing joints, and dog poo combined!

  • “There is no shortage of cheap eating options on Georgia Ave.” There are no shortage of crappy eating options on Georgia Ave., is what you mean to say. Cheap does not equal bad in most cities.

    Other than Mango Cafe name some good (or even mediocre) options on the PW stretch of Georgia Ave. where the entrees are reasonably priced and the fare caters to a broader audience outside of sushi hounds? Even Maroni’s (while good pizza) prices themselves up into a limited clientele. Think about it this way, while Commonwealth and the Heights might seem “moderately priced” to you, in what way are $15 to $20 entrees “moderately priced” in a zipcode where the median income is below $35K? That’s not “moderately priced” to me and I make a lot more than the median.

    The bottom line is that most of these new businesses aren’t being opened to serve the majority of this neighborhood. If you’re fine with that, great, but not everyone is. Places like Distrito Federal serve a broader clientele than a sushi bar. That’s just reality. Not recognizing the very real feelings of resentment people have about this sort of exclusionary development is a lot like pitching coins from the Marquis’ carriage. You need only go to Domku (also very good food), take a look around at the patrons who are all from a specific social strata, then walk a couple blocks up Upshur to the Hitching Post and notice everyone is included in their dining room – old timers, newcomers, old soldiers.

    There is plenty of room for all kinds of places in DC, but what some of us are noticing is that the only eateries being added in these new developments are either exclusionary or the lowest common denominator Subway options. To some of us that’s not the best option and saying “it’s better than a crack house” is the real straw argument.

  • [email protected] speaks better than I do, but he’s saying exactly what I’ve been trying to say here, he does it much better than I do.

  • I’m moving to Petworth from MTP in a few weeks so I’m psyched about the Sala Thai! Pretty excited about Union City too.

  • I just moved to Petworth from Adams Morgan, and I think this is good news. I, at least, will be frequenting these places.

  • New restaurants moving into a new building is not pushing out cheap eateries. if there is money to be made on cheap eateries, they will come. there a bajillion empty storefronts on Georgia Ave. I think voiceofreason and [email protected]:50 should open an “inclusive” restaurant.

  • [email protected]
    Both Sweet Mango and Hitchin Post are definitely NOT cheap. I am always shocked about my bill at Sweet Mango. Hitchin Post is the same. I love their food (and smell!) and will pay for it but don’t think me or my Petworth neighbors can afford to eat it a couple times a week.

  • seriously, wtf are you talking about? the medium jerk chicken meal at sweet mango fills you up for $7 including tax. where else are you getting a quality meal for that much?

  • You are still going to pay $15 – $20 at the Hitching Post but I suppose you could eat for three days considering what you get.

  • Anon @ 2:23 is absolutely right Dog Walker, $15 at the hitching post gets you an entire flippin’ fried chicken (usually with 3 legs, three breasts, and 4 thighs) and two family-sized sides! It’s the best deal for MILES.

  • Who keeps Hijacking this thread away from the original topic? Which if I remember correctly that we are in dire need of some duck pin bowling lanes

  • Voiceofreason and Anon950, I’ve already debunked your argument with FACTS about 500 times, I guess I need to do so again. First of all, I will agree on one thing, across ALL price levels, DC food options leave something to be desired. But that is another point entirely. You seem to want really wonderful, cheap food options. Hell, I do too, but they are pretty damn hard to come by — quality usually costs money, it’s a lot cheaper to make fast food or shitty-ass fried food, hence the profileration of such places on Georgia Ave. There just aren’t, unfortunately, that many restauranteurs out there who are skilled enough to make the quality of TDF, for example, at the price point they provide. But in any event, let’s look at Columbia Heights. The new places that have opened in recent times, there is not a SINGLE one that offers more than one or two entrees over 20 bucks. You really can’t get a quality, decent, healthy meal anywhere in any city in America for less than 8-10 bucks, so yes, by that metric, 15-20 is definitely moderate and affordable. Here are new places that have come into Columbia Heights in the last five years or so … and recall, EVERY PLACE that was already here before fit into the cheap category, so this is adding to a mix that already icnludes tons of cheap mexican, chicken, fried food type options.

    Cheap: Rita’s, Julia’s Empanadas, Pho 14, Five Guys, Redrocks, Potbelly, Ruby Tuesday, Uptowner, Panda Express, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Pollo Sabroso, the chicken/steak place about to open in DCUSA, Red Derby, Wonderland (meals or snack under 10-12 bucks)
    Moderate: Pete’s, Room 11, Commonwealth, The Heights, Social, Thaitanic (10-25 bucks)
    Expensive: None (25-30 bucks and up).
    Very Expensive: none

    In Columbia Heights, the new businesses are RADICALLY skewed towards moderate or lower income places. You seem to be arguing that our neighborhoods don’t DESERVE to have ANY mid-level, let alone higher end, eating or drinking establishments, whatsoever. 90 percent, at least, of area residents would disagree.

    Once again, you are arguing against a straw man. compared to U Street, Dupont, Adams Morgan, Georgetown, Downtown, Foggy Bottom, Logan, essentially EVERY neighborhood in NW DC, this neighborhood is importing a FAR greater percentage of affordable options, and it’s not even remotely close. Now, if you want only cheap-ass food prepared with cheap ingredients in ugly settings, I guess you may eventually be out of luck. Sorry.

  • Also, the median income in this zip code may have been under $35k ten years ago, but it is not remotely close to that level any more.

  • But the income of the people who were here before the median started to change probably haven’t seen their personal income rise. They’re not the ones raising the median.

  • I just eat in – going to the Derby is a splurge these days. Not upset about it, it just is how life goes. We’ll never have the $2 meat pies and falaffels that NY has.

  • How will their median income EVER rise if their aren’t employers in the area paying wages above what the median income used to be? In all events, the claim being made is that, out of 25 or so new restaurants to come into Columbia Heights, maybe 5-6 are financially inaccessible to some percentage of the area’s restaurant-patronizing population, and that is totally unacceptable and that the number should be zero. I find that claim ridiculous. I think it is totally healthy and appropriate for an urban neighborhood to offer a wide variety of cuisines at a wide variety of price points, just like Columbia Heights has, for the first time in decades, started to do.

  • New2CH is absolutely right:

    Scroll to bottom of page 3 for the table.

  • I’m glad that there will be fewer storefronts there, tho am not at all excited about a Subway sandwich shop. I also greatly prefer the Hitching Post’s atmosphere to Domku’s or the Looking Glass (I loved it before the change). But what are these cheap(er) eateries you speak of that could be going in at that location? And who are these folks you speak of that are so angry about new businesses opening up in their community, raising their property values and quality of life?

  • OOPS! I meant fewer EMPTY storefronts…

  • [email protected]:50 and voiceofreason/DCDireWolf have totally got to be the same person, it’s actually making me laugh here! I can picture him jockeying two laptops simultaneously so as to give the impression of two different IP addresses or something along those lines. The language, the holier-than-thou outrage over innocuous local retail news, the wording is even exactly the same. It’s very annoying to have comment thread after comment thread hijacked and thrown into chaos.

    What’s next, outrage over the next “door of the day” post? Doors should all be plain and uniform, maintained by the government, and have no locks, to promote a sense of community?? Showcasing nice doors makes those who can’t afford one feel excluded? Ha ha!

  • Sorry to burst your fantasy Mr T., but I’m not [email protected]:50. I like his or her style though.

  • Well, neither of us can prove it one way or another, so we’ll leave it as merely a possibility. And what about that anonymous commenter claiming that Wonderland’s gay dance party was discriminatory? That you, VOR/DCDW? Sounded like it was from your playbook, almost cut and pasted from the Christmas-tree-in-the-plaza debate.

  • Rule number 438 of the internet: anyone who refers to themselves as the “voiceofreason,” isn’t.

  • Well, it’s not really a possibility at all. I’m only me.

  • please don’t blame subway or even wendys for trash on the street. this neighborhood is, unfortunately, a place where lame brains throw their trash on the sidewalks right in FRONT OF the trash bins. what IS it with these people? is this some big, bad, macho thing they think they have going? however, all is not lost. today i saw a great big guy shake his head and pick up one of the express newspapers that was scattered on the floor of the metro car. he got both pieces, too, and kept them with him so he could dump them in the trash when he got off the train. way to go, guy! not everyone is a total slob around here. this IS our neighborhood. we’ve all got to keep it clean.

  • blah blah blah….the turth is the bulding went downhill the moment it went rental. And, DC is so desperate that development, even if faulty and ill-conceived, is consdered a win. The only well developed corridor in recent times is U Street. Columbia Heights – failure. Georgia Avenue – Failure. H Street – failure. The planning folks in this town ought to turn to downtown Silver Spring for a successful model. Bricks and bodies are simply not enough. Please people – WE NEED BRAINS DOWNTOWN!

  • development is developement. i’m excited about these new restaurants coming to the neighborhood, and i look forward to what the future holds for petworth

  • No anon 9:59, development is NOT development. There is GOOD development and BAD Development. For example, if Central Union would have come to Georgia Avenue then taht would have been BAD development. Subway is mediocre development. We’ve got to be bold enought to call the bullcrap that’s coming to the Donatelli building by its rightful name:BOGUS!!!

  • mr. T your obession with VOICE OF REASON/DIRE WOLF. and “smoking him out” so to speak is so silly in my opinion my question why does he bother you and others on this blog so terribly?

  • Psyched about Union City. Be nice to not have to come down to Open City for brunch. Hope the layout is stroller friendly and that they are very careful about hiring smiley happy servers (Tynan…) I hope this doesn’t start up and then close down in a year due to lack of business or crime.

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